Loving like Christ — Part #1

Ephesians 5:25–27

One word sums up the role of the husband in a marriage – love!

The apostle Paul gives a command to believers who are indwelt by the Spirit and who will therefore want to live under His influence. The command given is not that he rules over wife, nor that he exercise his headship – but he is urged and exhorted to love his wife, as a conscious act of his will, just as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for it (Eph 5:25).

As a husband, the Christian is to look upon the portrait of Christ Jesus, and he is to paint according to that copy. The true Christian is to be such a husband as Christ was to his church (C.H. Spurgeon).

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Wives Submit to your Husband

Ephesians 5:22

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord (Eph 5:22).  This is God’s plan until Christ returns, until there is no more marriage. This is not an outdated first-century pattern which should be abandoned in our contemporary culture. Rather today’s culture has abandoned what is good and right and pleasing to God our creator and sustainer. Thus wives has an opportunity to witness to the watching world that they are more concerned about pleasing their Saviour than conforming to the culture. We have here three instructions for wives so that they can please the Lord.

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Jesus is Lord!

Various Scriptures

The call to follow Christ is a call to slavery, to submit to His mastery. When Jesus calls a man or a woman to follow Him, He calls them to recognize that He is Lord – not to make Him Lord. Thus a believer lives his life in the light of the fact that Jesus Christ has absolute supremacy over all things and all people — that He is the owner and ruler over all.

This sermon contains five aspects of slavery to Christ. It challenges us to ask ourselves – to what extent am I currently living as a slave of Christ?

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Spirit-filled Submission

Ephesians  5:21

Christ sets His people a beautiful and incomparable example of what it means to humbly submit. Jesus’ whole life was one of submission — “I have come to do your will” (Heb. 10:7)  was like a motto-text for His life, the life of a slave who owes all obedience to his Master — such submission should be the mark of all Spirit-filled Christians. Believers are called to follow Christ’s example, fearing Him who will one day judge, and looking forward to the reward that God promises those who humble themselves.

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Spirit-filled Singing that Glorifies God

Ephesians 5:18–20

When you join others for corporate worship, do you sing with such passion and joy and exuberance that God is seen to all together beautiful and praiseworthy? My hope for Nelspruit Bible Church is that we evidence God’s worth every time we meet for corporate worship – that our singing would demonstrate to visitors and to one another that God satisfies us, delights us, and is worthy of ALL praise and glory and worship. Such singing demonstrates that we are filled with the Spirit — anything else grieves the Holy Spirit and dishonors God.

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Crucified with Christ

Romans 6:1–14

What is a real Christian? In this passage the apostle Paul gives us three characteristics of a true believer. It is not just a person who attends church, or is generous, or seeks to live like Christ and love their neighbor — but a true believer is someone who has died! Such a person is united to Christ, and is thus alive to God and living for God. This person, by God’s sovereign and active grace, has not only been given life and brought out of the tomb, but they are also delivered from the old clothes that characterized them whilst in the tomb.

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Be Filled with the Spirit!

Ephesians 5:18

This is an urgent imperative, a command, for all believers. Yet it is possible to have such an aversion to the false teaching on what it means to be filled with the Spirit, that we play down or even ignore this command. This is not a command to seek a one-off experience of the Holy Spirit — all believers are already indwelt by the Spirit of God — nor is this a call for us to have more of the Spirit of God. Rather this is a command that we let Him have more of us! This sermon looks at the necessity of being filled with the Spirit, the meaning of being filled with the Spirit, and the means by which we are filled with the Spirit.

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Walking Wisely

Ephesians 5:15–17

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise (Eph 5:15). It is all too easy to walk aimlessly and to get nowhere. In these few verses, believers are commanded to have a spiritual health-check, to look carefully and diligently and earnestly at how they are walking. But you and I are not only to look carefully at what we are doing 24/7, but also why we are living in such a way — we are to examine the manner and the motives of our life. Here we have two instructions on walking wisely to the glory of God to help us with such an examination.

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