Realizing our Riches | Ephesians 5:21
Ephesians 5:21 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. | A Prerequisite to becoming a Godly Subject and Authority | All through the Epistle Paul has been speaking of headship. Christ is the head of the Church, the Husband is head of the wife, parents are head to the children, and masters are heads over the servant. From Chapter 5:21 to Chapter 6:9 Paul gives the duties, not only of the subjects of authority but also to the ones in authority. He spoke to husbands as to the authority and wives as subjects to that authority and the same with children and parents, and servants and masters. What a beautiful thing it is when both of these people are Christians and even more blessed when both authority and subject are filled with the Spirit. A Spirit-filled authority in your life is a great blessing, they won't abuse the authority God has given them in your life and their authority is not a yoke of bondage but an arm of protection and comfort. When Husband and wife are filled with the Spirit, the marriage becomes a foreshadowing of the soon to come marriage of Christ and His Church. When parents and children are filled with the Spirit, the home becomes a haven of rest instead of a harbor of hurt and resentment. When masters and servants (Employers and Employees) are filled, the workplace isn't a dread but a delight. In every case we are to carry out the first instruction in this discourse, "Be filled with the Spirit" which is preceded by the second instruction | 5: 21 "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God." | This was a general instruction not given only to wives and husbands but to every person to whom this epistle was written, on that day, to the Ephesian Church, and in this day every born again believer.
We always think of subjects submitting to authority but not often do we think about authority submitting to subjects, but the instruction is clear "Submitting yourselves one to another." Wives submit to the authority of their husbands and husbands submit to the needs of their wives. Children submit to the authority of their parents and parents submit to the needs of the children, servants submit to the authority of their masters and a good employer submits to the needs of his employees. While the subjects come under a load of another man's authority and bear the weight of trusting someone else to guide them in the right way, authorities come under the weight of other people relying on them and being a Godly authority that wives, children, and employees can trust to feed, love, care for, pay, etc... When you hire someone on you have submitted to pay that person, pay that person's training, lend money if possible and necessary. When you are hired you are submitting to carry out the orders given to you to the best of your ability and to represent the man you work for well. This submission of both authority and subject is to be done in the fear of the Lord. This is because "All authority is given of Him" and when we submit to authority we are in turn submitting to the ultimate authority, God; This is not blind submission. Peter and the Apostles said "We ought to obey God rather than men," and so we submit to the lower authorities so long as our submission to the lower doesn't become an offense to the Higher, God.
When we submit to the authority in our life we have become like our Savior who was subject to the authority of the Fathers will all the days of His ministry on earth. He submitted Himself from birth to death, from Gethsemane to Golgatha to the grave. Even in the face of certain death and horrendous suffering, He said "Nevertheless not my will but thine." He came under the authority of His heavenly father and submitted himself to Him. When we, as an authority, submit ourselves to our subjects we have become like Christ. As He was submitting to the will of the authority in His life, He was also submitting himself to the needs of his subjects. Every temptation he faced was Him becoming our great high priest touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He needed not to suffer to become perfect in the eyes of God but His suffering was to become perfect in the eyes of man. So His subjects could look to him and say what a Savior! Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows! He could have come as a full-grown adult, as He did in His appearances in the OT, but He didn't. He was born in a manger, He walked the dusty roads, he felt hunger, thirst, pain, every human emotion known to man "tempted in all points." All of these things he did in submission to His father's authority and His subject's needs. What a master! What a Savior! What an example of how to submit to both our authority and our subjects.
So then let us be like Jesus if you are a spouse, son, or servant; Submit yourself to the leadership that God has placed in your life. Submission to their authority, so long as it is not against God's authority, is a submission to His authority. If you are a husband, parent, or employer; Submit yourself to the needs of your wife, children, or employees, in doing so you have become a type of Jesus Christ who gave himself for his subjects.
According to the Riches of His Grace!