Major Beliefs Day 60 (Ephesians 5) – A Huge Difference
Ephesians 5:21 – “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
Submission is not a very popular word today, in fact you don’t hear it used much. What we do hear on a daily basis is in fact just the opposite of submission. “You are in control of your own desitiny”, “life is what you make it,” “look out for number 1”, “you deserve it”, “have it your way”, and the list goes on and on. We are bombarded with messages that feed our natural instinct and our natural instinct is to be all about ourselves. We want to look out for number 1 and we want to do things only for ourselves, that is why many of the messages of today are so popular, they feed our want.
Paul’s message however flies in the face of that and it is anything but popular. We live in a world fixated on itself because we as people are naturally fixated on ourselves. It’s not surprising when it is in the world but it can also flow into Christendom can’t it. We as followers of Christ can also become so fixate on ourselves that we really don’t do anything for the Kingdom of God.
That is why when Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus, his message was extremely countercultural. It was in fact radical, especially in the midst of the worldly self-focused culture surrounding Ephesus. Don’t look out for number 1 Paul said, put others first. Care about them more than you care about yourself, and not only that but if anyone hurts you be quick to forgive them and quick to love them. This is not a Hallmark card religious message, it is a hard message to hear and yet Paul shared it because he knew that if the followers of Jesus in Ephesus would do these things they would impact the world for the glory of God and for the cause of Christ. Why? Because loving people with the love of God really does change things. Because putting other people’s needs above your own really does cause the world to sit up and take notice. “Submitting to one another” is not something that comes naturally, so when it happens, people have to ask the question “How?” How does it happen.
And that is the question we must ask to isn’t it? How does it happen? How can we do what doesn’t come naturally to us? How can we submit to one another and put one another first? The answer? Only through the power of God. We can’t do it, but He can. It is certainly impossible for us, but nothing is impossible for Him. We can become radically different for the glory of God through the grace of God.
Because when we reflect on His grace we realize what He did for us on the cross. We realize what He endured for us. We realize that He bought us with a price and that subsequently our lives are not our own. We realize that He now resides within us and because of that we are supposed to live like He lived. And how did Jesus live? By pursuing the glory of God in all things and one way that He did that was through putting other people first. He loved others and He submitted to the will of the Father by going to the cross and purchasing our redemption.
May His Spirit lead us to live the same way. May we be truly transformed by His grace so that we live for the glory of God in all things, even if that means going against our natural inclination for self and putting others first. Let us live lives of submission, first and foremost to God but also to one another. All for His glory!