June 18, 2017
Happy Father’s Day!
One of the big mistakes we make when attempting to interpret God’s Word is to take things out of context. The Bible is meant to be a complementary narrative of God’s plan for us with each part helping us to understand the next. We will gain a much better understanding of what God is trying to teach us if we define the individual parts by the whole and not define the whole by its individual parts. A great example of this principle is Ephesians 5:22: “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.” Misuse of this verse may have caused more physical and emotional trauma for women than any other passage in the Bible. This is what happens when we are careless with Scripture, fail to hold people accountable, and fail to READ the Bible, ourselves. Neither Paul nor Jesus would ever imply that it’s a man’s right to do whatever he wants in the context of a marital relationship. Mutual respect and submission are the hallmarks of Jesus’ ministry (it’s what he did for us) and of Paul’s understanding of Christian Family. If the Bible is God’s message to us, His personal instruction manual, doesn’t it make sense that we should read it and not depend on someone else’s interpretation of what is says.
Questions for discussion:
· What do you think was the main point of Matt’s message?
· Read Ephesians 5:21-33: What do you think Paul was trying to teach us regarding the husband/wife relationship?
· What do you think Paul really meant when he used the word “submit?”
· If our goal is for our personal beliefs to be in alignment with the values and faith of the Bible, how might a broader (whole Bible) perspective of God’s idea of the husband/wife relationship need to change in order to bring our beliefs into alignment with Scripture?
· What have you learned from this message that you can apply to your everyday life?
Do something about it:
How might you apply what you have learned to make you a better friend and family member? Consider what your life might look like if you began to consider the people in your life as more important than yourself. Look for ways to practice this servant leader mentality by performing acts of service for the people in your sphere of influence. Who in your life do you need to ask, “How can I help?”
Ephesians 5:21-33; Matthew 20:24-28; Luke 22:24-27; Philippians 2:2-4; 1 Peter 4:11; Galatians 5:13; Romans 14:17-19