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How We Ought to Behave in the Household of God

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew
The Truth Network Radio
February 21, 2022 1:00 am

How We Ought to Behave in the Household of God

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew

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February 21, 2022 1:00 am

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I invite you to turn in your Bibles to first Timothy chapter 5, first Timothy chapter 5 starting in verse one is looking in verse one and two do not rebuke an older man but encouraged him as you would a father younger men as brothers older women as mothers, younger women as sisters and all purity is receded. Paul is writing to his true child in the faith says in chapter 1 Timothy he's a son to him. Paul is a mentor and a father and a guiding light and Paul knows that at one point he will have to leave Ephesus and continue on his fourth missionary journey so he'll be passing the torch will be handing off the reins to his little brother's son in the faith is, as his men, his mentee, the one he has been guiding in the ministry. Timothy, if he is going to lead the church in Ephesus. He needs to explain to the Ephesian church how they are to relate to one another within the church. The church is described in the New Testament through various metaphors.

One would be that we are called a chosen race.

I wear a royal priesthood, we've been chosen in Christ we been predestined by his grace we have this status of being a priesthood. That's because as a priesthood we have access to God and is been provided to us through the Lord Jesus Christ. We are a holy nation, not simply the Israel that yes they are ethnically Israel. But these are believers in the Messiah. We are the true Israelites believing in the Messiah to come in so we are a holy nation that have been given the righteousness of Christ. We are a people for his own possession. We been given access to the father through Christ because of our faith in him we to have access to the Lord were also described as a body first Corinthians 12 talks about how we all make up the body of Christ. Christ is our head. He is the head of the church, but every one of us has a role within the church, whether we are the hands that serve or we are the tongue that communicates the truth of God's word to the people. We all make up part of the body of Christ.

The one metaphor that I think is used by Paul and used throughout the New Testament more than any other is a metaphor of a family just after Paul gives us the qualifications of an elder and a deacon.

He says to Timothy in chapter 3, I'm writing these things so that if I delay you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of truth.

That's the title of this message this evening is how we ought to behave in the household of God.

And so the church is where the family meets. We are not simply his people within the area.

With this just happens to be where we go to church. This is the meeting house. This is the living room. This is where we come together and worship the Lord. It's where we break bread together is where we receive the cup of the new covenant together is where we administer baptism and give the sign and seal of the covenant to new covenant children is where we get together and we pray to our father as our older brother Christ, God the son has instructed us our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

We give this model as the right appropriate type of prayer to heavenly father that has given us his son the Lord Jesus Christ, that we might be adopted into the family of God. And so as we put down roots here at this corner and many come into the church in many receive Christ by faith. Many come to faith they receive and they believe on his name and they are given the right to become children of God, not born of blood, not born of the flesh of the will of man, but born again, born by the spirit. Paul tells us in Romans eight.

This is how he describes our adoption into the family of God. It's by the power of the Holy Spirit for all who are led by the spirit of God are sons of God as we receive the inheritance were sons and daughters of God.

But as sons. There's a particular emphasis on the blessings that were to receive as the oldest son might receive the inheritance you not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons and we cry, Abba, father which is to cry out, but would be like crying out dad, it would not be a formal remove sort of father but it would be like you would call upon your own dad is the spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God, Philip Reich and wrote blood may well be thicker than water, but the spirit is thicker than blood. The family of God established through Jesus Christ is the Christians first family. It's our first membership Jesus speaks to this. In Mark chapter 3, he sitting around a crowd and they say that your mother and your brothers are outside or seeking you and answer them and said, who are my mother and brothers and looking about at those who sat around and he said, here are my mother and my brothers for whoever does the will of God.

He is my brother and sister and mother and so the church is where the brothers and sisters, the mothers and fathers of the church they come together we fellowship together we worship the Lord together. God has welcomed us into his family and now we must talk how we, the family, the father is the mother's brothers and sisters within the church how we are to relate to one another. How do we interact and centered around the fifth commandment. Honor thy father and mother that the days will be long upon the land the Lord thy God is given the we are given. The fifth commandment not only honor our biological parents but our larger catechism within our tradition here says work who were meant by father and mother in the fifth commandment, the answer is by father or mother in the Fifth Amendment are mentioned not only our natural parents but all superiors in age and gifts, especially such as by God's ordinance or over us. In place of authority, whether in family church or Commonwealth. So not only are parents of course, as we read it very plainly but furthermore would be church leadership as well as those in government does establish Romans 13 very clearly that God is established his government and blessed us with a civil government to give us laws within the land and is it matters that we approach God the right way with reverence and honor and respect is our their ultimate father. We also must approach one another in respect and in love. We actually have Old Testament laws that pertain to this Leviticus chapter 19 verse 32 you shall stand up before the gray-headed and honor the face of an old man, you shall fear your God. I am the Lord.

This is not a cultural norm. It would be within Greek culture Roman culture some sort of back then traditional dated thing. This is God's unchanging word in his log does give us guidance on how to live the Christian life comes right out of the Mosaic law and he gives us this illustration implies from the fifth commandment. This is the way in which God would have us behave towards one another out of respect.

Standing upright when I was a young kid if we were anywhere and my brother and I were sitting on the couch and someone were to come and that was older and more distinguished. We were instructed to stand up out of respect. This was what we do in saying yes sir yes ma'am standing up. This is showing respect to those that are older than us. I think the American military.

Another institution where we are committed to showing respect to those that have superiority and rank and seniority where there is still saluting and yes sir yes ma'am honor must be given to that rank. Whether you like them or not for the lectures your commanding officer, personally.

You must show respect to that rank in that seniority. I will we go to Presbytery every four months. The elders will go to Presbytery and report on our church is doing and meet with other churches within the region and if I were to get up in front of Presbytery and address the room. One way I might do that say fathers and brothers not only addressing all the brothers, the men my age.

But those that are older than me is a way to honor the elders in the room I in Asian churches were an international denomination in Asian elders and Asian Presbyterian churches were Korean Presbyterians and there are American Presbyterians. It is customary to bow before the elders out of showing reverence to them what a churches.

I do love certain churches, certain denominations call everybody brother everybody sister.

It's just kind of an informal title with a lot of Baptist churches at every man is a brother.

Every woman is a sister and I can't help but think it comes from this verse that it comes from the idea that we are a family we are together and again it depends on some churches had a professor that was Australian and he get a PhD but always insisted on being called his first name found it too arrogant to be called Dr. low insisted on Bruce being from Atlanta that was little uncomfortable but I if that's what he wants. That's what I'll do.

Out of respect for him and for his wishes, but generally the respect has to come from the younger person towards the older person word were taught very clearly here are that older men do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father do not review, does not mean do not ever correct. An older person is not mean do not rebuke them because they are the oldest, and now that they're the oldest member of the church.

They are above criticism. Absolutely not. We all must be held accountable to God's word and at times possibly gently, politely corrected if need be, but what we don't want to do is to harshly rebuke. We do not want to publicly ridicule the word rebuke literally means to verbally assault her verbally attack where it would be embarrassing it would draw negative attention to the person of Jesus gives us the model on how to do this would go back to Matthew 18. He says if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained brother. So first, what you do is you go it privately pulled him aside and talk to them one-on-one so that others are not watching the correction if they do not listen. You bring a friend will be to addressing one and finally the church gets involved about what we want to do is to minimize the embarrassment you want to correct privately not to disrespect or humiliate, or sharply rebuke in front of others large catechism 127 says, what is the honor that inferiors owe to their superiors.

So what is the younger person of to the owner person. What is the less distinguished person of the more distinguished person the honor which inferiors owe to their superiors is all do reverence and heart word behavior.

Prayer Thanksgiving for them.

Imitation of the their virtues and graces willing obedience to their lawful commands and councils do submission to their corrections. Fidelity to defense and maintenance of their persons in authority according to their several ranks in the nature of their places, bearing with their infirmities covering them in love that so they may be an honor to them and to their government's older men, older men are to be gently approach gently corrected. If you have your Bibles with you like to also turn to Titus chapter 2 we have is these four members of the church that we all fit into one of the four categories whether we are an older man, a younger man and older woman younger woman, but in Titus two we see this parallel all four of these church members are mentioned in Titus chapter 2 and gives us what these four people should be in gives us moral qualifications that an older man ought to be in the church. So, an older man. Titus chapter 2 verse two older men are to be sober minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith and love.

Instead, fastness, older men are as we just read. At some point possibly going to be corrected and it might be from a younger more foolish man that might not do this well, and so it as a man is been in the faith for 3040 5060 years. Hopefully they have been growing in personal holiness and sanctification, and they might endure a heavy-handed misplaced correction by a younger man and so the hope here.

Verse two is they will be sober minded. They will not be swayed by their emotions still be dignified in self controlled, handling these sort of circumstances sound in the faith sound in love and steadfastness. Looking at all the interactions that they have in the church with love and respect and a hope of restoration for those that they speak with and so as we get older will all get older were willing and sanctified them grow in holiness that we would grow in this personal holiness. There is a temptation there to be short tempered and not be able to endure these things but the hope is that as we grow in Christ will be able to handle such correction.

Secondly, older women, like mothers, we treat older women in the church like they are mother's mother's to us.

They are Christian mothers as local members of the congregation. They too are to be given the same sort of patience and respect and discretion. If there was a need to correct, but most certainly would be someone to give us correction in faith and correction and practice, and it too should be done in a way of honoring older woman like you would your own mother speak to an older woman in a church that she would thinking about your own biological mother. Your mother hunt back home. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior. Titus chapter 2 verse three. Be reverent in behavior, not slanderous or slaves to much wine they are to teach what is good there to be reverent or not to be silly there to be serious about the faith and serious about their personal growth and also as receivers for training the young women to love their husbands and children. There is a training or a discipling of older women to younger women that looks like they are instructing and discipling and helping the younger women we get so much of a hard time for having male leadership within the church.

Even though Paul clearly tells us in first Timothy chapter 2 that minute to lead the church but here what we have are older women are actually instructed to give guidance and discipleship to older to younger women within the church teaching them how to love their husbands and children to be self-control, pure working at home, kind, submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Hope is this character from older Christian women within the church would spread out to the younger women giving them guidance giving them direction on how to live the Christian life. So they are to teach what is good there to teach what is good and right. Younger women are to be treated as sisters, and all purity now. I think of I think of Mike pence. He just wanted to be respectful and above reproach with his wife and got out that he does not go out to dinner with any women other than his wife or his mother or his daughters and they gave him the media just attacked him from all sides for just trying to do the right thing to be above reproach to not have any circumstances where it would look like there was any sort of inappropriate moral or impropriety. The same thing with Billy Graham and other high-profile Christian men. These guys just wanted to be above reproach, and so Paul is giving Timothy similar advice here when interacting with the younger women in the church do so in all purity, but there not be any appearance of a scandal within your public ministry that that is taken down so many men summing moral failings have crept up as of late and I was an undergraduate iced wash cars with a pastor Willie Stevens of Mountjoy missionary Baptist Church and he told me two things will take you down in ministry money and honey he said that probably once a week and in the sand. The temptation to embezzle. Also, the temptation sexual immorality in a said it was a target for him and it was actually a struggle for him in his local ministry had to set up certain boundaries and said this is something that you must do again.

He's doing this as a measure of guarding himself guarding the honor of Christ in guarding his ministry also treat younger men like brothers younger men to be self-controlled, think more than anything young guys are full of energy, full of passion, ready to conquer the world. But again, we must bring that energy and we must slow it down. We must assuage these things must slow down and temper ourselves, temper action with wisdom, show yourselves in all respects and be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity and dignity. So even now as you're a young man all my guys in the youth group as you are developing this character and growing in Christian integrity. Continue to study God's word continue to be in word always checking yourself in and developing and working on your Christian character to have good works and to show integrity and be a good example to non-Christians in your life sound speech that cannot be condemned. The speech in which that marks your life would not be something that condemns your Christian testimony will be one that would honor Christ and be a great example for Grace Church and for the Lord Jesus Christ, so that your opponents may be put to shame and have nothing evil to say say a rumor is dead after 60 days with good character. That's our hope is that our young men are young women are growing personally in their Christian walk.

Question 125 are superior styled father and mother superior styled father and mother both to teach them in their duties toward their inferiors like natural parents to express love and tenderness to them according there several relations to work inferiors to a greater willingness and cheerfulness in performing their duties to their superiors as to their parents every minute if you want to grow in their Christian character. You need to see the value of the wisdom of the older men in the congregation and LIC every Sunday.

My young guys go and talk to my young guys older women talk to the older women, older men talking older men. The younger women talk to the older younger women and I'm tempted to do that is well-liked I see my family. I see the youth group I see, the core group that I know and but what this passage is telling us here is that every one of us is an older man older woman younger man younger women. Every one of us is called to have relationships in these different groups of boys in the youth group are called to have strong relationships with older women it at Grace Church older men of course are called to disciple younger men but also to disciple younger women. Every group is to interact with other groups within the church to show the full expression of the Christian family within the church. So we are called here to develop personal relationships with one another to encourage each other in our walk we are saved by grace Grace Church.

We have nothing without the grace of God.

It is by grace through faith in Christ that we are saved, but I do want to encourage you that as we are now free from the penalty of the law that this law in God's word cannot punish me anymore because I am in Christ. I am free from the burden of the law. Now that I have received the grace of God in Christ Jesus.

I want us to go back and consider what Christ said that if you love me.

John 14 verse 15 you will keep my commandments.

Use the commandments of God use the clarity of God's law. When you go back to chapter 2 of the Westminster confession of faith go back to the fifth commandment, the six commandment the seventh commandment use that application to guide and direct your Christian ethics.

Let the law inform you on how we ought to live. Now that were saved by grace, how then shall we live. We go back to God's word go back to God's law that will give us guidance and clarity so we look at the law of God. We go back to the fifth commandment and it comes alive in the life of the church. Remember that every time we interact with one another is an opportunity to glorify God to follow and keep his law and be clear on how we are to encourage each other instruct one another disciple one another for fathers and mothers who are here to the younger younger people are hoping and pleading for discipleship and instruction in counsel for the younger toward the older listen show respect show deference listen to the wisdom that they have listen to what insights they can give you in marriage and life in studying Scripture and memorization. Think of how much the older members in our church can encourage you for those. As you interact with those are your peers, your age, support and encouragement as you are in similar stages in life help one another. Encourage each other than for younger men to younger women Christian friendship in all purity, get to know one another. Encourage each other in your Christian walk.

Stir one another up to love and good works. Spray heavenly father we take for granted that we have this family before us, we are brothers and sisters we have mothers and fathers you've given us the family you've given us the household of faith you've given us your law that gives us clarity on how to live gives us instruction on how we live the Christian life. Rest in your grace. We look to the truth of your word to give us guidance to give us direction be a light on our path that we would see the truth of your word that we walk fatefully in Christian love me well or please continue to bless Grace Church. Please continue to guide us. Be with us, knit us together as a as a family and all these things we ask something,

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