by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: Ephesians 5:25-33
I. There are some topics that are joined such that you cannot have one without the other.
A. Faith and obedience are two sides the same subject.
1. You can’t really have faith without obedience - James 2:14-18
2. And you can’t really have obedience without faith - Romans 4:2-5
3. It seems almost contradictory. But it is an important point.
a. Faith motivates obedience and obedience demonstrates faith.
4. This is why the Israelites failed. They lacked belief and they lacked obedience - Hebrews 3:18-19
a. Which one did they lack first?
b. Does it matter? Without one, the other collapses.
B. My wife and I have been reading a book that points out another, similar pair: love and respect, which happens to be the title of the book.
1. Can you truly love someone you don’t respect?
2. Can you fully respect someone you don’t love?
3. Like faith and obedience, you can do one without the other, but it isn’t the same. It is a weak shadow of what it could be.
II. Love and respect between God and man
A. We are commanded to love God
1. The first and greatest commandment is to love God - Matthew 22:36-37
2. God demonstrates His love by loving us first - I John 4:9-10
a. In other words, we receive God’s love not because we earned it and it was owed to us.
b. Quite the opposite, actually - Romans 5:8
c. God chose to love what was unlovable and it causes us to respond in love
B. But we are also commanded to respect God
1. Serve God with reverence and awe - Hebrews 12:28
2. The Israelites believed they loved God, but God pointed out that they had no respect for Him - Malachi 1:6
a. They didn’t honor God by giving respect for Him in worship - Malachi 1:7, 12-13
b. They didn’t honor God by giving their best to him - Malachi 1:8,14
c. They didn’t sincerely listen to God - Malachi 2:2
d. God was disgusted by them - Isaiah 1:2
3. God deserves our glory - Psalms 115:1
a. Fear God and give Him glory - Revelation 14:7
b. He is worthy of our respect - Revelation 4:11
(1) But notice that God doesn’t earn our respect.
(2) Who He is and what He does deserves our respect
(3) But he isn’t doing those things to gain our respect
c. Glory and honor belong to Him - I Timothy 1:17
4. Evil exists because there is no fear of God - Romans 3:18
a. The Gentiles didn’t honor God - Romans 1:21
b. Honor is not lip-service - Isaiah 29:13
(1) There was no love for God, which results in no respect
5. Eli didn’t honor God - I Samuel 2:29-30
a. His sons were corrupt
b. Notice that his lack of honor caused God not to esteem him.
III. Love and respect between parents and their children
A. As I was preparing this lesson, I wasn’t expecting to run into a difficulty.
1. We all know that children naturally love their parents
2. But there isn’t one verse stating this.
a. The closest I came was Matthew 10:37 where we are told to love God more than our parents
b. Perhaps it is so natural that it doesn’t need a command
B. But there are many verses commanding children to respect their parents
1. Perhaps this is because this is the difficult area that must be worked on.
2. Obedience when a child - Ephesians 6:1
3. Honor them - Ephesians 6:2-3
4. Notice that it doesn’t talk about honoring them if they are deserving.
a. Honor is there because of the position God placed them in your life
b. No matter how bad you might imagine them to be, they did manage to raise a pretty good person – you.
5. The glory of sons is their father - Proverbs 17:6
C. Parents are to love their children
1. Titus 2:4 - Women are to be taught to love their children
2. A sign of a decaying society is the lack of love - Romans 1:31
D. Children, naturally, want respect
1. Honor isn’t received because it is claimed - Proverbs 25:6
2. Honor is given because of who a person is - Proverbs 26:1,8
3. To receive honor, there has to be submission and humility - Proverbs 18:12; 29:23
4. True honor comes because someone else recognizes you - Proverbs 27:2
IV. Love and respect within a congregation
A. Submission to leaders
1. Young men are to be humble and subject to their elders - I Peter 5:5
2. Submission because of their position - Hebrews 13:17
B. Of course, the great commandment of Christ is for brethren to love each other - John 13:34
C. Submission to each other - Ephesians 5:21
1. Putting the needs of others before yourself - Philippians 2:3-4
2. Giving preference in honor - Romans 12:10
V. Love and respect between a husband and wife
A. Husbands are to love their wives - Ephesians 5:25
1. The word “love” comes from agape which is a devoted love. It is a love that gives even when it is not returned
2. Love is given because it is the right thing to do, even if the wife is not a Christian or not being lovable at the moment
B. Husbands are to respect their wives - I Peter 3:7
C. Wives are to respect their husbands - Ephesians 5:33
1. It is a command, not a suggestion.
a. It is not qualified to say, only if he deserves it or earns it
b. Respect is given because of the position that a husband is placed in by God.
c. Women are the glory of man - I Corinthians 11:7-9
2. A wife can win over a sinful husband by submission, chaste, and respectful behavior - I Peter 3:1-2
a. This implies that respect is to be given even when the husband doesn’t deserve it
D. A wife is to love her husband - Titus 2:4
1. This is not devoted (agape) love but companion (phileo) love
VI. Love and respect are not synonyms, but they are intertwined ideas.
A. One requires the other for the best results.