Recap of Chapter 30

If one could earn frequent traveler miles two thousand years ago, Paul might hold a record.After spending nearly three years in Ephesus, he retraced his steps through Greece and Macedonia before docking in Miletus. There he summoned the Ephesian elders for a tearful and final farewell. He charged them with shepherding the church of God. After a brief stay with Philip in Caesarea, Paul headed for Jerusalem, knowing that chains awaited him there.

Paul seemed to always be able to stir up a controversy. Just walking into the temple court stirred up trouble. The Jews tried to kill him in Jerusalem so the Roman authorities stepped in to arrest him. While being taken into custody, Paul gave his testimony before an angry crowd. The Roman commander brought him before the Sanhedrin to get some answers, but that only made the problem worse. Paul remained in protective custody and was transferred to Caesarea’s higher court where he remained for two years before appealing to Caesar.

When Paul wrote to the church in Rome while still on his missionary journeys, he told them that he planned to visit them. He probably did not anticipate his “fourth missionary journey” to be under these circumstances. Luke joined him on this cruise to Rome with Julius, a kind Imperial centurion, as Paul’s personal escort. Paul warned the crew that sailing on in bad weather would be disastrous, but they continued anyway. Conditions worsened to hurricane force winds off the coast of Crete driving their ship every which way. Weeks later the storm had not weakened, but all thoughts of survival surely had. Food was low; gear was gone; hope was gone. What seemed like a bad episode of Gilligan’s Island became unlikely opportunities for Paul to talk about God. The next morning they arrived safely ashore on Malta where the islanders showed exceptional hospitality. When Paul was bitten by a poisonous snake without incident, the people thought he was either a criminal or a god. Paul healed many of the locals during their winter stay there. Three months later they were finally able to set sail for Rome.

Paul was greeted by believers at the port of Puteoli, modern-day Pozzuoli, about 150 miles south of Rome. They encouraged him, and he spent a week there before traveling on. When the Roman Christians heard he was coming, they joined him for the final forty miles of his trek to Rome where Paul was confined to house arrest under the supervision of a soldier. Paul invited the Jewish leaders to come to his house. There he told them about his conflict with the Jerusalem Jews and the fulfillment of the Scriptures by Jesus. Some believed, but others rejected his message. So once again Paul pronounced his mission to the Gentiles. He spent the next two years boldly teaching anyone about Jesus who would stop by (60-62 A.D). In his spare time, Paul corresponded with some old friends.

Paul had a special place in his heart for the church in Ephesus. He had spent three years there developing the new church (Acts 20:31). He wrote to remind them of the high calling in Christ that is the basis of God’s plan to unite all believers—Jews and Gentiles alike—in one body, the Church. Therefore, those who are called are to conduct themselves in the highest of ethical standards. Although the world is hostile, believers are to preserve unity in the Spirit. During his final Roman imprisonment (67-68 A.D.), Paul wrote to Timothy to encourage him to be faithful in preserving the gospel in the midst of persecution and false teachers. Timothy faced hardship in Ephesus. So knowing he was probably facing execution soon, Paul penned a heartfelt letter to strengthen this son even from a damp, cold dungeon in Rome.

Life Lessons from the History of Ephesus

Amy Carmichael knew what it was like to suffer for the gospel.  She left her life of relative comfort in a small Irish village to pursue a call from the Lord to mission work in India.  She was born in 1867 and at the age of twenty, she heard missionary Hudson Taylor speak of his experience in China.  Shortly thereafter, she applied to follow Taylor and serve the Lord in China also.  But the Lord directed her path elsewhere when the missions board deemed her unfit due to health problems.  Amy suffered from neuralgia, a disease of the nerves that weakened her body and made her achy all over.  Carmichael spent fifteen months in Japan before she found her true call in India.

Much of her work in India included rescuing children from forced prostitution in the Hindu temples.  Mostly young girls were dedicated to the gods and then pushed into prostitution there to earn money for the priests.  Never married, she served there for fifty-six years without furlough.  She poured her life into her own organization called Dohnavur Fellowship, which became a sanctuary to more than one thousand children in three homes, a hospital and evangelistic work.  She was badly injured in a fall which left her confined to her bed for most of the last twenty years of her life.  Nevertheless, she used that time to direct the operations at the Fellowship and write some of her 35 published books.  She died at the age of 83 in India in 1951.

Amy Carmichael had much in common with Paul.  Her missionary work led her to rescue temple prostitutes from idolatrous destruction.  Paul’s stay in Ephesus included rescuing women from the temple prostitution at the temple of Artemis (or Diana as the Romans knew her).  The spiritual conditions of India and Ephesus both included god and goddess worship as well as sorcery.  Both Amy and Paul were afflicted by painful physical ailments—Amy’s neuralgia and Paul’s eye disease.  Both Amy and Paul used their confinements—her bed and his imprisonments—to serve the Lord in writing, teaching and developing other leaders.  But the thing these two saints have most in common is their perseverance to the end of their lives.  Their passion for sharing the gospel with lost souls compelled them to “fight the good fight, finish the race and keep the faith,” (2 Tim. 4:7).  Perhaps Amy was thinking of Paul who wrote to the Philippians that “to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21) when she answered a letter from a young woman.  She asked Amy, “What is missionary life-like?”  Amy wrote back, “Missionary life is simply a chance to die.”

India was Amy’s Ephesus.  Neither Paul nor Amy hesitated to take Christ to a less than ideal place.  Both poured out their lives for Christ.  Paul’s special relationship with Ephesus is evidence by his length of stay there, but also by the other leaders that he must have sent there to continue to nurture the church.  Arguably no other church has had the kind of discipleship that Ephesus did.  And because of the church leaders who were there, we have a glimpse into their history that we do not have with any other early church.  Their history teaches us some very important life lessons that we would be wise to apply today.

I.       Ephesus Before—Go to Ephesus!

Learning Activity:  Brainstorming

Brainstorm a list of features that would make an ideal location to start a church. Then brainstorm a list of the features of Ephesus that you can find in chapters 29 and 30. Is Ephesus a good place to start a church?  Why or why not?

A. Paul was not afraid to get his hands dirty, so to speak.  He chose strategic cities that were often visited by travelers and whose influence stretched outside of city limits.  So it was with Ephesus.  Paul visited Ephesus briefly on his second missionary journey, but his lengthy stay of nearly three years was during his third missionary journey.

B. However, Ephesus might have appeared to have its share of obstacles for the gospel and for Paul personally.  It was the home of the temple of Artemis.  This goddess of fertility, hunting and various other assignments shaped the idolatrous culture of the community, but also the economic stability of the city.  These two factors combined to create a growing hostility toward Paul after he settled there.  Artemis (Greek) or Diana (Roman) was firmly established in this city and her worshipers were not about to give up ground to another.

Artemis temple

Temple of Artemis

Artemis statue

Statue of Artemis found in Ephesus

C. Ephesus had a great deal of wealth.  Wealthy people can often perceive themselves as self-sufficient, without need of any Savior.  There were plenty of reasons for Paul not to go to Ephesus, not to waste his valuable time going to a place where success might seem unlikely.  But he did anyway.

Life Lesson One:  Go to Ephesus!  Paul did.  Amy Carmichael did.

Discussion Question: 

Where is your Ephesus, and will you go there?

II.       Ephesus During—Discipleship Matters.

No church enjoyed the intense discipleship and leadership from such a strong lineup of early church leaders as did Ephesus.

A. Paul’s first visit to Ephesus was brief.  After spending a year and a half in Corinth, he set sail and came to Ephesus.  Paul’s typical approach to discipleship began with meeting people where they were and sharing the gospel of Christ.  But he did not stop there.  He usually continued to teach them beyond the elementary principles of the faith.  Paul taught briefly in the synagogue of Ephesus where he reasoned with the Jews, as was his habit (Acts 18:19-21).  Unlike many of his other synagogue experiences, these Jews actually wanted to hear more!  They asked him to remain longer, but he went on to his home base of Antioch.

B. Priscilla and Aquila stayed in Ephesus.  Priscilla and Aquila were strong believers.  This couple had left their home in Rome for Corinth when the emperor Claudius expelled the Jews from the city (Acts 18:2).  They were already in Corinth when Paul arrived (Acts 18:1-2).  They had shared the trade of tent making so Paul lived with them.  While it is unknown whether Priscilla and Aquila were already believers in Jesus when Paul met them, they certainly became strong and able disciples from their relationship with him.  Certainly they carried on the gospel message and discipleship process in Ephesus after Paul’s departure and should probably be credited with the real start of the church there in their home (1 Cor. 16:19).  When Paul wrote to the church in Rome in 58 A.D., they had left Ephesus and relocated there.  He described them as “fellow workers in Christ” who had “risked their own necks for my life.”  While in Ephesus, they discipled a gifted and enthusiastic believer named Apollos too.

C. Apollos was a Jew from Alexandria, Egypt, whose arrival in Ephesus was noticed right away.  He was a learned man, thoroughly knowledgeable in the Scriptures.  He was a powerful and persuasive speaker.  He taught about Jesus with great enthusiasm (Acts 18:24-25).  While Apollos’ teaching regarding Jesus was accurate, it was deficient.  So Priscilla and Aquila invited him to their home where they discipled him to fill in those deficiencies.  Priscilla and Aquila were not jealous of Apollos’ gifts.  They helped him grow in the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ so that he could be a more effective minister of the gospel in Ephesus and beyond.  The Ephesians benefitted from Apollos’ time there.  He built strong and trusted relationships with them.  “When he wanted to go to Achaia, the believers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him,” (Acts 18:27-28).  He went beyond evangelism to discipleship in Ephesus before he set out for Corinth.  These characters teach us more life lessons about discipleship:

  1. Discipleship is best within the context of a relationship
  2. Apollos’ humility gave him a teachable spirit that could be discipled;
  3. We can only disciple others to the degree that we have been discipled
  4. The mission field is big enough for all of us.

D. Paul returned for an extended stay in Ephesus (sometime between 52-56A.D).  This was during his third missionary journey.  The total time of his two visits was three years (Acts 20:31).  His reception in the synagogue this time was well received as his first visit had been.  When they became difficult, he left the synagogue taking with him the believers and his message to the Gentiles.  As Ephesus was a strategically located city, all the Jews and the Greeks in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord (Acts 19:10).  Paul took discipleship seriously and spent his time building up this church.  In his farewell address with the elders of Ephesus in Miletus (57 A.D.), he recalled how he spent his time in Ephesus discipling others.  “You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia.  I served the Lord with great humility and with tears and in the midst of severe testing by the plots of the Jews.  You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house.  I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus,” (p. 363, Acts 20:18-21).  He “did not hesitate to proclaim to you the whole will of God,” in Ephesus, (p. 364, Acts 20:27). While he was there the name of Jesus was held in high honor and many turned away from their sorcery to the Lord (Acts 19:17-19).  So many turned to Jesus that the silversmiths revolted and nearly killed Paul, so Paul moved on from Ephesus.  Paul’s discipleship of this church did not end with his departure.  He wrote to them from his house arrest in Rome, between 60-62 A.D.  By studying this letter, we discover that this church has no particular problem that Paul feels the need to address as he did to most of the other churches.  This reveals the fruit of the investment that Paul and others had made here.  He reminded them of their call in Christ and of the conduct that should result from a new life in Christ (p. 373-376).

E. Timothy spent time ministering and discipling in Ephesus.  By the time Paul wrote to his son in the faith, problems were beginning to creep in there.  Paul encouraged him to “remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines nor pay attention to myths and endless genealogies,” (1 Tim. 1:3-4).  Timothy was reminded that “the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith,” (1 Tim. 1:5).  Timothy battled those who wanted to teach the Law in Ephesus.  Paul encouraged Timothy to persevere in his teaching (1 Tim. 4:13, 16) the believers in Ephesus in doctrine and in lifestyle–discipleship.  Timothy was still in Ephesus when Paul wrote him a second time in 67 A.D.  Discipleship was on Paul’s mind when he instructed Timothy that “the things which you heard from me…entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also,” (2 Tim. 2:2).     Paul  -> Timothy -> faithful men -> others  Paul understood the necessity of discipleship for duplication.

F. Onesiphorusserved the Lord well in Ephesus.  We only know what Paul said about him—that he often refreshed Paul, that he eagerly sought out Paul in Rome and that he, like Timothy, knew very well the services he rendered in Ephesus (2 Tim. 1:16-18).

G. Priscilla and Aquila were back in Ephesus by the time Paul wrote to Timothy in 67 A.D. (2 Tim. 4:19).

H. Tychicuswas a friend of Paul’s who was with him in Corinth (Acts 20:3-6) and was from Asia minor, possibly even Ephesus.  He was a “beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord” (Eph. 6:21) who probably carried Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (60-62 A.D.) and whom Paul was again sending to Ephesus (2 Tim. 4:12, 67 A.D.).  Though it is not explicit, we can safely assume that Tychicus discipled the believers in Ephesus.

I. John the revelator probably lived and served in Ephesus in the late first century.

Life Lesson Two:  Discipleship Matters. 

It is the only way to protect the church from going astray.  It protects believers from deceivers.  It builds up the church, grounds new believers, fosters the maturation process of developing saints, and results in more disciplers.  Discipleship must be deliberate, determined, doctrinally sound and with an aim for duplication.

Discussion Question/Application: 

Will you commit to an intentional discipleship relationship?  With whom and how?  Will you seek a Paul or be a Paul?

III.       Ephesus After—Persevere in devotion to Christ.

A. John the revelator, while exiled to the island of Patmos, received the revelation of Christ.  He was told to write to the churches in Asia, including Ephesus.  Most evangelical scholars date Revelation at 95 or 96 A.D.  Extra-biblical sources place John in Ephesus in his later years serving as a bishop of sorts over the churches in the province of Asia.  Tradition holds that John the apostle who was charged by Jesus to care for His mother also took Mary with him to Ephesus where early church father wrote that she died.  The message to the church in Ephesus comes from Christ himself and gives us a glimpse into the spiritual condition of this church approximately 25 years after Paul’s death and some 45 years after its birth.  Ephesus is the only church in the Bible that we can trace throughout such a long history and glean its lessons from history.

B. By this time (95 A.D.), the church in Ephesus was made up of second generation believers who were known for their exemplary hard work.  “I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake and have not grown weary,” (Rev. 2:2-3).  From this we can see the fruit of all the Christians who poured their lives into this church, growing it up in service.  They did not tolerate false teachers.  They had learned discernment.  They did not tolerate evil men of any sort.  They were a serving church.  Need a Habitat for Humanity team?—they were there.  Need to feed the homeless?—they were there.  Need to organize a Sunday School program?  They were there, and they never grew weary in faithful service in more than 40 years!   We can now know that the false teachers that Timothy began to ward off have paid off.

C. BUT.  The last thing that anybody should want to hear from Jesus is but.  “But this I have against you, that you have left your first love,” (Rev. 2:4).  In spite of all they had right, they were lacking a deep devotion to their first love—Christ.  How far they had fallen since Paul had written his epistle to them and said, “For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,” (Eph. 1:16-17).   Just like in Paul’s letter, their love for one another abounding out of their overflowing love for and faith in Christ.  The two cannot be divorced one from the other.  Faith in Christ rightly produces love for His body.  Genuine believers are in view here as losing sight of the main thing.  They were doing what was right, but for the wrong reason.

Life Lesson Three:  Persevere in love for Christ. 

Doctrine is no substitute for devotion; labor is no substitute for love.  It is possible for believers to serve and sacrifice for “My name’s sake” and still lose passion for the Lord Himself.  We should evaluate ourselves personally, and we should cautiously examine the church as a community.  It was the church that Jesus held accountable for the loss of passion.  It was a problem bigger than an individual.  It was a community problem.  The last Christian generation could be us—you and me—unless we do cling to Christ and disciple new saints.  We must introduce others to Jesus. The Christian life is based upon a PERSON.  It is a relationship with Christ first and with His body.  We are to worship God and out of that flows a love that compels us to do good deeds.  It compels believers to respond as Jesus did—compassionately, mercifully and sacrificially.  The church today would do well to ask as Amy Carmichael did when she screened those who wanted to work in her ministry, “Is the cross the attraction?”[1]

Learning activity:  Design the perfect church based upon what you have learned.  What are its distinguishing characteristics?  Programs?  Values?

            [1] Elisabeth. Elliot, A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael (Tarrytown, NY: Revell, 1987) 198.

Dianic Wicca – The Rebirth of an Old Cult

Not long ago, Americans would have scoffed at the idea that people would return to the ancient cults of goddess worship, honoring nature as the creative force.  Yet that is exactly what has happened.  Americans and Britons—especially women—are flocking to this revival of worship of Diana. Estimates vary, but several sources say there are between 100,000 and 200,000 practicing Wiccans in the U.S. today.  Dianic Wicca is one sect of Wicca that has given rise to a new deceit from the old Artemis (or Diana) of Ephesus.  Wiccan rituals include spells, as noted in Acts 19.  But unlike Satanic witchcraft, Wiccans are forbidden from engaging in destructive or manipulative magic.  The hit television show Charmed featured young women practicing the art of magic.  Sadly, teenage girls are prime participants in goddess worship. You can learn more about this by going to, Articles about Dianic Wicca from or Wikipedia.

There is nothing new under the sun, as King Solomon reminds us in Ecclesiastes. How can the people of God use this info? Do you know anyone who needs to freed from these demonic forces?

Submissive: Ephesians 1:17-23; 5:15—6:3; Colossians 3:1-25, Philippians 1:27—2:11

We are on our second to last study as we have journied through “The Story” together. Let’s turn to the pages of Scripture and see what God has revealed in his Word that he wants us to know about today. Today we study a topic that no one really likes to hear or study; submission. It is a theme that we will see in some of Paul’s letters.

“Paul’s Final Days”, chapter 30 of the THE STORY, tells us how one of the most influential men in history “finished the race”.  His conversion from a murderer of Christians, to a fervent ambassador of Christ shows the great power of Christ in us.  The letters he wrote from prison to the churches he established give us a glimpse of what was on his mind: the unity of believers in the love of Christ and under the Lordship of Christ. The church is God’s plan to bring all people to Christ, but the family is not only supposed to illustrate that relationship, it is the real life workshop where the skills to relate to one another are learned.  Submission to authority is the key.  If only we would submit.

I. All Power and Authority. Genesis 3:1-13; Ephesians 1:17-23

As we near the end of THE STORY, we find ourselves returning full circle to the dilemma that faced Adam and Eve.  Perhaps Paul was thinking, “By now, we should understand submission.”  But the truth is the struggle still goes on in every life and in every relationship.  Discover what God wants people to understand through Paul:  that our best choice in life is submit to God.

1.  What was the question that Eve was forced to answer and how did it convict her? (Genesis 3:13)

2.  What had she chosen not to do? (Genesis 3:2-3)

Many years later Paul was praying for the Ephesian Christians with thanksgiving because, in Christ, they had something Eve didn’t have.  Eve didn’t have the knowledge and power of Christ dwelling within.

3. What kind of authority does Christ have in the church? Ephesians 1:22

4. Fill in the blanks:  He is seated “in the heavenly realms, far above all _____________, and

______________ , _________________, and _________________, and every ____________

that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come” (Ephesians 1:21).

Explain what Christ’s total authority means to you in your own words. (cf. Rev. 1:8)

5.  How much power is working in the lives of Christians? (Ephesians 1:19-20)

6.  What does Paul pray that the Ephesian believers would have? What are the two things he wishes they would know? (Ephesians 1:17-18)

Sometimes we get confused because we try to “overthink” an issue.  But we don’t have the ability to think like God does.  There are some things we trust God with.  That God is the source of all power and authority- truth.  That He has placed all power and authority in Jesus Christ- truth.  That the  Holy Spirit dwells in Christians– truth.  When people submit their minds to the truths of God’s authority, God will open the door to the restoration of our relationships.  The letters of Paul that come toward the end of his life include instructions about personal and family relationships.  Discover why our best choice regarding relationships is: submit to God.

II. Power and authority in the family. Colossians 3:1-25

In light of the truths about Christ’s authority, as explained in Ephesians 1:17-22, analyze the Colossians passage about the family.

1.  What advice does Paul give as introduction to this passage? 3:1-2

2.  According to this passage, how can we allow Christ the right to control the way we relate to each other? 3:9-11

3.  List the controlling attitudes that Paul suggests for dealing with interpersonal difficulties. 3:12-17

4. Note the specific instructions about family relationships from Colossians 3:18-21.




5. Paul anticipates that each individual will hold this personal reservation in his or her heart:  “But what about my needs?”  What will we receive if we obey these teachings? 3:23-24

(Note that this assurance begins the closing thought that applies to the whole passage, not just for verse 22.)

6.  How does Paul classify the lack of submission to these instructions? 3:25

7.  Reread Colossians 3:1-25 in its entirety and find who has the power and authority in all personal relationships?

IV. Power, authority and the church.  Philippians 1:27—2:11

Bradley Blue writes “early Christianity expanded throughout the Empire house by house,” (Marshall & Peterson 474).  That was not just the early evangelist’s missionary strategy; it was God’s missionary strategy.  God has designed just two social structures: the family and the church.  The early church met in family homes. Ideally the church and home would mirror one another. The mission of each is parallel: the birth and nurturing of children.  Discover what is true about submission in the church.

1. What were the Philippian Christians facing, and can we relate to the same things today? 1:29

2.  How should we conduct ourselves then? 1:27a

3. How should we relate to one another in the church? 1:27b

4.  What would complete Paul’s joy as well as bring joy to Our Lord? 2:2

5.  What are the results if we live this way? 2:1

6.  What should our treatment of others be, and what is the motivation for it? 2:3-4

7.  Paul describes the attitude of Christ in 2:6-8.  Which concept is most meaningful to you? Explain.

8. What will be the final result of Jesus’ humbling of himself? 2:9-11

9.  Fill in the blank:  Power and authority came to Jesus through _________________ to God.

V. The Mystery explained.  Ephesians 5:15—6:3

Our human minds can’t understand how submission will ultimately give us power, or how humility will ultimately result in exaltation.  But if we demand power and if we try to exalt ourselves we will never understand.  Paul seems to portray the family as a working lab where Christians can test how the knowledge and power of Christ in us functions.

1.  What is the family structure? How should we view submission in this context? (5:22-32)

2.  How  are the children viewed? (5:1; 6:4)

3.  Fill in the blanks to find the characteristics of a healthy family (and a healthy church):

“Be ______________ of God…and live a life of (1) _______________.”  Ephesians 5:1-2

(2) ___________________ to one another out of __________________ for __________________.”

Ephesians 5:21

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be (3) ______________ to his wife, and the

two shall become ___________ flesh.  This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about

_____________   and the _________________.  Ephesians 5:22-33 (See “Who’s Who in the Family” by Carol Stine)

4.  How do we know that Eve was a part of Adam (one flesh) at the creation? Genesis 2:18-24

5.  When a man and woman are joined in marriage they are ____________    ________________.

6.  When we become Christians, who joins our spirit? Acts 2:38; Ephesians 3:14-21

7. To summarize then, write the three main characteristics of the church and of the family from the

passages above (1) _________________,  (2)_________________, and  (3) _____________. (see question #3)

The biblical teaching on marriage reveals that it is a spiritual relationship, that God designed it, and that He needs to be involved in the relationship for intimacy and unity to develop.  It’s easy to see why the world rejects God’s pattern for marriage, in fact, rejects marriage at all.  A marriage between a believer and a non-believer presents some difficulties, although that is not to say love and unity are absent.  Nor is every Christian marriage trouble-free.  But the Bible speaks to this issue as well.

8.  How should a wife influence a non-believing husband? 1 Peter 3:1-4

9.  According to Paul, should a wife divorce a non-believing husband if she is a follower of the Lord after she has already married? I Corinthians 7:12-13

The truth is, Satan destroyed God’s plan for marriage when he led Adam and Eve to rebel against God.  But an even more powerful truth is that through our marriage relationship God can purify our hearts and bring out the gold in us.

Key question:  How will you submit to the Lord in an important relationship in your life?

For additional reflection:  Answer the following questions regarding the marriage relationship from Ephesians 5:25-29?

What would indicate a husband’s submission to the Lord in his relationship with his wife?

What is the example he should follow regarding his wife?

Why should an unmarried Christian consider a prospective spouse’s relationship to God?