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November 12, 2020 7:00 pm
BJU President Steve Pettit continues a discipleship series entitled, “Seeking Things Above” from Colossians 3:18-21
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's 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 preaching from the University Chapel platform today on The Daily Platform were continuing a study series entitled seeking things above, which is a study of the book of Colossians. This study explores and applies the timeless truth that Christ is our sufficiency in all relationships, responsibilities and circumstances.
If you would like to follow along in the study booklet you can get one on Kendall or you can order a printed copy from the website. The Daily Platform.com like to invite your attention this morning to the book of Colossians chapter 3 were going to read verses 18 through 21. The Scripture says wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is spent in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children obey your parents in all things for this is well pleasing unto the Lord father's, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. Now I'm fairly confident in saying that most of you are not a homeowner at least yet.
But when you purchase a home and it doesn't matter if it's new or old you have to understand that being a homeowner requires constant maintenance and upkeep, fixing and improving your home is the consistent responsibility of all homeowners and in many ways this is also true when you establish a home through marriage and a family through having children. It requires the constant process of improvement. So this morning, I'd like to speak to you on the theme of home improvement and I'd like us to look this morning as the apostle Paul is addressing the church of Colossae and he is giving the believers their mutual roles and responsibilities in the home and as we have looked at this passage of Scripture seeking things above.
And Paul is dealing with the false teaching that was going on in the church and we come to chapter 3 and he talks about this victorious life. He is addressing the Christian family also because we all know that life is lived within families, and as we read. As we read this passage this morning. I'd like to try to answer at least four questions this morning as we look at the passage together in the first question is this. Are these commands sufficient for building a Christian home, we must be honest it doesn't really say a whole lot.
It gives the name of the individual and the family and gives really one short command and one reason why we should do this it short and simple.
Is this enough. If you were to walk into a Christian bookstore and you were to look for the section on the family. How many books would be there traffic with the Bixby how much instruction would there be on the family, but obviously a lot more than what Paul says so are these commands sufficient for building a Christian home.
Second question is does a Christian view of the family destroy the inequality of the individual. I mean, it appears as you read these verses that the wife and the child are put in a place of inferiority and even vulnerability. So where's the quality of the individual and then number three.
Do these commands create a cultural conflict. I mean, the idea of a wife being submissive is not real popular today. For some it immediately creates tension. Should the roles and the responsibilities be altered or adjusted because of our culture does the definition of a biblical family conflict with those who today are proponents of a nontraditional family such as a gay marriage or raising children in a gay family.
And then there's 1/4 question and that is what worldview best describes your view of the family. Paul viewed the family through the lens of God's truth in our salvation.
We are all members of the family of God and we are all called new creations and is members of this family of believers. We are commanded to live out a new identity and every area of our life and we've already looked at that. We looked at morals and we looked at relationships. We look at our responsibility to the church and now we see how our faith is to touch not only these realms of our lives, but also our relationship with our own family. These commands reveal how a Christian family is to look and to operate under the authority of Jesus Christ. So what were going to do this morning is follow Paul's pattern as he speaks to each family member and he gives them a responsibility, a command and then he gives them a motivating reason behind this command. So let's take them as they appear in the Scripture each individual and let's begin. First of all with wives. Notice what the Bible says wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord why think the most important word we have to grasp is the word submit what is that me literally it means to rank under to subject oneself, it's a military terms on the military. If you've ever known anything about the military ever ranks structure so you start with privates and corporals and sergeants and there's different kinds of sergeants their squad sergeants and staff sergeants and first sergeants and major sergeants. Then you get up in the commission officers you have second lieutenants first lieutenants, captains, majors Lieut. Col.'s kernels and then you get up to the general grade and there's four grades of generals one star Brig. to start major three-star lieutenant and four-star just general. So once you go into the military. One of the first things you learn is where do you fit it's also a governmental term that speaks to the citizens of a country who are to rank in submission to the government.
So when you're driving down the highway and a police car drives by.
What did you. What do you instantly feel what goes through your head. What do you do with your foot. We all understand the idea of submission. So it is very clear that Paul's approach in this passage of Scripture is to address first of all, the one who is placed in a subordinate role that was stop and ask a question. Is this not a denial of the inequality of the individual are women being lowered by this command has not. Paul already spoken about the equality of all believers in God's family because there are other verses that say this, for example, Galatians 328 there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond or free, there is neither male nor female, for year are all one in Christ Jesus. Colossians 311 where there is neither Greek or Jew, circumcision or un-circumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bond or free but Christ is all and in all. It is very clear that Paul places no distinction between men and women in their relationship with God. They are all equally one, so the question then is what is up with the submission command.
I think the best way to answer it. It is that it's all about the way God is set it up for the family function appropriately and are three things I like to say about that number one God is establish a functional order in the home. For example let's take the Trinity, the father and the son and the Holy Spirit. We all recognize their coequal. The father is God the son is God.
The spirit is God. However, there's a functional order in the Trinity where one person of the Trinity submits himself to the other person in the Trinity in order to accomplish God's sovereign purposes. For example, we know Jesus submitted himself to his father's will.
His death on the cross was subjection to his father's authority. Why because that's how he could accomplish God's plan and purpose for our redemption. If Jesus was not submissive. You would not be say. Likewise, the Holy Spirit functions in submission to the father sovereign will.
Because what is the spirit of God do.
He works in the hearts of those that the father has chosen to be heirs of salvation. We all know that you could not be saved in the spirit did not prompt your heart. So within the Trinity equality and submission coexist and the submission has a functional purpose and God has revealed a functional order in the family first Corinthians 11 three but I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the wife is her husband and the head of Christ is God. God, Christ, husband and wife in order for a family to function.
You could say there's a divine flowchart an order of responsibility and accountability.
The duties of the subordinate are always first why because if there's no submission. It can't work, everything will fall apart and there is still equality but submission is necessary for the family to function relationally. We are equal, but functionally there's an order and that leads to the second thing and that is is important to recognize that this submission is always voluntary. Dear member when you are playing with as a kid with friends and somebody would tell you to do something. Have you ever heard it gets a response. Say you're not my boss never heard that Mel yapped understand that the commandment to submit is in the present middle tents which means it's voluntary.
It's very different to children because children are to be obedient and us in the present active, it means it's not an option. So the why is not coming to the husband unwilling, reluctant, kicking, screaming, but she is joyful and willingly. She is submitting herself to him.
Role differences do not set one as a superior and the other as an inferior. They are both equal and the trajectory that Paul is setting is that both husband and wife share in mutual responsibilities.
The husband is commanded to obey God by loving his wife and making her needs her desires and her wishes. His focus. Do you know that when God said that he created woman even brought Eve to man, Adam, he said that she was Adam's help meet her help her. The word for helper is the same word that refers to the Holy Spirit as our helper and we as Christians depend upon the Holy Spirit to help us and if a husband had half a brain, he would.
This he would depend upon his wife.
My wife is here this morning fact is my mother-in-law's here this morning and they're coming to check out this message.
Guaranty and you know what I look to my wife literally and trusting her just like I would trust in the Holy Spirit in many ways it's almost like I'm looking up to her and I have a sense of a duty of responsibility to love her and that's the functional order that God has set up one of the thing and that is submission is ultimately to the Lord. Paul says that this is fitting or proper for the wife to submit herself to her husband because of Christ's preeminence. He's the head of the church to which we are all apart. Remember these are commands for Christian families. It also makes it clear that the wife submission will never require her to disobey God by obeying her husband. It would not be fitting because ultimately she's under the authority of the Lord. So this is the role of the wife, and secondly, let's look at the husband is as husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. The husband is given to commands number one positively. He is to love his wife. Now this was an odd command in ancient times it was taught widespread by the Greeks and the true Jews that wives were to submit, but there was no code in the ancient world requiring that a husband love his wife so immediately. What is Christianity do it actually elevates the wife in a Christian home and what kind of love is. This is the love of Christ.
It is distinctively unselfish. It is a self giving love is modeled by Jesus who went to the cross and died for us.
The role of the husband is to give himself to meet every need of his wife and to show her the greatest respect in the notice. This is kind of an interesting command.
He says, and be not bitter or be not harsh with her. Don't become sour toward your wife. That is, that sound a little odd. I mean, what would cause a husband to become bitter towards his own wife. I mean really, it would seem like the person this in the subjection role would be the one that would become most bitter, but in reality the commandment is given to the man now I have a personal reason why believe that this is true because I think men generally are more selfish than women and selfish people get bitter very easily.
I think it comes because of basically the greatest fear of a man in the greatest fear of a woman in marriage.
When I was a an evangelist and we would have members of our team, get married, we would always have conversations about marriage and I would always have on the sitdown conversations. Let's talk about something and I would talk about the greatest fear of a woman in the greatest fear of a man in marriage in the greatest fear of a woman is basically abandonment. He's going to leave for not necessarily divorce just either neglect or become more other things will become more important to him his job. His golf clubs and shotguns as cars or whatever.
So woman fears abandonment, but a man is different. A man fears more disappointment or and maybe even embarrassment. The man becomes disappointed because his wife does not live up to his expectations. They could be physical, they could be mental they could be emotional or financial or relational. It is easy for marriages. Over time, through fear and disappointment. Suddenly, that you draw all apart.
This was a hard lesson for me to learn but it took me 10 years of marriage and that is every thing that I wanted to see changed in my wife was simply a reflection of what God wanted to change and be my wife was a was a mirror and when I looked at her and thought, would you change this. She put up the mirror and she said why don't you look at yourself first. Every time I pointed a finger at my wife. I had three fingers pointing back at me I've learned something.
I can't change anybody, especially my wife, it's not going to happen but you know what I can do I can love her.
I can serve her and I can change and you you and I find out it motivates her you don't know when your spouse by controlling them, you win them by loving and serving them in the Lordship of Christ demands that when use say I do that you are to serve your wife and give yourself to her the rest of your life. It's not about you it's about loving her and then that leads to the third person and that's children notices his children obey your parents in all things for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
Children actually are addressed as responsible people within the church. The responsibility the for the family is mutual.
Even children have a role in assist children obey the word obey is interesting it means to listen. It comes from the Old Testament Shema.
Deuteronomy 64 here oh Israel, the word here is Shema that means to not just here a list and it means to obey in our culture you can listen and not obey, but in Jewish culture. They were one and the same. This is an eager ear that listens with the intent to obey. Absolutely, it appears that Paul here is addressing young children.
Those who are living under the protective care of their parents, they are obligated to obey. Obedience were a child is to be in everything, everything. What you where where you go where you can't go, what you do with your time in your schedule who your friends are what you can watch on TV what music you can listen to in every way a child is to obey. This is appropriate behavior within the Christian community.
Now think it would be appropriate for me to say a word to you because you know you're not really a child.
So where does it fit with you and I think personally when it comes to a college student. There are three keywords that are important for you and your relationship with your parents. Number one respect number two honor and number three trust God change my heart and my relationship with my dad at 19 years old and from that point forward, I decided to honor to respect and to trust my father in your I found he began to trust me as I trusted him. So in my own life as a child, even as what I would call an adult child that I always want to have with my family. That spirit of respect, honor in trust and finally notice the last statement dealing with father's forefathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. This command is directed to the father is the one who is to be the motivator of the children do not exasperate your child don't irritate your child.
Don't provoke them so that they lose their heart and I think what is teaching here is this that God puts within the heart of every child. A compelling desire to please their parents, especially their fathers were my girls would little were little and I would come home after working all day they would meet me at the front door and start screaming so and then they would say daddy, daddy, come watch me, let me show you they would show me what they drew that day or what they did that day I would go sweetheart you are so smart and you are so wonderful and then as I grew up as a child I remember how much I wanted my parents to be there. I remember when I play public high school football and I'd run out on the field and I would look up in the stands and I would look to see if my mom or dad were there. I remember very clearly, clearly, is a freshman in college I played on the soccer team and we came up from Charleston South Carolina to play Erskine College and as I was sitting on the bench, which is what I did all day that day I looked over and I saw saw my father standing there who driven 92 miles from Columbia to come see me sit on the bench, but I never forgot it. I remember how encouraged I was with my whole family attended my college graduation as they came from Denver Colorado and also remember how my father said to me one week before he died in 1997 he had been paralyzed through surgeries from his chest down and he rolled over and looked at me.
One week before he died and he sits on a just want you know how proud I am of you. That meant more to me than anything that's ever been said to me in my life outside of my family who loves me so how can. How can a father provoke his children to wrath. This is a serious issue. I think the answers by saying and doing things in such a way that suggests that a child's acceptance with his parents is being challenged because they don't measure up that their love and approval from their father's conditional so that either through constant belittling and criticizing by being angry, abusive, or through the failure to acknowledge your child's achievement by being apathetic or absent. They feel that they cannot please their parents and that they have little worth and little value is a precious thing but a great responsibility for father to be given the responsibility to motivate his children and even now that my children are grown up most of my conversation with my children today is either space centered around advising them or encouraging them and actually much more encouragement and advice because that's what a dad is to do. He is to encourage his children to believe that they can do it and as we conclude this morning that I want to finish with these questions we started with. First of all, are these commands sufficient. I mean, let's be honest it doesn't really say a whole lot but it does say something this very important and that is the key to a family is each person obeying God. You are responsible to obey God wherever you find yourself second question, does the Christian belief on the family destroy the equality of the end individual absolutely not. It actually elevates the individual and gives them purpose and meaning in their personal roles and functions. The number three is there cultural conflict with these commands, perhaps the two views today and especially Christian society. We call it complementarity, and is him which believes in the essential equality of men and women and yet because of their gender distinction. They have a different functional role, especially in the church of the family. The other viewpoint is ego materialism which believes in gender distinct the gender distinctions have been removed and therefore the roles are interchangeable between men and women.
I'm a complementarity nest because I think God is given us roles a man a woman what were supposed to do. I realize that there are cultural adjustments and traditions.
For example, is a huge difference between Eastern culture and Western culture. We understand that but basically the laws of the family from the Scripture are unalterable.
Does the definition of a biblical family conflict conflict with the current belief in our society of those who do not believe in the traditional family.
The answer is absolutely folks, we cannot redefine marriage to be anything other than the marriage of a man and a woman.
And finally, who is ultimately responsible for the family and in the end all of us. First of all, are responsible for our roles, but it is my believe that whoever's the leader of the family, especially the father, God is put a heavy responsibility on him to appropriately lead his family. All of us responsible and all of us are to obey God so God gave these first century Christians without any Christian family background sufficient commands to develop strong Christian home. Our hope here that Bob Jones is that you'll be married that you go out in the world and represent Christ in his church in the marriage relationship you have one another.
Father, thank you for your word.
Thank you for your grace. We pray for your blessing.
Help us to walk faithfully with you and our families. In Jesus name, amen.
You been listening to a sermon from the study series in the book of Colossians by Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University. For more information on Dr. Pettit series, visit our firstname.lastname@example.org where you can get a copy of Steve's study booklet entitled seeking things above the Kindle version is also available. Thanks for listening and join us again tomorrow as we continue the study and Colossians here on the daily plan