Washed by Water with the Word! A sermon based on Ephesians 5:21-33

church at communion 2A sermon from Concordia

Washed by Water with the Word:
Being placed in Christ’s care
Ephesians 5:21-33

In Jesus Name

 May the grace of God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ result in your loving God, loving others, and letting yourself be loved by others.

Distracted by the object Lesson

I want you to look back at the epistle reading this morning.

I added the first verse, what is verse 21 of the chapter, to what the traditional reading is for today.  I think it is necessary, as it sets the tone not just for what we have in today’s reading, but the relationships described in the next chapter.  There the relationship between parents and children, and bosses and those who work for them are described in the same manner as the relationship between husband and wife in today’s reading.

I want us to read it together,

And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

There is the key to every relationship you will ever be in, caring for one another to the extent that we care for them, and are cared for by them.

It’s quite a challenge!

Especially if you leave that verse out, and start the reading with, “For wives, this means submit to your husband as to the LORD!”

Without verse 21, the moment I read verse 22 I lose everyone.  All the guys would remember is that I said women should submit, and nothing else.  (And the stupid ones can’t wait to tell their wives what pastor said!) I lost the women because they are all thinking, “Oh my gosh, that is all my husband will have heard!”  And both would spend the rest of the service thinking about that!

Okay, that’s a big generalization.  Not all of you would be distracted and stop listening.

When we drop verse 21 is that we omit the reason we do these things.

Which is because first of all, we adore Christ, and how He has submitted in order to care for us.  And until we are in awe of that, the rest of this stuff is meaningless.

But once we adore Him, as we realize what He has done for us.   As we realize how He has loved us and calls us to love as we are loved.

Christ’s submission

Let’s look at how Christ submitted, which is described at the end of verse 25,

He gave up his life for her 26  to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.

What a concept.  Submission as seen in doing what the other person needs, what the person needs in their lives.  In this case, in our case, what Christ did was give up His life for us, that we could become holy and clean!

I have mentioned before what holiness Is, and what it isn’t.  It isn’t perfection or being nicer and sinning less than other people.  Though those who live holy lives as a side effect may indeed sin less, that is a side effect.

Holiness is best described as being set apart for a very specific purpose.  Everything has its place and purpose in life and using something for something other than what it is intended for, well, that causes things to break, and be shattered.  For example, I can’t use Missy’s guitar to stand on to change a lightbulb or use Kay’s violin for swatting a fly, could I?

How it affects us…

In the same way, we’ve been created, and in Christ, recreated for one specific purpose.  To be in a special relationship with God, as we are created and recreated to be His people, and He is the God who loves us.

That is why the cleansing is needed, to ready us for the day when we stand before God, free of all guilt and shame, free of all things that stop us from being His glorious people.

Christ submits to cause this in us, as we are washed by the water and the word. As we are baptized, united to His death and His Resurrection as both Romans 6 and Colossians 2 describes.

That is why Jesus was born, and why He lived, teaching and healing, and died and rose again, so that we would be freed from all the problems that sin causes, free to be in that relationship just soaking in the love of God as we share in His glory (Col. 1:26-28)

This is what it is all about, assuring us of the work of Christ in our lives.  Linking people to Christ’s death and resurrection as He promised when we are born again in baptism.

And our response…

As He washes us in water and the word, changing our lives so completely that we begin to live as He did, more concerned about those we love and are called to love than we are concerned for ourselves.

This submission in reverence to Christ becomes our new nature, our new life.  Often in ways, we don’t see, it just happens.

As we walk with Jesus, as we see His love and are united to Him, as we become one with Him.

This is who we are, the people of God, who reflect the glory of His peace into this broken world.

So my friends, remain in Him, experience His love, and dwell in His peace which goes beyond all understanding, as He keeps our hearts and minds in Him!  AMEN!

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on August 27, 2018, in Devotions, Sermons and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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