This post is the essence of the sermon Spirit-Filled Living part 1 by Pastor Darrell Johnson of First Baptist Church, Vancouver, BC, Canada. If you would like to listen to the entire sermon, you can listen to the sermon here.
Spirit-Filled Living Part 1
The revolutionary and alternate understanding of human relationships in Ephesians 5 & 6 is contrary to deeply engrained patterns of behavior. Even after 2,000 years the Church has yet to work out the implications.
In Ephesians 5:18 we find the imperative (command) to “be filled with the Spirit”. We are to be filled with the very life of God and everything else flows out of that filling. Following that filling is a series of consequences or results. Notice that these results are all participles. They are not commands as some translation have made them out to be. They are participles – the result of the one command – “be filled”.
Ephesians 5:21 “be subject” is also not a command (imperative), but a participle in a series of participles. Ephesians 5:21 is also not a new sentence as many translations have it, nor is it a new paragraph, for “being subject” is a result of being filled.
There are a serious of relationships in which this “being subject” is worked out. Wives and husbands, fathers and children, masters and servants.
Verse 21 sets up the subjection as reciprocal, “one to another”, so that all of the subjection in Ephesians 5 & 6 is governed by the reciprocal nature that flows from “being filled”. Wives are being subject to husbands and husbands being subject to wives; children being subject to fathers and fathers (or parents) being subject to children; servants being subject to masters and masters being subject to servants.
Radical and revolutionary
“Being filled” goes to the root of relational dynamics and turns things upside down so that things can be right side up again. Because of sin, human relationships are twisted and distorted. Jesus Christ comes into the world and through His Spirit, things become untwisted and untangled and He restores those relationships to God’s original intention. Continue Reading »