Last week as we continued our chapel sermon series through Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, we came to one of the more controversial passages—5:21–6:9—that talks about submitting to one another.

The first thing to say about this passage is that—just as is the case with any tough part of the Bible—it is very important to teach it when we come to it. There is a real danger in being selective readers of the Bible who either avoid uncomfortable texts, or who only emphasise favourite texts. If we do either of these things, we run the risk of crafting a bespoke version of the faith that honours our interests and priorities rather than the balance of all that God has given us to know. At Bible College SA, we are committed to grappling with and embracing the whole counsel of God as we believe we will see that every part of it is good when we have taken the time to understand it correctly.

Looking carefully at the Ephesians passage (and perhaps overlooking the layout of some English versions of the Bible), we find that the imperative to ‘Be subject to one another’ is, in fact, one of the outworkings of what it means to be filled with the Spirit. In contrast to being drunk with wine, being filled with the Spirit involves voicing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing and make making melody to the Lord in our hearts, always giving thanks to God in the name of Jesus, and submitting to one another (5:18–21).

Following this, we see that our submission is to be appropriate to our various relationships that will always have mutual obligations. Interestingly, children and bondservants are to ‘obey’ their parents and masters respectively (6:1, 5), while there is no parallel requirement for wives to obey their husbands. Rather, they are to voluntarily submit while the husband is to sacrificially love.

One commentator made the astute observation that in this context, although the notions are not exactly the same, there is a great deal of overlap between ‘submitting’ and ‘loving’ as both mean living with the other person as a higher priority than yourself. This helps us see that the relationships mapped out in this part of Ephesians are not only well-ordered, they are also deeply humble and generous—which is exactly what we would expect of people who are filled with the Spirit!

In our own present-day contexts, the students, staff and board of Bible College SA also seek to live in faithful, humble and generous relationships that follow the wise and blessed patterns that God has given us.

Tim Patrick

Bible College SA has a wonderful and faithful community of partners who are committed to our strategic purpose of preparing the next generations of gospel workers for Adelaide, South Australia and beyond. Without your generous support, the College could not continue its operations as theological education does not receive any direct government funding in the way that most of the tertiary sector does.

Speaking about ‘the next generations’ is part of our thinking about the work of the gospel after we have gone to glory. This is a profoundly good thing to consider for at least two reasons.

First of all, it stops us being selfish and only worrying about the health of the church during the time when we will personally be in it. Because we care about the spiritual state of our children and grandchildren, our nieces and nephews, and all people who will live on beyond us, we must think about what gospel ministry they will need over the coming decades and whether we can establish it for them.

Second, thinking about the future requires us to think strategically. It means that we have to use our God-given smarts to ensure that we are the best possible stewards of the resources and opportunities that he has given us today. This is exciting because when we start thinking about long-term strategies, we can start to imagine and pray for amazingly big things—and then, under God, participate in working towards them.

One way to join in Bible College SA’s long-range, intergenerational ministry is by leaving a bequest to us. We have received a number of bequests over the past twelve months and they have been a huge blessing to our ministry, enabling us to take further steps forwards in our work. Most recently, our financial position has allowed us to start expanding our faculty by bringing on Suzie Smith in a part-time capacity, a development we are very excited about.

If you would like information about leaving a gift to Bible College SA in your will, you can find it here. If you would like to speak to us about this, or any other matter to do with the College, please feel free to be in touch.

Who is in your family?
I'm married to Des and we have four children: Daniel (7), Samuel (5), Jemima (3) and Joel (almost 1).

What have you been doing prior to working at Bible College SA?
I trained as a French teacher and taught in high schools for seven years before studying at Bible college. Des and I both graduated at the same time and moved to Tasmania, where he took up a role as a pastor in a local church and I worked on campus with AFES. We were in Tasmania for almost seven years, then two years ago we moved here to Adelaide to work in a local church. In that time I've been based in the home settling our children into our new church and school, as well as looking after baby Joel. 

What excites you about Bible College SA?
I'm excited that Bible College SA is all about preparing men and women for gospel service wherever God may place them in his world. We take the Bible seriously and want to study what God says rigorously in the context of community. I also really like the fact that Bible College SA is interdenominational. This forces us to be clear about what is primary and what is secondary, and I believe, helps put the gospel into sharper focus.

What are you looking forward to in your first semester?
I'm really looking forward to getting to know the students and to start walking alongside them and helping them in their ministry formation. I'm also very much looking forward to getting involved in all aspects of college life and community, including the infamous table tennis battles. I think I better brush up on those skills over the summer!


• Give thanks for Suzie Smith starting up with us this month. Pray that she would settle into her role well and be a great blessing to the students. Pray also that she would make good plans for getting going on her PhD.

• Give thanks for our recent Open Day when lots of prospective students came to learn about the options for studying. Pray that many would choose to apply for some study and would continue considering the best ways they will be able to serve Jesus in the years ahead.

• Give thanks for our faithful and generous supporters who have enabled the College’s ministry to run for 95 years. Pray that we would continue to be well supported in the years ahead, and also that many would prayerfully consider leaving us a bequest.

Please also remember Oak Hill College in London in your prayers. Pray that Johnny Juckes and his team would be faithful and fruitful in preparing the next generations of gospel workers for London, the UK and beyond.

Tuesday 29 October
City to City Incubator Day 4 - Cameron Munro

Tuesday 10 December
Graduation Celebration 2019
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