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Home » ASSEMBLIES OF GOD CHURCH » Adult Teacher January June, 2023 March 19 2023 LESSON 12

Adult Teacher January June, 2023 March 19 2023 LESSON 12

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Adult Teacher January June, 2023 March 19 2023 LESSON 12

ASSEMBLIES OF GOD CHURCH
ASSEMBLIES OF GOD CHURCH

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RELATIONSHIPS IN CHRIST


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Memory Verse: Ephesians 5:21
Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God (KJV).
Central Truth
Living for Christ has a powerful, positive impact on human relationships.
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The Lesson Outline
1. Husband and Wife- Ephesians 5:18b; 21-33
A. A Christian Wife
B. A Christian Husband
2. Children and Parents–Ephesians 6:1-4
A. A Christian Child
B. A Christian Parent
3. Employees and Employers– Ephesians 6:5-9
A. A Christian Employee
B. A Christian Employer
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Learning Objectives
At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
1. Describe a biblical understanding of the first century regarding relationships.
2. Learn what it means to value all people, regardless of social
class.
3. Be equipped to grasp the Scriptural command that believers submit to one another based on love and respect for God.
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Introducing the Lesson
Today’s lesson examines our relationships with others as we live together in the body of Christ. The key biblical word in focus as we look at these relationships is “submission”.
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The Holy Scriptures
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 6:1-9
[1]Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
[2]Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
[3]That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
[4]And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
[5]Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
[6]Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
[7]With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
[8]Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
[9]And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.
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Commentary and Application
1. Husband and Wife
A. AChristian Wife- Ephesians 5:18b; 21-24
Serving and ministering to others can leave a person spiritually depleted. This is why it is important for Christians to maintain spiritual strength by continually being in right relationship with God, including continuing to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 5:18 opens this lesson by outlining two important points about Scripture’s command to be filled with the Spirit. These points are rooted in how this phrase is written: First, the command is
passive: “Be filled.” That is, we don’t fill ourselves with the Spirit, but God fills us. We are only the recipients. Second, it is written as a present, ongoing action. It is not only for the future or the past, and it is meant to be an ongoing reality in the life of the believer.
Then, beginning in verse 21, Paul taught that, in order to minister effectively within the church, Christians must relate to one another properly-and that relationship can be summarised in the word Submission. Paul stated that Christians submit to each other, and this submission comes not out of obligation or because of prescribed positions of authority. Christians submit to others out of reverence to the position that Jesus holds. He is the Head of the Church and everyone else is on a level playing field under Him.
The command to submit to one another does not mean that all roles and responsibilities are wiped away, of course. Without some structure, life would be chaotic. So, Paul did not call Christians to dismantle family and social structures. Rather, he sought to adjust one’s attitude toward others, and he provided a road map to follow. In doing so, Paul laid out the way relationships are to naturally work when Christians are living in Christ.
After declaring that all Christians are to submit to one another in verse 21, Paul began a detailed discussion of relationships beginning with wives. He told them, “Submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord” (verse 22, NLT). This statement has been the subject of much debate over the course of Church history.
The key to understanding Paul’s statement is to comprehend the meaning of submission and the motivation behind it. Submission can be forced and imposed, or it can be
given freely. Some Christians have taught that a wife is subject to her husband’s whims. This is not submission, but subjugation. The
husband becomes in effect the king of the family, and everyone does what he says without question.
This is a clear abuse of power justified by a distorted interpretation of Scripture. It demonstrates that the husband is not following verse 21: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (NLT).
It is important to keep in focus that Paul instructed Christian wives to voluntarily submit to their husbands, not as though the husband were her king, but as the spiritual head of the family, just as the Church submits to Jesus (verses 23-24). As the Church,we voluntarily submit to Jesus because we know that Jesus will always care for us. It is this attitude toward Christ that provides Christian wives the confidence to submit to
their husbands.
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Questions for Application
How do Christians submit to one another ?
Why do you think the idea of submission is seen as negative in
many ways?
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B. A Christian Husband- Ephesians 5:25-33
Jesus’ sacrificial love for the Church is an illustration of the type of love Christian faith demands of a husband (Ephesians 5:25). A man must not use his role as a weapon to force his wife to perform tasks for him, any more than Jesus sought to extract benefits from His followers to demonstrate His authority over them. Jesus demonstrated His love by sacrificing for the well-being of His Bride.
In verses 26-27, Paul made a brief detour away from the husband-wife relationship to explain the motivation behind Jesus sacrificial death. Paul stated that Jesus made this selfless decision to provide a means to sanctify the Church, to cleanse the Church, to do the work that would make the Church an acceptable Bride. He did everything for the bride of Christ that the Bride could not do on her own.
Then, in verse 28, Paul returned to his thoughts concerning the husband’s relationship with his wife. Just as Jesus was willing to do whatever was necessary to make the spiritual Bride ready to meet Him, husbands must work at developing a relationship with their wives that makes a wife better in ways that she may not be capable of, given the
restrictions of matters such as culture and society.
In verse 31, Paul quoted
Genesis 2:24 to connect the marriage relationship to the relationship of Christ to the Church. Just as a man leaves his parents to be married, an individual has to leave his or her past relationships to enter a
new covenant with Jesus through salvation. The new bond replaces the old.
Paul concludes this segment of his teaching on relationships, in verses 32-33, by calling both the Christian husband and wife to live out their faith through their actions and attitudes toward one another. When they do, they testify to a proper understanding of Christ and the Church. It is important to note that Paul reminded both husbands and wives of their duties and not the rights they should expect to receive. Equality as persons and submission to one another are the underlying principles emphasized by Paul in this passage.
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Questions for Application
How might a Christian husband misuse his authority in the home?
How does lack of commitment in marriage impact one’s commitment to Jesus?
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2. Children and Parents
A. A Christian Child– Ephesians 6:1-33
In Ephesians 6:2-3, Paul quoted the Fifth Commandment from Exodus 20:12 to help children understand that when they obey their parents, they are not doing so simply to make their parents happy. They obey their parents as an act of worship and obedience to their God
(Ephesians 6:1).
Paul was quick to add that not only will an obedient child avoid unnecessary punishment, but they will also receive rewards from God. This statement, “This is the first Commandment with promise,” can be challenging to understand. Some Commentators have linked this to eternal life (rather than life on earth) but such a link is not strongly present anywhere else in the New Testament. As a result, others see this as Paul emphasising that by obeying parents-and
obeying God- children’s lives will demonstrate that their true welfare depends upon God. In other words, God watches over all His people like the “Great Parent.”
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Questions for Application
What are some keys to raising children that parents can learn from
Scripture? (Invite testimonies from those who have raised children.)
What was your attitude toward your parents when you were a child? How do you think your attitude compared to that of most children?
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B. A Christian Parent– Ephesians 6:4
In Ephesians 6:4, Paul acknowledged that it is possible for parents to provoke their children into bad behaviour by treating them wrongly. Obviously parents expect Obedience from children, but a rash exercise of authority in a way that is overbearing or exasperating, or even harmful, is not appropriate as well. Earlier in the Epistle, in chapter 4 Paul mentioned anger as a sign of the flesh- and as something destructive to the body of Christ. Parents must not act in anger toward their children any more than they would act in anger toward another Christian outside the home. The underlying principle is that children a are to be cherished and respected. In God’s eyes, children have equal spiritual status with their parents. Just as Paul told wives and husbands to submit one to another, submission also exists between parents and children (see Ephesians 5:21); a key component of submission, then, is recognising that even when we have a role of authority, our call to submission is not suspended. We still must value others for who they are in Christ; this means there are times when we defer to their needs above our own concerns. Children who are in Christ are brothers and sisters to their believing parents.
Just as an adult would disciple another adult in the faith, parents should disciple their children in the faith. Discipline is much different from punishment. The words “discipline” and “discipleship” come from the same root. Discipline should redirect a person toward positive growth, while punishment is a matter of making a person pay consequences for an action. Parents must focus on discipline, then, more than punishment. Christian faith calls for mutual respect between parent and child.
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Questions for Application
How difficult is it to view your children as your brothers and sisters in
Christ?
Why is punishment sometimes used with children rather than discipline?
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3. Employees and Employers
A. AChristian Employee– Ephesians 6:5-8
Paul began by telling bondservants to do what was already expected of them- to obey their masters. Once again, Paul addressed the motivation beyond simple obedience. Note that he used the phrase “deep respect and fear”
(Ephesians 6:5, NLT). This is the same phrase Paul used to instruct all Christians to have with regard to working out their salvation (Philippians 2:12). He also added to the phrase the qualification of having a sincere heart. Paul was clear that
bondservants were to show respect to their masters; the Christian faith was not to be used as an excuse to not be faithful in service. This concept is difficult for us to grasp in the modern world, where slavery has been abolished in most places. It can be helpful to keep in view that the Christian mindset and worldview of submission and deference is at the
heart of this command.
In writing these words, Paul indicated that some slaves were not giving full effort when working for their masters. Since some slaves did receive some money, Paul indicated that Christian slaves must look at work differently- from a Christian perspective. As Christians, any degree of selfishness must be replaced by selflessness. When Christians work, they must work from the perspective that they are working directly for God.
Paul explained that selfless work rendered as unto God will be rewarded by God (verses 6-8). Rewards are not reserved for the masters. No matter a person’s status, if individuals do their work with a view of God as their ultimate employer, they will see personal spiritual benefit.
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Questions for Application
While we surely don’t face the challenges a first-century slave would face, what are some examples of why we might be tempted to be disrespectful or halfhearted in our work? How can Ephesians 6 help us regain a right perspective?
How would your work habits change if you truly believed you were working directly for Christ?
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B. A Christian Employer- Ephesians 6:9
Ephesians 6:9 indicated that Paul addressed Christian masters who were threatening their servants to get them to work harder. Paul explained that this was inappropriate behaviour for a Christian. Paul challenged the masters to demonstrate their love for God through the way they treated those who served them. Paul based his teaching on the fact that even though on earth the master is considered to be superior to the servant, God views
all of His followers alike. God is the Master of all who are a part of His kingdom. He expects the same attitude whether the person is the boss or the worker. Paul, then, leaned on the reality that in God’s eyes there is no preference or class divisions (see also Galatians 3:28-29)
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Questions for Application
How would you like those in authority to treat you?
How do you treat those over whom you have authority?
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Call to Discipleship
A relationship with Jesus Christ should positively impact our relationships with one another. Our love for Him is seen in our love for the people that He created. As Christians, we should view people the way God views them and treat them the way we would want to be treated. There are no haves and have-nots” in the kingdom of of God. We are called to submit to one another as we submit to God. We must recognise the roles that the Holy Spirit assigns to others and be willing to to submit to them as if they were Jesus himself. Those holding roles that traditionally have been seen as superior must treat with love and respect those in roles traditionally seen as subservient.
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Ministry in Action
Evaluate your relationship with your immediate’ family to ensure that you are treating them with honour and respect. Examine your attitude and performance in your job to be sure you are applying the principles of this lesson.
Ask the Holy Spirit to
help you make any needed adjustments in any of your relationships.
THIS PUBLICATION IS A PRODUCT OF GENERAL COUNCIL SUNDAY SCHOOL DEPARTMENT ASSEMBLIES OF GOD NIGERIA


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