Archive for December, 2016

Growing in Parenting

Written by Marshall. Posted in Ephesians, Ephesians 6, New Testament

Ephesians 6:1-4

Growing in Parenting

Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall

Eph. 6:1-3 (Holman) Children, obey your parents as you would the Lord, because this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise, so that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life in the land.

We are learning what it means to be submissive to each other when we are Spirit-filled. Wives submit to husbands as the Church submits to Christ (EP 5:22-24). Husbands submit to their wives as Christ serves the Church (EP 5:25-33). Now we will consider how children and parents are to submit to each other.

Considering their lowly standing in society at the time, it is amazing to see children addressed directly. Jesus broke sunshine into their dismal existence.

The ancients by and large dishonored the young. If a father tired of caring for his children, he could set them loose to fend for themselves, sell them into slavery, or execute them. If not pleasing to its father, a newborn was abandoned.

It was common for as many as 30 babies to be deserted daily in the Roman Forum. They died of exposure or became the property of anyone who took them. Healthy babies were often collected by people who raised them to make them laborers, sell them as slaves, or stock the brothels of Rome. Unhealthy babies were forsaken. Seneca said with pride, “Children born weak

Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall

Written by Marshall. Posted in Ephesians, Ephesians 4, New Testament

Ephesians 4:7-11

Growing in our Gifts

Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall

Eph. 4:7 (Holman) Now grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of the Messiah’s gift.

Paul’s emphasis now shifted from similarity to diversity. The Church’s seven-fold unity is not uniformity. Christian unity exists in the midst of infinite variety.

Believers are not identical, cookie-cutter, look-alikes. We are united, unique ones. God never quenches individuality, and does not want us to be boring replicas of each other. God loves variety–a fact verified by even a casual glance at His creation.

This and the following verses tell us how the Church, the world’s most important society, is to function. It is an organism, a unity permeated by one life. It must accomplish God-given tasks. To do this efficiently, the organism needs organization based on gifts, special abilities, God has given “to each one of us”.

Every Christian has a threefold duty. First, we are to retain close fellowship with God. To please Him is ever the essence of our existence. Holiness matters most.

Two, we are to witness to the lost. Many err at this point, saying “I do not have the gift of evangelism.” Evangelism is not a gift given to some; it is an assignment given to all believers on behalf of unbelievers.

Three, we are each given a gift to be used to benefit the Church, to help fellow