The Berean Expositor
Volume 16 - Page 71 of 151
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Studies in the Epistles of the Mystery.
Christ and the church in home and business
(Eph. 5: 22 - 6: 9).
pp. 17 - 25
The last words of Eph. 5: 21 are:--
"Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God."
The opening words of the new section are:--
"Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord."
We are evidently embarking upon an application of teaching of verse 21, and therefore
must remember that while the wives are here told specifically to submit to their own
husbands, it is only a working out of that spirit that reverences Christ and submits to
whatever He shall lay upon us. Further, the submission of the wife to the husband is "as
unto the Lord", and this spirit runs throughout the sixfold command. Before tracing this
through the section before us, let us seek an understanding of the word "submit", for
unless we understand a command our obedience will not be of a very high order.
The meaning of submission.
The word translated "submit" is hupotasso, and is used in Ephesians as follows:--
"And hath put all things under His feet" (1: 22).
"Submitting yourselves one to another" (5: 21).
"Wives submit yourselves" (5: 22).
"As the church is subject unto Christ" (5: 24).
Tasso properly means to set in order, as in Luke 7: 8. In the passive it carries the
idea of "being disposed" as opposed to "judging oneself not worthy", as in Acts 13: 48.
Taxis indicates order, arrangement (I Cor. 14: 40; Col. 2: 5). Without multiplying
examples, it will be seen that the idea of "submission" in Eph. 5: is not of a humiliating
or servile description, but of so recognizing the Lordship of Christ as to be willing or the
lowest or the highest place as He shall will. It will be seen that the husband who acts in
his position as "head of the wife" is as submissive to the will of the Lord as is the wife
who sets forth the relative position of the church.
When we remember that the first occurrence of the word is Luke 2: 51, "and came to
Nazareth and was subject unto them", surely the last shred of rebellion must vanish as we
realize what the submission involved.