Heaven's Point of View

What the Home is Built On

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Senez Rodriguez (Host), Tom Shepherd


Series Code: HPOV

Program Code: HPOV000027A

00:01 Heaven's Point of View.
00:15 Welcome to Heaven's Point of View.
00:18 As you have seen,
00:20 this is a series of the important topics
00:23 related to love, marriage, sex and divorce
00:27 according to the New Testament.
00:28 Our special guest is Dr. Tom Sheperd
00:33 who is a professor of New Testament interpretation
00:36 at Andrews University, so welcome all of you.
00:39 Yeah, thank you...
00:41 Now, from Ephesians 5 is one of the most talked about
00:49 chapters written about this issue,
00:53 and in the book of Ephesians, there is a lot to say
00:58 but this is one of the most talked about, why is that?
01:02 Yes, Ephesians 5 is where we have the passage
01:06 that we will study a lot in this section on Marriage
01:10 that talks about relationships within the household.
01:14 Wives and husbands, children and parents,
01:18 slaves and masters
01:20 and, of course, the one that tends to get the biggest focus
01:23 I think... in discussions
01:24 is the relationship between wives or husbands and wives
01:28 and because Paul talks about submission,
01:31 this is not too popular in our culture today
01:35 and so it becomes an area where people have questions
01:40 and where there's lots of controversy
01:43 so, actually though, before we launch into the study
01:46 of that central passage starting in Ephesians 5:21,
01:50 we need to place the whole passage in its context
01:54 and... in fact the context
01:57 helps to resolve some of the disputes.
01:59 Now, what is the context then?
02:01 So, the context is...
02:03 in our last study we talked about Ephesians 5 in general,
02:07 maybe we will just turn over to Ephesians 5
02:09 in our Bibles up there
02:10 and last time we looked at Ephesians chapter 5
02:15 verses 1 through verse 14,
02:19 and that was when I was with Yvonne Lewis
02:24 for that presentation and we noticed that there were
02:27 kind of... the passage could be divided
02:30 this entry in the beginning of Ephesians 5
02:33 could be divided into two sections of unequal length,
02:36 chapter 5 verses 1 and 2
02:39 and then chapter 5 verses 3 through 14,
02:43 and in chapter 5 verse 1,
02:48 well, why don't you read verses 1 and 2,
02:50 what version of the Bible that you are using?
02:52 I am using the King James Version.
02:53 Yes, and you told me
02:55 you have the Spanish version right next to it. Senez: Yes.
02:58 Tom: That's wonderful. Senez: Absolutely, I have both.
03:02 So, Ephesians 5 verses 1 and 2, why don't you read that?
03:05 5:1 and 2 says, "Be ye therefore
03:08 followers of God, as dear children;
03:11 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us,
03:17 and hath given himself for us an offering
03:21 and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour. "
03:29 For a sweet-smelling savor... yeah...
03:31 interestingly, in my version,
03:34 I'm reading from the English Standard Version,
03:36 okay, and verse 1 says, "Therefore be imitators of God
03:41 as beloved children,"
03:42 I think your version said, "followers"
03:44 Dr. Senez: Yes.
03:45 You know, you're "imitating," you're "following... "
03:46 you're following His pattern
03:48 so, this is Paul's kind of thesis... you could say...
03:51 for, I suppose... this whole... kind of section here
03:56 that you imitate God and Jesus Christ's life of sacrifice
04:00 is presented as the paradigm by which to understand
04:04 that imitative process of how you walk in love,
04:09 then in contrast,
04:11 in verses 3 all the way down through verse 14,
04:15 Paul illustrates what the Christian life
04:20 is not supposed to be
04:21 it is not supposed to be like the dark world around us
04:26 he stress that we cannot participate in the debauchery
04:30 and the evil practices... that we must not imitate them
04:34 since they are not imitators of God.
04:37 Okay, so, he refers there to sexual immorality,
04:42 and impurity, and covetousness,
04:45 and goes on talking about this for some time,
04:49 he actually argues, we could say, from three levels
04:54 he starts with eschatology,
04:58 he says that you mustn't be like them
05:01 because these evil doers will not inherit the kingdom of God.
05:04 That's in verses 5 and 6, then he turns to
05:08 what we might call a salvation history,
05:12 kind of an argument, he says,
05:14 "You used to be in darkness but now, you are in light"
05:19 so there was a change that took place
05:21 you went from darkness to light,
05:23 you went from your past to your present,
05:25 remember where you came from?
05:27 You can't be like those people anymore.
05:29 So, first... eschatology,
05:32 they're not going to inherit the Kingdom of God
05:34 but of course you will because you have given
05:36 your life to Jesus, salvation history,
05:39 remember where you have come from,
05:41 where you are now and if you think of the eschatology,
05:44 you think of where you're going, right?
05:46 Right... so the past, the present and the future,
05:49 and the past does not determine
05:53 or does not define your present
05:57 because of the change that's taking place in your life,
06:00 now, you're looking forward to that future.
06:02 Then he also argues... that was salvation history
06:07 is kind of in verse 8 and then
06:08 he argues from morality in verses 12 and 13
06:13 he talks of their shameful deeds that are exposed by light.
06:19 So, basically, in this passage we have this sharp contrast
06:24 between the Christian and the world around them,
06:27 very strong difference, there's an interesting...
06:30 Paul doesn't use the term here,
06:32 but there's an interesting concept from the ancient world
06:35 that's interesting to understand
06:38 and it plays into this whole idea,
06:41 it's the idea of conscience,
06:42 now, we usually think of conscience as kind of a...
06:47 like an internal compass or clock, that says
06:52 when you take that cookie you shouldn't have taken...
06:55 "no... you shouldn't have,
06:57 now you'd better go walk two miles"
06:58 or something like that...
06:59 but, for the ancients, at least in some respects,
07:05 they thought of conscience as something external,
07:07 so, it's sometimes translated not as conscience
07:11 but as consciousness, so you're conscious
07:15 of the values of the people around you
07:19 of your primary group.
07:20 So people's opinion of you was part of their conscience.
07:24 Yeah, the people around you would be part of your conscience
07:27 and you would reflect,
07:29 you would take on the values of that group around you.
07:33 that's a pretty strong idea that is still around us today
07:36 we see people wearing designer clothes...
07:37 why do they wear those?
07:39 Because everybody else is wearing those clothes
07:41 and young people very much want to be like that.
07:43 Well, Paul... and Peter does this...
07:46 but Paul has some of these... to reflect some of these ideas
07:49 in some of his other passages too,
07:50 has this idea that you are now conscious of God.
07:53 You're conscious of a different set of values
07:56 that have changed your life
07:58 and you're not following that old way of the world,
08:01 it's like you don't see them anymore,
08:04 they're not the primary group for you,
08:07 so it's kind of interesting that this whole idea of
08:11 the walk that's involved
08:15 is based out of an idea of being different from the world
08:21 and following Jesus, so, thinking about that,
08:26 we should not be surprised that the household rules
08:30 that the Apostle Paul is going to present to us
08:34 follow the ways of the Scriptures,
08:39 they link into God's values and they eschew or leave behind
08:44 or reject the world's ways, so we shouldn't be surprised
08:49 if his household rules actually are at odds
08:51 with the typical household structure
08:54 of the Greco-Roman world
08:55 and we're going to see something interesting here
08:57 when we study all through this
08:59 that he uses some of the same categories
09:03 as people of his day... some of the same... groupings...
09:09 there are wives and husbands, there are children and parents,
09:12 there are slaves and masters, these were groups of people
09:15 that were all in the Greco-Roman-world household
09:18 but he changes their roles, he modifies what they're like
09:24 and actually the people that he spoke the most to...
09:28 are husbands and slaves,
09:29 he has more to say to them than to anybody else
09:31 probably because they had the most to change
09:33 and some of the others were just... like they had been
09:37 so, this really brings us now to our passage of study
09:41 for our discussion today
09:43 and that's Ephesians 5 verses 15 through 21
09:48 Should we read it now then? Yes, please.
09:54 Okay, 5:15 to 21, "See then that ye walk
10:00 circumspectly, not as fools,
10:03 but as wise.
10:05 Redeeming the time,
10:07 because the days are evil.
10:10 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding
10:15 what the will of the Lord is.
10:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess;
10:23 but be filled with the Spirit;
10:27 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns
10:31 and spiritual songs, singing and making melody
10:35 in your heart to the Lord;
10:37 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father
10:43 in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
10:46 Submitting yourselves one to another
10:50 in the fear of God. "
10:52 Hmmm... hmmm... okay...
10:54 Now, what does Paul mean here by the issue of "walk?"
10:59 What does that...?
11:01 Yeah, it's kind of an interesting term,
11:03 it actually borrows... it borrows from Judaism
11:06 and it is a term that... for the Jews the idea of "walk,"
11:14 the Hebrew word is "Halakha... " Ha la ha...
11:21 and Halakha is an idea of...
11:25 it's the verb or the word that means walk...
11:29 now, what they had in the Old Testament stories
11:32 that they called, "haggadah,"
11:34 which basically means... narratives...
11:36 but the commands of the Old Testament,
11:38 they're called "halakha"
11:40 and the halakha word... these commands...
11:42 that show you how you should live your life,
11:46 and I suppose, you know, you teach a child
11:50 how to walk... and maybe they got it
11:51 from some of those things,
11:53 but the idea of the commands and how you live your life
11:57 so, it's linked up with the idea of a way of life.
12:02 Now, interestingly enough, verse 15...
12:05 before we come to the word "walk"
12:08 it has the word "look" look...
12:11 and that's a word that sometimes is left out of translations
12:18 unfortunately, though, you'll see sometimes
12:21 they put it in the King James, I like that you said, "behold"
12:24 Senez: yes or "see" Tom: see...
12:26 and the concept of "behold" in the stories of the Old Testament
12:33 is an idea of a changed point of view or perspective,
12:37 it's as though... here at 3ABN we're taping with cameras,
12:41 it's as though... you switch cameras?
12:43 you went from one camera to the other camera,
12:45 you have a different perspective or point of view
12:47 you're now looking from a different angle,
12:49 so Paul may have linked into that
12:53 from his Hebrew background, and said, "look" or "behold"
12:56 it's like, "Wait, you need this different perspective"
12:59 and we, already have been saying
13:01 that in Ephesians 5:1-14, Paul has suggested and stated
13:07 that the Christian is... got a different point of view,
13:12 conscious of God,
13:14 the ways of the world have been left behind,
13:16 the Christian is now living for God, and so...
13:19 this "look carefully" could tie into that.
13:22 It could also tie into somewhat of the eschatological viewpoint
13:27 that Jesus provides in places like Mark 15 and Matthew 24
13:30 when he says, "keep watch, be on your guard
13:34 because the Master will come back when you're not expecting"
13:37 so Paul is giving them a warning
13:40 there's probably some tie into eschatology here,
13:43 they certainly tie into the idea of...
13:46 the Jewish idea of the way you live, the walk,
13:49 and so, he says,
13:51 "be careful how you walk not as unwise but as wise"
13:55 he continues to call for this contrast from the world
14:00 and he continues the eschatological note as well
14:05 because in verse 16 he talks about
14:08 the word of "redeeming the time"
14:11 now, my translation says,
14:14 "Making the best use of the time"
14:15 I kind of like the "redeeming the time" better.
14:17 It's got a little more ring to it.
14:19 "Redeem" has the focus of the shortness of time
14:22 in the last days and how you have to be
14:26 really careful to make the most of the time, it's so short,
14:30 it's so precious for developing the right kind of character
14:34 it's like finding water in the desert.
14:36 Now, how does Paul continue the idea of a "careful walk"
14:42 in verses 17 and 18?
14:45 All right, why don't we read those verses again
14:47 just so everybody has the context and understands it well.
14:50 "Wherefore be ye not unwise,
14:55 but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
15:01 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess;
15:07 but be filled with the Spirit... "
15:10 Okay, so he continues, he has a set of
15:15 four commands, we call them in Greek,
15:19 we speak of "imperative" we have that in English too,
15:21 "Do this, don't do that"
15:22 so, he has these four imperatives
15:25 two of them are negative and two of them are positive,
15:29 which continues again this whole contrast
15:33 between the worldly way and the Christian way.
15:35 so, on the negative, he says, "don't be foolish,
15:39 that's what the worldly way is" it's the foolish way,
15:43 he says, "Don't be drunk with wine"
15:46 now I can hear the Adventists saying, "Amen"
15:48 as we teach people not to use alcohol, I'm thankful we do,
15:55 it's been such a blessing in my life
15:58 and in my family not to use alcoholic beverages
16:02 and if I take off my "Theologian hat"
16:05 and put my "Public Health hat" on,
16:07 a little bit... for a moment, alcohol is actually a sedative
16:11 and it has the effect of putting the mind to sleep
16:15 it starts with the frontal area where judgment is
16:19 so, sometimes people will drink
16:21 because they want to be uninhabited
16:23 and their inhibitions are put to sleep,
16:25 if you drink too much it just keeps working backwards
16:27 and it works it's way down down and it will eventually kill you.
16:30 It's an anesthetic but not a good one
16:34 because the distance between what would put you to sleep
16:37 and what will kill you is not very far.
16:39 The medical doctors don't like that kind of stuff,
16:41 so he says, "Don't be drunk with wine,"
16:42 he says, "Don't be foolish,
16:44 instead understand the will of God... the Lord"
16:48 that's an idea of wisdom,
16:49 he says, "Don't be drunk with wine
16:51 but instead be filled with the Spirit"
16:53 so the Spirit of God is
16:55 is supposed to take the place of those things
16:57 and where alcohol puts you to sleep,
16:59 the Holy Spirit keeps you awake.
17:01 The Holy Spirit fills you with joy
17:03 where alcohol has a false joy
17:05 but the Holy Spirit has the true joy
17:07 that He gives to your life.
17:08 So Paul is trying to continue with this contrast
17:11 between the old and the new... the day and the darkness
17:15 and so... this is part of his line of thought.
17:18 That's exactly right and that brings us down
17:22 to verses 19 to 21,
17:25 why don't you read those verses for us.
17:28 "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns
17:32 and spiritual songs, singing and making melody
17:35 in your heart to the Lord;
17:37 Giving thanks always for all things unto God
17:42 and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;"
17:46 And verse 21...
17:48 "Submitting yourself one to another in the fear of God. "
17:53 Okay, this is an interesting passage
17:57 some Bible translations
17:59 lists these verses as a further series of commands,
18:03 they will say, "Speak to one... or address one another
18:07 in Psalms and hymns, sing,
18:09 make melody in your heart, give thanks to God,
18:12 submit to one another out of reverence for Christ"
18:15 Some will do it that way... now the King James doesn't...
18:19 and my version also does not,
18:21 it leaves it in what we call "participles"
18:25 addressing and singing and making melody
18:28 and giving thanks and submitting.
18:30 So they put it in that kind of a format,
18:33 these five terms, speaking, singing, making melody
18:41 giving thanks, and submitting.
18:44 In Greek, they're all five of them... participles,
18:48 now, "Participle" is simply a verbal adjective,
18:51 when we take a word and put the "ing" on the end of it
18:56 in English, like "run" becomes "running,"
18:59 "go" becomes "going,"
19:01 those are, what we call, present participles,
19:06 and they express actions but they could also say,
19:10 "Oh did you see that running man"
19:11 so they have an adjectival kind of a sense to them,
19:15 now, the problem for us in translating
19:19 from Greek to English was that the Greek participle was
19:22 very flexible... very flexible,
19:25 God must love participles, He made so many of them.
19:27 Smile...
19:29 But students in my classroom
19:32 sometimes will be a little challenged
19:33 because, participles can be used in a whole variety of ways,
19:39 they can be used as substantives like a noun,
19:41 they can be used as an adjective and they can be used adverbially
19:45 so... and it's like about 10 to 15 different ways
19:48 that they can be used,
19:50 they're trying to figure out exactly
19:52 what kind of participle is this,
19:54 so it's always the student scratching his head,
19:56 and the student makes some kind of choice
19:58 and then, lo and behold,
20:00 it turns out it is the wrong choice,
20:03 it looks like, anyway,
20:05 at least in terms of what the Professor thought, okay.
20:07 so, we want to look at these five participles
20:10 and one of our main interests is that the very last one
20:14 is the word, "submitting. "
20:17 That's the one that is problematic for some people.
20:20 Yes, that's the beginning one
20:22 for the whole instruction to the household... see...
20:25 and so they land on that one and they worry about that one
20:30 but we don't want to worry about it yet,
20:32 we want to try to get it... understand it... okay...
20:35 so the first one of the participles
20:38 is the word "addressing" or "speaking"
20:41 okay, and the last one is the word, "submitting"
20:45 now, these two participles of the five,
20:49 the first one and the last one, deal with relationships
20:52 between believers, okay,
20:55 speaking to one another, he says,
20:57 and then, he says, "submitting to one another"
21:01 so, the first and the last deal with relationships
21:05 the second, the third, and the fourth,
21:09 deal with the Christian's relationship to God,
21:13 singing, singing praises and giving thanks,
21:18 the first four,
21:22 one was about addressing one another,
21:25 and then... singing and praising and giving thanks,
21:28 the first four are about communication
21:31 I'm sure, you as a Counselor,
21:33 are really... you're big on the idea of communication
21:36 these four... first four... about communication,
21:39 the unique... last participle... the fifth one,
21:43 is not about communication,
21:45 instead, it's about power relationships
21:49 within the community, and...
21:51 But it's interesting because you cannot submit to anything
21:55 unless you have clear communication
21:58 and understanding of each other in a relationship.
22:00 Yeah... or... if you don't, it becomes the basis of fear
22:05 or misunderstanding. Senez: Exactly.
22:07 you know, that there are children
22:08 who submit to their parents because they're afraid,
22:11 they don't understand what the father is doing,
22:13 but they're afraid of that that spanking
22:16 or some kind of punishment that they will get.
22:18 So, yeah, communication, they are interlinked,
22:21 there's an interlinkage between them.
22:23 Now, all five of these participial phrases,
22:26 are phrases in the life that is oriented with God and
22:32 Christ as the reference point,
22:33 the five participles also illustrate a thankful,
22:39 joyous and solemn demeanor.
22:42 Now, how... the question is, you see,
22:45 how does the Christian get that?
22:48 How do you become a singing Christian
22:52 instead of a complaining one, yeah.
22:56 How do you become a thankful Christian
23:00 instead of a complaining or downcast or discouraged one?
23:05 and how did you learn how to address each other with psalms
23:09 and hymns and how do you learn how to submit to each other?
23:13 Well, you see, all of these are participles,
23:19 none of them are what we would call indicative verbs,
23:23 none of them are verbs that you'd say,
23:25 "That's the main verb in this sentence"
23:27 and if I just started the sentence by saying...
23:30 addressing one another in psalms and hymns,
23:32 singing and making melody, giving thanks, submitting...
23:36 you say, "Yes, that's all very nice"
23:39 but those are all partial clauses
23:42 that's a subsidiary clause,
23:44 where is the main verb, where is the main idea?
23:46 The main idea is actually in verse 18,
23:51 so read verse 18 again.
23:53 "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess;
23:59 but be filled with the Spirit... "
24:02 Yes, now this is an imperative but Paul is challenging them
24:07 he says, "Be filled with the Spirit"
24:09 and then the actions... the five participles
24:14 are actually how the expression of
24:18 "being filled with the Spirit" is seen in life,
24:21 when a person is filled with the Spirit... what happens?
24:24 They address one another in psalms and hymns,
24:27 they sing songs to God and make melody in the heart,
24:31 they give thanks to God and they submit to one another.
24:35 You see, it is impossible,
24:39 it is impossible to fulfill
24:42 this household code,
24:44 it is impossible to be
24:46 the singing Christian instead of the complaining Christian,
24:49 the only way that is possible is with the Spirit,
24:52 the Holy Spirit in our life.
24:54 Without the Spirit, we don't have it.
24:57 You know, I like that...
24:58 I heard this a while back from my mother-in-law
25:01 that 3ABN was having people pray at 7 and 7...
25:04 and you're still praying... it's still going on?
25:06 Senez: Yes. Tom: You pray at 7 and 7...
25:07 my wife has set up a little alarm clock that goes off
25:10 for those are times... times that we're home
25:12 and so... if we're at breakfast or something,
25:14 we say, "Well, it's time to pray"
25:15 and if we have our grandchildren with us,
25:18 then we've already said prayer for the breakfast
25:21 or prayer for the evening meal,
25:22 we say, "Oh, it's time to pray again"
25:26 and we're praying for the Holy Spirit
25:29 to touch our lives... to touch other people's lives,
25:32 it's the Holy Spirit that must imbue our homes
25:36 in order for this thankfulness to be seen.
25:40 And there's one more characteristic
25:43 that I want to note here, one last note on this prelude
25:47 to the instructions to the Christian home
25:50 and that is that the Trinity is active
25:54 in this whole idea, okay,
25:56 the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit
26:01 are active in this whole experience of becoming,
26:07 what shall I say, of walking the walk,
26:11 following the Christian walk, because if you notice here...
26:15 look at verse 18, "Do not get drunk with wine,
26:18 for that is debauchery, but be filled with... "
26:20 Senez: the Spirit Tom: he's filled with the Spirit
26:23 that's got to be the Holy Spirit
26:24 Senez: Right, Tom: Right... "Be filled with the Spirit,
26:26 addressing one another in Psalms and Hymns
26:29 and Spiritual Songs singing and making melody
26:34 to the Lord with your heart, the Lord here being,
26:38 the Lord Jesus Christ, okay,
26:40 Then verse 20, "Giving thanks always
26:44 and for everything to God the Father
26:47 in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;"
26:50 so there you have reference to the Spirit of God,
26:52 you have reference to the Lord Jesus Christ,
26:57 and you have reference to the Father.
27:02 So, all of these are involved in this whole process
27:06 wherever you see the Trinity in the New Testament
27:10 and the Trinity comes in various places,
27:12 most often we think of, you know,
27:14 "I baptize you in the name of the Father,
27:16 the Son and the Holy Spirit... "
27:17 As if they were different ranks.
27:19 Well, but they're...
27:21 the Father is usually listed first,
27:23 this is true, but we notice here,
27:25 the Spirit is listed first in this passage
27:28 and sometimes Jesus might be...
27:29 so, they work together to bring us God's grace,
27:32 but wherever these three are working together,
27:35 there, we have something important happening
27:37 and that's happening in our homes today.
27:40 Wow! well, it's been a pleasure to hear your thoughts
27:45 about this topic,
27:46 thank you Dr. Sheperd for your thoughts on this,
27:49 my friends, the time is running out
27:52 but we are happy that you have been with us
27:55 on this important topic
27:56 and we hope and I'm sure that in the future ones,
27:59 you are certainly going to have an excellent experience
28:03 in understanding the "Ephesians" topic
28:06 on this issue that we have been discussing here,
28:09 I hope that you will see us next time.


Revised 2016-03-21