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Scripture Meditation Study

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Ephesians 5:18-33

 

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

19.    Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 

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

21.    Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 

22.    Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 

23.    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. 

24.    Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 

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

26.    That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 

27.    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. 

28.    So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 

29.    For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 

30.    For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 

31.    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. 

32.    This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 

33.    Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

 

Ephesians 5:18-33

 

v     Questions About the Passage:

 

1.      Is the “filling of the Spirit” in verse 18 supposed to be compared or contrasted to being “drunk with wine?”

2.      Noticing the grammatical continuation between verses 19 and 20, does “giving thanks” literally mean to speak psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and to sing melodiously in our hearts to the Lord?

3.      Is the submission spoken of in verse 22 done in the giving of thanks to God or the actual “fear” of God?

4.      Does the “head” spoken of in verse 23 mean a leader, protector, ruler, or authorizer?

5.      Is it acceptable to say that the interpretation of verse 24 is that just as Jesus Christ is the perfect example for the church this is the reason why the church should be “subject” to Christ?  If this is the case, then is this how the husband/wife relationship should be fulfilled?  Is this verse stating that the husband should be the “perfect” example for the wife, and thus cause her to literally want to be subject to him?

6.      What all does the word “love” entail in verse 25?  Is this a form of the “example?”  (See question 5.)

7.      Is the sanctification and cleansing of the wife spoken of in verse 26 accomplished through the edification and love of the husband?

8.      How does one properly “cherish” his wife as Christ “cherished” the church?

9.      Are the “members” of the body spoken of in verse 30 an example of how a man and woman become “one flesh” through a marriage relationship?  Is the word “joined” in verse 31 evidence of this?

10.  What is the “mystery” being spoken of here?  Is it the unfathomable mercy and grace extended upon a sinner by Jesus Christ to accept him into the “body of Christ?”

 

v     Answers to Questions About the Passage:

1.      Is the “filling of the Spirit” in verse 18 supposed to be compared or contrasted to being “drunk with wine?”

The “filling of the Spirit” is a choice that is made by the individual person over the choice of filling oneself with sensual pleasures.

 

2.      Noticing the grammatical continuation of verses 19 and 20, does “giving thanks” literally mean to speak psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, and to sing melodiously in our hearts to the Lord?

The “giving [of] thanks” is done as a person “speaks” and meditates upon the psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.  As he does this, he can apply what he has meditated to his heart, and thus give thanks through the melodious singing of his heart before the Lord.

 

3.      Does the “head” spoken of in verse 23mean a leader, protector, ruler, or authorizer?

The word “head” in verse 23 is literally the “part most readily taken hold of.”  This gives it the idea of being a leader and protector under God’s appointed design.

 

4.      Is it acceptable to say that the interpretation of verse 24 is that just as Jesus Christ is the perfect example for the church this is the reason why the church should be “subject” to Christ?  If this is the case, then is this how the husband/wife relationship should be fulfilled?  Is this verse stating that the husband should be the “perfect” example for the wife, and thus cause her to literally want to be subject to him?

Yes, the verse is stating that just as Christ is the perfect example for the church this is the reason that the church is subject to Him.  The analogy continues to describe that the husband should follow this example for the wife, who should be in subjection to him.

 

5.      What all does the word “love” entail in verse 25?  Is this a form of the “example?” 

The word “love” entails all that Jesus Christ did for us through his death, burial, and resurrection.  It depicts the laying down of one’s life for another individual.  This mental concept of “giving” is what denotes this idea of love.

 

6.      What is the “mystery” being spoken of here?  Is it the unfathomable mercy and grace extended upon a sinner by Jesus Christ to accept him into the “body of Christ?”

The “mystery” spoken of here is two-fold.  The part is that “mystery” of the love which Jesus Christ has shown to the church through his act of love by dying on the cross, be buried in a tomb, and rising again and defeating death.  The second part of the “mystery” is that this form of love that Christ had for the church is the same form of love that a man should have towards his wife.  Thus depicting a “death to self” and complete love be shown toward the wife by the husband.

 

 

v     Word Studies:

 

 

q       Be Filled - 4137  pleroo  play-ro'-o

 

from 4134; to make replete, i.e. (literally) to cram (a net), level up (a hollow), or (figuratively) to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute (an office), finish (a period or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction), etc.

 

Ø      Cross References:

·        Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

Matthew 1:22

·        And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

Colossians 2:10

 

Ø      Application:

The verse commands, “be filled with the Spirit.”  The idea of being filled literally means “to make replete, to cram, level up.”  It puts God’s desire for our mental framework into perspective; we are to be completely filled with the Holy Spirit, and therefore put aside any sensual form of “drunkenness.”  If I personally will allow the Spirit to fill me, sensuality will be put under control.

 

q       Speaking - 2980  laleo  lal-eh'-o

 

a prolonged form of an otherwise obsolete verb; to talk, i.e. utter words

 

Ø      Cross References:

·        And he spake boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus, and disputed against the Grecians: but they went about to slay him.

Acts 9:29

·        How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

2 Corinthians 12:4

 

Ø      Observation:

This term literally means what it says:  “to talk.”  Thus, in context with the verse, a person is to speak Scripture to himself.  This would be a form of meditation, which would ultimately give thanks to God when the individual personally applies the meditated Scripture to his own life. 

 

q       Giving Thanks - 2168  eucharisteo  yoo-khar-is-teh'-o

 

from 2170; to be grateful, i.e. (actively) to express gratitude (towards); specially, to say grace at a meal

 

Ø      Cross References:

·        I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;

1 Corinthians 1:4

·        Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

Revelation 11:17

Ø      Application:

The Greek interpretation for “giving thanks” is to “(actively) express gratitude (towards).”  As allow myself to “speak” and meditate upon the Scripture, I will then be able to apply the Scripture to my own life.  As I apply the Scripture, I will begin to “actively” express my thanks to God through the change in my life.  This would be a way to give thanks “always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

q       Fear - 5401  phobos  fob'-os

 

from a primary phebomai (to be put in fear); alarm or fright

 

Ø      Cross References:

·        But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

1 Peter 3:15

·        There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

1 John 4:18

 

Ø      Application:

The verse reads, “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”  The Greek interpretation for “fear” is derived from the word phembomai, which means, “to be put in fear.”  This makes the verse become very personal to me as I realize that I am the only one who can submit myself under the “fear of God.”  To have an understanding of the Almighty power of God and the utter depravity of man humbles a person into this fear.  If I would personally apply this submission to my own life, I would be able to fear the Lord properly, and then partake in the “beginning of wisdom.” (Proverbs 9:10)

 

q       Submit Yourselves - 5293  hupotasso  hoop-ot-as'-so

 

from 5259 and 5021; to subordinate; reflexively, to obey

 

Ø      Cross References:

·        For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

Romans 8:20

·        Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

1 Peter 3:1

 

Ø      Observation:

The Greek interpretation of “submit yourselves” means “to subordinate; reflexively, to obey.”  This idea denotes a form of complete obedience and trust in the authority.  This is the form of respect the wife should have to her husband.  When the husband is fulfilling the commands set forth upon him by God, this will provide the grounds for a Godly marriage relationship.

 

q       Head - 2776  kephale  kef-al-ay'

 

from the primary kapto (in the sense of seizing); the head (as the part most readily taken hold of), literally or figuratively

 

Ø      Cross References:

·        Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

Matthew 5:36

·        This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.

Acts 4:11

 

Ø      Observation:

The “head” is defined and described as being “the part most readily taken hold of.”  This denotes the idea of the highest form of superiority and protection.  In context to the verse, it means that just as Christ is the superior protection for the church, so should the husband be the superior protection for the wife.  However, for the husband to fulfill this position, he must be under complete obedience and sensitivity to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

 

q       Church - 1577  ekklesia  ek-klay-see'-ah

 

from a compound of 1537 and a derivative of 2564; a calling out, i.e. (concretely) a popular meeting, especially a religious congregation (Jewish synagogue, or Christian community of members on earth or saints in heaven or both)

 

Ø      Cross References:

·        And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Matthew 16:18

·        So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:

2 Thessalonians 1:4

 

Ø      Observation:

The word “church” has many different basic meanings.  However, in the context to which it is used in this verse, it means the “religious congregation,” or those who are “call[ed] out.”  Thus, analogically, the church is compared to the wife in that both are to be in subjection to their authorities:  Jesus Christ and the husband respectively.  Again, just as Jesus Christ fulfilled all the necessary requirements to be an Upright King over the church, so must the husband fulfill his requirements for this form of subjection to be done in the way for which God intends.

 

q       Love - 25  agapao  ag-ap-ah'-o

 

perhaps from agan (much) (or compare 5689); to love (in a social or moral sense)

 

Ø      Cross References:

·        For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

Matthew 5:46

·        Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

Romans 13:8

 

Ø      Observation:

The term “love” here is literal, in that it is the giving of oneself for a given purpose.  Just as Christ gave Himself through love by dying on the cross, so should the husband give himself to the wife by loving her through a personal “death” to self in Christ.  When this personal “death” is conquered through the grace of God, the husband will be able to perfectly love his wife.

 

q       Sanctify - 37  hagiazo  hag-ee-ad'-zo

 

from 40; to make holy, i.e. (ceremonially) purify or consecrate; (mentally) to venerate

 

Ø      Cross References:

·        After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Matthew 6:9

·        Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

Hebrews 13:12

 

Ø      Observation:

This idea of “sanctify” is interpreted from the Greek as to “(ceremonially) purify or consecrate.”  Through the marriage “ceremony” before the Lord, the man is committing himself to the Lord and his wife.  When this and proper death to self (see observation on “Love”) is done, the husband is then able to lead the couple in sanctification and cleansing before the Lord.  This will purify and consecrate their marriage to the Lord.

 

q       Without Blemish - 299  amomos  am'-o-mos

 

from 1 (as a negative particle) and 3470; unblemished (literally or figuratively)

 

Ø      Cross References:

·        According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Ephesians 1:4

·        Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

Jude 1:24

 

Ø      Observation:

The Greek term for “without blemish” literally means “unblemished.”  This denotes the idea of not having any stain or mar in the moral tapestry of one’s character.  In context to the verse, it speaks of being holy and just in the sight of God.  This is the end result of a marriage relationship that follows God’s specific and detailed design for marriage.

 

q       Bodies - 4983  soma  so'-mah

 

from 4982; the body (as a sound whole), used in a very wide application, literally or figuratively

 

Ø      Cross References:

·        Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.

John 19:40

·        And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:3

 

Ø      Observation:

The Greek interpretation of the word “bodies” is literally “the body (as a sound whole).”  Thus, in context to the verse, men should love their wife through a relationship that is “soundly whole.”  This once again requires both parties to be in complete submission and subjection to the laws that God has ordained for their individual person within the marriage relationship.

 

q       Cherisheth - 2282  thalpo  thal'-po

 

probably akin to thallo (to warm); to brood, i.e. (figuratively) to foster

 

Ø      Cross References:

·        But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:

1 Thessalonians 2:7

 

Ø      Observation:

The word “cherisheth” is translated from the original Greek as meaning “to brood . . .to foster.”  This idea of nurturing depicts the nurturing that should be found within the marriage relationship as given from the husband toward his wife.  The analogy from within the verse compares how the Lord takes care of and provides for the church, so should the husband do for the wife.

 

q       Members - 3196  melos  mel'-os

 

of uncertain affinity; a limb or part of the body

 

Ø      Cross References:

·        Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

Romans 6:13

·        Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

Colossians 3:5

·        From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

James 4:1

 

Ø      Application:

The word “members” literally means “a limb or part of the body” in the Greek language.  It is very important that I should understand that I am a “member” of the body of Christ.  Within the context of the verse, it says we are members of his body, flesh, and bones.  The fact that we are a part of the “bones” is very important.  This is because the bones are the manufacturing place for blood.  Because the picture being presented here is the analogy of Christ and the Church, we are “members” of the body of Christ (the Church).  Because our “membership” extends to the “bones,” we become the very blood “lifeline” of the church.  Personally, this exhorts me to be a more complete member of the body of Christ, which is an area that I can most definitely improve in.

 

q       Joined - 4347  proskollao  pros-kol-lah'-o

 

from 4314 and 2853; to glue to, i.e. (figuratively) to adhere

 

Ø      Cross References:

·        And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

Matthew 19:5

·        For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought.

Acts 5:36

 

Ø      Observation:

The word “joined” in the Greek means “to glue to . . . to adhere.”  In context to the verse, this is the result of a marriage relationship that is centered on the “cause” for which God intended the marriage to fulfill.  This “cause” is the subjection the wife is to have towards the husband, and the love that the husband is to express towards his wife.  When this is done, it fulfills the desire of God for the two to be “joined” together.

 

q       Mystery - 3466  musterion  moos-tay'-ree-on

 

from a derivative of muo (to shut the mouth); a secret or "mystery" (through the idea of silence imposed by initiation into religious rites)

 

Ø      Cross References:

·        For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

Romans 11:25

·        That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;

Colossians 2:2

 

Ø      Observation:

The “mystery” is literally translated from the Greek as “a secret.”  Here, Paul is speaking of the secret that he has just expressed through the passage of Ephesians 5:18-31.  The mystery is comprised of two realizations:  the first being the expression of love, nurture, and salvation given by Jesus Christ to the church, and the second being the understanding that the Godly marriage relationship is a perfect “type” of this expression by Jesus Christ.

 

q       Reverence - 5399  phobeo  fob-eh'-o

 

from 5401; to frighten, i.e. (passively) to be alarmed; by analogy, to be in awe of, i.e. revere

 

Ø      Cross References:

·        But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.

Mark 5:33

·        And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.

Revelation 19:5

 

Ø      Observation:

The word “reverence” is translated from the Greek as being “(passively) alarmed . . . to be in awe of.”  This awe depicts the respect that should be given from the wife to the Godly husband in a marriage relationship.  However, the important point should still be emphasized that this awe and respect will only be shown in its God-ordained way when the husband is striving to fill his God-given responsibilities within the marriage relationship.

 

v     Personal Observation of the Passage:

After writing the above stated observations, I have noticed that I balanced the commands given to the wife in this passage with the required responsibilities given by God to the husband.  This is not meant to say that there is a “give-and-take” type of relationship between the husband and wife.  Instead, it is to show the God’s desired functioning within the marriage relationship.  The wife should always be in submission to her husband, unless he is violating Scripture.  The husband should always love, nourish, and cherish his wife from a Godly perspective, no matter her submission or subjection.  Never did I mean to be unclear in these areas during my writing of the above observations.

 

v     Paraphrase of the Passage in the First Person:

1.      I should not desire to fill myself with sensual pleasures, but should instead fill myself to overflowing with God’s Holy Spirit;

2.      Speaking and meditating upon the Scriptures, and singing melodiously from my heart to the Lord;

3.      Thus, in applying meditated things to my life, I can give thanks in every situation to God in the Name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ;

4.      As I continue to apply Scripture to my life and give thanks to the Lord for all He has done, I will be more ready to humble and submit myself to others because I will have realized my depravity in the sight of God.

5.      The wife should come under the Divinely appointed leadership and protection of the husband, just like they should have done to the Lord.

6.      Because the husband is the leader, protector, and guide of the wife, just as Jesus Christ is the leader, protector, and guide of the church.

7.      Just as the church is under the superior Sovereignty of Jesus Christ, so also should the wife be under the Godly superiority of her husbands in every aspect of life.

8.      Husbands are to love their wife in every aspect by dying to his personal self as Christ gave His life for the church,

9.      Thus in doing so, the husband will be able to ceremoniously consecrate the marriage relationship in the sight of God through the purifying power of His Word,

10.  So that the marriage relationship can be presented in complete holiness before the Lord, without having any stain on the moral tapestry of the marriage relationship.

11.  A man should love his wife in the same way that he loves his own body, because she becomes a part of his body at the consummation of the marriage.

12.  Because of this, no man has ever hated his own self, but instead takes care of and nurtures it.  This is what he is to do to his wife, and is what Jesus Christ has done for the church.

13.  Jesus Christ has done this because we as Christians are individual parts of His body, even down to the actual lifeline of the blood.

14.  For the cause of sanctification and holiness before the Lord in correctly fulfilling the duties imposed upon him by the marriage relationship is the reason why a man should leave his family under the appointed authority of his parents, and be joined together with his wife through the God-ordained principles of marriage.

15.  The love of Christ shown towards the church, and the analogy spoken of here between husband and wife is the great mystery, or secret, of this passage.

16.  Under all conditions, let every single man love his wife as God has ordained him to do, and let the wife completely respect and be in awe of her husband as God has ordained her to do.

 

v     Personal Applications Drawn From the Passage:

1.      I need to make a more personal commitment in the area of filling myself with the Holy Spirit instead of sensual things.

2.      I need to be more aware of my need for meditation upon Scripture and the engrafting of it in my soul so I can appropriately show thanks to God for what He has done for me.

3.      I need to be humble before the Lord in my approach towards Him by understanding the depraved state of my natural, fleshly man, and the Exalted Holiness of He and His Throne.

4.      I, as a future husband (as the Lord wills), need to be more committed to the Lord to show love to my wife as the Lord has commanded me to do.

5.      I need to ground myself under the Divinely appointed authority that God has for me right now so that I can be under His authority when I am passed to that point by the approval of my parents in a marriage relationship.

6.      I need to be a stronger member of the body of Christ by understanding that as a member, I am a part of the “bones,” or the actual lifeline of Christ’s “body” here on earth.

7.      I need to purpose now to love my future wife in the same way that Christ loved the church, and build upon that purpose through current meditation and application of Scripture in my own life.