Throughout this section of Ephesians, we must keep looking back to what it is that holds all of these pairings together. Ephesians 5:21 says, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ”
The pairings following Ephesians 5:21 are all addressing both the one in leadership and the one under another’s leadership (or responsibility) and how this might look to do it well, which is ultimately “out of reverence for Christ.”
Although there are just a few examples (wives and husbands, children and parents, slaves and masters), there are many more scenarios that we are in one of these positions of responsibility (or under someone’s responsibility) and we must all remember that we are equally under God’s authority.
- Think about other examples of these relationships (pairings) in your life and talk through which ones may be the hardest for you to “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Is it when you are in the leadership role or the one being led?
Watch the video from Jim to gain more perspective on the difference between masters and slaves as written in this section of the Bible, and how we currently encounter this topic today.
Read Ephesians 6:5-9. Paul is speaking to slaves as full members of the church. Just like children in the last section of Ephesians. They are an important part of the church and have responsibility. This is because our primary identity is as followers of Christ.
- Think of a time when you were under authority that did not operate in a manner that was reflective of having reverence for Christ. Were you able to respond in a manner that was in reverence for Christ? Share with your group any examples of when you were or were not able to do so and the impact this had.
- Ephesians 6:9 is essentially saying that masters should serve slaves wholeheartedly. Discuss some examples of how you can serve those you have authority/influence/leadership over in your life. (Reference your list from above.)
- It makes a difference when everyone in a relationship knows they both have the same master in heaven, and there is no difference or favoritism in heaven. Where do you have potential prejudices or perhaps have a hard time seeing yourself as equal at the foot of the cross as another person?
- In what ways can you help those who are part of injustice in our world?
Summit partners with several different organizations around the world that are doing their part to address social injustice. We hope you’ll take steps toward joining these organizations as well. Below is a little bit more information about two organizations that we partner with, but you can find details on other great organizations by visiting our Serve Locally and Serve Globally pages.
LOCAL: Samaritan Village/Transitions
Samaritan Village is a Christ-centered program for women transitioning from sexual exploitation to healing, wholeness, and productivity. They do this a handful of ways, one of which is a resale boutique called Transitions. It serves as both a financial engine and a consistent platform within the community to educate customers about the issue of human trafficking. The store depends on volunteers and donations to keep running, and is a great way for everyone to get involved and serve Samaritan Village. Learn more about what Samaritan Village is doing and how you can be a part by visiting their website here.
GLOBAL: International Justice Mission
International Justice Mission (IJM) is a human rights organization that rescues victims of violence, sexual exploitation, slavery, and property grabbing. Sign up to be part of IJM’s weekly prayer newsletter. You can do that here. This includes news and ways to pray for the different areas of the world IJM works in.