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The Biblical Role of Children #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
October 31, 2022 8:00 am

The Biblical Role of Children #1

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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Your relationship with your parents is a barometer of your relationship with the Lord. You must understand that, and you must receive that and be open to it if you make any profession of Christ at all. The Bible minces no words. Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

But why? Well, Scripture provides the answer to that question as well. And on this edition of The Truth Pulpit, Pastor Don Green will highlight the biblical role of children as he continues the series, A Refresher on the Family. Hello, I'm Bill Wright, and Don, one of the least popular words in all Scripture is obey. But making peace with that command is a must, isn't it? Well, my friend, it is important for you to obey God in your life, because obedience is one of the marks of a true Christian. And if you're a parent, it is essential for you to teach your children to obey. It is not your job to be your child's buddy.

You need to teach them that mom and dad have authority, and they need to obey what you say. I know it's a battle, but you need to win that battle in order to prepare your children for life and to prepare them for a life that is pleasing to God. We're going to help you with that today as we study together on The Truth Pulpit. Well, we'll be in Ephesians chapter 6, so friend, turn there in your Bible as Don Green continues teaching God's people God's Word.

Let's join him now in The Truth Pulpit. As you go into Ephesians chapter 6, Paul is continuing to apply that principle of submission. And he applies it, having applied it to wives and husbands, he now dives deeper into the family and addresses children and parents in the first four verses of Ephesians chapter 6.

You can see there's a very logical flow to it. For now, we have this role of children stated to us. Now, one thing that we should say right at the beginning here, you know, if you just look around you, look at relationships within your own family, you realize that the multiplicity of relationships and the complications and opportunities that come up within family relationships are myriad.

They are infinite. And this passage is not intended to address every single issue that could possibly be raised about the matter of the relationship between parents and children. Paul here in Spirit Inspired Ingenuity is giving us principles, general principles that would inform and frame relationships within the family. He's not trying to answer every possible question that could ever be asked in any culture in any time. Rather, he's giving us transcendent principles that if we take and embrace and meditate on, will inform us in our individual situations about how we should act. And so that's very important to understand. He's giving us general principles, not an encyclopedia of everything that should be stated.

Now, one final thing that I would say here before we get into the text ourselves. It seems to me that Paul primarily here in this particular passage of Scripture has younger children in mind. And I say that because of what he goes on to say in verse 4.

Look at verse 4 with me, and then we'll come back to the first three verses. He says, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. It seems to me from that that he has the idea of child rearing from early ages up through until they reach their adult years, that that is primarily what he has in mind as we look at this passage, and we'll understand it from that particular perspective. But as we go along at the end, we'll have some points of application for those of us who are adults as well. I know that the things that we have to say at the end of the message are going to be particularly applicable to some of you in the difficult relationships that you face with your parents. So there's something here for everybody, which is often what happens when you study God's Word together. For now, what we want to do is we want to see three reasons that Paul gives that children should obey their parents. And for those of you that are under the authority, under the roof of your parents, this is directly speaking to you and what you should be mindful of and how you should be living life.

Let's put it this way. You need to approach this passage in this sense. If you're a professing Christian, you say, I know Christ. I believe in Christ.

I love Christ. Well, what you need to realize is that this is Christ's Word to you. This is Christ speaking through the apostolic pages of Scripture. This is Christ exercising His authority and directing your life with what is about to be said. You should also understand that there should be no dichotomy in your mind where you say, this is my Christian life here, and separate and unrelated to that is my relationship with my family. As if you could ignore and reject and be unsubmissive to what Christ says in His Word, and yet maintain the profession that you are a Christian and an obedient one at that. Your relationship with your parents is a barometer of your relationship with the Lord. You must understand that, and you must receive that and be open to it if you make any profession of Christ at all. What we're doing here in Ephesians 6 is it's like we're putting a thermometer in your mouth and we are taking your spiritual temperature. A cold, harsh, distant, conflict-filled relationship with your parents is saying something else about your spiritual life.

You cannot separate the two. And so we need to be teachable and receptive as we come to this. Paul gives us three reasons why children should obey their parents. Let's go at them one by one.

We'll take them one verse at a time. Why should children obey their parents? Why should you as a young person in a Christian home be committed to obedience and honoring your father and mother?

Scripture makes it very plain. First of all, obedience is right. Obedience is right. Obedience is the way that things should be.

The contrary is impossible to think that that is a right manner of conduct. Notice how Paul addresses the children here in chapter 6 verse 1. Obedience is right, he says, and we look at it and see it in the words of Scripture. When we see Paul say, children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Notice that this is a slightly different word. It's a different word in the Greek even than what he said in verse 21. In verse 21 he said, be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

Here in chapter 6 verse 1 he says, children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. It seems to be a somewhat stronger term. There's a little more authority being asserted here in terms of narrowing the grounds of conduct and attitude in what is being said. It carries the idea, this word, carries the idea of this, children, young people.

Here's what this word means. It means to obey on the basis of having paid attention to. In other words, your parents say something, you pay attention to it, you listen to it, you process it, and then you do what they say.

That's the idea of obedience. And so, and we just need to be real candid here and know that God's word speaks to us in love and for our good, the idea of a young person being a Christian who was also simultaneously resistant to what their parents say is something that is utterly foreign to Scripture. That is not a Christian child responding that way. And perhaps for some of you, you're new Christians and you're just coming to grips with these things and you realize, oh, I need to change here.

You need to repent and adjust your life in a way that is consistent with what Scripture calls you to be. But God's word comes to you and it directly addresses the question, when your parents speak, how do you respond? Do you listen? Are you receptive? Are you teachable?

Or are you resistant, hostile? And they might as well be speaking to a rock for all of the response that you make to them. Where are you, young person, in your response to your parents? You need to realize that God calls you to obey your parents, to listen to them, to heed what they say, and to adapt your attitudes and conduct in response to them accordingly.

Now, what should we say to that? Why are they to do this? Why is it that children are in that position? Why can't they be moral free agents and do whatever they want?

Well, that would be wrong. Obeying your parents is right. Look at chapter 6, verse 1.

Obeying your parents in the Lord for this is right. It's a word that elsewhere in Scripture is translated righteous. This is in accordance with what should be. And in this verse, what Paul is doing here, he's appealing to, in one sense, a sense of natural law that applies everywhere.

He's going to bring Scripture into it in verse 2. Here it seems that he's giving an overview of just what the natural order of things should obviously be if we weren't so distorted by sin. Think about it with me, young people. Those of you, even those of you that are adults and you're working through the way that, you know, you've approached life or with your own kids, you need to think about, we need to think through this. We need to think about the moral order of the universe for us to respond rightly to God.

Now, you think about it. Again, addressing the general order of things, not the worst extreme example of parental abuse. That's not what we're talking about here. You come to this and you say, of course parents should have children who are obedient to them. Of course children should obey their parents.

Why? Think about it. And those of you that are in a Christian family with parents that are reasonably doing what they can to care for you, love you, and provide for you, you should think about it this way. What do your parents do? Your parents provide for you. They feed you. They give shelter to you. They give love to you. They give care to you. They look out for you. They are the ones who gave physical life to you. Without them, you would not exist. And without them, you would not be able to continue your existence because you cannot care for yourself.

That's what your parents do. They are a mediating authority from God in your life. They have a mediating authority of God over your life. And they are also the way that God cares for you. God cares for you through the actions of your parents, young people. The room that you have, the bed that you have is something that your parents have provided for you. When you sit down and you eat or you go to the fridge, you're hungry, you've got something to eat or drink or whatever, you know, it's your parents that are providing that in one manner or another, paying the bills and making that available to you. Now here's a question for you.

Here's a question for you. Young people, I'm talking directly to you. Those of you that are under your parents' roofs, whether you make eye contact with me or not, you cannot evade the force of God's word on this. When your parents are doing that for you, even though they may be most imperfect in the way that they do, and they have their own flaws, I get that. That's not God's concern that He wants you to be thinking about. God wants you to be thinking about what your response is, and in light of the way that your parents provide for you and have given life to you and they sustain you, you need to answer this question.

Every one of you needs to answer this question. What kind of treachery is it that rebels against that? What kind of rebellion is it that bucks against the very people that make your life possible and provide for you?

How can you justify that kind of rebellion? How can you be the dog that bites the hand that feeds it? You know, there's a reason why there's that proverb exists about animals.

That's totally inappropriate. You feed a dog and it would turn around and bite your hand? The very hand that delivers its sustenance, the dog would bite it?

The dogs don't do that. In a much greater way, children, you need to be thinking about your parents and thinking through what is right in the order of things. I realize your parents have fallen short.

You know what? The children that are in my family, their father has fallen short. You don't view it from that perspective. You say, you don't know how upset my parents have made me.

That's not the point. The point is you understanding your position in God's order of the universe and understanding what God calls you to do. Let Him deal with your parents. You deal with what He says to you and what He says to you is you obey your parents. You listen to them, you heed them, and you adapt your life to what they say.

You must recognize their authority. You must recognize that in the providence of God, children, God has given you exactly the parents that He wanted you to have. He didn't want you to belong to family X down the street. He didn't want you to be a part of a different family. He gave you the parents that you have. And so you need to see that your parents are the ones that God has appointed for you and that your specific parents are the ones that He calls you to obey. What does that mean? Let me just be real candid, clear, and direct as best as I can with the influence of the Holy Spirit in your heart.

What does that mean for you? And even if you're four or five years old, you're old enough to understand this. It means that you comply with your parents' authority. You obey their wishes. You do what they want you to do. That is God's call on your life. And children, young people, according to God's word, it is sinful for you. It is a sin against a holy God for you to inwardly resent your parents' authority or to outwardly defy it.

There is no justification for that whatsoever. And so when your loving, patient mother speaks to you, your response should be, yes, ma'am, what else would you like from me? When your father speaks to you, you should have the attitude, if not the exact words, yes, sir, I'm going to do that right now. And see and understand that what you need to see, the way that you need to think rightly about your parents, is that behind your parents is the authority of God.

This is God's commandment to you. It's not just your earthly parents in a human capacity speaking. You as a professing Christian young person, you in a Christian home, come under the authority of God and realize that the holy, uncreated maker of heaven and earth who will be the judge of the living and the dead, speaks to you today and says, children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. This is God speaking, and that means that you cannot rebel against your parents without rebelling against God himself.

So you're only left with the question, well, what are you going to do with that? And to realize, perhaps here's a good spot for a word of the gospel, you know, I'm sure that for some of you, this is very convicting, and you realize, even if you're outwardly compliant that inwardly you resist, and you can't wait to get out of the house because you want to be away from your parents, realize that even that attitude is sinful against God. If God's word is convicting you here today, don't resist it. Don't resent the speaker simply because he's shown you what God's word says, and above all else, I beg you, oh, children, I beg you.

Don't harden your heart. If this convicts you of guilt in your life, then humbly go to Christ and repent and say, I've been so sinful, please forgive me, please help me to change, please, please change me, and go to Christ for what he would do in your life. Notice that Paul says, look at verse 1 with me again, he calls this an obedience that's in the realm. Children obey your parents in the Lord, in the realm of the Lord. This is God's order, this is what God wants, this is what God has established. Now you respond as unto the Lord when I say to you, speaking as the Apostle Paul, children obey your parents. And we'll wrap up this point by saying this one thing, this final thing, in some ways is the most important aspect that you could get out of this particular point. You must think about this. You must transcend thinking about your human relationships and focus your mind completely on God alone and on God himself as you think about this, and realize that your first and foremost responsibility is vertical in accountability to God. And when you understand that, then you understand this. The fear of God and your love for God completely informs and conditions your demeanor toward your appearance, couldn't be any other way.

Now I've kind of spoken about this from a negative perspective. Those of you that have good parents, you love them and you appreciate them, and you have good harmonious relationships in your family and you're responding well to your parents, you know what, you should just pause right here, right now, and just say, oh God, thank you for the parents that you've given to me. You have blessed me with gracious, godly parents, oh I know they're not perfect God, but they love me and they care for me and they've directed me in the way of the Lord, and I love you, Lord Jesus, and I love my parents and it's just so good to see your blessing in my life this way. I'm so grateful, Father, thank you for the family that you've given to me.

That would be an appropriate way for you to respond. If you come from a family that is ordered well and you love your parents, obedience is right. There's no denying that.

There's no arguing against that, no matter how hard your heart might be before you came into this room toward your parents. Secondly, Paul has said obedience is right. You know what else he says? He says obedience is required. Obedience is required. It's not just out of a natural law sort of sense that, well, obviously, you know, there's a common sense order of things that transcends cultures.

You go to Asian cultures and you see the reverence that they show to their parents and the obedience and respect that they show to them. You get a sense of how this transcends even Christian teaching. But here in chapter 2, Paul brings the Scriptures to bear and says that obedience is required. Look at what he says in verse 2.

Notice the all caps he's quoting from Scripture here. He says, honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise. This is God's commandment to you. A command means God says this and expects you to comply, to do what you're told by God himself. And God says, you honor your father and your mother. To honor your parents is more than simple external conformity.

It's more than obeying outside while you're sitting and shaking your fist on the inside. You see, God's law doesn't work that way. God's law doesn't simply regulate our external conduct.

It goes to the heart. Do you remember in Matthew 5 how Jesus spoke about that? Jesus said, you've heard that you shall not commit murder. I tell you, don't be angry in your heart. Jesus said, you've heard that you should not commit adultery. I tell you, don't lust in your heart. So God's word is designed to influence the direction.

God's law applies and attaches its authority to the attitudes of your heart, not just your external behavior. And so to honor your parents, to give them honor is to give them respect, to give them love, to give them deference, to show them kindness. And you know what? Let's just go further. Let's just go further than this. You cannot honor your parents if you withdraw from them in solemn silence. It's not enough to say, well, I don't back speak to my parents.

I don't argue against them. I just go to my room and I stay there, and we don't even interact with each other. You know what? That's not honoring your parents. You see, there's a positive element to this command as well that says you are to proactively love them and interact with them and engage them in a way that shows love, respect, deference, and care for them.

This is God's command. You cannot honor somebody by ignoring them and shutting them out of your life, can you? Can you? It's okay to nod your head no, because I'm just, you know, I mean, the answer's obvious.

No, you can't. And so there's a positive dimension of honoring your parents. There's a negative dimension to it. You comply with their wishes, you hear what they say, and you respond to them with loving and grateful hearts. Now, I know that for some of you, this comes to you in a time of a lot of accumulated ill-will and difficulties in the relationship. Let me give you another good word from Christ. He has the power to transform that. Our Lord Jesus Christ has the power to change that and transform it. So what you must understand, young person, child in your parents' home, is that the change that he's calling to you is one that starts in your heart. You don't wait until your parents change.

You adapt your heart. You receive the influence of God's word on your heart and say, God, as a response to you, I ask you to change me. I will change, and I ask you to help me to change, as your response to God's word. As we said last time, our Lord Jesus Christ Himself submitted to His parents. He did not deem it unworthy of His exalted position as the Son of God to obey His parents, to comply with their wishes, to honor them, to care for them.

We saw that all last time. Do you mean to tell me that somehow you're better than, separate apart from, Jesus and your attitudes? That doesn't make any sense at all, does it?

You just realize that's just inexcusable. Like it or not, obedience is right and required. Again, it's for God's glory and our own good. In fact, when you obey and honor your parents, the Bible details a special, positive promise in return. Pastor Don Green will talk about that, and he'll also focus on how honoring parents should play out in adult life. So tune in for more of a refresher on the family next time, as Don wraps up his message titled, The Biblical Role of Children, here on The Truth Pulpit. Well, friends, you can hear any part of this series again at your convenience when you visit our website, thetruthpulpit.com.

You can download podcasts or find out how to receive CD copies for your personal study library. Plus, you'll find the link, Follow Don's Pulpit. That'll take you to Don's full-length weekly sermons, not subject to the time editing we need for radio broadcasts. Again, that's all at thetruthpulpit.com. And by the way, may we also say thank you for your support of this ministry. Without you, this program would not be possible. I'm Bill Wright, inviting you to join us again next time when Don Green continues teaching God's people God's Word from the Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-07 23:18:18 / 2022-11-07 23:24:03 / 6

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