Sabbath: Husbands and Wives ~ Together at the Cross

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Sabbath Afternoon

Read  for This Week’s Study: Ephesians 5:21-33Philippians 2:3-4Ezekiel 16:1-142 Corinthians 11:1-4Genesis 2:15-25.
Memory Text: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:25-27, NKJV).

In Ephesians 5:21-33, Paul builds on the idea of the submission of believers to each other (Ephesians 5:21); he then offers counsel to Christian wives (Ephesians 5:22-24) and husbands (Ephesians 5:25-32); and he concludes with a distillation of the instruction to both (Ephesians 5:33).

In this counsel, Bible students today may hear the risen Christ addressing our relationships. We are positioned to do so when we understand Ephesians 5:21-6:9 as Paul’s way of actualizing the great theme of the letter, unity, but now for the Christian household. While he offers a strong critique of the flawed social structures of the old humanity (see Ephesians 4:22), he also celebrates the creation of a new humanity (see Ephesians 2:15) embedded within the wider humanity with its flawed social structures. From within these structures, believers demonstrate that a new power, the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:22Ephesians 3:16Ephesians 5:18-21Ephesians 6:17-18) and a new ethic patterned on Christ (Ephesians 4:13Ephesians 4:15Ephesians 4:20-24Ephesians 4:32Ephesians 5:2Ephesians 5:10Ephesians 5:17Ephesians 5:21-33) have been unleashed, which point toward the ultimate fulfillment of God’s plan for His people and the world.

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, September 2.



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