God is doing a work in those of us that have believed the gospel of Jesus Christ and he will finish it as it says in Philippians 1:6 (LEB) “convinced of this same thing, that the one who began a good work in you will finish it until the day of Christ Jesus”. And just as Jesus set aside his own will and was obedient to the will of the Father in Matthew 26:39 (LEB) ‘And going forward a little he fell down on his face, praying and saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” ’, we also sometimes struggle. But this struggle is not just against our flesh, it is also a spiritual battle against the devil and his kingdom and for us to overcome, we must “become strong in the Lord”, as Paul says, in Ephesians 6:10–12 (LEB) “Finally, become strong in the Lord and in the might of his strength. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the stratagems of the devil, 12 because our struggle is not against blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places”. The good work the Lord is doing in us is this maturity that overcomes in the world.
Understand What the Will of the Lord Is
Cleansing Her With the Washing of Water by the Word
Just as God through Jesus Christ prepared a covenant for us where he purchased our lives by paying the price for our sin, we as husbands are to give ourselves for our wives which then creates the environment where we can raise godly children. But God didn’t stop with forgiveness of sin, he also sent the Holy Spirit as an advocate in
John 14:26 (LEB) “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name—that one will teach you all things, and will remind you of everything that I said to you.”
And the Holy Spirit is to bring us into the fulness of our relationship which happens through love with “cleansing” that happens “by the word” in
Ephesians 5:25–26 (LEB) “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for her; 26 in order that he might sanctify her by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word”
There is a weight to this relationship for the husband as provider as the priest of the home and just as there was a moment for Jesus in the garden where he had to choose love even though it cost him his life, he did the will of the Father in
Matthew 26:39 (LEB) ‘And going forward a little he fell down on his face, praying and saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” ’
So also, as husbands, there are moments when we must choose love and sometimes at the cost of denying our own will to do what is needed for our wife and family.
Just as Jesus set his faith on what would become the church, he set his mind on the future that would be accomplished by His obedience to the will of the Father and ignored the circumstance of the moment, so we as husbands must look to Jesus as he is perfecting not only us, but those that we love as we see who God is making us to be in
Hebrews 12:2 (LEB) “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the originator and perfecter of faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”.
Doing the Will of God From the Heart
Our Struggle is Not Against Blood and Flesh
Our lives are spent dealing with the natural world around us. We work and rest and eat and relate to people around us and it is easy for us to focus only on these natural, worldly interactions. Paul has told them how to conduct themselves and much of that relates to learning God’s ways and developing godly discipline as in
Ephesians 4:31–32 (LEB) “All bitterness, and rage, and wrath, and clamor, and abusive speech, must be removed from you, together with all wickedness. 32 Become kind toward one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as also God in Christ has forgiven you.”
Now though, Paul opens the door to the realm of the spirit and exposes the forces that are driving much of human behavior. He has already told them to fix their eyes on Jesus in
Hebrews 12:1b–2a (LEB) “putting aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, let us run with patient endurance the race that has been set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the originator and perfecter of faith”
and now Paul adds this, “become strong in the Lord” in Ephesians 6:10. We are to learn about and put on the spiritual weapons that are necessary and effective in overcoming any attack of our enemy who is actively working against us in
Ephesians 6:10–12 (LEB) “Finally, become strong in the Lord and in the might of his strength. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the stratagems of the devil, 12 because our struggle is not against blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places”.
We should develop the fruit of the spirit in our lives, but there is more to our Christian life than the natural kindness and goodness and gentleness the religious world calls spirituality. Paul goes on to describe this mature and equipped Christian as “praying”, “in the Spirit”, “alert with all perseverance” in Ephesians 6:18 and adds his own personal request for “boldness” in
Ephesians 6:19 (LEB) “and for me, that a word may be given to me at the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel”
That You May Know Our Circumstances
The One Who Began a Good Work Will Finish It
Paul opens this letter to the church in Philippi writing not to the church building address where they meet or to the Pastor of the Church as we might today, instead he identifies himself and Timothy as servants of Christ and then writes to all of the “saints in Christ” in
Philippians 1:1 (LEB) Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons.
Paul has identified leadership roles in the church that are for the purpose of “building up the body of Christ” in
Ephesians 4:11–13 (LEB) “And he himself gave some as apostles and some as prophets and some as evangelists and some as pastors and teachers 12 for the equipping of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all reach the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to a measure of the maturity of the fullness of Christ,
Here though, Paul’s emphasis is clearly on “the saints” first “together with” these leaders and the work that God has begun and that God will complete in
Philippians 1:6 (LEB) “convinced of this same thing, that the one who began a good work in you will finish it until the day of Christ Jesus”
It is the word of God, the power of God, the leading of the Holy Spirit that is transforming us into the image of Jesus Christ and this is happening not just to a few that have some special ministry gift, but to everyone that calls on the name of Jesus Christ.
- Ephesians 5:25–33 Cleansing Her With the Washing of Water by the Word
- Ephesians 6:10–20 Our Struggle is Not Against Blood and Flesh
- Philippians 1:1–8 The One Who Began a Good Work Will Finish It
- Ephesians 5:17-33
- Ephesians 6:1-24
- Philippians 1:1-8