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sunday school

These are my notes from my ladies’ Sunday School class this morning. I’ll be posting the notes from my class here each week. They will be in outline form, so if you have any questions or need more details, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Click here for last week’s lesson.

Godly Womanhood – Submission
Ephesians 5

Background on Ephesians:

Written by: Paul in A.D. 60-62, from prison in Rome (prison epistle)

To: The church at Ephesus. See Acts 19.

5:1-21– What is the main idea of this section as summed up in verses 1-2?

5:22-23– What does it mean to submit? What does it NOT mean?

1. Greek: hupotasso. Hupo- “under”. Tasso- “Arrange in an orderly manner to a certain position.” Military term

2. Submission does not mean all women submit to all men. (v. 22)

3. Submission is not just for wives whose husbands are Christians. (1 Peter 3:1-2; 1 Corinthians 7:12-16)

4. Submission is not permission for domestic violence.

Domestic violence is serious sin on the husband’s part. Submission is something women lovingly and from a position of power CHOOSE to GIVE, just as Christ, from a position of power, chose to lay down His life for us (John 10:18). If a husband is forcing or demanding submission, it is no longer submission, it is oppression. It’s not a gift, it’s being stolen. The church has a weighty responsibility to act in DV situations, making sure women are safe and men are held accountable. God’s word in no way condones domestic violence or even suggests that women should stay in a dangerous situation. If you are in danger, let your pastor or a trusted friend know so that we can help you!

5. Submission, like a husband’s self-sacrificing love, is about dying to self (Matthew 16:24-25), turning the other cheek, and going the extra mile (Matthew 5:38-42).

5:23-32– Marriage is a picture of the relationship between Christ and His church.

1. V. 23-24- The husband signifies Christ. The wife signifies the church.

2. V. 25- Christ loved the church enough to sacrifice Himself for her.

3. V. 26-27- Christ’s desire is what’s best for the church.

4. V. 28-31- Christ nourishes and cherishes the church.

5. V. 32-33- Christian marriage shows the world the relationship between Christ and His church.

Since none of our husbands love us perfectly as Christ loves the church perfectly, there will be many times when we will need to extend grace and forgiveness.

Forgiving as Jesus Has Forgiven Us

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

To forgive as Jesus forgave, we must remember that the act of forgiveness takes place before the offender’s repentance. (Romans 5:8; 2:4)

To forgive as Jesus forgave, our mercies must be new every morning, just as His are. (Lamentations 3:21-24)

When we pray that God will make us more like Jesus, we have to remember that “He was despised and rejected by men…a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” (Isaiah 53:3) and that, “Although He was a son, He learned obedience through what He suffered.” (Hebrews 5:8) And, yet, He was still forgiving to those who caused the suffering.

When Jesus said, “Father forgive them” from the cross, He knew that the people who put Him there had not repented, and many never would. Most would go to their graves thinking they had done the right thing. Still, Jesus demonstrated a heart of forgiveness in the moment, and left the final accounting for their sin to His Father (Luke 23:34).

“Vengeance is mine. I will repay,” says the Lord (Romans 12:19). “To the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.” (Romans 12:20) We are to “love [our] enemies and pray for those who persecute [us].” (Matthew 5:44). Leave God to deal with his heart. We must do what God has commanded us to do, regardless of circumstances.

When people came to Christ in repentance, He didn’t hold a grudge, punish, or demand penance. He didn’t keep a mental list of the ways people had sinned against Him to bring up as ammunition at a later time (1 Corinthians 13:5) . He graciously, lovingly, and completely forgave from the heart.

Additional Resources

Amazing Love: The Story of Hosea (Also available on DVD and Instant Queue on Netflix)

Losing Weight You Weren’t Meant To Carry by Mike Leake

Christianity + Submissive Wives = Domestic Violence? by Georgia Purdom

Genesis, Wifely Submission, and Modern Wives by Georgia Purdom

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