Young people, please tell me that you never speak badly about your parents to your friends. Please tell me that your friends have never heard you disrespect and criticize and mock your father or mother. Tell me that you've never done that, because the treachery of that against God and against your parents is unspeakable.
That should never be. This is the Truth Pulpit with Don Greene, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, where Don continues to teach God's people God's Word. Hello there, I'm Bill Wright, and we're continuing the series titled, A Refresher on the Family, with part two of a message called, Honor Your Father and Mother. Last time, Don began by reminding us again, as always, to start our thinking with the Bible as our plumb line. He also pointed out that a blessing is promised if we obey the fifth commandment.
By contrast, warnings are issued if we do not. But above all, we're to remember that God's laws exist for His glory and our good, so we do well to pay attention. Today, we'll move on from the order of God and the disorder of man to the perfection of Christ as our example, His death and model on the cross in one aspect, and His imputed righteousness to us in the present and future as the other.
So have your Bible handy, and let's join Don Greene now in the Truth Pulpit. Look at Matthew chapter 15, beginning in verse 3. Those of you that are caring for your elderly parents, those of you that are responding financially with caretaker responsibilities, let this be an encouragement of the direct affirmation of God of what you're doing through your hands for those parents. Jesus said in Matthew chapter 15 verse 3, speaking to some Pharisees who had came to Him and criticized His disciples because they weren't washing their hands when they eat bread. Jesus answered verse 3 and said to them, and why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, honor your father and mother, and he who speaks evil of father or mother is to be put to death. So He lays out God's word for him, and then He takes it and He applies it to these Pharisees, and He quotes them in the way that they approach life, but you say, whoever says to his father or mother, whatever I have that would help you has been given to God, they would say, this aspect of my property has been dedicated to God and therefore I can't give it to you, and they keep the use of the property while saying it's devoted to God, sorry mom and dad, I know it would help you, but it's to God, what can I do?
And Jesus cuts through that with His perfect moral clarity. He says verse 6, He is not to honor His father or His mother, you don't honor your father or mother that way, even though it's a direct command of God. He said, in the name of God, you are denying your parents.
He says those two things cannot possibly coexist. And He says, verse 6, look at it with me, by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you. This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men. So even speaking to these adult religious leaders, says look at the way that you treat your parents and don't tell me, don't tell me that you're a man of God in light of the way that you treat your parents. You won't even provide for their basic necessities with what you have and you cover up your selfishness with a thin spiritual veneer that says, oh, I gave that over to God.
I'm too busy, I don't have that for you. Jesus says, I'll have none of that. Let's just call that what it is, Jesus said. That is hypocrisy. That is vain worship. That is under the condemnation of God.
Wow. As you see then the disorder of men in contrast to the order of God. How men turn the order upside down. Well as you go on in scripture, turn over to Romans, you'll find that disobedience to parents is a characteristic trait of a society that is already under the judgment of God. Romans chapter one. Romans chapter one.
As we continue to teach and just plead for God to attend to the opening of His word with His mercy, His grace, His blessing, His power, because heaven knows there's no power in the human speaker anywhere. Romans chapter one verse 18, the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth and unrighteousness. How can we recognize this ungodliness and what is it that manifests the fact that God's wrath is coming down upon a society? Well look over at verse 28 of Romans chapter one.
They did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer. God gave them over to a depraved mind to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice, they are gossips. That's an awful litany of darkness, isn't it? What else comes in that cluster of grapes? What is it if you think about these as the grapes of wrath and these are the individual fruits that belong to a single cluster that belongs in the realm of God's wrath?
What else is, does it contain? Verse 30, they're slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, here it is, disobedient to parents. What God says reveals His wrath and invokes His wrath, we've turned into comedy.
And some I fear of you children are living in this realm as if it was okay and it's not. God says this is damnable. This calls forth my judgment.
This is akin to murder and gossip and deceit and evil and wickedness and arrogance. The disorder of men, the awfulness of disobedience to parents is revealed in a negative way by the way that God views it and declares judgment upon it. Look over at 2 Timothy chapter 3, 2 Timothy chapter 3 where you see it again. Being laid out, 2 Timothy after Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, you'll find your way over to Timothy, the pastoral epistles. Second Timothy chapter 3 verses 1 and 2, but realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.
For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, there it is again, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips without self control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than God and on it goes. Once again the grapes of wrath, a single cluster of grapes showing forth what the nature of the difficulty of the last days will be embedded in that cluster of all manner of wickedness is disobedience to parents. See this is not a laughing matter, not from God's perspective, not from a biblical's perspective, not from the perspective of anyone who earnestly wants to follow Christ. We see that this refusal to prize your parents, to honor them, to obey them, to respect them, to care for them, to provide for them, adults, is all dishonoring to them and therefore dishonoring to God.
And so these passages give us a negative way to measure the importance that God attaches to this principle. The judgment is severe. Now let me speak kindly to you young people here. I realize that for some of you you're probably squirming and you probably should be. If you're squirming it's because God's word is making a direct hit on your life. Some of you, if the truth be known, rather than hardening your heart once again against your parents and therefore against God, you should instead be weeping tears of repentance and saying, oh God, what have I done? You've given me Christian parents that love me and pray for me and how have I responded to them? I won't obey them, I don't love them, I speak badly to them, I won't even pray for them, oh God. Dance it forward a few years into your adult life and you ask yourself, you know, how have I responded to my own father, my own mother?
And realize that what we're seeing here is God through His word by the power of His Holy Spirit using a surgeon's scalpel to open up and expose your soul for what the reality of it is. God knows the hidden attitudes of your heart. He hears the angry and disrespectful words you speak.
He sees the way that you neglect affection when it could so easily be given. He sees the actions you do in secret that even your parents don't know. Young people, let me just say this, I hadn't thought about this until just this very moment, but please tell me, young people, please tell me that you never speak badly about your parents to your friends. Please tell me that your friends have never heard you disrespect and criticize and mock your father or mother. Tell me that you've never done that because the treachery of that against God and against your parents is unspeakable.
That should never be. What your friends and peers should hear is only you speaking well of your parents, respecting them, respecting them to those who will mock you for doing it. Let that be the test of how far you're willing to take your commitment to obedience and honoring God and honoring your parents.
You know what? I'll honor my parents even when my friends mock me for it. And see, here's your problem, and I speak as one who cares for your soul. Here's your problem is that while the world may think it's amusing and it may make you seem cool with your friends and you may feel justified in your bitterness toward your parents, God doesn't see it that way. God isn't amused. God is actually angry with your sin, angry with those settled attitudes of disrespecting your parents. He says that is not acceptable. Don't you realize that I have made it plain in my word how you are to be toward your parents, respectful, pricing them, loving them, obeying them, honoring them? And here you are doing what you do. Do you think that's acceptable to God under no circumstances, whatever, in the course of eternity?
Will that ever be acceptable to him? Well, that's the negative. Saw the positive in one sense, God's commands positively stated with promises of blessing attached to them. We've seen it from a negative sense, how God views the principle of honoring parents by the penalties and the judgment that He pronounces on the disobedience to parents. Well, let's elevate this discussion even more as if that were possible. Wow, but it is. Thirdly, the perfection of Christ.
The perfection of Christ. Ultimately, what we want to do is not justify bad attitudes because our parents weren't all that we hoped them to be. That's no good. God doesn't accept that as an excuse. You don't want to say, well, I'm not as bad as my friends are toward their parents. You don't want to do that either as if comparing yourself to unsaved, unchurched young people is actually a standard that would somehow approximate what God wants from you.
That doesn't make any sense, does it? Now let's lift our eyes all the way up to Christ and see what Christ did. Look at Luke chapter 2 verse 51. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, went down with His parents, and He continued in subjection to them, and His mother treasured all these things in her heart.
Look at that. Jesus lived in subjection to His parents. He continued to live in subjection to them.
Throughout the entire course of His developing life, He was in perfect subjection to His parents. If ever a child had parents that were not worthy of Him, beloved young people, it's not you. It's not you that's so great that has parents that are not worthy of you. Let's turn that on its head.
That's not right. The one person who had parents who were not worthy of Him was the Lord Jesus Christ. He was sinless. His parents were sinful, sinners.
Believing Jews as they were, they were still like all the rest of us, fallen short of the glory of God. And yet Jesus saw fit to live in subjection to them. And to what Matthew Henry says about this obedience of Christ to His parents, I quote, He observed their orders, and He went and came as they directed.
He worked with His Father in the trade of a carpenter. And by this, He has given an example to children to be obedient to their parents in the Lord. Though He was the Son of God, He was subject to His parents, how then will they answer who, although they are sinful, are disobedient to their parents, end quote. So here's Jesus sinless, the eternal Son of God, saying, I embrace the law of God and I will live under it and I will live in obedience to my parents. Second is, is how is it that we as sinful children have rebellious attitudes towards our parents when Christ was not that way when He was the Son of God?
There is no escaping this. Christ gives us an example in that way that we honor and then He does something else. Through His life, what He has done, you young people, you know what He has done is He has redeemed and He has elevated and made noble the concept of obeying your parents. Because through His own life, through His own submission to God's law, through His own submission to God's parents, Christ has attached through His own life and earthly obedience an eternal value to the relationship between a child and His parents. Wow.
This is almost crushing what we're about to say. It's so sweet, it's so beautiful, it's so humbling. You realize that Christ even honored His mother on the cross?
Do you realize that? That from birth, growing up, entering into manhood, He lived in perfect subjection to His parents. He never sinned against God, He never could have and therefore He never once dishonored His parents in anything that He did.
Positive and negative. He refrained from disobedience, He gave them the perfect honor to which they were entitled. And here's what I want you to see, is that that was so inbred, that was so central to His character, to His affections, to His priorities, that He carried it all the way to Calvary. That as He carried the cross on His back until they enlisted help along the way, and as they hoisted Him up on the cross, even then, even as He's bearing your sins and mine in His body on the cross, even then, He's honoring His mother, it's incredible. Under the weight of a world of sin, He still has time to honor His mother. Look at John chapter 19.
I get emotional thinking about this. So Jesus, look at John 19 verse 18, just so you see the context. There they crucified Him, John 19 verse 18, they crucified Him with Him two other men, one on either side and Jesus in between. So Jesus is attached to the wooden cross.
He's there, He's nailed to it, physically He cannot move. And it goes through, He hears the mockings of the crowd, the thieves on either side mock Him. The soldiers want to gamble for His garment. Look at verse 24, you see their petty, earthly demeanor. They said to one another, let's not tear at His seamless tunic, but cast lots for it to decide whose it shall be in their petty, carrying out of their soldierly duties. The Son of God is on a cross and why are they doing their toss and dice for a piece of cloth?
Therefore verse 25, the soldiers did these things. But notice this, standing by the cross of Jesus where His mother and His mother's sister marry the wife of Clopas and Mary Magdalene. Look at this, in light of everything that we've said here, Jesus under the physical excruciating of crucifixion, about to bear the sins of the world when darkness descends and His Father turns Him away, turns away from Him, so in holiness. And He's attached in darkness, separated from earth and heaven, standing between earth and heaven. What does He do? What's in His heart? Verse 26, bloodied, battered by the prior beatings, heaving, pressing His legs down, trying to get a breath because of the human torture of the cross.
What's He do? When Jesus then saw His mother and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, woman, behold your son. Then He said to the disciple, behold your mother.
What's He doing there? He's providing for His mother's care after He's gone. He's making earthly provision that His mother would be cared for when He is no longer there to do it.
How do you know that? It's what it says, verse 27, from that hour the disciple took her into his own household. They understood what He meant by that. He's saying, mother, if only we could hear it from His sinless lips to know that if only we could hear the way in which He addressed her at that moment of care. The word is enough, but there must have been such a tone in His voice as He's speaking His final words to His mother. He said, mother, behold your son, woman, He says, but He's speaking to her as His mother. He said to His mother, woman, addressing her, behold your son, saying, here's the one that I want to take care of you, and He speaks to John the disciple and says, John, take care of my mother after I'm gone.
How important is honoring your father and mother? To Jesus, it was important enough that He did it even in the throes of His sacrificial death on the cross. Our Lord's perfect life, what you want to see in this, our Lord's perfect life extended even to His earthly parents, and it extended not only to His earthly parents, it was central to His thinking even as He was about to die.
I'm going to take care of my mom here, and He does, and it's recorded for us in Scripture. And so what can we see in this? Well, we see the order of God that God commanded this order. We see the disorder and the judgment that it brings, and then we kind of take that and we look and we see our Lord Jesus Christ saying this is what it looks like, subjection and care and affection all the way through.
Now there's more to say about this. How can we transition from what we've seen here from God's Word to date? Well, in a profound way, what we've seen here today gives us a picture of the whole nature of why we need redemption.
You see, it's not just fathers and mothers. God has a whole law, a seamless law that He has commanded by which we should honor Him. And every one of us has broken it, and it invokes His judgment. And yet Christ steps in to our place. He lived a perfect life of obedience in order to, in His own obedience, we find the obedience which satisfies God's law. He goes to the cross and He sheds His blood in payment for the sins of countless people who would one day believe in Him, sheds His blood to satisfy the justice of God against their guilt.
God's law, our violation, and Christ comes and redeems it. That's what we remember here at the cross, a redeeming Savior, a loving, gracious, perfectly obedient Savior who has bid us to come to Him for salvation. Those of us that know Him and have received Him, now He bids us to this table of remembrance by which we would recall that a real human body and real human blood were broken and shed so that you could be saved.
That's what we remember here today. We remember Christ. And when you believe in Christ, the full merits of His perfect righteousness are credited to your account before God so that there's a, in the eyes of God, you are viewed as though you lived the perfect life of Christ because that's what has been imputed to your account. And all of your sin, what about all of your sin? The guilt placed on Calvary, punished there, bloodshed so that there would be no more condemnation. That's what we remember, a perfect sacrifice by a perfect Savior who has perfectly redeemed us and fit us for heaven with the holy God. Taking our refresher on the family, Pastor Don Green has shown us the importance of honoring your father and mother. If our Savior honored His earthly mother on the cross as He suffered agony on our behalf, should we not honor ours? Well, next time on The Truth Pulpit, Don will delve deeper into the biblical reasons for the Fifth Commandment, and you'll want to be sure to listen.
Right now, though, Don's back here in studio with some closing words. Friend, one of the things that I'm always mindful of when I'm here in studio is I'm mindful that there are people out in the audience that are like I used to be, thinking that they were Christians but not really having the life of God in their soul. You've perhaps read the Bible or gone to church, but you've never really turned your life to Christ in repentance and saving faith. I was like that.
I know what it's like to be self-deceived. I just encourage you, if you've just viewed Christianity as something kind of casual and not all that important, my friend, examine yourself, see if you're truly born again, and let that work of God in your heart lead you to truth, lead you to the Scriptures, so that you would enter into the profound life that belongs only to those who are true Christians. Thanks, Don. I'm Bill Wright, inviting you to join us again next time as Don Green continues teaching God's people God's Word in the Truth Pulpit.
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