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August 17, 2020 7:00 pm
Dr. Jason Ormiston continues a chapel series entitled “Oh How I Love They Law.” Today’s scripture passage is Ephesians 6:1-4.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist, Dr. Bob Jones senior. His intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything. So he established daily chapel services. Today, that tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from the university chapel platform.
Today on The Daily Platform, we're continuing a steady series entitled. Oh, How I Love Thy Law, which is a study of the Ten Commandments. Today's message will be preached by seminary professor Dr. Jason Ormiston. He'll be speaking on the Fifth Commandment honoring your father and mother. Well, good morning.
And let me invite you to take your Bible, turn to Ephesians six, efficient six we're going look at versus one through four together. What I'm going to speak on relates to something that I would say is the number one reason why, apart from how did I do on my test or my quiz, students come to my office, they come to my office asking questions about when is it appropriate for me to choose to do something different than what my parents are suggesting to me? When is it okay for me to say, I don't agree with you and I'm an adult now and I need to make an adult decision? And so I'm sharing this with you out of a heart for compassion and a desire for you to see what the scripture has to say about this topic. And yet I'm also just a quick shout out to parents that may be watching and the parents that are in this building in FEMA. I want you to know that I share this with great caution. I, too, am a parent. I have two students here in the student body. And so what I'm sharing is not something that I'm looking to create division, though I don't think it's possible to preach on this topic without people having opinions one way or another. So I'm not going to win sides, but I'm going to try to preach the Bible. And that would be my goal. I want to make God happy, not you. And hopefully in that process, we all grow happy in him. So Ephesians six is a key passage to look at. Notice what it says. Children obey your parents in the Lord. This is right. Honor by father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise that it may be well with you, that they'll make us live long on the earth. And you fathers provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Understanding this passage within its broader context in Ephesians, we have a transition that happens in Ephesians. The first three chapters are really rich. Theological truth. When you get into Chapter four, it starts to get really practical with the theology we just learned. And that's many times how Paul writes. He frequently does that in his writings. And so he starts with relationships in Chapter four about communication. When you get into Chapter five, he introduces us to the thought of this idea of being imitators of Christ in our relationship. First, it starts out with wives, submit to your husbands and then it says husbands love your wives. And that transitions into Chapter six right here where we have children. Obey your parents. And then in verse five, this is the call for parents to love your children. Then if you work your way down into verse five, you see in verse six, it gives a reference to Masters and actually starts with servants, obey or submit your masters. And then in verse nine, Masters love your servants. So that employer employee relationship. So we're looking at a context of how does the gospel apply to relationships. And that is key is we understand this passage. You'll notice in versus two through three, there's a quote made about the Fifth Commandment. This fifth commandment is found in two places in the Old Testament, in particular, Exodus 20, verse twelve and Deuteronomy five 16. You notice the difference between these two places that we find it is you see a repetition in Deuteronomy five sixteen as the Lord that God hath commanded thee referring to. You've already heard this, but this is the second giving of the law. Deuteronomy. I'm going to tell it to again, this is really important. This is the beginning of the commandments that relate to our relationship to love our neighbor as herself. The first four we've looked at already relate to our love for God. And so we've learned something really, really important. This is a significant commandment as it relates to how we function in society and how we function within our families and actually how we function in life, period. So let's consider this together. As we look, Matthew five and Matthew 15 four and Mark seven, 10 or the other places you're going to find this in the Bible, in the New Testament, that context is talking about Jesus responding to the scribes and Pharisees who manipulate the law and say, I don't have to help my parents when they get old. I'm going to dedicate my goods to God, which means I have access to them. My parents won't. And this is a violation of the Fifth Commandment. But how do I relate to my parents properly? I'm telling you that if you're sitting here and you're you're really getting engaged today for the brief time we have in chapel. No doubt you have a story or know someone that has a story and it's a good one. It's a story about how you want to date someone and that someone wants to go to the mission field and your parents don't want you to go to the mission field. And so they want you to instead choose someone who will make money. Can I just go ahead, Mary, that guy or can I just should I not listen to my parents if they're. Unbelievers. Right. The commandment only applies to believers, correct? And the answer to that is I want you to listen. Every one of us has a scenario to bring to the text. And I'm not trying to answer all of your scenarios, but to give you principles and which you can build on. And so here's a basic overview. I want us to look briefly at these first three, because I think you're familiar with them. A definition for obedience, motivation behind obedience. You're going to see this in efficient six. The foundation of honor is obedience. And that's a really key transition for us to understand. But leading us to this last one. When do I graduate from obedience to honor, when it comes to my relationship with my parents. Let's take this very first one. The definition of obedience. We look at a Fenians six one. Children obey your parents and we just simply unpack the truth. We find that children as a definition and offspring of human parents who is dependent upon them for daily sustenance. You're a child. If you're in a family, whether through adoption or through birth, and you depend upon your parents to supply your regular needs. And I'm going to suggest to you that it relates to the fact that you could be living in a different state like here at Bob Jones University and you're from another state or another country, but you're still depending upon your parents for your sustenance. I've heard it said before, if your address, your home address is the same as your parents, you fit into this category. Now, notice that it says your parents. This is important. You are not responsible to obey my parents. And I'm not responsible to obey your parents. It says you are responsible to obey your parents. So we keep it really focused and locked in. And that's what Paul intended. But Obey is doing what you're told to do when you're told to do it with the right hard attitude. I don't think that everything I'm saying at this point is revolutionary to you. Perhaps it is. But have you heard this definition before? Do what you're told when you're told with the right attitude. It's easy to do what you're told and to miss those other two. And so we want to pack them all together to understand obedience, which is submitting to the instruction that you receive. Now, why is this so important? Well, if we don't follow the principles found Ephesians Chapter six, we end up finding chaos.
Some years ago, officials at Kruger National Park in Game Reserve in South Africa were faced with a growing elephant problem. The population of African elephants, once endangered, had grown larger than the park could sustain. So measures had to be taken to thin the ranks. A plan was devised to relocate some of the elephants to other African game reserves being enormous creatures. Elephants are not easily transported.
So there was problems with the transportation. So a decision was made that they would transport only the female elephants and the juvenile elephants.
So they thought that problem solved.
The park is thinned out. We're good to go. And they relocated them to clean Pennsburg National Park.
But then something started to happen in Klinenberg National Park in South Africa. There was this random killing of white rhinos, which white rhinos are endangered species. And so, of course, they thought, first of all, this has got to be poachers. But they found the tusks still in place and they found them trampled and pierced through with something. So they installed cameras just like we do here at Schappell, and they decided to figure out who is creating the problem.
And the problem was identified as these juvenile elephants. They were going around beating up and killing white rhinos.
And so, you know, the solution was the solution was they started to say we've got to kill the most aggressive ones. And then animal activists said, that's not right. We created the problem. We've got to solve the solution. So they figured out a way to have the large male bull elephants transported into this park. And as soon as they were relocated, all of a sudden the problems stopped because in God's economy, there's supposed to be structure. And we actually need the structure of those that are older and more mature than we are to help guide us so that we don't go out of control. Many studies have been done as it relates to the need for mentorship, the need for connection. And I just want you to understand that this commandment children obey your parents is actually a blessing from God because he loves you and he wants you to follow him. The motivation behind obedience is found in this first verse. You're supposed to obey them in the Lord for this is right. So to help you unpack this thought. If it's in the Lord, that means it's according to the Lord's plan, his principles, his good designs for you. So if your parents ask you to do something that is outside of God's law, God's word, then you're not obligated to obey them. It's just that simple. But that's a pretty extreme example, is it not? I mean, it has to be you have to know the Bible well enough to know they're asking you to do something that is contrary to the word of God. And if it comes to whether or not you marry someone or you move to a certain location. Or what you decide to do for your major. These are not watershed issues. These are not issues that you say, well, that's unbiblical for them to tell me that they are entitled to a preference.
Why? Because this is right.
It's just really so. I love how Paul just lays it out. This is just the right thing to do. It is righteous. It is good for you.
It is healthy for you to obey your parents. Now, I know some of you are probably saying, well, am I really a child? I mean, you might think I'm a child. I'm not child crazy. We got to get to that. But part of our society is telling. Authority, get out of my face. I'm ready to make my own decisions in what God says. He says, I have created an economy for your good. It is right for you. It is good for you. It's healthy for there to be structure and a marriage where you have the husband leading and loving and the wife submitting and supporting. It's healthy in a family relationship to have the parents loving and leading the children and the children submitting and following. It's healthy in a work relationship for the boss to actually love on his employees and the employees to submit to what they're being told as long as it's in the Lord. And this is a right thing. It's a good thing. But notice not only that we have the foundation of obedience is honor. Now, before I go too fast and I don't want to go too fast without just bringing up something that's really encouraging. Our greatest example of submission is found in none other than Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, both submitted to his earthly father. We have that in Luke to 51 and he submitted to his heavenly father in Matthew twenty six thirty nine, his earthly father, when he was out describing the law to those that were there, listening to him as he's reading it, his heavenly father and get 70, he says, not my will, but your will be done. So our goal here is to become more like Christ. We look to Christ. He understands that even the Trinity is set up in God's plan for God, the father sending God, the son and God, the son saying, when I go, we're sending out the Holy Spirit. It all works. They're equal, in essence, but different an economy is this is a good thing. So what's the foundation? The foundation of obedience is on it. What I'm saying here is that you cannot have obedience without honor. You have to have honor in order to understand obedience. Now, it is true for little kids. They don't really get the honor thing. They want what they want and they throw tantrums in fits. And you have to lovingly direct them towards what is right. And so they're not getting. I esteem you, Dad. I think you're the best thing that ever happened. They're just like, I don't want to get discipline. Puyehue And ultimately, little kids need to learn that obedience thing. But to really get this obedience is the foundation for honor. And we'd see this honor by father and my mother. Let's unpack honor. Honor means being respectful, in your words, actions and inward attitudes. It's an esteem for someone's and this is key. Someone's not person but position. They're God ordained position. So it's not whether or not you think you have good parents who gave you those parents. I have news for you. God did. He is sovereign. He is in charge. He assigned you the parents that you have, regardless of how you got them. You have them meaning if you're adopted, if you were your parents, the Lord took them home and you became a foster child and you had many sets of parents. This gets super complicated, but ultimately you're supposed to esteem the position of that person. Notice these words broken down in the Torah in Leviticus. Twenty nine. You're not supposed to curse your parents. In fact, if you did this, you would die. Now, this is not the way it is today, obviously, because many of us have said things we regret to our parents and we're still here. But in God's economy of theocracy, when he was ruling as the king judge during the Old Testament time period during the Old Covenant, we're now under the New Covenant. But during the Old Covenant, if you curse your parents, you were liable to be killed. Notice it says that in Leviticus 29, in Exodus 21 17. Also in your actions, it says in Exodus 21 fifteen. He that smite at his father or his mother shall be surely put to death. And then in your attitudes, Mark, seven, six through 13. I have listed your verse six, which talks about their heart not being in tune with God's heart. In that context, there is that very thing I alluded to that the scribes and Pharisees were acting out in actions. There were actions, I should say, in words. They were saying, I respect my parents. I am keeping that fifth commandment. But in deeds and actions, they weren't they were setting apart their stuff for themselves and saying, actually, it's core bane. It's set as part for God. How are you doing in these categories?
Are you steaming your parents in your word? With your words while you talk to them.
Are you steaming them when it comes to this idea of not ever coming close to threatening them physically?
We're in a home where I'm watching my 14 year old son this year go from six foot one almost to six foot five in a period of like four months.
Yeah, he's bigger than my wife.
He's he's really, really skinny. Almost any skinnier than my wife. That would be right. He is really, really skinny. So she could probably still take him. But if he starts to threaten her at all, then I am all over that. Don't even play that game in this house. Now, I'm not going to beat him, but it's so inappropriate for him to act that way. And I can rejoice in saying he's never hit her. He's never gone after her like that. But have you ever done that? Have you ever tried to bully your mom or your dad?
That's sin, that's wrong.
Have you ever talked poorly about your parents? But they just don't get it. They're so clueless, mom and Dad. I'm going to do whatever I want to do. Thank you. Hang up.
That's sin. That's wrong. You need to repent of that and you need to talk to him. And you did say I'm wrong. I've sin. Will you forgive me? I'm not perfect. You know that. I know that. And have you ever gotten this thing where your attitude is just totally flip and even to the level of you are acting nice to them, but you're actually manipulating them?
It's so easy to manipulate people, isn't it? But God sees right through it.
The motivation to honor is God said it. I mean, I could say that settles it. It's not. I've heard it before. God said it. I believe it. That settles it. Here's what God said. That's it. God has your best interests in mind. And if you go back to the Deuteronomy passage, it states very clearly that God said it. So that's it. Notice honoring your father, mother, which is the first commandment with promise. I don't have a ton of time to break this down, but I want to help you observe something, encourage you to study something. This is actually not the first commandment of the 10 Commandments that has a promise connected to it. The first commandment that has a promise connected to it is actually the third commandment about not making graven images. And it talks about blessings to your generations. So then what is Paul referring to when he says it's the first commandment with promise? Either he's referring to it's the first of the six that relate to our relationship to our neighbor, or it is the one in which all others are built upon. If we don't honor our parents, we're not going to care that they say no other God before me. No graven images. I will not take the name the Lord my God today. And I will actually care and remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. If we're not honoring, then we're not keeping it that way. But we do see that it is God's plan for your serenity. I mean that as a simple way of saying your peace. It is connected to a promise. It's also connected to your success that it may be well with thee. Now, this is a simple thing. Living within God's boundaries is actually you will find great freedom. We frequently want to be the person that's testing the boundaries. How about enjoying the boundaries that God has given you through the boundaries your parents have placed upon you and that Thomasina belong upon the Earth? I can't say it any other way.
But then to say that the bottom line is that you won't die according to the Old Testament, but you'll live because they won't. There won't be capital punishment.
And this is found in many places in the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 21, 18 through 21 says this is what you're supposed to do. If your son is rebellious to you, is stubborn, is a drunkard or a glutton.
You're supposed to take him out of the city with all the men and stone him. Yikes. I think there's also an allusion here to a picture here in context that you may live long upon the earth in the Old Testament. We have reference to upon this land, and it's a promise connected to God's gift of the Promised Land. In a Ziko, we're instructed that Ezekiel 22 seven is equal 20 to 15. Their choice to dishonor their parents is one of the reasons there are many that they were taken into captivity.
So God saying we you just live underneath my rule because I have a way that is encouraging you towards serenity, success and even higher survival.
But how about the graduation from obedience to honor?
You know, I love versus like First Corinthians 13, 11 that says when I was a child, I speak as a child. And I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But when I became a man, I understood or I put away childish things.
So God does have in his economy a plan for you to go from child in transition to adult. The challenge that we have is that in our society today, we're really confused on this effect. We don't have anything built in there to transition us in the Jewish culture. It's bar mitzvah, bat mitzvah happening at age 13 or twelve. Thirteen for the boy. Twelve for the girl.
If you look up different cultural transitions, you find some really, really interesting ones. I found one from the Brazilian Amazon culture. They mark their coming of age with the ceremony when the boys turn 13.
The men in the village go around and they find these bullet ants and they sedate them with herbal juice and smoke and they collect them and put them in gloves. So the stingers are pointed out. And the boys have to put their hands in there for 10 minute segments in these ants wake up in their tick. Then they start stinging these boys for 10 minutes and have to do this sometimes 20 times. And they're not supposed to share any emotion or cry. And they've got to show that they're a man. What happens in American culture? Well, we're confused. Like, you can get your license at age 16, but that's kind of only provisional. You can't drive at night when you turn 18, you can vote when you turn 21. You're of legal drinking age. That is not what I'm encouraging you to do, but it's legal drinking age and you can't even rent a car till your age 25.
So when do I become an adult? I know it's when I say so wrong.
That's not it. So check this out. Your father's I think the onus falls on the dads. I think it falls on guys like me that have kids, six of them that I need to figure out how to apply this verse, which says provoke not your children to. That means don't poke at them and treat them like little kids that cannot make decisions in their insight with. This desire for rebellion, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. This idea of nurture here has the idea of discipline and training that you give to one who is in process of growing admonition is the word that we get new esthetic counseling from. It's this concept of I'm going to help you transition and know what the Bible says about productive Christian living. So here's my shout out to the parents as a form of application. I think that parents, we need to and those of us future parents discuss a rite of passage like talk with your kids about when did you become when do you become. Go from a child to an adult and then what does that look like? Because the goal here is not to keep your kids with you as long as you possibly can. You have your kids for a short period of time. And actually you should be motivated to follow the principle of someone twenty seven, which is shoot them out of your bow into the world that is fallen in need of the gospel. We are so eager to get all six kids out of our house. We tell him that all the time and think again using my son. He was so I didn't understand. He got that message. So clearly it wasn't until a year ago and I confirmed this with him. He's 14. It wasn't until a year ago that he understood that when he turns 18, he doesn't have to leave. He was absolutely dead. I got to figure out what I'm going to do for a living. You're 13. Just chill out because. No, I mean, 18 is coming, Dad. No, no, you you have to go to Bob Jones. But then then, you know, I want to encourage you go to college and gets established to discuss this right in and celebrate that transition with your friends and family. So I'm not here to tell you when that happens. I'm here to tell you that you should come up with something.
We have developed a family mission statement, and I would encourage you to think about that.
The Ormiston Family Mission Statement notes in the center that the goal is striving to become spiritually mature, physically fit, emotionally stable.
The goal is adults who desire to love God and serve others. That's the goal. Adulthood, OK.
Now, how about parents that like to take passages in the Old Testament and say this is what it says it prescribes that I need to tell you stop. And I once you get this parents and those of your future parents don't use descriptive passages prescriptively, don't say because it's in the Old Testament or it's in the Bible, that means you have to do this. Understand the exegete Geets cheer, which is context, context, yei, context, context matters and we've got to apply it appropriately. And students. I leave you with these thoughts. Unless the instructions violate scripture, you need to obey your parents. And when do we know a transition is happening? When I study this out, and I considered a very clear one, is when you establish your own family and you get married. You see that it's in Genesis two where it says a husband needs to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two shall be one flesh. So you're saying, OK, so that's cool. All I need to do is get married. Well, no. See, the process of actually getting married is supposed to be demonstrated over a period of time that you're mature enough to handle that. It's not your loophole. The Bible is not a book of law that we need to know well enough so we can manipulate what it says to benefit our desires. It's God's love letter to us to guide us towards him and notice that there's a calling Numbers 30, where it helps us understand that if a wife makes a vow, the husband can say, we're not keeping that, or if a daughter makes a vow and the dad hears about, no, you're not keeping that. But if he says nothing, then you have to keep that. And it seems to imply that there is authority in a home. So I suggest to you that you get to a point where you can establish your own home and you've got to play into that, this idea of singleness. First Corinthians seven, eight and 17. There is a gifting, there's a calling to be single.
And so we need to consider that always show under your parents.
The word in Hebrew means waitI. You need to give more weight to what your parents say to you always than you do to your peers.
You really do. And then I conclude with this thought. Honor is linked with humility. If you follow it through Proverbs, but you follow it through Jesus in Philippians two, he humbled himself and became a man so that we could know eternal life. And I call you to consider these principles. To yield yourself to what the Bible says. God help us to follow you with great joy and honor and obey our parents. In Jesus name. Amen.
You've been listening to a sermon preached at Bob Jones University by Dr. Jason Norman Stone, which is part of the study series about the Ten Commandments. Join us again tomorrow as we continue this series here on The Daily Platform.