Title for Christ (Eph 4:15; Col 1:18). In Ephesians, the metaphor of Christ as head of His body, the church, is carefully developed. Headship includes the idea of Christ’s authority (1:22; 5:23) and of the submission required of the church (5:24). More is in view than a statement of Christ’s authority. The focus is on the character of Christ’s relationship with the church. Unlike self-seeking human lords (Luke 22:25), Christ exercises His authority for the church (Eph 1:22 NRSV, NIV), nourishing and caring for the church as one cares for one’s own body (5:29). Christ’s
Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (HEAD OF THE CHURCH)
Literally “building up,” it approximates encouragement and consolation (1 Cor 14:3; 1 Thess 5:11); though with edification focus falls on the goal, defined as being established in faith (Col 2:7) or attaining unity of faith and knowledge, maturity, and the full measure of Christ (Eph 4:13). Edification is the special responsibility of the various church leaders (Eph 4:11-12) and is the legitimate context for the exercise of their authority (2 Cor 10:8; 13:10). The work of building up is, however, the work of all Christians (1 Thess 5:11), Spiritual gifts are given for the edification of the church. Of these gifts, those that involve speaking are especially important (1 Cor 14; Eph 4:29). All elements of Christian worship should contribute to edification (1 Cor 14:26). Prophecy and instruction are especially important (1 Cor 14:3, 18-19). Edification is not all talk, however, but involves demonstrating love (1 Cor 8:1) and consideration for those weak in faith (Rom 15:1-2).
Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (EDIFICATION)
Paul was no chauvinist. He taught the spiritual equality of women and men (Gen 3:28) and wrote eloquently about husbands loving their wives as Christ loved the church-sacrificially and unconditionally (Ephesians 5:25-33). But to a church in a corrupt culture where marriages were in disarray, the brave Paul argued that submission was essential for any institution-government, church, or family. Without authority, chaos reigns. Continue reading WHY DID PAUL SPEAK SO MUCH ABOUT WIVES SUBMITTING TO THEIR HUSBANDS?
Characteristic of human and animal populations (Gen 10; Acts 17:26-27). Out of His richness God created an unfathomable number of creatures to fill the earth (Gen 1:11-12, 20-22,24-25) and respond to Him in praise (Ps 148). Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY (DIVERSITY)
Birth is our universal means of arrival in life. We can’t begin to experience all that life has to offer until we have passed through the moment of birth. Life has a formative phase in the womb that the psalmist describes beautifully: Continue reading SINGS AND SYMBOLS (BIRTH)
Use of rocky sites as places of refuge (Num 24:21; Judg 15:8; 20:47) led to the frequent image of God as a rock, that is, a source of protection. Titles of God include the “Stone of Israel” (Gen 49:24 NASB), the Rock (Deut 32:4), the Rock of salvation (32:15), the Rock who begot Israel (32:18), “a rock that is high above me” (Ps 61:2 HCSB). Isaiah 8:13-14 pictures of the Lord of hosts as a “rock to stumble over” (NASB) to the unholy people of Israel and Judah. Paul identified Christ as the spiritual Rock that nourished Israel in the Continue reading DEFINITION OF ROCK
HEAD OF THE CHURCH – Title for Christ (Eph 4:15; Col 1:18). In Ephesians, the metaphor of Christ as head of His body, the church, is carefully developed. Headship includes the idea of Christ’s authority (1:22; 5:23) and of the submission required of the church (5:24). More is in view than a statement of Christ’s authority. The focus is on the character of Christ’s relationship with the church. Unlike self-seeking human lords (Luke 22:25), Continue reading DEFINITION OF THE DAY “HEAD OF THE CHURCH”
Many a marriage has fizzled because both husband and wife latch onto the nation of submission, and both are destroyed by it. The husband may like the feeling of dominance, but he discovers too late he no longer has any emotional tie with his wife. Sometimes, tragically, the husband’s sense of dominance becomes perverted and hurtful. Sometimes a wife submits as a survival strategy, fails to grow as a person, loses her love for the man, questions her value as a believer, and settles into a half-life of emotional and spiritual solitude. But submission is meant to help a marriage, not hurt it. So how does it work? Continue reading IF A WIFE IS TO SUBMIT TO HER HUSBAND, HOW MUCH? IN WHAT AREAS? AT WHAT COST?
It is cosmic conflict between the forces of good and evil. The outcome has been determined, but the ongoing conflict still includes a great number of victories and defeats. The soul and life of each person is the battleground. Continue reading WHAT IS SPRITUAL WARFARE?
The Bible does NOT condone slavery but recognizes slavery as part of the social structure of the times. Rather than attacking slavery directly, biblical guidelines weakened and undermined the institution from the inside by reminding Christian masters that they had a Master and were to treat slaves as brothers (Ephesians 6:9). For slaves, the dignity that came with freedom in Christ had a powerful long-term social effect. Continue reading DOES THE BIBLE CONDONE SLAVERY?