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God's Laboratories

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
February 18, 2020 9:00 am

God's Laboratories

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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February 18, 2020 9:00 am

If your spiritual progress were based on how well you lived out the Bible’s instructions at home, how would you be doing? In this message, as part of the “Love Incorruptible” series, Pastor J.D. walks us through Ephesians 5, a passage that stirs up a lot of confusion about submission, and helps us see that God uses the relationships in marriage, family, and work as laboratories to help us grow in spiritual maturity.

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Today on Senate life with JD. A lot of men on autopilot when it comes to their family. They come home like one know my leadership now is my wife's turn God. If you show the same initiative in your job, but usually your family you get fired in a week and this is your most important assignment spiritual headship is not licensed to do whatever you want to do spiritual headship is empowerment to do what you wanted life lyrics jumping into God's word today.

Spiritual progress are based on how well you lived at the Bible's instructions at home. How would you be doing today pastor Jenny Greer walks us through a passage that stirs up a lot of confusion about the mission and helps to see that God uses the relationships and marriage, family and work as laboratories help us grow in spiritual maturity. Let's join pastor Jenny to Bible this weekend open to Ephesians chapter 5. We are moving away to the book of Ephesians and we are rifling our way through it almost toward the end of a surgical, loving, corruptible one the most era defining movies of my childhood was the karate kid. It was a story about I guess a loser kid gets beat up in this older Japanese man teaches him how to succeed in life by teaching him the principles of day as a kid. It was inspiring.

It was awesome for what it's worth, I went back and watched it a few months ago with my kids.

It's not nearly as awesome as I remember it. In fact, how being in the Crane position does not signal to your opponent exactly what you are about to do. I'm not really sure but it was awesome when I was a kid and one of those captivating parts of the story was how Mr. Biaggi, who was, you know, the mentor how he taught Daniel how to fight that a lot of you see the movie but not basically how data shows up at his house, and Mr. Biaggi gives them a series of chores. This yet is it it is to wash the car and sand the floor and then paint the fence and after about a month. He's just sick of it. He's like you got me doing housework within the time of the big revelation moment Mr. Biaggi shows him that in the morning to do these mundane task is actually learn all the skills that he needs in order to become a great fighter. Well I share that because in many ways. Ephesians chapter 5.

That's what Paul is showing you God has set up the world like you set up. The world is essentially the same way. Paul is going to take three very common relationships in our lives.

The relationships that you probably at some point be involved in at least two or one or two or three big all three of these. Those three very ordinary relationships or marriage family and work, and he shows us that these very ordinary relationships are like the laboratories in which God teaches us the character skills that are going to make us more like himself in each of these three relationships were gonna learn one very important quality quality that define Jesus himself, and that quality is submission. Paul opens up this section with that concept us, starts in verse 21 submitting to one another.

He says in the fear of Christ, not technically, this is the last phrase of the last sentence of the previous section, but Paul uses that as his can bridge into discussion of these three relationships you're going to submit to one another all of you out in the fear price out of respect for Christ, or as a way of serving Christ submitting to one another out of respect for Christ and which will you learn to be like Jesus is real important caveat as we get started here as you remember the whole time I'm talking the fact that we submit to others in relationships like these, does not make us inferior to the person whom were submitting in the same way that when somebody else's submitting to us in one of these relationships that make us superior to them in another one of his letters, Paul makes this very clear. As Paul says in Christ and Christ is really not neither Jew or Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male or female. You could insert right there.

All these other relationships we discussed. There is no husband-wife in Christ as a parent or child in Christ there is no employer or employee. You're really all all one in Christ Jesus were all equal in nature there is no hierarchy in Christ. But that doesn't mean that for a time in our lives we play some of these various roles. Even Jesus himself.

Paul said learn to play the role of submission in first Corinthians 15, Paul explains that there Jesus was himself God in his nature, and of course then equal with God, he still submitted his will to the will of the father, the writer of the book of Hebrews says that by doing this, Jesus learned submission God learn to submit to God, we had on our staff guy is part-time, but he was also a part-time police officer sonar staff. He was part of our counseling team. He was a part-time counselor here and he pastoral counseling and a part-time police officer that was great because he understood that really fine line between when somebody new combatant and when they needed to be arrested.

He kinda got that so is good to have them around, but sometimes he would spend a few hours here in the office while he was on his way to doing something else that he become his police uniform in his police car, which is always interesting because when he would show up and walk into the office. I'm on the head of the staff is on the lead pastor, so he would submit to me he's got under my authority. But the moment that we walked out and got in our cars and on the road that I submitted to him because he was the authority writer who was superior to whom the question is simply depends on what role that we are playing with. That's what Paul is trying to get at here. It has nothing to do with superiority or inferiority were all one in Christ Jesus is no hierarchy. It's got to do with roles that we play various points in our lives that God uses like a laboratory to teach us to be more like Jesus, you got this right. So let's look at the very first laboratory in verse 22. Marriage marriage. Verse 22 wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. His ladies your favor. Verse right when you get that one so excited about that. I know you got like a pill at all with this cross that's on it.

So here it is II thought about because the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body.

Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. Just so you could never accuse me of soft peddling any part of the Bible. What is going to make sure you saw that last phrase in everything right. I ladies cannot read. I want it done. Need to submit my husband in this area of my is it included in the him everything category, then I'll let you figure that out so yes, it is listener I was when I say that that some of you ladies your head is about to explode.

Right now because you got all kinds of questions and maybe you seen this distorted you seen this used for abuse. Using abuse and twisted. I understand that. Okay I'm married to a wonderful very competent woman who is very high-spirited and yes I I get all of that so just hang on with me if you will, let's get through this and then I'll come back and will will talk about some of those questions for 25 husband C says you love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. He did this is an important phrase will come back to give us to present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that but holy and blameless in the same way you see husbands, love your wives like the love in their own bodies, the one who loves his wife loves himself because we make some apart your body when you take.

You take care you nobody or hates his own flesh provides it and cares for it, just as Christ does the church since works are members of his body. Verse 31. For this reason a man leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two will become one new body. This mystery is profound with the I'm telling you that God gave us the marriage relationship is a way of teaching us about Christ and the church Christ relationship to his people. So it started Eiseman.get this. The husband submits to his wife number that's kind of the heading submit to one another out of your price. The husband submits to his wife by loving her and leading her like Christ loved and led the church in teaching this Paul is going to draw all the way back from the creation narratives of Genesis 2 throughout Ephesians 5 "Genesis to a number of different times we go back to Genesis 2.

What we see is that God assigned the man at least four ways that he was to have a Christlike leadership role in the home he was first of all, if your job is now number one. He was to provide for before God created a woman he had the man working in the garden with a job. It was only after the man had a job and after he was writing for himself that God brought them libel quick will application here ladies of the temple down a job.

These 28 years old still uses mom and dad credit card. I'd stay away from. That's free. That's it from uncle JD. Thank you very much. Second second he was trying, he was able to lead the way. Spiritually, especially the way spiritually. When he was brought to Adam he already had a relationship with God. He was on a walk with God's will be obeying the commands of God. He was tasked with related the commands of God and delete her in obeying them by example. Then you were supposed to be the spiritual leaders in your home that you see that phrase appointed about a minute ago wash her with water by the word. What is that meat that means that you lead in the application of Scripture to your family and I know that Sir Elder lump-sum you guys who just like this image of me in the lead a Bible study for my wife and she knows more about the Bible than I do and she's smarter than I am in and II knew that she knew that Gardner's ads could be embarrassing. Yes we all know that we know she's smarter than you, but all it means is that you lead the way in applying Scripture and how you lead the way in leading your family to obey it real quick just here one little experiment that you can do if you feel like everyone by this you go home tonight when you get home tonight. You just look at your wife and you say a baby can pray for you okay and then let her come up with some things and then you write things down like you because you can pray for him and then you remember when one thing from us or just want one right and then you pray those things are and then you pray the application point about Scripture and prayed over when you say amen guys, I'm telling you now to look up and she will be crime and you can believe in, and you can fill awesome you can fill awesome what is became a spiritual leader and you write me a thank you note and I'm ready to receive it. Okay, so washing over the word also means you become the primary mouth. Please that declares God's feelings about her to her name if she values that she's cherished that she's precious in God's sight. It's got a bright future because of the promises of God in her husband, let me ask you to consider something. What is your wife's identity. What is your wife's identity was built solely on your compliments and encouragements that you gave to her help balance for her emotional life be how healthy would herself understanding me what how she thought about itself was built solely in your compliments and encouragements I give you another little experiment you can do this because I'm feeling generous today view husbands okay you need to get your Bible out and I want you to make a list of the just go through Ephesians 5 prescriptive 13 proper 31 Galatians 5 and list out all the characteristics that you see in those passages of Christ likeness. The brothers are in there for the next 3 to 3 weeks every time you see one in your wife. You just call it out of her. And you say, Massey, Jesus, and you and I see him working in you and you just pray for her and you affirm those in your life and it's gonna be awesome.

You can be a leader. Thirdly, he takes the lead in romance, so he leads and provisionally spiritually thoroughly leads in romance. As you know, the first human recorded human words in the Bible.

The first ones are in Genesis 2 of Adam composing a love poem about his wife. He was to be the one taking the initiative in romancing his wife, which means man you should be the one budgeting for an planning and suggesting and pulling off the date nights I thought someone out there would give me an amen. My wife yield a mental out of her service. I just embarrassed the heck out of me so means you are to be the one taking initiative in these kinds of romance you want to be the wind on the other side. Figuring out when the relationship is in trouble and you need some counseling. I'm not a marriage counselor but I tell you it's almost always the opposite way we have so woman Dragon in a guy same were in deep trouble. It's your responsibility husband your responsibility to understand the relationship enough to know when you need help.

Finally he was the lead we see in Genesis 2, and in sacrifice number 31 balls in reference God's instructions to the man to leave his previous life in to cleave to his wife to become one with her in Paul's enough. Compare that to Jesus relationship with us when he left his heavenly home in the Cayman United himself to us in offer his life up for us. And Paul says in the same way you're going to lay down your life or your spouse laying down your life. Didn't simply mean being willing to die for her leg on your life means daily, putting her needs above yours and using whatever power or leadership position you have the server it means husbands that in decisions. I give Veronica's needs and preferences more weight than I do my own guys what that means is that if I am serving Veronica like Christ serve the church that means in 94.8% of the places where we disagree working to end up doing what she wants because most decisions are not spiritual leadership decisions there just preferences and my preferences and my needs should always be second ours to the borrower from CS Lewis here.

Men yes in the marriage relationship you wear a crown but that crown that you wear is primarily made of thorns is one that you wear like Jesus wore that's how I submit to my wife.

I use my leadership to server now before we move on to the wife will be point out that in one sense humanity's fall happened because of the failure me in the lead in this way. I point this out before, but read Genesis 2 and three to the lens of men and leading or not leading. It says that you just three opens up with a woman in a conversation with a snake with Satan and Satan commences a woman to try the forbidden fruit and then it says that she gave it to her husband who was there with her now pointed out that in Hebrew the word with her means that he was standing like right next to her. Not that he was off somewhere else in the garden doing man stuff grilling kill and I kind of stuff he was standing right there with her. Now he knew the commands of God. He knew that God said the day that you eat of it you will surely die.

Which means that he standing right there watching this thing go down and so when his wife takes the bite of this. What is this dirt back thinking washing of dropdead so I'll know that's a bad idea.

So not only is he failing to lead spiritually. He's also failing to lead in sacrifice and protection right when the conversation which should've gone down is just three opens up the snake, you know, make his way over to the woman and also there be an atom like did you go to my wife. We can talk my wife went on a mess around the tree we obey God, right, and this is what were doing. That's what should happen is not what happened. And because of that there was everything began to come unraveled in one since the original sin was not a sin of commission as much as it was a sin of omission he failed to lead, which means that that he omitted where he was and that led to the destruction of the human race in the same way, just like humanity fell because men diddly like Christ.

I would suggest to you that when men in this church or any church reassume their leadership role that's going to see the transformation of society, in our churches. Your studies pretty consistently show that if this child is the first one to get saved in a family of a child. The first one to get saved in the family.

There is a 3 1/2% chance that everybody else in the family site that's pretty low. If the mother is the first one to get saved in a family. There's a 70% chance of everybody else in the family with a if a father is the first one to get saved in a family. There is a 93% chance that everybody else in the family will get saved memo. Some of this your faithless argument he most impacted when you were the one leading in family devotion when you're the ones that are setting the priorities when you're the ones taking the lead and disappoint when you're the one that is responsible to keep the family schedule on track measure stands now you know there's a lot of men on autopilot when it comes to their family. They come home and tae kwon do my leadership now is my wife's turn to say God of a lot of if you show the same initiative in your job that you show your family you get fired in a week and this is your most important assignment with some week we got a lot of men who lead in this church and thank God for that we need more of them got a lot of men that are sitting back is like Adam in the garden watching SportsCenter let know I leave and everything God came down to Adam and Eve out of the sand and the question to me is very haunting. He says to Adam, where are you. Where were you. Where were you Adam. Where were you when it was time to lead you went there one that you were bad you just disengaged. We need men to be the spiritual leaders of the home to that would transform families, churches, societies, we need to believe no place like is that we a lot of men doing that here on roaming the come down but as we need a lot more. Did you know I hassled a study recently the international mission board in the hard places the really difficult mission places female applicants outnumber male applicants 7 to 1. Now thank God for women of faith and courage were stepping up and saying we are ready to be used for management tell you they should not be the ones leading out in hard areas.

The world will be restored when men take that Christlike leadership role in men ladies men Ammonite now to the wife. He says wife you like Jesus and how you submit that leadership like I showed you twice in this passage, she is told, submit to your husbands in everything. So what is that mean will first be point out what it doesn't mean it doesn't mean the dominance of the man as if she exist as a serf in his house to cater to his whims. Because like I showed you the husband is told first to lay down his life for her, nor does it mean ladies that you ever allow yourself to be put in the situation where you might be harmed in verse 22 and it says submit to him as to the Lord. Submit to him as a way of serving God not submitting to him as if he were God. That means that if your husband was ever telling you to do something that would make you disobey the Lord for his leadership ever put you or your family and physical harms way. It means you need to get out of there. You come see us and you need to let us help you need to get some counseling that that concept that mean that all women everywhere should submit all men everywhere as if women cannot lead in the workplace or in government follows only talking about the marriage relationship here. Finally, guys.

I may also point out to you that this verse is actually not addressed to you. It's rest are which means that you can't use it as a tool to wield over your wife and her verse, not yours. The Martin Lloyd Jones, a British pastor says it's hers to obey.

It's not yours to demand if she's not doing it.

The only thing you can do other than maybe leaving your Bible open to Ephesians 5 in strategic places around the house doing thing you can do is to try to be the kind of leader that would be a joy to submit to and then just for you.

Play your role in trust God with with her plate hers. What it does mean ladies is that you allow him the space to steer the family. I love how Kathy Keller, who is the wife of Tim Keller as she explains it. She says she is. It means that it matters of disagreements I yield to Tim the deciding vote, I get about when he gets about and he gets the deciding vote.

She tells the story of their decision about whether or not to move to New York City so that they could plant Redeemer Presbyterian Church and she said after praying about it for about a month he felt like the answer was yes and I thought the answer was no specific angle point were we had to make a decision because to not make a decision would be functionally to make one against and she said so he conceded. Is that okay sweetheart okay Kathy if you don't want to go, then we will go Is that I responded back to him. Oh no you don't. You are not putting this on me. God put this responsibility on you and you gotta bear the responsibility for this decision and you had to bear the burden.

If it's a wrong decision. Spiritual leadership means he has the burden of responsibility if supposed to be good news. You are relieved of the burden of being accountable for a bad decision like Tony Evans, the African-American pastor preacher always a spiritual headship is God telling a woman to dock so we can punch the man he bears the burden of the deciding vote guys of told you this spiritual headship is not licensed to do whatever you want to do spiritual headship is empowerment to do what you want to do wives that means that you don't only follow him when you agree with him for like he's making the right decision. That's not submission. That's agreement wontons woman to come back from a conference in Chicago and my husband is not a spiritual leader. What I do with that.

They wonder you.

What is that mean for how I follow him won't notice the verse didn't say submit when he is a sufficiently spiritual enough leader in your eyes if your husband is not a spiritual leader, your submission to him in this way can help call him up into that kind of leadership with Janie Greer to listen again. You can find the full program Jenny we've been talking for a couple weeks about God's incorruptible love for us in his church.

We've been talking about your church revitalization story here in Raleigh-Durham budgeting honor listeners who are shouting as they hear you talk when my church you know will first want. Do you I've been there when I was a high school student when when I came to Christ. I get really annoyed burdened and discouraged with the church. I was amicus and semi-God spirit was moving them powerfully got together with two or three guys and we always met before this that the Sunday service and we just prayed that God would send awakening to our church have also been on the other side of it.

Where have been a part of the church that God just poured out his spirit an incredible amazing ways. In the story of the summer church I pastor a God use the audacious faith in the sacrifice vision, humility of the group about 300 members. Here are just put the mission of God first and put the gospel above all and use that to not only transform a church but do that church to transform the communities that they were apart, and we thought you know what proximate life audience.

We think you would like to hear some of the stories because not only will they inspire you about what God can do in your church, but also help your sample the context or preaching out of here. If you reach out Janie put into your hands. This little booklet that's got eight stories and eight supplies available generosity and truly is making him great stories that led to dying churches revitalization anything today $25 to join our team monthly cost part is how it 335-2335, breathing in the have a cell with us today listening into my messy reason, marriage, family and work life

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