Saturday, 22 October 2016
…submitting to one another in the fear of God. Ephesians 5:21
This verse continues to explain “what the will of the Lord is” from verse 16. It is an admonishment which is grammatically tied into that thought, and yet it also is a lead into what will next be exhorted concerning the duties of wives, husbands, children, and slaves. Those exhortations are given to show what “submitting to one another in the fear of God” means.
But, just from these words, we can deduce that “submitting,” or humbling ourselves, before others is what is expected. Pride puts up walls between people and God, and between people and people. However, humility leaves open a way for people to meet the needs of others. It is not demanding, and it shows no arrogance. This is what we should do when interacting with others.
As noted Paul’s specific examples are forthcoming, but it is not to be limited only to those he explains. We should have an attitude of submission to all those around us in order to bring down walls of animosity and strife. And this is to be done “in the fear of God.” Christ Jesus came in the most humble circumstances of all. From His birth in a manger, to His death on the cross, He demonstrated the humility which all of us should likewise demonstrate.
And yet, we need to remember that Jesus never let doctrine falter, nor did He flee in a cowardly manner from His enemies or the enemies of God. There is to be a balance in our lives where we demonstrate humility on one hand, and a firm resolve on the other. In all ways, He did exactly as His Father expected, and we are to do so as well. Let us never allow the forces of moral perversion or enmity with God assume that they can use us as punching bags without facing rebuke and correction. Evil must be addressed, or we are not demonstrating all the Christ-like attributes that we should.
Life application: When we interact with the world, we are to demonstrate humility, submitting to others as Christ would. And yet, we are also to be firm, fixed, and resolved in our attitude towards the wickedness which surrounds us. Let us never give an inch on our firm stand to uphold God’s word.
Lord God Almighty, we are told in Your word to submit to one another in the fear of God. In doing so, we will act in a Christ-like manner. And yet, we are also instructed to stand against the evil of this world and to call out that which is morally corrupt, noting it for what it is. Too often, Your followers are attacked for our firm stands against the wicked, but we are to live balanced, Christ-like lives. He stood against all evil and perversion, highlighting it for all to see and be aware of. May we do nothing less! Give us wisdom in these things, O God. Amen.