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November 25, 2018 12:00 am
We come to this practical part of the book of Ephesians. Not that the others impractical. But here's the direct expectations of how you live now the look folks look we just ended eight messages so more than one partner on the glories of salvation through sovereign grace and by the way, all of those glories are taught in the first couple chapters of Ephesians. So unless what I've been preaching to you unless that case grabs you and apprehended you end and at an end and you two new wonder in all in thanksgiving and gratitude and humility in these practical expectations are worthless. Look, I'm not about Christianity is not about behavior modification. Christianity is about you becoming a new creature the power of sovereign grace and then you have the capacity to begin to embrace God's wisdom and live out God's wisdom and all these practical areas of life.
So don't miss the foundation were talking about Christian parenting you were looking at Ephesians chapter 6 verse four where Paul says fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord in this whole section is talking about social relationships. Husbands and wives, children honoring their parents now parents raising their children properly vehicle and the slaves and masters, which parallels our employee or employer employee employer relationship and so but remember he's building all this up on Ephesians 518. Do not be drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the spirit that's a foundation stone walking in the spirit is a foundation stone, which gives you a gospel humility to listen and a supernatural capacity to identify and embrace the wisdom of God over the wisdom of this world, I should say over the so-called wisdom of this world, is it not a bizarre perverse world we live in. Everything is just being warped. It's not a been turned upside down anymore turned upside down and inside out. All this gender nonsense and redefining the roles of men and women in just this is in the and the dominoes start falling and Satan knows this.
Satan knows if he can unhinge and separate the fabric and the structures God's ordained for a functional insane society. He can run us and what's most troubling to me is the church just seems to open its arms and begin to embrace these things. The quote keep people happy to keep the numbers up to try to be relevant folks.
I don't care if I'm relevant only be true by the way, the truth is relevant always. So Paul dives.
In all, here's what would you understand Paul's exhortation to this Ephesian church of 2000 years ago about how why should function how husband should functions how children should honor their parents how parents should train their children how employees and employers should relate to one another. It was just as revolutionary in this day are more so than the message would be to our present culture that this was just way out there but here's what Paul say you've experienced the truth of Ephesians 1 and two, you've experienced the power of regeneration you experienced the new birth.
All you can begin notice the phrase you're not there yet none of us arrive.
Amen. But now you can begin to apprehend and conceive and respect and embrace God's wisdom about the way he has developed are set up the family, the culture, etc. the function so way as the church folks are not to be like the world were not to be trending with the world not to be changing with the world were to be a bright light light of hope to the world and our likes going to contradict the darkness that they're embracing and that's difficult at times. We are headed in a different direction than this culture remember the name Billy Sunday Billy Sunday was a professional baseball player became an evangelist and he was really a wild kind of guy and somebody criticize Billy Sunday said Bill you stroked the fur on the The wrong way.
He said headed toward hell to turn real be stroking it the right way. Well folks look we as the church of Jesus Christ are not succumbing to and submitting to the false dictates of this man · dishonoring culture were not always against the culture were just for the truth and that puts us against the culture than so be it.
Are you with me. We don't react against the culture we just act on truth is that puts us against the culture than that's what it is. So he comes to this part now of parenting and he gives this revolutionary new perspective on prayer to listen to this day, this wasn't radical thinking. Just as I to be honest you have to become the careful and the public square to the even in Alabama stating some of the things we stand on, and believe is Christian the things that the way you will be get berated and treated and and and classified by the God haters and truth projectors of our day. So we talked about here the things that father's our response of the rather, the fact that fathers are responsible for their children attributes I notice. As Paul writes her. He says fathers. It is, he didn't even mention mother was mom have no role. Of course she does medevac. She's usually far more hands on in the discipline and instructing of the children things the Lord because she's usually there but the point is the father's bear the responsibility dad you let me factor this morning you will give an account before God for your home, not your wife, your to take the lead you to lead and how the disciplines be carried out what the standards and the convictions of the hallmark always husband should listen to his wife should gain wisdom from her, but he bears the responsibility for the home before the Lord, its fathers must seek to these things now we come to new material. II the things fathers must not do the first thing out of the gate. In verse four is fathers do not something you must not do what he think talk to this Roman Greek culture he's writing to do.
These are believers who came out of a Roman Greek culture of the day.
2000 years ago. The first thing he says is don't do something. Embrace my sense is because this was very prominent in the households of ancient Rome and Greece fathers provoking their children to anger, so to hear that to these fathers would've been strange indeed. We says, do not provoke your children. He says do naysaying do not push them to anger. There's things you can do fathers and an extension of the father's mothers. Of course there's things you can do parents that provoke your children to anger, it also has the idea of exasperating them to drive them to extremes. Parents are the factor in preventing rebellion and juvenile delinquency, but they also can be the main agent in promoting and promoting and encouraging the child to rebellion. Parents have such authority and control in their hands. Charles Hodge, the Presbyterian theologian said this, this word means do not excite the bad passions of your children your children come forth from the womb with a fallen, rebellious sin nature your children naturally want to rebel against authority. That's what father Satan has put in all of us by us being born a sinner and in his dominion. Children come into this world with a bent toward loving self, not considering others, and we must not as parents do the things that exasperate that are throw fuel on that rebellious fire that Satan has kindled in every child's heart make sure our conduct as parents is not nurture the evil that is inherent in the heart of every child.
What he saying here that again a revolutionary concept of these ancient Romans, and that's whom, of course, this was written originally written to you some background on what both secular and church historians have written about the average home in ancient Rome. When this was written almost 2000 years ago. First of all the families had fallen into such wickedness primarily sexual immoralities better fact in the Greek and Roman cultures sexual perversion sexual experimentation had become so rapid they had to invent whole catalogs of terms to express the deviant things they did in their sexual behavior. Thus anything like American, is it not a weird and warped and corrupt age when people are defined by their sex drive. I'm gay, lesbian, I'm straight.
I'm clear on whatever another covenant with letters just to try to recognize and express that I'm all over the chart. I never know what I'm going to be the next morning when I wake up little more ungodly and perverse mentality. That is what Leslie ancient Rome was so the families were falling apart families were in shambles and the idea of a father loving his children was almost unheard of butterfat, a father could sell his child as a slave, or he could have his child keeled if they inconvenienced him a bit like abortion today just go ahead and kill the child why my cramp your lifestyle and hinder your advancement folks. There's nothing new under the sun, though selfish wickedness of the flesh, it comes out with new that they come out with new terms of new phrases new labels with the same old wickedness. Just recycled generation after generation. John MacArthur has in his commentary, a letter written by man in one BC in this culture and he's writing to his wife and he says this to her heartiest greetings.
Note that we are still even Alan Alexandria, do not worry if when all others return. I remain in Alexandria, I beg, and beseech you to take care of the little child and as soon as we receive wages. I will send them to you if good luck to you.
You should have another child.
If it's a boy let it live. If it's a girl expose it. Seneca, a renowned statesman in Rome at the time Paul wrote the letter to the Ephesians said this, we slaughter a fierce ox, we strangle a mad dog. We plunge a knife into a sick cow and children born weak or deformed. We drown that was common in this ancient culture, the custom of the day was that when a wife had a child in a Roman family of this date the child was laid at the father's feet, if he picked it up. It remained in the household. If he did not take the child up it was to be discarded.
It was taken to a town far away could be picked up and by the slave are put into a life of prostitution just children were on love. They were just in the way unless the parents chose you to be a child that would be looked so in this context of such blatant neglect and wickedness on the parts of parents wildly prone to say what needs to happen. The state needs to step in and I just remove from parents the right to raise their own children are failing so miserably.
But that would be wrong. Also, because to take children out from under loving and good parental authority is child abuse in itself a child without proper parenting is a child that is not only undisciplined there usually on respective or disrespectful, and in their behavior that there there warped and their relations to other people that their delinquents, many of them turn out to be criminals, so we know that we can't know that extreme either.
So what does the word of God said the word of God beautifully brings things back to a solid talent keeping the God ordained position of parental authority over children, but admonishing parents now that you're changed now that your born-again manager striving to walk in the spirit you have the capacity to have the kind of home. The world does not know about. So live this way parents raise your children not provoking them not exasperating to raise them in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Now I don't know where compiled this from but through the years.
I put together a list of ways you can most certainly exasperate your children are provoke them to anger and ultimately rebellion.
Let me just listen quickly. First of all, over protection. The helicopter mom comes to mind here. I've got a new what I came up with the heat seeking missile ball. I mean buddy anything just slightly happens hurts their little darling might be being treated unfair.
She comes in like a heat seeking missile look mom that sometimes your child needs to be treated unfairly so they can learn the biblical way to respond to difficult and unfair circumstances.
I certainly don't let this terrible things happen to our children but if you over protect them.
They'll never experience anything you can smother them that they feel like they can never be trusted with anything. You are always overruling their judgments. They need to begin to learn to make some judgments.
I know there's balance here. Where's that balance.
I'm not sure, but true patterns of overprotection is exasperating to a child favoritism choosing one child over another. This leads to discouragement. It leads to the resentfulness, it leads to withdrawal and bitterness. Jacob favored Esau and Rebecca Faber are are are well the whole Arab-Israeli conflict came from the favoritism of one pair to Jacob one. Esau I made it. It built a bitterness that we see the repercussions of even to this day favoritism, easy way to provoke your child rebellion pushing achievement beyond biome's. This is when nothing the child does is sufficient.
There's always a correction there's always an add on. No sooner does he or she accomplish a goal that another goalie splashed up before them. Keep going keep achieving there's a balance here. There's a good part to that of course you gotta be careful. The Bible talks about raising up a child according to his bent kind of discerning what puts his child into what his gifts compared to her gifts and I've got to challenge them and encourage them according to the way God's bit them their temperaments their propensities their natural abilities and talents. Sometimes parents fantasize their own achievement achievements. Rather, through the lives of their children, and when you do that you prostitute your responsibility as a parent discouraging words and actions. Just an unrelenting harping on what is wrong or what they do wrong and never a complement. All my goodness, a child can be so exasperated and in and just lose hope in such an environment, I've learned through the years and by the way I'm preaching to brother Jeff this morning because when I get through this message.
Every parent enters no site.
The failure well that case I am to which you don't you can beat you can be humble and be a repent or so Lord help me do better in these areas we can try to balance all that out as we go through here. One of things I was going to say about discouraging words and actions. I found that some for every one lick on the seat-of-the-pants and that's needed. By the way, from time to time need to be 100 pats on the back for good behavior. A balance in these things well negotiated number five. Failure to sacrifice for our children and making them sometimes to feel unwanted communicating to them.
Perhaps not purposely but it does communicate that they are unwanted there something of an intrusion there always interfering you know when I was a younger pastor. I could easily get out of balance and I was very passionate and very committed very long hours and ministry work. And God said to grow me some in Madden but I had a rule in my house because my study was at home I tried have a study at the work is absolute death to me if you got a study at church.
There's always interruptions or you know some secretary, some staffers of what we can erect and just for this and it just goes on and on and you never get back to what God really called you do anyway having my study at home that my family was there and my children there but I had a rule that when ever they came in, at least for a moment I would put my books down I would embrace them and let them know you're welcome in here you're not an intrusion and maybe we all need to look for ways in our lives that we communicate to our children. You're not intrusion. We want to make sacrifices because we love you. Using love as a tool of reward or punishment is another way to exasperate your children those whom the Lord loves he disciplines the Bible says, but you love. You love all the time. You don't just say if you do this subject that if you perform this way that no matter fact, sometimes a child needs to get precious abundant love when they haven't behaved well because that's the way our father loves us. There's balance here you go.
To be careful not talk about rewarding bad behavior, but be careful if you use love as a tool of reward or punishment. Another way is withholding appropriate discipline.
I've used the illustration. So many times but I just go out there again I child who doesn't have a mom and dad who says no and has firm rules is a child that feels insecure and if child that ultimately feels unloved.
Like I said it's like having a bridge with no guard rail just like going over then the new the new bridge over the river, what would it feel like if you're driving. There were no guardrails there be very in securing and that's children need those rule I told you about the time I had had corrected one of my daughters and said no you can't do that in one her best friend said her. My dad never tells me know about anything.
She was discouraged about that is just built in the heart of a child to hear mom and dad say no you can't do this time. There's a reason for things I can explain it all the time. Withholding appropriate discipline as a way to exasperate your child.
The last one I'll mention is rank hypocrisy rank means just that's who you are. Each feature rank at your position in life, not a look mom and dad met that there was a a campaign about the smoking marijuana that was encouraging parents to go ahead and be a hypocrite. What they're saying was, yes, you did as a young person but you've got to love your kids enough even to tell them you can't do it though and I agree with that, by the way, as a pastor. Finally, preach the truth to you. I'm hundred percent out adequate today used in that if you training your children on everything that you couldn't do perfectly. Whether be nothing else to train them in, so why not talking about failing on talking about rank hypocrisy on talking about mom when you consistently as a pattern in your life. This honor your husband's authority. You tell your children to honor your authority. Your children are not known by.
See the rank hypocrisy that when you tell your sons and daughters away they ought to be kind and treat people, but you run roughshod over your wife and don't treat her lack of like a weaker vessel they need special nourishment in and protection while they think and see through that and on and on.
We can do well with other behaviors and other habits rank hypocrisy. You can expect your children to honor the Lord when they see you consistently as a pattern not honoring the Lord look that we all have struggles and we all have weaknesses.
But you know we can be. We can be humble about it. We can be repent or's we can tell our children when we blown it and will you not been what we ought to be and I found that covers a multitude of weakness and parenting is just being real being humble when we need to do better in some areas. Well that's what of things some things a father must not do all right, now let's get on to the next point. If I can find it in my notes will get on to the next point. Obviously thinks the father must do a kick saw things by saying fathers do not do these things, but here are some things you must do now. The next thing he says is nurture them and love us. The idea of bringing them up in the discipline struck the bringing of them up has the amplified understanding of nurturing them along. You nourish them and you'd nurture them. You don't coercively as a with a heavy hand.
Browbeat them into submission. They must have our love our children must have our sympathy. They must have our compassion. They must have our time and they must have our interest.
I just do not subscribe to this idea of quality time. I guarantee you can poll 100,000 children and say if it is it okay with you of mom's gone a lot but she give you some quality time, I would you dress rather have mom here all the time you know if the child still say that quality time thing they work for you until he's not working for John and Susie. They need our time. They need our sympathy that that's the way we nurture them a child comes to us into life in their helpless and they are immature and that child is yours to mold like clay, that is, that child is yours to engrave upon like a silver plate so that we we we going to parenting with this balancing act of compassion and sympathy and care but control and discipline, and we strive to maintain those so nurturing them and love sickly things a father must deny member I'm seeing mom. The way the Bible sees mom as an extension of the father in this whole parenting balance here be his correction and discipline correcting role behaviors and attitudes as we see them. Weaknesses raise your children bring them up in the discipline of the Lord were discipline has the idea of chastising here.
It has the idea of correction for bad behavior.
Bad attitudes of Hebrews 12 seven reminds us, for it is for discipline that you endure.
God deals with you as with sons for what son is there whom his father does not discipline, but nowhere to discipline, not according to Dr. Spock were discipline, not according to Hillard acrylic Clinton. He wrote the book. It takes a village, because then really take a village takes church thinks families in the church to raise a child.
Your village may be going to hell. But if you got your family in a church family with you on this thing. You can make it in raising children for the glory of God. Your raise them in the Lord.
He says here in season six for in the Lord means we recognize and we embrace the superior wisdom of God revealed in the word of God. I remember a parent that was mocking the authority of school leadership because they had a certain dress code or whatever parents be careful about doing that stuff. Be careful about going to bat for your kids and teaching them. This honor authority no matter whose authority it is remember what God said to Eli in first Samuel 313 he he tell but told them that you did not discipline your sons and so punishment is coming upon you. There's a curse.
A generational curse. I believe that comes upon us. If we do not call our children in the discipline and correction that when heat now thirdly would instruct them with words. That's what we must to bring them up. He says in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. That means we use verbiage were speaking God's truth in God's wisdom to them.
Now parents we are not the source and the possessors of authority to determine the truth that were to teach a child were to do this in the Lord under his authority. According to his superior wisdom. I believe we have just a terrible precedent in our country right now of everything has to flow through emotion is how I feel and how I think about something something looks to me and then you have these emotions to get this award about this expected emotional about that. What about that and these dominoes start falling were just all over the place and oftentimes in contradiction, because were not fivefold following biblical principles that do not change, but fickle emotions that always change your not to train your children according to your fleeting and fickle emotion.
Maybe that's why fathers are held ultimately responsible because women think God are more emotional than men. Why because there them there the more direct caregivers that the grace givers there that the chief instrument of nurturing, but they need the guidance of a godly, compassionate father who gives the principles you live on your home. Emotions are not your Lord Jesus as your Lord, why just don't feel I don't care what you feel. I don't care what I feel I care what the word of God. Where would we be church if we followed our feelings as bad this three decades ago when we just feel this is about what we just feel that is best. Who cares about what is the word of God say this is the sound rock upon which we can build our churches in this case good our homes and particularly build the raising of our children were to discipline them and instruct them in the Lord. We make Christ the teacher and ruler under whose authority everything is to be believed, and in obedience to whom we obey everything and everything is to be done.
It's all about Christ is very important to communicate to our children that we are under God that were not coming up with these things ourselves that we tell our children interested mom and dads under authority earned our authority for your and our authority because God put you in our authority and were under his authority. I can't parent you the way I just want to I'm to do these things in the Lord in his wisdom under his authority. It's the greatest folly to assume that we are wiser than God are to attempt to accomplish an EN by means other than those which he has appointed Nelson conclusion. Her thoughts, moms and dads.
Let's remind ourselves. Children are not looking for perfect parents but they are looking for honest parents if I might add to that humble parents and honest parent is that parent that rules with authority. Instruction disciplines but also has moments of humbling I had to do that with my children.
I know I probably failed them and didn't do it often enough, but I've had those moments when I had to go back and say sweetheart you forgive daddy I was wrong when I said that that because you know what daddy needs a savior to were all under him and under his authority. Children not looking for perfect parents but they are looking for honest parents remind ourselves this morning that sometimes the best parents can have a bad child. God had Adam and Eve.
Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel. Sometimes it here's the thing in it. If I if I might just say this and and and Lord knows I've had to grow through some of this, so I'm not I'm lumping you in with me, this morning, but we come into this Christianity thing with that man were going to find out all the mechanisms the structures in the way used to talk to to get this thing right and we got all the eyes of across all the teasing would become little idolaters we become idolaters of our system. If I just homeschool the level of Jesus.
If I just father so and so if I just follow so-and-so's book on raising children how to raise babies been all just let Jesus know your children live Jesus if the gospel transforms the hearts and I've seen it not been watching this will forge it for four decades now in one place and that teaches you something. I've seen the listener were about to tell you I've seen more children going to rebellion from strict homes and have homes that will overbalanced, so be careful is not your rule does not know your adherence to a system.
It's your humility, your realness, your love for Christ.
Your dedication to honor God and to heal yourself humble before him. The communicate so deeply to the hearts of your children causes them to want to look like what if we gained if our children grow up, intelligent, well-educated, moral and respectable if they don't love God.
I want show like that. I want them to be well educated, respectable, and good citizens and love God deeply, and that be the real motivation for their behavior because were not about behavior modification, at least not primarily.
Let's remind ourselves that God's normal pattern is the communication of the faith from one generation to the other.
This generation must reach the next generation. And that's to be done by the Christian home and in the local church. So many things.
A sound local church does to affirm and complement and reinforce everything a sound Christian home is teaching and that's what we weren't really really hard now.
Over the generations to establish a grace like church and that's often say this is a great place to raise children because we are what we have the end we are going to be. We don't chase fads and gimmicks here watching some of the largest churches in our area just for the last 3 to 4 decades.
You see children from the time they're born into the greater vice give their churches go through three or four different major shifts of what they're about. As a church to teach a child that God changes. I guess that's it of saying no.
Some things stay the same God is eternal and God is holy and God's unchanging and his church should be changing. At least not in substantial ways our goodness. When electricity is invented. Churches got lights and I talked about things like that. I'm thinking about how they their modus operandi of how they approach reaching people what they're calling the gospel to what they're calling true church growth etc. etc. all these gimmicks and fans cannot just exhort young parents please don't raise your children in a faddish gimmicky tour your teaching your children that God stuff is just frivolous and ever-changing and without eternal and abiding unchanging substance, you need a local church that teaches parental authority, you need a local church. With God centered curriculum. We many years ago radically revolutionize all of our children's literature so that our children would learn who God is and when learn the truths from the stories, not just learned Bible stories spiritual accountability and spiritual fellowship.
A place where being a committed Christian parents is comp apparent brothers complemented and welcome. Let's remind ourselves that it's hard for children to obey their parents, you realize. Satan works feverishly to keep children from obeying the parents as hard and it's hard for parents to raise their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord it's hard if you don't feel like you failed your lower we all fail and struggle, but we can all be real and we all can be repentance we all can do better as we go forward because just because it's difficult doesn't mean it is impossible the world the flesh and the devil are indeed against us. But God is for us the world the flesh and the devil hate God and they hate God's ordained authority and make God's wisdom on the home. The world is against us. The world sends out the banner of autonomy were our own self.
Conduct it to be dictated to by me myself and I lost In a bone ship mastermind destiny. What I am is good and right know it's not a thing about you is better only one who is good and right as God and will yield to his authority. We can live as our Lord says we should live. We can honor the Lord we can follow these presets we can repent. When we fail I cannot just say this. You ended the last session.
This way and that is something you moms and dads are too hard on yourselves you don't offer yourself the same grace God offers you okay you blew it. Some okay you messed up some humble yourself.
Make it right and go all were all in this together. Amen. We all need each other and by the way a lot of parents that would beat yourself some auditing. This is your pastor, I watched you for a long time.
You do a lot of things right you do a lot of things good one. The momentous changes in my life is becoming a Christian is looking at my mom and dad and realizing they did a lot of things good thing. A lot of things right, and I'm thankful for that and you you young people sitting here it is. It's quite easy to pick out the ways mom and dad Lord and I know they blow it so but I challenge you think about the things mom and dad did write first while you're sitting at a pew we're hearing the unadulterated preaching the word of God in this rare that's good. And that's right.
And they did a lot of other things good and right. So, so don't don't get on this.
Well I just blow it, not just the weight is not you can teach an old dog new tricks which are not an old dog. You can grow you can keep maturing and keep doing better. Just like your pastor striving to we can live as God says we should live. We can honor the Lord in our parenting and God can listen and God will bless our families. Christian parenting 101. Well I'm still learning and hope you are to