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Marriage And The Holy Spirit

Ephesians 5:18-33: And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

I believe most people would say the central issue of Ephesians 5:18-33 is Christian marriage. In an earthly sense they would be right. But I believe the central issue is whether we are filled with the Holy Spirit or not. Are we producing the fruit of the Holy Spirit or not? Just as Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would not speak of Himself -- He does not speak very much of himself in this passage, only in verse 18.

John 16:13-14: Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

Ephesians 5:18: And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

When a believer drinks alcohol he is not filled with the Holy Spirit. We have all heard of alcoholic beverages being called spirits? There is a direct conflict between alcohol and the Holy Spirit. They are enemies. They interfere with one another. To the extent that one is influenced by alcohol he is not influenced by the Holy Spirit. A believer filled with the Holy Spirit will not drink alcohol. Why did Paul write about drunkenness just before a discussion about marriage? Perhaps because booze ruins marriages. Marriage is supposed to be useful to God in getting His will done. It has been said that two oxen working together can accomplish as much as 5 oxen working alone. It might also be said that a husband and wife agreeing in prayer will get more prayers answered than 5 people praying separately. It is important that a husband and wife be in harmony so their prayers will be answered.

Matthew 18:19: Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

I believe the rest of this chapter is intended for guidance for those who are filled with the Spirit and only for those who are filled with the Spirit. Doing these things is evidence that one is filled with the Spirit.

Ephesians 5:19: Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,

Once my pastor back in Illinois was unaware that I was in the church. He was singing hymns boisterously. It was like a one-man worship service complete with the Word of God and Special Music. It was as if he was preaching to himself. When we do that we are filled with the Spirit. What we do and say when we think no one is watching or listening is a true measure of ourselves. God always hears.

Ephesians 5:20: Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

When we are giving thanks we are filled with the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 11:3: 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.

The head of Christ is God. It is unthinkable that Christ would rebel against His head. Likewise it is improper for a wife to rebel against her head.

Ephesians 5:21-24: Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

When we submit to other believers who are in the will of God we are filled with the Spirit and it does not mean that we are inferior. The Bible teaches that we are to esteem others better than self.

Philippians 2:3: Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

When we esteem others better than self we are filled with the Spirit. When a husband is leading a wife he should esteem her better than himself. When a wife is submitting to her husband she should esteem him better than herself. When we esteem self better than others we are fulfilling the lust of the flesh.

Galatians 5:16: This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Ephesians 5:25: Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

When husbands are loving their wives they are filled with the Spirit. Jesus* love and care for the church is a model of what a husband*s love and care should be for his wife.

Ephesians 5:26-27: That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

When a husband loves his wife he will want her to be perfect for the Lord. If she is perfect for the Lord she will be perfect for him. Not the other way around.

Ephesians 5:28-31: So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

The husband and wife being one flesh is a visible picture of a more important truth -- that we are members of Christ*s body, of His flesh and His bones. Christ is the head of the church and we are the body. There ought never to be a conflict between us and our Head. There ought never to be a conflict between a wife and her head.

Is the church perfect in this world? No. Should the church strive to be perfect? Yes. Is a wife perfect in this world? No. Should she strive to be perfect? Yes. Is a husband perfect as Christ is perfect? No. Should he strive to be like Christ? Yes.

I have a side thought here. When we submit to the Lord, He is responsible for the result. When a husband loves his wife the Lord is responsible for the result. When a wife submits to a husband the Lord is responsible for the result.

The Lord gave husbands and fathers authority over wives and daughters in the Old Testament as well as the New.

Numbers 30:2-9: If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth. If a woman also vow a vow unto the LORD, and bind herself by a bond, being in her father*s house in her youth; And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand. But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the LORD shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her. And if she had at all an husband, when she vowed, or uttered ought out of her lips, wherewith she bound her soul; And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that he heard it: then her vows shall stand, and her bonds wherewith she bound her soul shall stand. But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and the LORD shall forgive her. But every vow of a widow, and of her that is divorced, wherewith they have bound their souls, shall stand against her.

Ephesians 5:32-33: This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

I have a question. If a couple in a marriage do not follow God*s pattern for marriage who will be the leader of the marriage? I believe it will be the one with the strongest self-will, the most selfish one. And that could be -- and often is -- the husband. If the self-willed one, the most selfish one is in charge of a marriage because of the strength of his/her will, his/her selfish goals might be met. But the righteous and noble causes of God will not be helped. Husbands sometimes get the idea that they should be in charge of a marriage but never mind about the will of God. God is to be the leader of a marriage. When God is leading the husband the husband will be leading the wife according to God*s will and purposes.

Too often a woman will marry the most handsome man she can find. She ought to marry the godliest man she can find. Too often a man will marry the most beautiful woman he can find. He ought to marry the godliest woman he can find. Many of the most difficult problems in marriage can be avoided before marriage.

I don*t know where I heard the wonderful teaching that a Christian marriage should be like a triangle with God and the top and the husband and wife at the lower corners. The closer they get to the Lord, the closer they get to each other. If you are in an unsatisfying, ungodly marriage, the only one you can change is yourself (with God*s help). The only one who can change your mate is the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 5:19: Quench not the Spirit.

Ephesians 4:30: And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

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