Monday, 9 July 2012

Are You Filled With the Spirit?

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.  Ephesians 4:1

In chapter five of Ephesians, beginning at verse 15 Paul lays out what is included in living a life worthy of our calling.  First you have been called to be a child of the living Lord.  If you are married, you have also been called to be a husband or wife.  As Christians we are to be wise, making the most out of every opportunity (verses 5:15-16); we are to seek to understand the Lord’s will for our lives (verse 5:17): and we are to be filled with the Spirit (verse 5:18b).

What many fail to realize is that these passages precede Paul’s dissertation on marriage (verses 5:21-33).  As Christians Paul is assuming we are filled with the Spirit.  This is no small assumption.  For unless we are filled with the Spirit what follows in verses 5:21 through 6:9 is virtually impossible.

Because what Paul lays out in this section of Ephesians is how we are to live with one another, be it as husband and wife; parent and child; or boss and worker.  And how we are to live is beyond our capability unless we are filled with the Spirit.

It is virtually impossible for me to love my wife as much as I love myself, without the intervention of the Spirit.  In my humanness I am self-centered, it’s all about me and my kingdom of one. My wife, as fantastic as she is, cannot pay me the proper respect without the prompting and guidance of the Spirit.  Sadly she is as self-centered as I am.

If God created marriage to be a reflection of Christ’s relationship with his bride (the church) then God created marriage to also reflect the incredible sacrifice made on Calvary.  The husband must be willing to “give himself up” for his wife (Ephesians 5:25).  In a practical sense this doesn’t mean he must be willing to throw himself under a bus in case one happens to veer off the road and come through his home.  It means he must be willing to die to self, i.e. put his wife’s needs, desires, and wants ahead of his own.

Before you ladies stand up and cheer too loudly God has commanded you to notice your husband, regard him, honor him, prefer him, venerate and esteem him; and that you defer to him, praise him, and love and admire him exceedingly. (Ephesians 5:33 Amplified Bible).

Are you filled with the Spirit?

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