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Thread: Women speaking in the church 2: Ephesians 5

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    Women speaking in the church 2: Ephesians 5

    Continued from post #59 in the thread, Women speaking in the church.

    I realize we are studying women’s roles in this study; however, we can’t properly understand the topic apart from taking a quick look at the relationship between husbands and wives. The text for this portion is Ephesians 5:17-33:

    Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

    This brings us to the point oftaking a look at the meaning of the word, head, which translates the Greek word, kephale. Kephale refers to something that is first, supreme, prominent, outstanding, or determinative…or an extremity, or end point…or the physical, anatomic head of a person or animal. In the first century, kephale also had another meaning. Philo, a Jewish contemporary of Paul, used kephale to mean source. Given that there are several choices regarding the meaning of head, we will have to look to Paul for explanation. In Ephesians we find the following uses of kephale:

    Ephesians 1: 22-23 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

    Ephesians 4:11-16 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children,tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

    There can be no question that we are underthe authority of Christ; however, I don’t see that as the meaning of head as Paul uses it in Ephesians…especially given the lexical definitions. The relationship of Christ to the church is not one of sovereign and subjects, superior and inferiors, rather, it is a relationship of life and incorporation. The church is not simply some sort of an institution ruled by Christ as president, or merely a kingdom wherein He is the Supreme King. She is a people in vital union with Him, having Him as the source of life, being sustained and guided by His power, and being the instrument, or body, through which He accomplishes His work. The church was begun when Christ arose, because He is the firstborn among many brethren. Hebrews even uses the descriptor, church of the firstborn. Christ is the source of the church. Additionally, it is difficult to define head as superior given that we are seated at the right hand of our Father in the heavenly places in Christ. Perhaps we need to stop viewing Christ as our ruler and begin to see that we are a corporeal part of Him. As such, we rule with Him.

    Colossians 2:19 also supports the meaning, source, for kephale:

    and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.

    The language of Ephesians does not portray Jesus as ruling Christians via laws and edicts. It depicts Him living within the heart of saints to change how each feels, thinks, and desires. This causes believers to want the same things He wants thus becoming vessels for His love. So now, let’s consider Ephesians 5:22-23:

    Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

    Clearly, we must interpret the headship of Christ in light of what Paul has already said about Christ and the church, and this is very similar to the ‘one flesh’ relationship for marriages from Genesis2, as well as the picture of woman coming out of man as her source. The church is the fullness of Christ and His body. Consequently, husbands, as heads of their wives, are obligated to provide for her needs for growth just as Christ provides for the growth of the church. Just as Christ’s headship is for the church, so also is the husbands headship for his wife. It follows, then, that the wife must be obligated to be her husband’s fullness, ie to complete that which was lacking in him when he was alone. The metaphor used by Paul in Ephesians is very consistent with and supportive of what we saw in Genesis 2. This brings us to the topic of submission, which will hafta wait until tomorrow evening…unless I have a very unusually slow day at the clinic tomorrow!

    blessings,

    Watchman
    Sunset remembers Eden...sunrise prophesies its return.

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    Re: Women speaking in the church 2: Ephesians 5

    It's an interesting study to see how the Lord deals with us. We are his "wife", his "sons" and sometimes, his "slaves". I think there is a growth process in those areas. When studying the role of women in the church and the role of men, I think we have to look first at the relationship we have with Jesus as husband and wife for that is the command he gives to husbands. When dealing with our children, we look to how Jesus and God speak of us as sons. Employees, check out the verses on servants.
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

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    Re: Women speaking in the church 2: Ephesians 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
    It's an interesting study to see how the Lord deals with us. We are his "wife", his "sons" and sometimes, his "slaves". I think there is a growth process in those areas. When studying the role of women in the church and the role of men, I think we have to look first at the relationship we have with Jesus as husband and wife for that is the command he gives to husbands. When dealing with our children, we look to how Jesus and God speak of us as sons. Employees, check out the verses on servants.
    Well, Brother Mark, maybe I should send all my posts to you first, then you can succinctly encapsulate them in well-worded shorter versions as you did above! You hit the nail right squarely on the head. Men who long to keep the women under their thumbs need to sincerely study their role as the Bride of Christ! When the shoe is on the other foot, light suddenly breaks through...to some of us hairy legged knuckle draggers!

    I'll have a bit more re: submission this evening, then we'll go on to 1 Corinthians 14. I previously listed 1 Corinthians 7, but that is a bit tangential to our study for now.

    W
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    Re: Women speaking in the church 2: Ephesians 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchman View Post
    Well, Brother Mark, maybe I should send all my posts to you first, then you can succinctly encapsulate them in well-worded shorter versions as you did above! You hit the nail right squarely on the head.
    Awe shucks.

    Men who long to keep the women under their thumbs need to sincerely study their role as the Bride of Christ! When the shoe is on the other foot, light suddenly breaks through...to some of us hairy legged knuckle draggers!
    I can't find that verse that says husbands are to make or force their wives to submit. I always wondered where those guys got it from. I still chuckle at something I heard Peter Lord say one time. He was going to study about husbands and wives and he started reading about wives submitting to their husbands and the Lord told him to skip over that part. He ask God why and God said "It's not written to you". I still laugh at that. But he makes a very good point with it.
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

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    Re: Women speaking in the church 2: Ephesians 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
    I can't find that verse that says husbands are to make or force their wives to submit. I always wondered where those guys got it from. I still chuckle at something I heard Peter Lord say one time. He was going to study about husbands and wives and he started reading about wives submitting to their husbands and the Lord told him to skip over that part. He ask God why and God said "It's not written to you". I still laugh at that. But he makes a very good point with it.
    That verse is: Husbands, keep your wife under your thumb, as the Lord must do to you because you know nothing about submission. from NFMV {New Faux Masculinity Version}

    I suspect if domineering husbands had seen a good model of submission at home & in the church, then they wouldn't be domineering. The idea of mutual submission seems to be rather absent in today's teachings...as well as the idea of what submission actually is.

    I haven't forgotten about this thread...just have been involved in a couple of other ones and my internet time account is rather low at present. I'll try to get this thread finished tonight so we can move on to 1 Corinthians 14.

    W
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    Re: Women speaking in the church 2: Ephesians 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchman View Post
    That verse is: Husbands, keep your wife under your thumb, as the Lord must do to you because you know nothing about submission. from NFMV {New Faux Masculinity Version}
    LOL! Yea, some peoples favorite verse.

    The idea of mutual submission seems to be rather absent in today's teachings...as well as the idea of what submission actually is.
    Agreed on both accounts. Though I do not believe that the submission to each other is the same type of submission. But I'll wait patiently and see what you have to say.
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

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    Re: Women speaking in the church 2: Ephesians 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchman View Post
    That verse is: Husbands, keep your wife under your thumb, as the Lord must do to you because you know nothing about submission. from NFMV {New Faux Masculinity Version}

    I suspect if domineering husbands had seen a good model of submission at home & in the church, then they wouldn't be domineering. The idea of mutual submission seems to be rather absent in today's teachings...as well as the idea of what submission actually is.

    I haven't forgotten about this thread...just have been involved in a couple of other ones and my internet time account is rather low at present. I'll try to get this thread finished tonight so we can move on to 1 Corinthians 14.

    W
    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
    LOL! Yea, some peoples favorite verse.



    Agreed on both accounts. Though I do not believe that the submission to each other is the same type of submission. But I'll wait patiently and see what you have to say.
    Hooah, as Christ is the head of "the" Bride, by His example the husband of "a" bride is shown how to be the "servant" if he wants to be able to love her as she is to be loved. If the husband loves this way, then there is NO HOLDING back her love, from him. Together, their love will flow... just as love from the Body of Christ "should" flow as they HOLD NOTHING BACK of their love of Christ, due to His love.
    Slug1--out

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    Re: Women speaking in the church 2: Ephesians 5

    Well, this has been abused and misused for centuries and oddly keeps coming back...so here goes:
    God made Man: then out of man, not the earth, he made woman. Woman is equal to man, because she came from man. That is why God pt Adam to sleep: 1- so Adam could not take credit, 2- so Adam would not mess it up. Thats how men do. LOL
    This is not a dictatorship, but man is the head of the woman, as Christ is head of the church. A woman should not teach a man or be over a man having authority. The Bible is clear. Now...
    With the rise of feminism and such, we are considered bad people if we believe like this..that is because of the abuse of the text which is done far too often. Back to Genesis. who ate the apple first? Eve. Who took the "heat"? Adam. The sin of Adam, the 1st Adam is repeated many times in the Book.
    Men are to govern, protect, serve, and love their wives, and protect women as the weaker vessel. Not lord or rule them as a dictator or governor.

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    Re: Women speaking in the church 2: Ephesians 5

    Quote Originally Posted by RWJC View Post
    Well, this has been abused and misused for centuries and oddly keeps coming back...so here goes:
    God made Man: then out of man, not the earth, he made woman. Woman is equal to man, because she came from man. That is why God pt Adam to sleep: 1- so Adam could not take credit, 2- so Adam would not mess it up. Thats how men do. LOL
    This is not a dictatorship, but man is the head of the woman, as Christ is head of the church. A woman should not teach a man or be over a man having authority. The Bible is clear. Now...
    With the rise of feminism and such, we are considered bad people if we believe like this..that is because of the abuse of the text which is done far too often. Back to Genesis. who ate the apple first? Eve. Who took the "heat"? Adam. The sin of Adam, the 1st Adam is repeated many times in the Book.
    Men are to govern, protect, serve, and love their wives, and protect women as the weaker vessel. Not lord or rule them as a dictator or governor.
    Hi RWJC,

    Good comments. Seems people, as a society, swing from one extreme to the other. In this case, we've progressed/digressed/egressed/distressed from misogyny to radical feminism. Somewhere, in between, lies God's truth...which is what we're after. There's a link to the first thread in this series in the opening post of this thread. On ~page 2 or 3 of that thread is a rough outline of our planned progression through this topic. We're just now getting to the pertinent NT verses. Glad you've joined us!

    blessings,

    Watchman
    Sunset remembers Eden...sunrise prophesies its return.

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    Re: Women speaking in the church 2: Ephesians 5

    A note from the concordance of blueletterbible.org is helpful regarding the meaning of submission. It says:

    This word was a Greek military term meaning "to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader". In non-military use, it was "a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden".

    A quick observation re: 1 Peter 2-3, and we’ll move on to 1 Corinthians 11.

    1 Peter 2:21b-3:1,7 Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
    Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives,
    Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being joint-heirs of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.


    To me, the item of note here is the word, likewise. Notice that Paul set Jesus up as the example, then said, likewise wives submit to husbands, likewise husbands understand and honor wives. I just wanted to add this bit to further illustrate that submission by one does NOT give dictatorial dominance to the other. That is why, in verse 7, Paul used the term, sygkleronomos, which means, joint-heirs, co-heirs, heirs together, of the same thing…in this case, the grace of life. The man, as head of the wife, inherits the same thing as the woman, as in submission to the husband. Their positions in the eyes of the Lord are equal, yet their roles differ.

    blessings,

    W
    Sunset remembers Eden...sunrise prophesies its return.

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    Re: Women speaking in the church 2: Ephesians 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchman View Post
    To me, the item of note here is the word, likewise. Notice that Paul set Jesus up as the example, then said, likewise wives submit to husbands, likewise husbands understand and honor wives. I just wanted to add this bit to further illustrate that submission by one does NOT give dictatorial dominance to the other. That is why, in verse 7, Paul used the term, sygkleronomos, which means, joint-heirs, co-heirs, heirs together, of the same thing…in this case, the grace of life. The man, as head of the wife, inherits the same thing as the woman, as in submission to the husband. Their positions in the eyes of the Lord are equal, yet their roles differ.
    Very good. The word submission there is the same word used to submit to Christ. God doesn't rule with an iron fist and neither should husbands. However, the submission to the husband is the same (i.e. likewise) as submission to the Lord. Submission is a response from the heart and will and should not be forced.

    Thing is, no where does it EVER state a husband is to work this in his wife. She is not a child but a grown being that answers to the Lord, not to us. She is fully equal in the same way that Jesus, who submitted to the Father, is fully equal to the Father. Jesus submitted from the heart and the will. The Father did not force the issue. Husbands that force the issue do great damage to their family and to their wives. If the Lord commands it, that doesn't mean that we enforce it.
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

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    Re: Women speaking in the church 2: Ephesians 5

    Great stuff in this thread. I agree with everything everyone has said so far. Well done. We are to love our wives, not abuse them. Many people have been led to believe that the Bible promotes the abuse of women. Not even close! To love them as Christ loves the church is the furthest from abuse that you can get. If people understood what the Bible actually teaches about the roles of men and women in marriage I don't think nearly as many would have a problem with it. Unfortunately, there's a lot of misconceptions out there about what the Bible teaches about the roles of men and women in marriage.

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    Re: Women speaking in the church 2: Ephesians 5

    Quote Originally Posted by John146 View Post
    Great stuff in this thread. I agree with everything everyone has said so far. Well done. We are to love our wives, not abuse them. Many people have been led to believe that the Bible promotes the abuse of women. Not even close! To love them as Christ loves the church is the furthest from abuse that you can get. If people understood what the Bible actually teaches about the roles of men and women in marriage I don't think nearly as many would have a problem with it. Unfortunately, there's a lot of misconceptions out there about what the Bible teaches about the roles of men and women in marriage.
    One day soon, I hope to have time to discuss the roles of men and women in marriage with y'all here. Life sure cuts into one's internet time, eh?

    W
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    Re: Women speaking in the church 2: Ephesians 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchman View Post
    One day soon, I hope to have time to discuss the roles of men and women in marriage with y'all here. Life sure cuts into one's internet time, eh?

    W
    Amen to that.

    And I want to thank you for starting these discussions: I have learned so much. I would rep you if I could.

    In Him,

    CC

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