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					                                         EPHESIANS
                                The Mystery Revealed!
                                  Lesson 9: “Who’s the Boss?”

                                Class Leaders‟ Preparation Guide

Scripture Reference: Ephesians 5:21-33 and Philippians 2:1-11

You are encouraged to begin each class with prayer and reading of the Scripture Reference. Try
to ensure a full 45-minute class interaction period devoted to the 5 class activities

Suggested Answers to Daily Home Study Questions
The following suggested answers to the daily home study questions are provided to facilitate your
preparation for leading your Sunday Bible class discussion. Remember that these daily questions were
provided to encourage the class members toward developing a daily personal Bible study and meditation
routine. Though the suggested answers provided here should help you prepare for Sunday, remember
that on Sunday you will only use the five numbered Class Interaction and Encouragement
activities. Otherwise you will have no possibility of finishing. As the quarter proceeds, your faithfulness
to this approach should encourage more and more class members to study at home. Let no week pass
without encouraging them to do so.

Monday’s Questions:

From what you have learned in the prior lessons from Ephesians 1:1-5:21 and in reading Philippians 2:1-
11, how did Christ become “the head of the church” (Eph. 5:23)? When? Why? By whom?

     •    It is clear from the following references from prior Lessons that Jesus became the Head of the
          church by God‟s exalting and appointing him to that position following his dying on the cross
          for our sins (verses 1:19-23). Jesus and his Father established this plan before the creation of
          the world that we should “ be holy and blameless in his sight” (verse 1.4) and “ to bring
          all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ” (verse 1:10). God
          raised Jesus from the dead “ and appointed him to be head over everything for the church
          ” (verses 1:19-22).
          •     Ephesians 1:3-10 –– “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has
                blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us
                in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.  In him we
                have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches
                of God‟s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made
                known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in
                Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment–to bring all
                things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.”
          •     Ephesians 1:18-23 –– “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order
                that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious
                inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That
               power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he
               raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far
               above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not
               only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his
               feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body,
               the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”
          •    Ephesians 2:14-16 –– “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has
               destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with
               its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new
               man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them
               to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.”
          •    Ephesians 4:14-16 –– “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the
               waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and
               draftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will
               in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. Form him the whole
               body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up
               in love, as each part does its work.”

List as many ways as you can that Jesus evidences his “headship.”

     •    Ways in which Jesus evidences his headship include . . .
          •  He redeemed us through his blood (1:7);
          •  He brings all things and all peoples together under his headship (1:10, 1:19-23 and 2:14-
             17);
          •  He is “ head over everything for the church, which is his body ” (1:22);
          •  We are seated with him at God‟s right hand in the heavenly realms (1:20 and 2:6);
          •  He brings us near to God through his blood (2:13);
          •  He is our peace (2:14);
          •  He abolished in his flesh the burdensome commandments and regulations (2:15);
          •  He reconciled us to God through the cross (2:16);
          •  He puts to death our hostility (2:16);
          •  He builds us into a holy temple, a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit (2:22);
          •  He enables us to approach God with freedom and confidence (3:12);
          •  He dwells in our hearts through our faith in him (3:17);
          •  His love for us surpasses knowledge and description (3:18-19);
          •  He apportions grace to us (4:7);
          •  He gives gifts to us to prepare us for works of service so that we may be built up and grow
             up into him who is our Head (4:8-16);
          •  His light shines on us and enables us to be children of light (5:8-14); and
          •  His example of submission encourages us to submit to one another out of reverence for
             him (5:21).

Are any of these self-serving or self-exalting?

     •    Clearly, they are anything but self-serving or self-exalting? Indeed, though Jesus was God, he
          did not count equality with God something to be grasped or held on to. Rather, he emptied
          himself (i.e., wrung himself out) with suffering, even to death on the cross.

How is this concept of “headship” different than that in the world?

     •    The world sees “head” at the top, and the way to get there as “climbing”! God‟s concept of
          headship is complete humility, selfless service, building others up (even at great personal cost or
          even death). With God, down is the way up!

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Tuesday’s Questions:

How do we usually interpret and apply Ephesians 5:22-23?

    •    We have usually interpreted and applied verses 22 and 23 in the completely isolated context of
         verses 22-33 regarding the “husband‟s headship over his wife” and the “wife‟s responsibility (or
         duty) to submit to her husband.” In most such contexts, the verses have been interpreted as
         implying a superior-inferior order wherein “submit to” or “be subject to” was interpreted to
         imply a strict command-and-obey relationship between husband and wife. In these
         interpretations and applications, emphasis has been placed on the husband‟s “authority” over his
         wife and the wife‟s “responsibility” or “duty” to “obey” her husband. Whether intended or not,
         the application of this interpretation most often resulted in an “unequal partnership” and “one-
         way submission” in the marriage relationship.

In the context of what you learned in Lesson 8 from Ephesians 5:1-21, what alternative meaning do you
think these verses might have?

    •    Instead of interpreting and applying verses 22-23 in the isolated context of verses 22-33, they
         should be interpreted and applied in the larger context of Paul‟s preceding admonitions. We
         must see verses 22-23 in a continuum of Paul‟s thoughts as he wrote his letter to the Ephesians,
         just as we would with any letter written to us today. Paul did not suddenly in mid-stream begin
         an isolated discourse on the responsibilities of husbands and wives in marriage relationships;
         rather, throughout Ephesians he has dealt with how we should live with and love one another in
         Christ Jesus and why we are able to and should so live. In light of the fuller context and Paul‟s
         continuation of thought, verses 22-33 should be seen as Paul‟s admonition to husbands and
         wives to mutually and equally submit to one another just as Christ Jesus gave himself up
         for us and we in turn give ourselves up for him! This alternative meaning is made clearer by
         Paul‟s following statements:
         •     Ephesians 1:4-5 –– “In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus
               Christ .”
         •     Ephesians 1:22-23 –– “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be
               head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills
               everything in every way.”
         •     Ephesians 2:8-9 –– “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not
               from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.”
         •     Ephesians 2:14 –– “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has
               destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility .”
         •     Ephesians 2:21-22 –– “In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a
               holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling
               in which God lives by his Spirit.”
         •     Ephesians 3:6 –– “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together
               with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ
               Jesus.”
         •     Ephesians 3:10 –– “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of
               God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms .”
         •     Ephesians 3:17-19 –– “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have
               power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the
               love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to
               the measure of all the fullness of God.”




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         •    Ephesians 4:1-3 –– “ I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
              Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make
              every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
         •    Ephesians 4:15-16 –– “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up
              into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held
              together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does
              its work.”
         •    Ephesians 4:25 –– “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to
              his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.”
         •    Ephesians 4:31-32 –– “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along
              with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each
              other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
         •    Ephesians 5:1-2 –– “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children, and live a life
              of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and
              sacrifice to God.”
         •    Ephesians 5:8 –– “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as
              children of light .”
         •    Ephesians 5:19-20 –– “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing
              and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for
              everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

What does it mean to “submit” to one another out of reverence for Christ?

    •    According to the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, to submit is to yield to governance or
         authority; to subject to a condition, treatment, or operation; to present or propose to another for
         review, consideration, or decision; to put forward as an opinion or contention; to yield oneself
         to the authority or will of another; to permit oneself to be subjected to something; to defer to or
         consent to abide by the opinion or authority of another. In any context, submission may be
         voluntary or involuntary.

When verses 21 and 22 are tied together (as indeed they were with a single verb shared between them in
the original Greek text), what new and powerful meaning is given to verses 22-24?

    •    It is clear from both the immediate and full context of Paul‟s admonitions in verses 22-33 that
         the wife‟s submission to her husband is the same voluntary mutual submission he speaks of in
         verse 21 wherein he wrote, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” There is no
         latitude given in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians to interpret submission as involuntary,
         compelled, or forced! Submission, for Paul, is what we do to one another because we live
         as children of light (verse 5:8). For Paul, submission to one another–and of the wife to her
         husband and the husband to the wife–fits with his immediately preceding instruction to “Speak
         to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to
         the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus
         Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (verses 5:19-21).

Wednesday’s Questions:

What do verses 21-33 tell us about the husband‟s responsibilities in the marriage relationship?

    •    According to verses 21-33, the husband‟s responsibilities in the marriage relationship include:
         •   Submit to his wife out of reverence for Christ (verse 21);
         •   Look to Christ‟s example as head of the church in order to understand his headship of his
             wife and how to be her savior (verse 23);


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         •    Love his wife in the same way “ as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
              to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present
              her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy
              and blameless (verses 25-27);
         •    Love his wife as his own body, for in loving his wife he loves himself (verse 28);
         •    Feeds and cares for his wife, as he does his own body, and as Christ does for the church
              (verse 29);
         •    Leaves his father and mother and is united with his wife, becoming one flesh with her
              (verse 31); and
         •    Love his wife as he loves himself (verse 33).

The wife‟s responsibilities?

    •    According to verses 21-33, the wife‟s responsibilities in the marriage relationship include:
         •   Submit to her husband in everything, as to the Lord (verses 22 and 24); and
         •   Respect her husband (verse 33).

What could be the reason(s) for the difference between Paul‟s obvious emphasis upon husbands loving
their wives as Christ loved the church and our typical emphasis upon wives submitting to their husbands?

    •    The key to understanding why Paul placed so much emphasis upon the responsibilities of the
         husband to the wife lies in the husband‟s “headship” of the wife “ as Christ is the head of the
         church, his body, of which he is the Savior” (verse 23). Paul wrote all of Ephesians 1:1 through
         4:16 to explain Jesus‟ headship of the church and the mystery of how God in Christ brought all
         things in heaven and on earth together under one head (verse 1:10). He thereby set the stage for
         understanding why we should humbly and patiently love, forgive, and submit to one another
         and keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace (verses 4:2-3). In a similar way, he
         placed an emphasis upon the responsibilities of the husband to the wife to set the stage for
         understanding why the wife should submit to and respect her husband. Indeed, just as we in
         love and reverence voluntarily submit ourselves to Jesus Christ because he died for us, the wife
         will in love and respect voluntarily submit herself to her husband if he, like Jesus, dies for her.
         In reference to this Christ-centered husband-wife relationship, Paul wrote, “This is a profound
         mystery–but I am talking about Christ and the church” (verse 32). Clearly, in our usual
         emphasis upon the wife submitting to her husband, we have gotten the cart before the horse.
         Emphasizing the wife‟s “duty” to submit to her husband is metaphorically like trying to push a
         string! Placing the emphasis upon the husband‟s responsibility to love his wife as Christ loved
         the church places the responsibility for taking the lead in submission squarely on the husband,
         not the wife!!

What do we usually mean when we say that wives are to submit to their husbands?

    •    We usually mean that wives are to yield to their husbands in most every way. We don‟t
         typically see the wife‟s submission as something the husband is not only also to do, but to
         model for his wife. Rather, we have typically seen submission as a one-way submission, of wife
         to husband. We have typically understood the passage as one placing the husband “over” (i.e.,
         in charge of or the “boss” of) his wife. Nothing could be more contrary to Paul‟s message here.

Why does Paul place the emphasis where he does? How is it important for you?

    •    Paul placed the emphasis where he did because he understood that he was talking about Christ
         and the church (the “great mystery”). JUST AS Christ is head of the church because he died and
         God exalted him to that position, husbands will be exalted by God and their wives to be head of


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         their wives because they die to themselves in the interest of building up their wives to make
         them holy.
    •    Students will have individual answers about how this is important to them.

Thursday’s Questions:

Use your answers to Monday‟s questions above to describe how, when, why, and by whom the husband
becomes “head of the wife.”

    •    Just as Jesus became the Head of the church by God‟s exalting and appointing him to that
         position following his dying on the cross for our sins (verses 1:19-23), the husband becomes
         “head of the wife” by loving and “dying” for his wife so that God can exalt him by his wife‟s
         love, respect, and voluntary submission. In the usual case, a woman marries a man because he
         demonstrated these loving and sacrificial characteristics prior to marriage. We typically refer to
         these kinds of behaviors on the part of the man as “courting.” However, in most instances,
         these “courting” behaviors diminish or disappear altogether after marriage. The usual
         interpretation is that the man automatically becomes head of his wife when he marries her.
         However, following God‟s pattern of Christ and the church as the pattern for marriage, as the
         husband submits himself in everything for his wife, he is exalted by God to the servant-leader
         position of head of his wife. His wife reciprocally bestows on him her love, respect, honor, and
         submission because he sacrificially loves her as Christ loved and loves the church.

How will he evidence his “headship” in the marriage relationship if he follows Paul‟s instructions? What
will then be apparent to others? To his wife? To their children?

    •    The husband who takes seriously the Christ-church example as the model for his “headship” of
         his wife will evidence that “headship” in the ways listed in answering question 3 above. He will
         continually manifest attitudes and behaviors that are characterized by humility, gentleness,
         patience, forbearance, love, honor, respect, service and self-sacrifice. It will be first apparent to
         his wife and then to others that he loves his wife and sacrificially gives himself to making her
         radiant!

Friday’s Questions:

How does understanding how and why we are to submit to our Lord Jesus help us better understand
Paul‟s meaning when he told wives to “submit to your husbands as to the Lord”?

    •    Our love for and submission to Christ Jesus is directly proportional to our understanding of and
         gratitude for how much forethought, planning, love, patience, forbearance, grace, and sacrifice
         by both God and Jesus preceded Jesus‟ coming to earth as a man and dying for our sins. In this
         context, Paul means by telling wives to “submit to your husbands as to the Lord” that they
         should attribute to their husbands the same attributes they attribute to the Lord that cause them
         to submit to the Lord. This has a double effect. First, even if the husband does not manifest the
         attitudes, motives, and behaviors discussed above, the wife can attribute these to her husband
         and thereby encourage and bring out the best in him. Second, she can manifest submission out
         of her own reverence for Christ (verse 21) and love for her husband.

How do your answers to Thursday‟s questions above provide insight into Paul‟s intended meaning?

    •    Paul understood the “great mystery” of the God-designed “parallels” between the husband-wife
         relationship and the Christ-church relationship. He understood that the angels and demons are
         watching, and that as the husband and wife mutually submit to each other out of their reverence
         for Christ, unity and peace and joy in the Spirit prevail, to the glory of God and to the filling of

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         the earth with godly offspring. There is no glory to God in a husband-wife relationship where
         one or the other is vying for top position!

How and when are husbands to submit to their wives? Is there a difference? Why?

    •    Husbands are to submit to their wives in all things at all times, just as wives are to do the same.
         There is no distinguishing limitation in verse 21; indeed, they are BOTH to submit TO EACH
         OTHER out of their mutual reverence for Christ. It is not about self-exaltation, but self-
         sacrifice! It is about loving your spouse as your own body. It is about unity of the Spirit through
         the bond of peace. It is about recognizing that there is ONE purpose under (and over and in)
         heaven; that purpose is UNITY OF ALL THINGS in heaven and on earth under Christ Jesus.
         He got to that position by dying! Husbands must do the same!! Both husband and wife are to
         submit to the other, but the husband is called to set the example. That is God‟s definition of
         “head”; that is, the place where it starts!!

Saturday’s Questions:

How does obedience to Paul‟s instruction in verse 21 address all aspects of each spouse‟s mutual
responsibilities to the other? How would such obedience affect the ways each spouse would relate to the
other? How would it affect the family?

    •    When both marriage partners mutually submit to one another out of reverence for and after the
         pattern of Christ, the question of “who is in charge” never comes up!! Indeed, when each one
         sacrificially places the needs and desires of the other first above his or her own, if there is any
         struggle at all, it will be to see which one can love and serve the other the most!! Instead of
         struggling for top position, each lovingly and sacrificially serves the other out of desire to build
         them up and meet their needs, with the result that God‟s natural order results in the two being
         drawn together in unity as one, just as Christ and the church are one (verses 31-32). The family
         will be stronger because the children will see their dad and mom manifest love for each other
         like the love of Christ and the church for each other. This will in turn result in the children
         having a clearer understanding of the love between Christ and the church. All this was God‟s
         plan from before the beginning, and it is “a profound mystery” (verse 32).

Sunday’s Questions:

What is the “profound mystery” in Paul‟s quotation of Genesis 2:24 in verse 31? How does this
“profound mystery” relate to what you learned from your study of Ephesians 1:9-10 in Lesson 1 and
Ephesians 3:1-21 in Lesson 5? What is “profound” about the mystery? How does this relate to God‟s
mysterious eternal purpose and the “mystery of Christ”?

    •    Genesis 2:22-24 says that “Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of
         the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, „This is now bone of my bones and flesh
         of my flesh; she shall be called “woman” for she was taken out of man.‟ For this reason a
         man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one
         flesh.” Paul‟s quotation of Genesis 2:24 in Ephesians 5:31 and his statement in 5:32 that “This
         is a profound mystery–but I am talking about Christ and the church” are especially important
         in the context of what Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:3-10 and 3:1-21. In 1:3-10 Paul wrote to the
         Ephesians that God chose us in Christ Jesus “ before the creation of the world to be holy and
         blameless in his sight.  And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his
         good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have
         reached their fulfillment–to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head,
         even Christ.” In 3:4-6 he wrote, “In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my
         insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it

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            has now been revealed by the Spirit to God‟s holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that
            through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body,
            and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.” And in 3:10-11 he wrote, “His intent was
            that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers
            and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished
            in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The “profound mystery” of 5:31 is, in a sense, a step above the
            “mystery” of chapters 1 and 3. That is, even though it is a mystery that God could through
            Christ unite all things in heaven and on earth under one head, even Christ (verse 1:10), it is a
            profound mystery that the husband-wife relationship in marriage was designed by God from
            before the beginning to manifest the characteristics of Christ and the church!! It is as if God
            designed a “mini-incubator” in which two diverse people (male and female and very diverse!)
            come together and become one in flesh and spirit (Malachi 2:15) and from which one-flesh-one-
            spirit relationship derive godly offspring! God designed this “mini-incubator” to be his perfect
            way in which we can come to know the love and sacrifice of Christ for the church through the
            husband‟s love and sacrifice for his wife. This is very important!! Indeed, note that it is the
            husband’s love and sacrifice for his wife in leaving his father and mother and being united
            with his wife that Paul calls a “profound mystery!” In writing about this profound mystery,
            Paul said “I am talking about Christ and the church.” Understanding the profound nature of
            this mystery helps us see why Paul placed such emphasis upon the husband’s
            responsibilities as “head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which
            he is the Savior” (verse 5:23). And the sincere and devoted application of this
            understanding by husbands will change their relationships with their wives in ways that
            are beyond our imagination!! This is indeed profound, for who in the world would think that
            by self-sacrifice and loving service husbands will be lifted by God and their wives to a
            “position” like that of Jesus Christ in his relationship to the church? We should encourage one
            another toward these kinds of relationships in our marriages!! Let us pray and work toward that
            end! And may God be glorified in our marriages, in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout
            all generations, for ever and ever! Amen!!


For Sunday Bible Class Interaction and Encouragement

The above questions were designed to help each student gain day-by-day insight into the glorious
“mystery” of Jesus Christ. It is not intended that you take class time to answer or discuss those
questions. Instead, the following five Sunday Bible class activities are provided for your in-class time.
They are designed to facilitate contextual sharing and “one-another” encouragement that derives from the
students‟ home study and meditation during the preceding week. Use these five activities to encourage
students‟ to study at home and come to class prepared to share from what they have learned and to
encourage one another. Try to ensure a full 45 minutes for these activities, which will allow about 8-9
minutes per activity. Plan in advance which activity you will abbreviate if time runs short.

1.       Some Things Learned – Together list and write on the board as many ways as possible that Jesus
         evidences his “headship.” Take time to grasp and briefly discuss the awesome significance and
         implication for every relationship.

     •      From our answers to Monday‟s questions, we saw the following ways in which Jesus evidences
            his headship:
            •    He redeemed us through his blood (1:7);
            •    He brings all things and all peoples together under his headship (1:10, 1:19-23 and 2:14-
                 17);
            •    He is “ head over everything for the church, which is his body ” (1:22);
            •    We are seated with him at God‟s right hand in the heavenly realms (1:20 and 2:6);
            •    He brings us near to God through his blood (2:13);

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        •    He is our peace (2:14);
        •    He abolished in his flesh the burdensome commandments and regulations (2:15);
        •    He reconciled us to God through the cross (2:16);
        •    He puts to death our hostility (2:16);
        •    He builds us into a holy temple, a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit (2:22);
        •    He enables us to approach God with freedom and confidence (3:12);
        •    He dwells in our hearts through our faith in him (3:17);
        •    His love for us surpasses knowledge and description (3:18-19);
        •    He apportions grace to us (4:7);
        •    He gives gifts to us to prepare us for works of service so that we may be built up and grow
             up into him who is our Head (4:8-16);
        •    His light shines on us and enables us to be children of light (5:8-14); and
        •    His example of submission encourages us to submit to one another out of reverence for
             him (5:21).

2.   Prayers of Thanksgiving – Ask for volunteers to lead the class in a period of prayers of
     thanksgiving to our Father in the name of Jesus for …
     a.    the example of Jesus‟ selfless submission,
     b.    our membership in his body, the church,
     c.    the power of mutual submission out of reverence for Christ,
     d.    God‟s exaltation when we die to ourselves and our selfish, lustful desires, and
     e.    Paul‟s shared insight into God‟s “profound mystery.”

     You are encouraged to plan ahead and ask for volunteers a week in advance. This will enable your
     prayer volunteers to think about and plan their prayers as they study and meditate during the week.
     It is suggested that you ask for at least 2 volunteers, with one being asked to focus on “a” through
     “c” and the other on “d” through “e”.

3.   Individual Sharing – Ask members of the class to share what it means to them personally when
     someone else submits to them out of reverence for Jesus Christ. Ask class members to share
     particularly meaningful examples.

     Encourage class members to share freely. Since you are asking them to share what it means “to
     them personally,” be certain to sincerely affirm each response. There is no “correct” or “desired”
     answer here; seek only sincerity and transparency. But also encourage brevity of each response in
     order to maximize the opportunity for individual sharing. This activity is about growing in faith
     together as each one learns to share from their personal faith and thereby encourage and be
     encouraged.

4.   Challenge and Encouragement – Discuss how the members of the class might better challenge
     and encourage one another daily to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

     This is a time for class members to reveal their own personal needs for being challenged and
     encouraged by their Christian brothers and sisters. Paul in other places makes it plain that when we
     come together as a body, it is for mutual encouragement and edification of the body of Christ, the
     church (see for example 1 Cor. 14). Use this time to encourage class members to be open about
     these needs.




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5.   Prayer of Petition – Close your class time together with a prayer of petition to God in the name of
     Jesus. Ask him to give each member of the class deeper and deeper insight into his mutual-
     submission down way up.

     You may choose to lead this prayer each week as a means to ensure you capture the significance of
     the lesson and those things shared by class members.


For Next Week
The Scripture Reference for Lesson 10 will be Ephesians 6:1-4. Encourage the class members to make
time to study and meditate on it daily. And encourage your class members to pray everyday toward
Sunday!




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