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The Armor of God - New Wine

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New Wine

intro - Series [brief], then into our armor for the day - each other; our interpersonal relationships, not just our wider church and familial relationships. Specifically, our deepest and closest relationships with those God has set aside for us.
Ephesians 5:21–33 ESV
submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
What about that submission?
- Pastors have preached this text for millenia, and I venture to say they always come down hard on the obvious. Well you know me, the obvious is obvious, and while very important, it is plain to us. It is only when we dig deeper, though, that we see the full picture of what Paul is saying here.
- Talk about verse 21, and the real meaning of submission.
- We look at submission for women and loving for men as the only point of this passage! But there is so much more to it than simply submitting and loving! [website stuff]
- Wives - Submit [brief]
Wives - Submit [brief]
Men - Loving as Christ loved the church. [brief]
- Men - Loving as Christ loved the church. [brief]
Giving your life for her? [expand on idea as not being the only payment!]
Christ did more than just give His life!
He served daily.
He put disciples in the best possible position for success
He prayed daily
Ultimately, what He left behind in His wake was a Spirit of peace and mercy and grace and love!
Church, the point here, surely, is that we should love and submit, but there is so much more! And while all that stuff is the point, it isn’t really the point! And if we look at the literary device used by Paul here, we can better see the real meaning
[define Chiastic structure]
You see, there is so much more, and church, while all that stuff is the point, it isn’t really the point! And if we look at the literary device used by Paul here, we can better see the real meaning
Chiastic Structure
Some chiasms are quite simple. The common saying “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” is chiastic. “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
[pic of matthew chiasm]
Many passages in the Bible exhibit chiastic structure. For example, Jesus’ words in are in the form of a chiasm: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” Using the ABBA form, the words Sabbath and man are repeated in reverse order. is another example.
That is what we are reading here. Here we see a structure that is shaped in such a way as to draw emphasis to what is truly important - the very thing that stands out to us when we read it, and don’t even know why!
You see, chaisms make a point with the words, and then point to the real point in the text. Just as when we say them, the words are important, but there is an overriding thought that we are driving at. [examples] And for us in this text, that happens in vs 27.
Ephesians 5:27 ESV
so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
That he might present to himself the church in all her glory.
That’s the real point here. Paul is using our marriages, which sure enough need mutual submission, and love and roles, but he is using that to show us the picture of God’s real plan. We can only be presented to Him when we become a new creation! One in which mutual submission and love are the standard! One in which Christ is the head of all we do! You see, just like our lives with Christ, when we marry, we are combined and become something new! We are no longer husband and wife, we are a new thing! A new creation!
It’s like wine. When you make wine you combine what is on the inside, the juice, with what has been on the outside the whole time, the skins, and you let it ferment. And when it is all said and done, it is a new thing. It is new wine.
And where there is new wine, there is new power. There is new freedom. And in that freedom and newness the kingdom is here! And to get that freedom we need to lay down our old flames - our old ways, and carry God’s new fire today.
That is what our marriages represent! You see, God has made a new thing! We cleave to one another and become one flesh! We become remade with each other into this new wine! And you can’t put new wine in old wineskins! If you do, the skins will burst and you will lose both! No you put new wine in new wineskins - if only so that they will grow and settle together to become EXACTLY what God needs them to be!
You don’t copy others! You aren’t them! You don’t live the life you lived before, and you no longer only care about your needs or wants! You have become a new wine! You are a miracle of God’s purpose! You are an example - in all the difficulties and ugliness - of the very best that God can offer!
Miracle at Cana
Biggest take away is that through our relationships with each other, we offer to this world the miracle of the mystery of Christ. That He can take this water - our lives that just sit mingling with each other - and turn them into new wine. A new creation. Woven together with His power and love in order to strengthen one another and strengthen our homes, and communities, and our church. And through all of that, our world.
But this new wine, this new thing, it can only start at home [pic of MT “start athome”]
Church, I don’t care what shape your marriage is in. I don’t care what shape your life is in. Every day is a new day! And every day is an opportunity to let God create in your life, your marriage, this new wine! To lay down the old and take up mutual submission and love.
But that can’t be an external thing. It isn’t for show. It can only start at home.
[starts there, branches out]
And when we submit and love one another, and then move that out into the world, the true splendor and glory of the church will finally be revealed and present to our God!
That is the power of new wine. New life. I pray that power starts in us this very day…and it can start at home. By serving one another, by loving like Christ loved, by being the example for your children and this world. By putting down the phone, the book, and turning off the TV. Stop becoming one with those things, and become one with each other. New Wine. And one with God. Then you will be the example for your home and our world.
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