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The Gospel At Work And Home

Moody Church Hour / Pastor Phillip Miller
The Truth Network Radio
May 19, 2024 1:00 am

The Gospel At Work And Home

Moody Church Hour / Pastor Phillip Miller

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May 19, 2024 1:00 am

The Gospel matters all day, every day. It has implications for all of life, especially in family and work relationships. In this message from Ephesians 6, Pastor Philip Miller explores eight principles for our relationships, from supervisors and employees to parents and children. Our relationship with God changes all our other relationships.

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Following Christ has implications for all of life, especially in family and work relationships.

Chapter 6 of Ephesians outlines in practical terms what these implications are, so please stay with us. From Chicago, this is The Moody Church Hour, a weekly broadcast of worship and teaching with Pastor Phillip Miller. Today, join us for another message on being Alive in Christ, a series of teachings from Ephesians. Our focus will be on the Gospel at work and home. Here now is Pastor Phillip.

All right. Well, good morning, Moody Church. We're talking about how the Gospel shapes our home life, our parenting, and how the Gospel shapes work the way we actually go about our vocation today in Ephesians chapter 6.

So very excited about that. I think we're going to learn a lot from God's Word this morning. And would you stand wherever you are? Let's give this service to the Lord as we seek His face. Would you bow your heads and pray with me? Father, this morning we are gathered from all over Chicagoland area.

Some of us drove in even further. Some of us are online or listening by radio. And Father, wherever we are this morning, we pray that you would meet us, that you would come, that you would speak by the power of your word into the very circumstances of our lives, that we would see and know you more, see you at work in the fabric of our everyday lives. And so, Father, we give you ourselves this morning.

We hold nothing back. We pray that you would change us and make us new. We gather for the praise of your glory. And everybody said, Amen.

Amen. Your name is above all names. And we sing holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty. We look forward to that day when all creation praises your name. Let's sing together.

Golden rainbows of living color, flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder. Let's sing in honor, strength, and glory and power be to you, the holy one, sing. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty Who loves and gives thanks to God. We praise your name, Lord Jesus. With all creation I sing praise to the King of Kings. You are my everything and I will adore you.

Filled with wonder, awestruck wonder at the mansion of your name. Jesus' name is power, heavenly inquire, such a marvelous mystery. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty Who loves and gives thanks to God. With all creation I sing praise to the King of Kings. You are my everything and I will adore you.

The holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty Who loves and gives thanks to God. With all creation I sing praise to the King of Kings. You are my everything and I will adore you. I will adore you, Lord. We bow before you. We worship you, Lord Jesus.

Holy, holy, holy are you, Lord. Father, we thank you that you are holy. We thank you that you are the living water. We thank you that you are our King.

We thank you that you are just. We praise you because you are worthy of praise. Father, as we, your people, are gathered here in your name to bring praises to you, just help us see that this isn't just a one-time thing.

This should be our lifestyle, Father. Give us lives marked by this praise and help us to always just give off the scent, the aroma of you to the world around us. Father, we thank you that we can be here. In Jesus' name, amen. Holy, holy, holy, Lord the Almighty.

Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee. Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty, God in three persons, blessed Trinity. Holy, holy, holy, all states of glory, passing down their golden crown from the ground, the last we see. Walking down before Thee, this birth and life and heaven most shall be. Holy, holy, holy, Lord the Almighty.

Holy, I of sinful death, I know He made us feel. Holy, thou art holy, God in three persons, blessed Trinity. Holy, holy, holy, Lord the Almighty. Holy, holy, holy, Lord the Almighty. All others shall praise Thy name, be good as Christ's name. Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty, God in three persons, blessed Trinity.

Yes. The Gospel shapes all of life. Do you believe that? The Gospel shapes all of life. The good news of the Gospel, the good news that Jesus has done everything to make us right with God when He died and was buried, rose again and ascended to the right hand of the Father. That if we will admit that we are sinners, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and commit our lives to Him, our sins can be forgiven. We will be made alive and new.

We will be reconciled to God forever. That good news, that Gospel is not just a private, inner, personal thing. No, it cascades out into every dimension of our lives. Every domain is influenced.

Every relationship is shaped. Every responsibility is touched. The Gospel doesn't just matter on Sundays. The Gospel matters all days, right? It saturates.

It permeates. It consecrates every facet of our lives, which is why the Apostle Paul has been teasing out for us in the second half of this letter he wrote to the church in Ephesus. He's been teasing out the implications, the entailments of the Gospel for the everyday life of followers of Jesus.

He began in chapter 4, verse 1 with this statement. I, therefore, a prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called. I want you to walk. I want the daily concourse of your life to be worthy of the Gospel calling you have received. The same Gospel that saved your life, I want now to saturate your living.

And then he says in Ephesians 4, verses 22 to 24, I want you to put off your old self which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires. And I want you to be renewed by the spirit of your minds to put on the new self created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. This is your new life. This is your new walk. This is your new self. You are being recreated after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

God is making you like himself. And then in chapter 5, verses 1 and 2, 18 and 21, we read these lines. Therefore, be imitators of God as beloved children and walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God and be filled with the spirit submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. So the Father is your pattern. The Son is your path.

And the Spirit is your power as you now walk in newness of life. And to illustrate now how the gospel shapes every dimension of life, Paul then goes to the very heart of where most people did life in the ancient world, in the first century Greco-Roman world, and that is the oikos. It's the word for household. In those days, the household was made up of more than just the nuclear family. In addition to husband, wife, and children, you also had often older parents, sometimes other relatives that were living in the housing complex. You had household slaves or bond servants who were part of the household.

And so this is the oikos. And Paul's walking through how the oikos, the household, would shape and change now that the gospel has come. Throughout the book of Acts, we see repeatedly entire households coming to salvation.

And we read things like, he and his household believed and were baptized that day. And so here you have a preexisting network of relationships within the ancient oikos, the household, and now that they become brothers and sisters in Christ, the question is, how does the gospel shape the relational dynamics of household life? And so last time we looked at how the gospel shapes our relationships within marriage.

That's part of the oikos. And today we're going to look at how the gospel shapes our relationships at home, in the family, and at work as well as those other dimensions of the ancient household. So as we jump in, would you pray with me? Then we're going to read our text.

I need to make some important contextual comments, and then we will jump into our text this morning, okay? Here we go. Let's pray. Father, more than anything, we need you to teach us how to live. We have old habits, our old Gentile habits of our old man, our old life, and that's what we know. We have muscle memory, and you are giving us a whole new way to live as imitators of God, as followers of Christ, being filled by the Spirit. So help us, we pray, in Jesus' name. Amen.

Amen. So grab your Bibles. We're going to be in Ephesians chapter 6. We're going to look at the first nine verses. If you don't have a Bible with you, you can open up in the pew Bible there by your knees.

You'll find today's reading on page 979. We're going to be in Ephesians chapter 6 verses 1 to 9. If you'll listen as I read the word of the Lord. Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother. This is the first commandment with a promise that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Bond servants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ. Not by the way of eye service as people pleasers, but as bond servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. Rendering service with a good will as to the Lord, not to men. Knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bond servant or free.

Masters, do the same to them and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their master and yours is in heaven and that there is no partiality with him. Thanks be to the Lord for the reading of his word. Now, when modern people read texts like this in the Bible, it often raises red flags for us because of the backdrop of the grievous sin of chattel slavery in our history. And I think most of us are aware that verses like these used to be used by slave owners here in America, especially in the south, many of them Christians, to justify the slave trade and to bully their slaves into submission, to keep them down. And to make matters even more perplexing, at the very same time and era across the pond in the United Kingdom, it was Christians who were leading the abolitionist movement quoting from the same Bible as they led the moral charge to put an end to worldwide slavery. So, the question is which group was actually reading their Bible rightly, right?

How do you get to widely different outcomes from the same text? Well, every bona fide New Testament scholar will tell you that to use this first century biblical text, which is what we have here in Ephesians, to defend chattel slavery from the 16th to 18th centuries is both a misuse of God's holy word and an abuse of God's image bearers. Because the slavery of the Roman world was very different from chattel slavery that haunts our history.

Now, let me be clear. I'm not saying Roman slavery was good. It wasn't. But I'm saying that the slavery of the Roman world is very different from the chattel slavery, which is what we are most familiar with when we hear the word slavery. For one thing, Roman slavery was not racial.

It was not skin-based, skin color-based. Most Roman slaves were captives of war. So, enemy soldiers that were fighting against the Roman Empire when they were defeated or captured, instead of killing them off, they actually made them slaves.

They saved their lives, conscripted them to service, and that period of time was usually 10 to 15 years. Other people in the Roman world fell into slavery as a repayment of their debts. So, if you became bankrupt and were unable to pay your bills, you would become what's called an indentured slave, an indentured servant, and you would serve as a slave in order to repay your debts. And once your debts were cleared, you got your freedom back. There were people who were born into slavery, born to actual slaves, and in their case, they started out life as slaves, but usually by the age of 30, they were done.

So, it wasn't a lifetime deal, and it wasn't uniformly dehumanizing. For example, this may surprise you, but in the Roman world, slaves could own property. They could even own other slaves. They could take their masters to court, so they had legal rights and protections. They were often highly educated, talented, or acclaimed.

Remember, many of these were military leaders that had been captured, and they were entrusted with huge responsibilities. We know this from the ancient world, that they managed entire estates. They served as stewards over households. They led entire business units for people.

They were rewarded with sometimes their own residences and could amass actual wealth for themselves. In fact, most educators and tutors, some of you are teachers, most of those people in those vacations were slaves in the Roman world. Most farmers, most tradesmen, most musicians and artisans were actually slaves. We have examples of people who actually chose slavery for job security, because you got room and board, and a dependable situation, and regular pay, and a stable environment, and there was room for advancement.

I don't want to gloss over it. There were huge abuses as well, huge abuses. We don't want to gloss over that, but the slavery of the ancient world was substantially different from chattel slavery that comes to mind when we hear this word. In fact, the Roman relationship between master and slave or master and bond servant, as you have here, is probably closer to, in our world, the relationship between management and labor, or the relationship between landlords and renters, or the relationship between supervisors and employees.

These relationships are fraught with inequities, and there's often bitterness and strain between the parties, and a huge power differential that makes people on the low end of the totem pole feel like they don't have leverage, and so it's ripe for abuse. Paul says, in this environment, in this ancient oikos structure, where this is just how you're living, I want to show you now how the gospel infuses and transforms all those everyday relationships. In fact, if you look at the gospel values and attitudes that Paul gives here, and in the book of Colossians, and in Philemon, where Paul is advocating for a runaway slave who embezzles funds from his master and has now come to Christ and is repentant, and Paul's trying to manage this situation.

He knows both parties. If you look at how Paul manages all of that, you see, in this balance of these texts, you see how the gospel is actually undercutting and subverting even the Roman system of slavery. In fact, New Testament scholar F.F. Bruce says that Paul brings us into an atmosphere where the institution of slavery could only wilt and die.

So here's the bottom line. It is a misuse of God's word, and it is an abuse of God's children to cite the Bible in defense of chattel slavery, and the Christians who did so were in the wrong, and they will answer to God for what they did. Now, with all of that as a backdrop, let's dive into this passage, and let's look at how the gospel shapes our relationships at home and at work. And since we're talking about it, let's go ahead and tackle work first. The gospel at work, and I'm going to use the language of supervisors and employees, not because it's perfect, but because it's close to where most of us live, okay? And then we're going to look at the gospel at home, and we're going to look at parents and children. All right? Are you with me?

Okay. So the gospel at work, supervisors and employees. Let's read this text again to keep it fresh. Bond servants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart as you would Christ, not by way of eye service as people pleasers, but as bond servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord, not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bond servant or free. Masters do the same to them and stop your threatening, knowing that he is both their master and yours in heaven, and there's no partiality with him.

So let's look through this with the lens for each of the parties. Let's start with supervisors, okay? Supervisors. The first thing that these masters would have noticed is that Paul is addressing their bond servants and slaves directly. He's not saying, masters, make sure your bond servants know about these principles.

No, no, no. He's talking to them directly, and I don't know how I could state just how radical this was. In the ancient world, Roman citizens talk to Roman citizens, free people talk to free people, slaves talk to slaves, and here you have a Roman citizen who's talking directly to these slaves. No other ancient writer that we know of does what Paul does here, as he treats them with dignity and value as brothers and sisters in Christ. And the masters would have picked up on that. They would have said, wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. You're talking to them directly.

Yeah, yeah, I am. In verse 9, Paul says to the masters, he says, do the same to them. Do the same to them.

What do you mean? Do the same. Reciprocity. Do the same. Well, what are we to reciprocate, Paul?

Well, look at the context. Verse 5, I just told them to relate with a sincere heart before Christ. In verse 6, I called them to remember that you are a bond servant of Christ, and you are too, masters. I told them to do the will of God from the heart, and that's for you too. I told them to serve with a good will as to the Lord, not men, and that's for you.

Knowing whatever good anyone does, that he'll receive it back from the Lord, whether he's bond servant or free. That applies to you too. He says, remember the Lord is watching you, and he'll reward according to what he sees. So, stop your threatening. It's a very direct statement. Verse 9, stop your threatening.

Stop this fear-based threats, imposing intimidation tactics. There's no place in the household of God, because their master and yours laid down his life and sacrificial love for you. And he has called you to serve, to walk in love as Christ loved you and gave himself up for you as a fragrant offering to the Lord. And I've called you all to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. And there's no partiality with your master, your Lord, with your Jesus. He holds all his children, slave and free. He holds them all to the same standards of Christ-like behavior.

You are accountable to him. There are two key principles that flow out of this. The first one is that leadership is about service. Leadership is about service. If you're in management, if you're a landlord, if you're an owner, if you're a boss, if you're a follower of Jesus Christ, you are there to serve.

You are there to serve. Remember what Jesus said in Mark chapter 10, verses 42 to 45? You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them, but it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant.

And whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. Friends, remember Jesus made himself a servant of all, didn't he? He washed his disciples' feet. And he said to his disciples, a new commandment I give to you, that you love one another.

Wait for it. Just as I have loved you, so you are also to love one another. That's John 13 34. Friends, leadership is not about privilege. Leadership is about service.

It's about service. And no matter how high you go, no matter how big your office, no matter what circles you run in, you always have a boss, and his name is Jesus Christ, and you are accountable to him. Do you see what Paul's doing here? Do you see what he's doing? He's leveling the playing field.

It's the second principle. You both report to Jesus. You both report to Jesus, slaves and masters. You both report to Jesus, and there's no partiality with him.

He doesn't play favorites. Just because you have authority and influence and maybe some economic, you know, level up on this earth, that doesn't impress Jesus. On the org chart that really matters, the org chart of heaven, you both are direct reports to King Jesus. He is your Lord and Master, which means you are equals. You are equal in worth. You are equal in dignity. You are equal in value. You are equal in every way that actually matters at the end of the day.

You are both sons and daughters of the Most High God. A bond servant's prayers have just as much access to the Father as a master's prayers. You can't pull the wool over Jesus' eyes.

There's an open channel between your master and them, right? So let that shape you. Let it shape your leadership. Let it shape the way you treat your employees, those who report to you. You will give an account to your master, Jesus, for how you treat them. Because, friends, for supervisors, work is a place where we live out our discipleship of Jesus in order to become more like Him. For supervisors, work is a place where we live out our discipleship of Jesus in order to become more like Him. Now, what about employees?

What about employees? Well, in verse 5, Paul says, I want you to obey with fear and trembling. This is odd. This is the only time in the Bible where this pair, fear and trembling, is used in response to another human being. Every other occurrence is used of God. In other words, you respond to God with fear and trembling.

And he's using that same phrase now for a human relationship. It's meant to throw you off your balance. It's meant to knock you off, you know, kilter. Paul is saying, look, I want you to obey as if Jesus himself has given the orders. I want you to take your responsibilities so seriously as if Jesus himself were giving the orders.

Because this is not just a job, friends. It is a space in which Christ is at work to transform your character. That's why you're called to a sincere heart before Christ. To live as a bondservant of Christ. To do the will of God from the heart. Serving with good will as to the Lord, not to men. Knowing that whatever good you do, the Lord will be the one who rewards you and pays you back.

Paul says it this way in Colossians 3 verses 23 and 24. Whatever you do, work heartily as for the Lord, not for men. Knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

And there's two principles that flow out of this. So the third principle of the morning is that Christ dignifies all work. Christ dignifies all work. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart is working for the Lord, not for men. Everything you do, whatever you do, whatever your job, whatever your assignment, it is worth doing because it matters to Jesus.

Do you believe that? You may not think your job is all that meaningful, but it matters to Jesus. It matters to Jesus. And you say, well, my job is terrible. You don't understand my job. Listen, Jesus worked construction most of his life.

Jesus washed feet. Jesus knows how to show up and do his best in a thankless job. He gets it. And he values what you do. And he sees, he sees all the effort and creativity and care that you pour into your job.

He sees everything that goes unnoticed by everyone else. And he will reward you for every faithful investment you've made. Because ultimately, principle number four, your boss is not your boss. Your boss is not your boss.

Your boss small b is not your boss, big B, right? Paul says, obey, not because your master is good or nice or easy or because the compensation is awesome. No, he says, obey because ultimately you're working for Christ. You are in Christ employment. You may think you're working for XYZ corporation, but you are working for Jesus, which means, listen, this gets really real, really fast. It means you can't quiet quit your job. You can't quiet quit your job. It means you can't overuse your sick time.

It means you can't call it in and do the bare minimum and just clock out. These principles undergird what became known as the Protestant work ethic. It radically transformed the world. People notice that Protestant Chris followers of Jesus worked differently than everybody else.

It's because of texts like this. It also means friends that we don't allow work to over consume us. This is interesting because our master is Christ, not work. We don't look to work to give us our ultimate sense of meaning and purpose and identity in life. Jesus is the source of all those things, which means that work can just be work. We can go to work and just do work. We can master our work instead of being mastered by our work. It means we don't have to neglect our health or our families or our morality for the sake of our work.

You know how freeing this is? When the boss tells you to do something that would go against the way of Jesus, we know our boss isn't our boss. And so we can do the right thing and we can live with integrity and moral clarity.

It's brilliant. Because friends, for employees, work is a place where we live out our discipleship of Jesus so that we become more and more like him. For employees, work is a place where we live out our discipleship of Jesus so that we become more and more like him. And not only does the gospel shape our relationships at work, the gospel shapes our relationships at home. Let's talk about the gospel at home. Parents and children.

Chapter 6, verse 1. Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, for this is the first command with a promise that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. So what does this mean for parents?

For parents? Well, we know that both parents are actually in view here because back up in verse 1, children are told to obey their parents in the Lord. But Paul's command here in verse 4 is specifically directed at fathers. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger. Right? Now why would he single out fathers? Probably because fathers are more in danger of doing the wrong thing here.

Right? I mean, we know dads. And the idea here is one of perpetual anger. Perpetual anger. Do not provoke your children to wrath. Perpetual anger that doesn't go away.

The kind of harshness that results in embittered men and resentment and hostility and anger that just doesn't go away. He's saying don't crush your kids. Don't crush your kids. Instead, bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. As the Lord disciplines and instructs you with patience and long suffering and gentleness and grace, so you are to bring up your own children.

Now the words here are difficult to translate. Discipline and instruction you have here in the ESV. The old KJV had nurture and admonition.

Right? One of these words, the first one leans toward tenderness and care. The other one leans toward training and discipline.

Okay? It helps me to think of the old shepherd imagery with the rod and the staff. The rod was for tough love and the staff was for nurture and care. And so you have this pairing of nurture and training here. The point is, and here's the principle, your children need nurture. Your children need nurture. Your children are real people with real desires and real hopes and real dreams and real needs and real emotions. And to nurture them, you must know them. You must adapt to their individual needs and temperament. You must care for them.

This is the soft side of parenting. One of the most helpful things to Krista and I in raising our kids was the lens of Gary Chapman's Five Love Languages, a Moody Publishers piece, by the way. But the Five Love Languages, you probably remember what they are. Words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, acts of service, receiving gifts.

Okay? And Chapman's insight is that you basically tend to give love in the way that you want to receive it. We all have a way that we prefer to give and receive love, but other people have different ways. And the best thing we can do in selfless love is to actually learn their preferred love language and love them in the way that will be meaningful to them. And so Krista and I have endeavored to try to learn our kids' love languages and to figure out, okay, if that's how they're wired, how can we love them strategically, specifically in a way that will connect with their hearts.

It's nurture. Sometimes we ask the question, this is from Chapman as well, how's your love tank? Like if you had a love tank, right, and it drains throughout the day and you could fill it back. Well, how's your love tank? One to ten. Oh, it's a seven. Okay.

What could I do to help fill it? See? And then loving them in their own way. See, friends, your heavenly Father nurtures and cares for you as a beloved child, yes? And now He's calling you to care for your beloved children as He has cared for you. The sixth principle is that your children need training. Your children need training, not just nurture, they need training.

If you're to bring them up, if you're going to raise them to mature adulthood, to be disciples of Jesus Christ, it's not enough to nurture and love on your children. They've got to be trained. They've got to be instructed and admonished.

You know, they're not great out of the box. They need development. They need training. They need to be taught right from wrong. They need to be corrected and disciplined when they need it. But how do you do that in a way that doesn't provoke them to anger, right?

Because that's the command. Don't make them constantly angry. So, how do you parent? How do you discipline so that that doesn't take place? Well, one of the greatest insights, I can't share everything about parenting and I'm not even that great of a parent, okay? That should be a parent.

Anyway. Now, one of the greatest insights though for Krista and I was realizing that the love language paradigm actually helps you with discipline too. Because if you discipline in your kid's primary love language, they're going to receive it harshly, right? So, a slap on the wrist is super harsh to a physical touch kid. A verbal scolding will shatter a words of affirmation person. Time out will devastate a quality time person. Taking away a toy will disproportionately impact someone who feels love through gifts. Letting someone face the consequence of their choices alone and without help will devastate gut an acts of service kid. So, once you know their love language, you can learn to discipline in the off suit of their, does that make sense? This is why you say the same thing to one kid and they break down and cry and you say the same thing to another and they just go whatever, right?

Right? That's real life. So, what we've decided is that for everyday discipline, we want to discipline off suit, not in their primary love language but in their secondary love languages and save the primary love language discipline for really big stuff, right? When we really need to get their attention. As Hebrews 12 says, the writer says, our heavenly father disciplines us for our good that we may share in his holiness and though the moment, in the moment, it might not seem pleasant, it's more painful. In the end, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. And friends, as the heavenly father disciplines and trains you that you might share in his own godliness, now he calls you to train up your children to the same end. Because friends, for parents, home is a place to live out our discipleship of Jesus as we become more and more like him.

For parents, home is a place to live out our discipleship of Jesus so that we become more and more like him. Now, let's turn the page to children now. Children, there's some of you here, right?

I see you. Thanks for waiting all the way through my sermon here. This part's for you. There's actually two commands here. The first is children obey your parents and Paul has in mind here children who are living at home as dependents, okay? And the second command is honor your father and mother and is a quotation from the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament. And the command here to honor is intended for all children regardless of age. Even when you grow up and are your own adult, you're still commanded to honor your father and mother.

So, let's look at these two principles. Principle number seven is learn obedience at home. Learn obedience at home.

Students, I know it's maddening to always have your adults, your parents, your guardian, your grownups telling you what to do. I know it drives you nuts and you can't wait to grow up and be your own human being and call your own shots but let me just give you a hint that obedience is a part of life. Obedience is a part of life.

Grownups are not nearly as free as you think they are. We're all obeying someone. We obey the law. We obey our bosses. We obey our elected officials. We obey the laws of gravity.

Yeah? We obey God's word. And you've gotta learn obedience somewhere.

You've gotta learn obedience somewhere and home is the best place to begin. Now, Paul does say to obey your parents in the Lord which means that Paul is being very clear. He does not intend for you to obey your parents if they ask you to do something that is against God's will. But apart from that, Paul is saying that your obedience to your parents is a part of your discipleship of Jesus. Obedience to your parents is a part of your discipleship to Jesus. As you learn to obey your parents, God is actually softening and tenderizing your heart so that you will learn to obey him more.

And as that obedience muscle grows, it will help you thrive as you walk with Jesus for the rest of your life. The eighth principle here is choose to give honor. Choose to give honor. We grow out of the command to obey our parents as we become adults but we never grow out of the command to honor them. Now, if you had good parents, this is fairly easy because you respect your parents.

But if you had bad parents, this can be pretty hard to imagine. How do I honor someone who was, who hurt me? And it's important to remember, I think, that respect is earned but honor is given. Respect is earned, honor is given.

It's a gift. And we can choose to give the gift of honor to even the most undeserving people. Honoring does not mean pretending they were perfect. Honoring does not mean you gloss over the pain and abuse. Honoring does not mean you agree to be their best friend. Honoring does not mean you're allowing them to mess with you all over again. What honoring does mean is that you choose to interact in a respectful way. Honoring means that you learn to thank them for the good, however small that might have been. Honoring means you forgive them for the things they did that were bad. Honoring means you choose to esteem them whenever you can. Because friends, in love, Christ honored us when we did not deserve it.

Right? And now he calls us to outdo one another in honor. Because friends, for children, home is a place to live out our discipleship of Jesus as we become more like him. Home is a place to live out our discipleship of Jesus as we become more like him. Bottom line. Bottom line. Your relationship with God changes all your other relationships.

Do you see that? That's what Paul's trying to show you. Your relationship with God changes all your other relationships. The gospel shapes all of life. There is not one square inch of your life that Jesus does not intend to saturate, to permeate, to consecrate.

He wants access to every part of who you are at home, in marriage, at work, every domain, every relationship, every responsibility. Because for believers in Jesus Christ, work and home, the oikos, the household are the places where we live out our discipleship of Jesus as we become more and more like him. Because our relationship with God changes all of our other relationships. Amen? Amen. Let's pray. Let's pray. Father, we want to invite you to be the Lord and King over every dimension of our lives.

Every nook and cranny, everything we do and say, Monday through Friday, when people are watching, when we think we're alone, in every space, in every place, with every person. Father, we invite you all the way in. Teach us the way of Jesus. Fill us with your spirit and lead us to walk in newness of life.

We pray this for Christ's sake. And all God's people said? Amen. Amen. I want to read the following verses just as a benediction.

We've read them before. Ephesians 4, 1 and then wrapping around Ephesians 5, 1 and 2. I therefore, prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called. Therefore, be imitators of God as beloved children and walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. We walk that out in every area of our lives. Amen?

Because we are loved more than we know. So now let's go and be the church. Have a great week. On today's Moody Church Hour, we heard Pastor Phillip Miller continue a long series of teachings from the book of Ephesians. In part 12 of this series, we learned about the Gospel at work and home. This long-running series with Pastor Phillip concludes next time with teaching about the armor of God, the defensive and offensive weapons we are given to fight the daily battle of the Christian life.

Next time, don't miss Standing Firm. The Moody Church Hour is a listener-supported ministry. We count on the ongoing financial support of listeners like you. Together, we share solid biblical teaching that transforms lives across America and around the world. You can call us at 1-800-215-5001.

That's 1-800-215-5001. Online, you'll find us at moodychurchhour.com. That's moodychurchhour.com. Or write to us at Moody Church Media, 1635 North LaSalle Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois 60614. This broadcast is a ministry of The Moody Church.
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