Question #392

Please explain Ephesians 5:22-28.

I would like to inquire about the Scripture Eph 5:22-28. I have read many of the questions and answers concerning adultery and immoral sexual. I hear many men say that they leave their wives because they do not submit enough sexually. I have heard and witnessed this also from some women. But my question is, when Paul states such is he speaking of sexual activity? I read at the end of Eph 5:22 "as unto the Lord" and I really don't understand. Is it not true that we battle against certain desires because they are of the flesh? To often I have heard spoken by men and women "I have a high sex drive and I am going to be satisfied one way or another" and they use the scripture to justify the rightness of this. Am I missing something?

The Answer:

This aspect of marriage has not been addressed. However, the question is loaded by the expressions "many men say" and "I have heard spoken by men and women." Frankly, such comments are most likely rarely made. Moreover, a man or woman who is inclined to such conduct is rarely going to seek to justify it by scripture. To the extent, however, that such instances exist, neither Eph. 5:22-28 nor any other passage justifies such conduct. The closest passage that even approaches the subject is 1 Cor. 7:1-5. The passage clearly teaches that the husband is to consider the wife and the wife is to consider the husband in proper sexual relationship. It does not teach that the wife may demand of the husband or that the husband may demand of the wife sexual activities that are abnormal. Indeed, the entire passage teaches mutual consideration and condemns unilateral withholding of sex by either, thereby depriving one's mate of that which is her or his due. To seek what one desires outside the marriage because one's mate finds the act demanded to be unpleasing is fornication and sinful. It is also sinful to withhold intercourse from one's mate since marriage is to accomplish the satisfaction of the sexual desire. However, even that does not justify the aggrieved mate's seeking satisfaction outside of the marriage. That is still fornication and sinful.

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)