“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Giving thanks always”
Literally:  “giving thanks always”–God is continually loading you with His blessings and benefits.  He does this even though you deserve nothing of His kindness; therefore, give Him thanks for His unmerited bounties.

         This is probably designed to be connected with the preceding verse, and to denote that the proper subject of psalms and hymns is thanksgiving and praise. This is indeed always the main purpose in our hymns singing. This part of worship should be conducted so as to keep up in our hearts a proper sense of the mercy and goodness of God.
         Another evidence of one being filled with the Spirit is an attitude of thankfulness.  In the Book of Psalms we find that much of it is thanksgiving and praise to the Lord.  Unfortunately, in our churches today we don’t have enough of that among believers.   Today we have a great deal of, “You don’t need to run around telling everyone you love the Lord.”  This is true, but only to a point!  Don’t tell them; show them that you do.  Be filled with the Spirit always so there will always be the love of Christ and thanksgiving to Him in your life.

         Unfortunately, in our churches today we hear so-called “Christian rock” or “Contemporary Christian Music,” which is nothing more than the music of the world (all of this world of the devil) that has been given a veneer of “Christianity.” You cannot mix the devil’s (world’s) music with God’s worship, for they are contradictory of each other.  Let me remind you of what the Word of God says about the things that are of this world: 

        “Love not the world, neither the things {that are} in the world.  If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
        “For all that
{is} in the world…is not of the Father, but is of this world” (I John 2:15-16).

         So let’s get the devil’s music (the music of the world/devil) out of our churches and get back to singing the Great Hymns of the Faith that do glorify God and that have inspired past generations of believers to worship our holy God.  Again let me emphasize:  You cannot use the world’s (devil’s) music in true worship of God.  There is a popular “religious” (but not Christian) song that says, “Just say to everybody, ‘I love you.’”  But this is wrong.  If you don’t love them, don’t say it.  If you do love them, show them.
         This temper of universal and pervading thankfulness is dwelt upon in I Thess. 5:17-18–“Pray without ceasing.  In everything give thanks.”  Since thanksgiving is for what God has given us, and prayer for what we still need, both must be united in our imperfect condition here. In Col. 3:17 thanksgiving is associated with action “in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” You don’t need to run around telling everyone you love the Lord.  Show them that you do.  Be filled with the Spirit so there will be love and thanksgiving in your life.  The surest way it will come out will be in your singing of hymns of praise to the Lord.  Unfortunately, the music in so many of our churches is so drug out that they sound more like funeral dirges than they do praises to God.

“For all things.”
Literally:  “for all things.”–Even for adversities; also for blessings, unknown as well as known.

        “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, {do} all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father of Him” (Col. 3:17).
        “In everything give thanks:  for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning us”  (I Thess. 5:18).

         We are to praise God for His general mercy to mankind; for all the happiness which mortals are permitted to enjoy; for the love of God to mankind in creation, in providence, and in redemption-just as a grateful child will give thanks for all the kindness shown to his brothers and sisters. The effect of this would be:
1.      To overcome selfishness,

2.      To make us rejoice in the happiness of others as well as in our own.
3.      To make us feel a deeper interest in the condition of our fellowmen.
4.      To elevate and enlarge our conceptions of the goodness or God-directing the mind to all the favors which He has bestowed on the race.

         Man has much for which to be grateful; and the duty of acknowledging the mercy of God to the race should not be forgotten. We are often so prone to magnify our calamities, and to contemplate the woes of the race, that we overlook the occasions for gratitude.  We should look upon the mercies which we enjoy as well as the miseries which we endure.  Then our hearts can be right. He who looks only on his trials will soon find his mind soured and complaining; but he who endeavors to find how many occasions for gratitude he has, will soon find the burden of his sorrows alleviated, and his mind calmed and at ease..
         At the close of life, and in heaven, we shall see occasion to bless God for all His dealings with us. We shall see that we have not suffered one pang too much, or been required to perform one duty too severe. We shall see that all our afflictions, as well as our mercies, were designed for our good, and were needful for us.

Why, then, should we not bless God:
1.      In the furnace, as well as in the palace;
2.      On a bed of pain, as well as on a bed of down;
3.      In want, as well as when sitting down at the splendid banquet?
         God knows what is best for us; and the way in which he leads us, mysterious though it seems to be now, will yet be seen to have been full of goodness and mercy.

“unto God and {the} Father”
Literally:  “to God and {the} Father,” or, “to God, even the Father.” That is: God, Who is your Father, and the Father of mercies; the Fountain of every blessing in Creation and Redemption.

“in the name of our Lord Jesus”
Literally:  “in {the} name of the Lord of us Jesus Christ”–That is, through His mediation, or trusting in Him;

         The meaning is, that we are “always” to approach God through the mediation of the Lord Jesus. He is the only mediator; and through Him alone (not through Mary or the “saints”) can you approach to God–“For {there is} one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”- (I Tim. 2:5)and not the woman Mary.
1.      When we ask for mercy, it is to be on His account, or through His merits;
2.      When we plead for strength and grace to support us in trial, it is to be in dependence on Him; and,
3.      When we give thanks, it is to be through Him, and because it is through His intervention that we receive all blessings, and by His merits that even the gratitude of beings so sinful as we are can be accepted.

“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”

         “Submitting yourselves one to another”
         Literally:  “being subjected one another”–Old military figure to line up under (Col 3:18).

Do this in the fear of God; that is, in obedience to the command of God.  Let no man be so tenacious of his own will or his own opinion in indifferent matters so as to disturb the peace of the Church.  In all such matters give way to each other, and let love rule. This general precept Paul proceeds to expand by the mention of particular cases.

         The only security from the most debasing crimes is in being habitually under the influences of the Holy Spirit, and thus actively engaged in the service of God, and in the conscientious discharge of duty. This means that you do not try to run the church.  Pastors, officers in the church, members of the church, all of us are to submit ourselves one to another in the fear of Christ.
         It cannot be a “my way” proposition. No one can say, “I want you to know that I’ll do as I please.  If I want to do it this way, I will do it this way.”  Such an attitude is certainly not a mark of a Spirit-filled believer.  Submitting ourselves one to another in the fear of God is another mark of being Spirit-filled and Spirit-led.

         SUBMITTING:  (Gr.-hypotassomenoi)–Literally:  “having been subject.”  Paul having exhorted the Ephesians to such general duties as belong to all Christians, now begins to exhort them to the practice of relative duties.  But first he gives them a general direction to submit themselves one to another in the fear of God,

Mutual Submission:  The effect of the Spirit’s full enjoyment is to produce a humble and loving spirit among Christian people.  This principle, which is inconsistent with perverse egotism, or self-opinionated superiority, has great and happy effects.
1.      It reduces the friction of human life.
2.      It contributes greatly to comfort and peace.

“in {the} fear of God.”
Literally:  “in {the} fear of God”–

This is not speaking of terror, but the solemn reverence with which we bow to the authority of our heavenly Father.

 Set Him always before your eyes, and considering that He has commanded you to love one another, and to bear each other's burdens; and that what you do in this or any other commanded case, you do as unto the Lord.    Our submission is grounded in…
1.      Our reverence for Him,

2.      Our fear of offending Him by our airs of assumption or authority,
3.      Our regard for His holy will.
         Thus Christianity lifts the commonest duties of social life into the highest sphere, by connecting them with the supreme lordship of Christ over his saints.

         First Paul gives them a general direction to submit themselves one to another in the fear of God, that is, by yielding and mutually condescending to each other, stooping to the meanest office of love and kindness one towards another. This in the fear of God, that is, either in obedience to the command of God, which enjoins this submission, for then we perform our duty one towards another acceptably. We ought, when we see the command of God in what we do: or else in the fear of God; that is, making the fear of God the rule and measure of our submission to one to another. We are by no means bound to submit ourselves in order to the pleasing of our neighbors, any farther than is consistent with that subjection and obedience which we owe to God.
         All the oldest manuscripts and authorities read, “in the fear of CHRIST.” The believer passes from under the bondage of the law as a letter, to be “the servant of Christ” (I Cor. 7:22), which, through the instinct of love to Him, is really to be “the Lord's freeman;” for he is “under the law to Christ” (I Cor. 9:21; compare John 8:36). Christ, not the Father (John 5:22), is to be our judge. Thus reverential fear of displeasing Him is the motive for discharging our relative duties as Christians (I Cor. 10:22; II Cor. 5:11; I Pet. 2:13).

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands,”

Literally:  “The wives to the own husbands, subject yourselves,”—Unless where God forbids. Otherwise, in all indifferent things, the will of the husband is a law to the wife. The duty of wives is, submission to their husbands in the Lord, which includes honoring and obeying them, from a principle of love to them.

         Having exhorted the Ephesians to such general duties as belong to all Christians, Paul now comes to exhort them to the practice of relative duties, as they are members of societies, and particularly as they live in a family society one with another, as husbands and wives, parents and children, masters and servants; much of the life and power of religion appearing in the conscientious practice and performance of religious duties.  In this general principle of the faith Paul proceeds to illustrate this reference:
1.      To wives, (vv. 22-24);
2.      To children, (6:1-3); and,
3.      To servants, (6:5-8).
At the same time that Paul enforces this duty of submission, however, he exhorts others to use their authority in a proper manner, and gives solemn injunctions that there should be no abuse of power.  He particularly places:

1.      On husbands, the duty of loving their wives with all tenderness, (vv. 25-33)
2.      On fathers, the duty of treating their children so that they might easily obey them (6:4).

3.      On masters, the duty of treating their servants with kindness, remembering that they have a Master also in heaven, (6:9).
The general meaning here is that Christianity does not break up the relations of life, and produce disorder, lawlessness, and insubordination; rather that it will confirm every proper authority, and make every just yoke lighter. Infidelity is always disorganizing; Christianity never is.

        SUBMIT:  (Gr.-hypotassesthe)–Literally:  “subject yourselves.” This word, relative to wives, needs to be understood a little differently from the way it has so often been interpreted in the past.  It is not saying, “Wives, obey your husbands.”  Submit is a very mild word.  It is a loving word.  It means to respond to your own husband as unto the Lord.  The way we respond to the Lord is that we love Him because He first loved us.  Notice it says, “unto your own husbands.”  A very personal, loving relationship is the ground for submission.  Paul is speaking to believers about Christian marriage.

The duty of the submission of the wife to her husband is everywhere enjoined in the Scriptures.

        “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord” (Col. 3:18).
        “{to be} discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient [literally:  being subject] to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:5).
        “Likewise, ye wives, {be} in subjections [literally:  “submitting yourselves”] to your own husbands…” (I Pet. 3:1).

While Christianity designed to elevate the character of the wife, and to make her a fit companion of an intelligent and pious husband, it did not intend to destroy all subordination and authority.

        SUBMIT:  (Gr.-hypotassesthe)–Literally:  “subject yourselves.”  This word, relative to wives, needs to be understood a little differently from the way it has so often been interpreted in the past.

In this relationship of husband and wife, the man is the aggressor.  He is the aggressor physically.  He is the one who makes love.  He is the aggressor in the home.  He should be the breadwinner, the one who goes out with the lunch pail each day.  But that doesn’t give him the authority to be the top sergeant in the home.  The wife is to respond to him as the believer is to respond to Christ—in a love relationship.  When a man says he has a cold wife, it is because she has a cold husband.  He is not being the husband he should be.

“as unto the Lord.”
Literally:  “as to the Lord”–Who is, in a peculiar sense, represented to the wife by the husband. In wifely submission to him she not only acts on the general principle of the acceptance of the Will of God expressed in circumstances: she sees in that attitude a special reflection, as it were, of her relations to the Lord Himself. Her attitude has a special sanction thus from Him.

As you would to the Lord, because the Lord requires it, and has given to the husband this authority; as those who, in obeying their husbands, obey the Lord Jesus, because He requires such obedience. Christ, is the Head or Governor of the Church, and the Head of the man, so is the man the head or governor of the woman. This is God's ordinance, and should not be transgressed. The husband should not be a tyrant, and the wife should not be the governor.                


“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the Head of the church, and He is the Savior of the body.”

         Paul explains this order of subordination in I Cor. 11:3—ORDER OF AUTHORITY:  “But I would have you know, that the Head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.”
         Submissiveness is rendered by the wife to the husband under the eye of Christ, and so is rendered to Christ Himself. The husband stands to the wife in the relation that the Lord does to the Church, and this is to be the ground of her submission: though that submission is inferior in kind and degree to that which she owes Christ (v. 24).

In a series of three statements, the order of spiritual authority is established:  (1). God the Father; (2). Christ; (3). man; (4) woman—in that order.  A clear distinction must be made between the equality of essence and the headship of function.
1.      The Head of Christ is God

         Even though there was an equality of Persons within the Godhead, there is an order (a headship) to execute the divine counsel.

Understand this:  the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are equally God.  The Father is no more divine than the Son, nor is the Spirit less divine than the Son.  Christ claimed to be one with the Father (John 10:30), and yet He claimed that the Father was greater than all (John 10:29).  In order to carry out the program of redemption, God the Father sent the Son.  The Son came to do the will of the Father.

Trinity Illustration

2.      The Head of the Man is Christ
         As Christ is the Head of the church, so He is “the Head of every man.” 
        The man must be obedient to Christ; thus, he is commanded to love his wife even as Christ love the church and gave himself for it (v.25). 
        In fact, the man must esteem others to be better than himself (Phil. 2:3), and that includes his wife.!

3.      The Head of the Woman is the Man
        So it is in the relationship between man and woman.  But know that the man is not the superior to the woman. 
        Both are equally human and in Christ there is spiritual oneness. 
        Paul wrote:  “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female:  for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). 
        However, to carry out the divine will for the family and for the church, “the man” has been established as “the head of the woman.” 
       The woman is to be submissive and obedient to her husband (Eph. 5:22). 
        In fact, the man must esteem others to be better than himself (Phil. 2:3) and that includes his wife!

“For the husband is the head of the wife,”
Literally:  “because a husband is head of the wife”– Superior to her by God’s ordination in authority and dignity, as the head in the natural body, being the seat of reason, and the fountain of sense and motion, is more excellent than the rest of the body.  See I Cor. 11:3.

The sense is, she is subordinate to him; and in all circumstances she should recognize her subordination to him
1.      In her demeanor, her dress,

2.      In her conversation,
3.      In public and in the family circle.
The particular thing here referred to is, that if the woman is inspired, and speaks or prays in public, she should by no means lay aside the usual and proper symbols of her subordination.

The Gospel, doubtless, did raise women from the degradation in which they had been sunk, especially in the East. Yet, while on a level with males as to the offer of, and standing in grace (Gal. 3:28), their subjection in point of order, modesty, and seemliness, is to be maintained. Paul reproves here their unseemliness as to dress: in I Cor. 14:34, as to the retiring modesty in public which becomes them. He grounds his reproof here on the subjection of woman to man in the order of creation.

         Understand some important facts concerning this action of subordination::
1.      This subordination is NOT servitude.
          a.      It is not like the obedience of servants to masters.
          b.     It is not even like that of children to parents. 
          c.      It is a submission that recognizes the husband’s rule as just, tender and wise.
2.      This subordination is a wise and loving obedience.
It was necessary to emphasize this duty at a time when Christianity gave woman a new position of dignity and privilege.  The gospel made both men and women “heirs of the grace of life,” but this did not mean that there was not to be a dual authority in the family, and the women were not to usurp authority over the men.
3.      This subordination is to be obedience within limits.
         That is, in everything within the sphere of a husband’s obedience to God.
         Wives are not commanded to obey the husband in anything contrary to God and His law.  All believers are commanded to obey God rather than man.
4.      This subordination is to an obedience fashioned in its conditions and spirit, not in that which is dishonoring to Christ or the woman. 
       This implies that the wife’s obedience is not to be forced or feigned, but springing naturally out of her affection to her husband, her dependence upon him, and her recognition of the just grounds of his superiority.         

The Ephesian women, on the ground of the abolition of distinction of sexes in Christ, claimed equality with the male sex, and, overstepping the bounds of propriety, came forward to pray and prophesy without the customary head-covering of females. The Gospel, doubtless, did raise women from the degradation in which they had been sunk, especially in the East. Yet, while on a level with males as to the offer of, and standing in grace (Gal. 3:28), their subjection in point of order, modesty, and seemliness, is to be maintained

“even as Christ is the Head of the church”
Literally:  “as also Christ {is} Head of the Church”–As Christ rules over the church, and has a right to direct and control it.  As the church obeys Christ, so must also the wives obey their husbands in every respect.  The participle “as” notes not equality, but likeness, Christ being the Head of the church in a more excellent way than the husband is of the wife.

        HEAD:  (Gr.-Kephalê)There is no article “the” with (Kephalê) in this phrase

         The husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is the head of the Church. Reason for a wifely subjection of the kind indicated. It is found in the relation of headship. In the marriage union the husband holds the same relation, i.e., that of headship, as Christ holds to the Church, and the headship of the one represents the headship of the other.
         In the N.T. the word is used in the sense of lord, ruler, chief, in 1:22; 4:15;; Col 2:10. Here it means that Christ is the Ruler, Director, or Lord of the Christian man. This truth was to be regarded in all their feelings and arrangements, and was never to be forgotten. Every Christian should recollect the relation in which he stands to Him, as one that is fitted to produce the strictest decorum, and a steady sense of subordination.

“and He is the Savior of the body.”
Literally:  “and He is Savior of the Body”–Paul means the Church as the Body  of which Christ is Head and Savior.

That is, of the Church, represented as the Body of Christ. The idea here seems to be, that as Christ gave Himself to save His Body, the Church; as He practiced self-denial, and made it an object of intense solicitude to preserve that Church, so ought the husband to manifest a similar solicitude to make his wife happy, and to save her from want, affliction, and pain. He ought to regard himself as her natural protector; as bound to anticipate and provide for her wants; as under obligation to comfort her in trial, even as Christ does the church. What a beautiful illustration of the spirit which a husband should manifest is the care which Christ has shown for his “bride,” the church.

“Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”

“Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ,”
Literally:  “But as the church is subject to Christ”–Paul is beginning to draw the conclusion for the “chain of command” in the family.

Her head, being wholly dependent upon Him, and entirely resigned to Him, and receiving all from Him; from whom alone is all her expectation of provision, protection, comfort, and happiness; wherefore she has respect to all his commands, and esteems all his precepts concerning all things to be right; and yields a cheerful, voluntary, sincere, and hearty obedience to them; arising from a principle of love to him, and joined with honor, fear, and reverence of him.

        THEREFORE: (Gr.-alla)–Better translated from the Greek here as, “but.” That is, though there be the difference of headships mentioned in v. 23, nevertheless, thus far they are one, namely, in the subjection or submission (the same Greek word (hypotassô)– stands for “is subject,” as for “submit,” vv. 21, 22) of the Church to Christ, being the prototype of that of the wife to the husband.

“so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”
Literally:  “so also the wives to the own husband”–In imitation of the church’s subjection to Christ, as a pattern of their subjection to their husbands.  Paul has given a close comparison:  the church to Christ as compared to the wife to her husband. 

         Unfortunately far too many husbands demand the subjection but fail to live up to their part of the lesson:  “as Christ loved the Church.”  Christ provided for every need of the church, the church was first and foremost in His mind and concern; while far too many Christian husbands put the concern and needs of their wives’ second to their own.
         The purpose of marriage and the home is to give the world a lesson of Christ and His own Bride, the Church.  As Christ will never leave His Bride, likewise, no earthly husband should ever leave, or let his own bride go without.  The picture of divorce gives forth a false testimony; a testimony that Christ can leave His bride–a lesson of insecurity of the believer.  This testimony is not only false but it is pure blasphemy.  Christ Himself said, Divorce is outright disobedience against God; a violation of a direct command from God:  “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder”  (Mark 10:9); “What therefore God hath joined together let no man (this includes divorce lawyers and judges) put asunder” (Matt. 19:6).  

         Any subjection due to the husband must be modified by what is due to God, for as the husband may not require for himself, so the wife may not give to him, what is God's: God's will is paramount over all. Of the three wills that may be in collision, i.e., God's, the husband's, and the wife's – the duty of the wife is to take them in this order, having regard first to God's, next to her husband's, and last to her own.

         “in everything”
         Literally:  “in everything”–In everything which is not contrary to the will of God.

This is pertaining to a husband's legitimate authority; “in the Lord” (Col 3:18); everything not contrary to God. That is, every lawful thing; for it is not intimated that they should obey their husbands in anything criminal, or in any thing detrimental to the interests of their souls.  The husband may be profligate, and may wish his wife to become such also; he may be an enemy to true religion, and use his authority to prevent his wife from those means of grace which she finds salutary to her soul; in none of these things should she obey him. This great rule will always, of course, be over-ruled by supreme allegiance to Christ; but its spirit will never be violated in the Christian home.

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