Archive for Month: November 2015
Paul on Marriage and Steadfastness
Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Today we’ll be looking at the fifth chapter of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. In this, he addresses
Reading: Ephesians 5
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children,
2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
The chapter opens with a positive action for all Christians. When we walk in love, we are both aware of the love we have received and actively sharing that love with our brethren. Remember that we have received the greatest of all loves: Christ died for us while we were yet sinners.
3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints,;
4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
This is not to say that we remain condemned under the Law. After all, in Christ we receive all grace and mercy under Heaven.
Rather, we know that the fruits of the sinful nature are all manner of wickedness. Fornication – the reckless and wild expression of sexual energy which erodes the institutions of marriage and the family which underpin society – is first because it was the reigning sin of the Greeks of that day. They were homosexuals, prostitutes, paedophiles, and (it is rumored) zoophiles.
Uncleanness and covetousness are sins which cover a multitude of actions. Among these we can list all manners of confidence and git-rich-quick schemes, inclinations toward censorship and rage, and any number of common activities which are destructive to cohesiveness and love.
In addition, we are discouraged from speaking other than our word. Filthiness clouds the mind and opens the way for filthy acts and thoughts. Foolish talk and jesting erodes the value of one’s words, for it becomes difficult to receive wisdom from the fool.
These people will not enter the Kingdom of God; not because of what they do, but because of the spirit which drivesthem toward those acts.
6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
Many have come preaching an impotent, castrated Christ which we have not received. This Christ is so full of love for us that he has none for himself. He condemns none, welcomes all, and has a message with no conviction, repentence, or need for salvation. These deceivers lead the weak away from the Faith, and they will receive their punishment in full on the Last Day.
Now, we are aware that we were once children of that darkness. Paul himself used to persecute the believers, driving them into prisons, torturing them, and sentencing them to death. However, the old Paul died on the road to Emmaus, as the old sinful man in us has also died.
And we know that all gifts of the Spirit are aligned with God himself – they are good, righteous, and true gifts which serve to glorify the Lord. So, we who have the Spirit are called to discern what is the will of the Lord, according to what is pleasing to Him.
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
That which is done in wickedness, or with the spirit of this world, is not of the Lord. We are called to be in this world, but not of it – we must be both immersed and apart from this world.
That which serves to glorify sin (censorship of truth and nobility, rejection of history and philosophy, and other oppressions that inhibit the Word) must be opposed. For Christ himself had no qualms calling sin sin, and he rebuked the high and the low alike.
13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
14 wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
That which is done in the darkness is hidden by that darkness. This is why the creatures of darkness (that is, the sinful man) fears the Light of Life (that is, Christ).
However, when the Lord has shined on wickedness, he redeems it in the same way that he has redeemed us. The same resurrection to which we are party is offered to all.
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
We see the results of foolishness and wickedness even in this age, though we also know the results in the age to come. So, we should pursue wisdom and live like unto the wise.
16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Note that Paul doesn’t say “waste time”, “kill time”, or “do whatever, because life is short.” Rather, we live in a wicked time full of idle hands and wicked hearts.
So, rather than count the hours until death, we must make what we can of this time, by studying the Word, by improving ourselves in body, mind, and Spirit, and by working hard to accomplish in this world what the unbelievers scarcely dream.
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
Paul again admonishes us toward wisdom, which is in the Way of the Lord.
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hear to the Lord;
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Excessive drinking is not beneficial to either body or mind. It wastes time and it makes fools of us all. This is not the way to please the Lord.
Rather, we must be at all times and places giving thanks to the Father, so that we may be rooted and grounded in his Love.
21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
So begins one of today’s most controversial passages (though, to be fair, most of the Scriptures are considered either foolish or wicked in this dark day).
Christians must be at the service of one another, and we are to establish some hierarchies amongst ourselves. We should respect each other’s counsel (which is given in love), and we must help one another our of our experience and the wisdom we have received from the Lord.
22 Wives, submit unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
It is a hate-fact these days that most women want to be submissive to a strong, wise, and loving man. (Men who have embraced these truths have no shortage of women lined up for all manner of sexual acts). But what does it mean to submit?
We know that Christ is in authority over us; he is our Savior, the source of all the good things that come from above, and the font of wisdom. Though we question His judgment, we know that His will is sovereign over ours.
We petition Him with prayers and reasonings, and He may give to us the desires of our hearts. However, at the end of the day, it is the Lord who makes the decisions, not us.
Therefore, in the same way that we are submitted to Christ, so should wives submit to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the Word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
There is another side to this coin: husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church.
What example do we have from Christ? Christ gives all good things to the church, and He protects us from the worst that this world can deliver unto us. He has given up even his own life to rescue us from slavery to sin, and He has restored us wicked people unto the Lord. This is the love which we men are to emulate.
So we have a balance between the man and the wife: the man provides for and cares for the wife, and the wife submits to the man. This, we Christians acknowledge, is the natural way of Man and Wife.
Even the atheists are embracing this fact, for this informs their wisdom concerning all relations between the sexes. (I could point at several “game” blogs which attest to these truths). Surely we must not reject that which the Lord has taught us, when even the atheists acknowledge it.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
This actually accounts even for the “transablists”, who believe that they don’t deserve one or more of their limbs (very sick individuals). Even these seek food, drink, and sleep, demonstrating great care for the flesh they claim to despise. Admittedly, most people in the West care less for their bodies than I believe they should, but that’s another topic for another day.
As we care for our bodies, so too does Christ care for us.
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
Behold how Paul reiterates that teaching of Genesis which has existed in human cultures for millenia: marriage is a union of a man and woman into something other.
There are any number of excellent reasons for this social structure. First, we can observe the negative consequences of raising children without a father (increasing crime rate, lower rates of success in the business world, moral relativism, and men who don’t know how to be men in any conceivable way). Second, we can observe the negative consequences of raising children in a home in which they are not cared for (for many mothers are less caring than we’d care to admit, especially among the government-funded poor). Third, we are learning that having sex causes a couple to blend their bacterial biomes, making the two literally “one flesh”. Finally, we know that the social institution of marriage is central to the institution of the family, which is the cornerstone of civilization.
The destruction of the social institution of marriage is always correlated with the implosion of a civilization.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
Enough said, I think.
Let us Pray
Mighty Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you that you have not abandoned us in this time of darkness. For we are a people who call good evil and evil good. We have wholly abandoned reason and succumbed to the forces of wickedness in the spiritual realms.
Grant us the strength to endure, so that when the day of evil does come (and it surely is coming) we will be able to stand.
Until that day, grant us the strength to hold fast to our convictions, straying neither to the left or the right. Also grant us the strength to stand tall when the wicked forces (even those among them we would call brothers) come to destroy us. For you have overcome the world, and we know that you are sovereign over all things.
Grant us the wisdom to live Godly lives, and teach us the meaning of Godly marriage. For we have forgotten how to be men and women, and we no longer recall the truths which you have stored in the Word and in our flesh.
We ask all these things in Jesus’ name, by the power of the Holy Spirit,
The Lord bless you and keep you,
The Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you,
The Lord look upon you with favor,
And give you His peace.