Message NotesPage 1 of 11
Sunday May 17th 2009
To the Church of Ephesus ? Part Fourteen
1). Eph 6:5 Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to
the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; 6 not with
eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God
from the heart, 7 with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8
knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord,
whether he is a slave or free. 9 And you, masters, do the same things to them,
giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there
is no partiality with Him.
a). In our study over the past three weeks we have seen that the Book of
Ephesians presents three relationships in particular as examples of the admonition
we find in - Eph 5:21 ? submitting to one another in the fear of God.
b). We have seen that wives are to submit to their own husbands, as to the
Lord, as the husband is the head of the wife.
c). And that husbands are to be submitted to Christ who is their head.
d). Children are to be submitted to their parents.
e). And fathers [and mothers] are to be submitted to God as a child of God.
f). Bondservants are to be submitted to their masters.
g). And the masters are to be submitted to God as His bondservant.
h). And in these three we have the complete picture of our relationship to
Christ ? we are to pursue the marriage relationship with Him in the full assurance
of His faithfulness as a child has complete trust in its parents. And all this is done
by choice as a bondservant of God.
i). The most remarkable and most challenging thing about all of this is that
our submission to Christ with a view to the coming Kingdom - 1Pe 5:6 Therefore
humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due
j). Is demonstrated through our relationships with others.
2). In the example of our opening scripture we see that the bondservant [remember
we are looking at an employee/employer relationship here] is to obey his master
?according to the flesh?, in ?fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart? and this is to
be done ?as to Christ? and not to men.
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a). Again, according to the scripture, this is the will of God for the
bondservant, and if he is obedient to this ?with goodwill doing service? then the
good, the ?good works? that he does in this, he will receive the same from the Lord.
b). Then as we saw in 1Peter Chapter 2 the bondservant is to conduct
himself in this way not just with a master who is ?good and gentle?, but also with
the master who is harsh - 1Pe 2:18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all
fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. 19 For this is
commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering
c). What we see then is that the bondservant?s faithful obedience to the
command of Christ with respect to his relationship with his master, irrespective of
the master?s treatment of him, would correlate with the works of gold, silver and
precious stones to be revealed at the Judgment Seat.
d). Then from the other side if the coin we have - 9 And you, masters, do the
same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is
in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
e). Believing earthly masters, masters ?according to the flesh?, are
themselves bondservants of Christ and therefore in their role as ?master? are to be
faithfully obedient to their Master in heaven when it comes to their relationship
with their own bondservants on the earth ? hence, masters, ?do the same things to
them, giving up threatening?.
f). As with the bondservant the master will be held accountable for his
faithful obedience to this at the Judgment Seat.
g). How the bondservant and the master ?according to the flesh? treat each
other is what they can expect from their heavenly Master.
h). This is a principle that will hold true for husbands and wives and children
and parents also.
i). Mt 7:2 "For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with
the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
j). Lu 19:22 "And he said to him, 'Out of your own mouth I will judge you,
you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not
deposit and reaping what I did not sow.
k). Ro 2:1 ? Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who
judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge
practice the same things.
l). Lu 6:37 ? "Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you
shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
m). As we ponder the implications of what we see here we will come to the
sobering realization that we cannot be casual or cavalier about our relationships in
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any aspect of our lives. What we do and what we say on a daily basis is of
fundamental importance to our appearance at the Judgment Seat.
n). Perhaps here we can find context in our own lives for the scripture that
says - Mt 12:36 "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will
give account of it in the day of judgment.
o). And - Pr 18:21 ? Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those
who love it will eat its fruit.
3). With regards to the Book of Ephesians our examples of submission conclude
with the master and bondservant, but there are other commands to submission and
obedience found elsewhere in scripture that it would be remiss of us not to look at.
And we will begin with one we had looked at briefly in a previous message ?
1Pe 5:5 ? Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves [hupotasso] to your
elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility,
for "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."
a). Those who are younger are to submit themselves to those who are older
so as to give respect and deference and honor to one who is older in years.
b). This is the advice that Paul gives to Timothy with regards to this -
1Ti 5:1 ? Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father,
4). We also see this in - Ro 13:1 ? Let every soul be subject to the governing
authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that
exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the
ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For
rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the
authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.
a). And - Tit 3:1 ? Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to
obey, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable,
gentle, showing all humility to all men.
b). 1Pe 2:11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from
fleshly lusts which war against the soul, 12 having your conduct honorable among
the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your
good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. 13 ? Therefore
submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether to the
king as supreme, 14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the
punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. 15 For this is the
will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish
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c). In all three of our scriptures here it is the word ?hupotasso? that?s used
showing that we are to submit ourselves to the ordinance of God and in that
submitted position place ourselves under the governing authorities.
d). And this would encompass everything from driving the speed limit, to
being honest on our tax returns. Whatever the governing authorities at Federal,
State or local level require of us, providing it is not contrary to the commands of
Christ, we are to do ? without criticizing, without complaining and without
protesting. But rather, we are to do it heartily as to the Lord as the authorities that
exist are appointed by God.
e). And our scripture clearly points out the consequences for doing the
wrong thing - 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of
God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
f). It is the world?s view, and most of the ?church?, that we have the right to
protest anything government does if we don?t like it ? the truth is we have no right
to protest, but a responsibility to obedience.
g). Is anybody?s world getting turned upside down again today?
h). This may be one of the areas of our life where we can ?redeem the time?
that we have previously spent venting about those things we are not to touch in this
present age. We do need to take this seriously.
i). And in the midst of this let?s remember our scripture about the idle words
we speak. How many idle words have we spoken about the governing authorities
in resistance to the ordinance of God?
5). Heb 13:17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out
for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not
with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.
a). Here in Hebrews we move into a specific relationship within the body ?
those who ?rule? and those who are ?ruled over?.
b). Those who have the rule = Greek ? ?hegeomai? = middle voice of a
(presumed) strengthened form of 71; to lead, i.e. command (with official
authority); figuratively, to deem, i.e. consider:--account, (be) chief, count, esteem,
governor, judge, have the rule over, suppose, think.
c). ?Ruling? here is the idea of leading and protecting in the same way a
husband is to ?rule his family well? and has absolutely nothing to do with
d). Backing up a few verses in Hebrews 13 will help clarify this -
Heb 13:7 Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to
you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.
e). 1Co 16:15 I urge you, brethren--you know the household of Stephanas,
that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the
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ministry of the saints-- 16 that you also submit to such, and to everyone who works
and labors with us.
f). Those who ?rule? within the church then are to provide an example of
faithful obedience which those within the body can follow ? this is not talking
about perfection, but an example of faithfulness in the midst of struggling with the
g). And according to our Hebrews scripture those who are ruled over are to
obey and be submissive for a clearly stated reason - for they watch out for your
souls, as those who must give account
h). Those who ?rule over? watch out ? ?watch? literally means to be sleepless
? are vigilant with regards to each person?s soul. That which they teach, that which
they advise, that which they model is all with the salvation of the soul in view.
This is the passion, this is the driving force - 1Th 2:19 For what is our hope, or
joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus
Christ at His coming?
i). Ruling over is never about selfish ambition or conceit, but being the
servant of all with the Kingdom in view - Mr 10:42 But Jesus called them to
Himself and said to them, "You know that those who are considered rulers over the
Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43
"Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you
shall be your servant. 44 "And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of
all. 45 "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to
give His life a ransom for many."
j). And again, according to our scripture, those given the rule must give an
account for each person?s soul under their charge. And that giving of an account
should be after a particular fashion - Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for
that would be unprofitable for you.
k). It is to be done with ?joy and not with grief? ? and the grief part would
come from those under their care choosing not to obey and be submissive. The
scripture plainly says that not obeying and being submissive ?would be
unprofitable for you? ? the one not obeying the command of scripture.
l). There is, as I am sure you will realize, a tremendous challenge here for
those who ?rule over? and the necessity for a complete trust in God for those who
would be subject to their rule.
m). Neither side of this coin is easy ? but then whoever said that it would
6). And finally, with regards to submission - Jas 4:7 Therefore submit to God.
Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
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a). And this really is the summary of all isn?t it? If we submit to God with
regards to the commands given for submission we will be able to stand against the
devil. And if we give him no opportunity to find a place in us he will flee from us.
b). To choose to be submissive to another person in obedience to Christ
strikes at the very heart of our pride and our arrogance. The rewards for doing so
are off the charts and the warnings for disobedience are equally striking.
c). Ex 19:5 'Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My
covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the
earth is Mine.6 'And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.'
These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel."
d). 1Pe 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy
nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who
called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
e). Le 26:18 'And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you
seven times more for your sins.
f). 2Th 1:7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord
Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,8 in flaming fire taking
vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the
gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.9 These shall be punished with everlasting
destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired
among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.11 ?
Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of
this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith
with power, 12 that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and
you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
g). Heb 3:18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest,
but to those who did not obey?
h). 1Pe 4:17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of
God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey
the gospel of God?
7). Now as we think about all of this it may become extremely daunting, but let?s
remember two very important things. Firstly, God never requires us to do
something that cannot be done ? it doesn?t mean it is necessarily easy as we are in
a constant battle with our old man ? but we can do it. And secondly we will
remember a scripture from earlier in Ephesians - Eph 4:7 But to each one of us
grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.
a). God gives us the grace to be able to do what has to be done.
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b). We are going to spend a little time now looking at personal holiness and
the various facets of submission we have studied in past weeks and set them within
the context of two parables that Christ gives concerning the faithful servant.
8). The first is found in - Lu 19:11 ? Now as they heard these things, He spoke
another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the
kingdom of God would appear immediately. 12 Therefore He said: "A certain
nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return.
13 "So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them,
'Do business till I come.' 14 "But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after
him, saying, 'We will not have this man to reign over us.' 15 "And so it was that
when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these
servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know
how much every man had gained by trading. 16 "Then came the first, saying,
'Master, your mina has earned ten minas.' 17 "And he said to him, 'Well done,
good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten
cities.' 18 "And the second came, saying, 'Master, your mina has earned five
minas.' 19 "Likewise he said to him, 'You also be over five cities.' 20 "Then another
came, saying, 'Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a
handkerchief. 21 'For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect
what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.' 22 "And he said to him,
'Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was
an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow.
23 'Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have
collected it with interest?' 24 "And he said to those who stood by, 'Take the mina
from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.' 25 ("But they said to him, 'Master,
he has ten minas.') 26 'For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given;
and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.
27 'But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them,
and slay them before me.'"
a). Here we have the parable of the minas, a parable concerning the work
that must be done during the Lord?s absence with a view to His return.
b). We see 10 minas given to 10 servants showing the completeness of what
is in view.
c). Each servant receives exactly the same amount and then sets about
making a profit on what he has been given.
d). Each servant although starting with the same produces a different return.
One, 10 minas in addition, one, 5 minas in addition and one no minas at all apart
from what he was given.
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e). And the reward given to each is commensurate upon the amount of profit
made ? authority over 10 cities, authority over 5 cities, what he has taken from
f). We can see this in the same way as the parable of the sower ?
Mt 13:23 "But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word
and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold,
some sixty, some thirty."
g). This then is our call to personal holiness - Eph 4:1 ? I, therefore, the
prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you
h). And would encompass so much of Ephesians Chapters 4 and 5.
i). We have all been given grace for personal holiness and it is our individual
choice as to how much we choose to be faithfully obedient to the commands of
9). If we now go to our second parable, the parable of the talents we will notice
something different - Mt 25:14 ? "For the kingdom of heaven is like a man
traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to
them. 15 "And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to
each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 "Then
he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another
five talents. 17 "And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18
"But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord's
money. 19 "After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts
with them. 20 "So he who had received five talents came and brought five other
talents, saying, 'Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five
more talents besides them.' 21 "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful
servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many
things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' 22 "He also who had received two talents
came and said, 'Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two
more talents besides them.' 23 "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful
servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many
things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' 24 "Then he who had received the one
talent came and said, 'Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have
not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 'And I was afraid,
and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.' 26
"But his lord answered and said to him, 'You wicked and lazy servant, you knew
that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27
'So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I
would have received back my own with interest. 28 'Therefore take the talent from
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him, and give it to him who has ten talents. 29 'For to everyone who has, more will
be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what
he has will be taken away. 30 'And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer
darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
a). Here we have exactly the same situation as our previous parable ? the
nobleman and the man would be the same person, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the
servants would be the same servants, all Christians from this dispensation ? but in
our parable here, rather than each servant receiving exactly the same, they are all
given different amounts ?each according to his own ability? - Eph 4:7 But to each
one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.
b). And this provides us with another part of the same picture from the
c). What we see here is that the reward for each servant is based upon what
they do with the various amounts they are given.
d). The one who received 5 talents has exactly the same reward as the one
who has 2. There is no differentiation made as a result of the amount that each is
given. It is how they respond to what is given them that is judged.
e). And so we can see a correlation between the different amounts of talents
given to the servants and the different amount of God appointed roles and
responsibilities and the grace that goes with them, that is given to each of us.
f). What is so encouraging here is that it is not the number of roles to which
we are appointed that matters, but our faithfulness in those roles. Whether God has
given us the grace to accomplish many roles or just one is not the issue. If we are
faithfully obedient in those roles then the person with one role will receive the
same reward as the person with many roles.
g). And we should understand that the work that we do that correlates with
the profit made in our parable is in our choice to die to our flesh as we choose
faithful obedience in the midst of our struggle with our old man.
h). Whatever God requires of us to do He has given us the grace to
accomplish it in faithful obedience. As always the choice is ours.
i). Col 1:5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which
you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, 6 which has come to you,
as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you
since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth;
j). 2Co 6:1 ? We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not
to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For He says: "In an acceptable time I have
heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you." Behold, now is the
accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
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Personal Holiness in the Context of Ephesians
1). Eph 4:1 ? I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of
the calling with which you were called, 2 ? with all lowliness and gentleness, with
longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of
the Spirit in the bond of peace.
2). Eph 4:15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him
who is the head--Christ?
3). Eph 4:22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which
grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of
4). Eph 4:25 Therefore, putting away lying, "
5). Eph 4:26 "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
27 nor give place to the devil.
6). Eph 4:28 Let him who stole steal no longer,
7). Eph 4:29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth
8). Eph 4:31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away
from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving
one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.
9). Eph 5:1 ? Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love,
10). Eph 5:3 ? But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even
be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish
talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
11). Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but
rather expose them.
12). Eph 5:15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
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13). Eph 5:17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord
14). Eph 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled
with the Spirit,
15). Eph 5:21 ? submitting to one another in the fear of God.
God Appointed Roles and Responsibilities
5). Rulers/ruled over
10). Children?s ministry
11). All other ministry