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Children

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
June 9, 2020 4:00 am

Children

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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June 9, 2020 4:00 am

Parenting is a high calling—but it can often feel overwhelming. Join us on Truth For Life as Alistair Begg helps us focus our attention on the ultimate goal in child rearing.



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Parenting shaping the hearts and minds of the next generation.

That's a high calling it involves everything from teaching life skills to shaping character to keeping children healthy and fed.

It can sometimes feel overwhelming.

But today on Truth for Life Alistair Begg helps us focus our attention on the ultimate goal in raising children.

He's teaching here from Ephesians chapter 6 Paul is writing to those who have been saved. I can go farther back into into chapter 2.

You were dead in your trespasses.

You been made alive together with Christ by grace you been saved and you've been raised up with him and seated with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so there saved their seated and now they are to be walking as children of light and the light then will shine into the darkness into the darkness of Ephesus and into the darkness of our culture today as well. At these matters, I what it means to be a man and a woman what it means to be a child what it means to be a parent and so on are being addressed by our culture and in our culture in a way that runs completely contrary to the instruction of the Bible and here is surely one of the ways in which the distinguishing feature of a genuine Christian faith is going to come to the fore as we move further into this decade, however long it is before Christ returns. However, much more time we have to live things out what it seems to me you are learning from Ephesians is this the tremendous evangelistic impact of husbands and wives who recognize in their own sinful propensities. Their need of a Savior. Their trust in Christ have a chance to speak out to their friends and neighbors about the difference that Jesus makes and in the same way our family sitting down to eat a meal in a public restaurant or a mother moving two of her low wrap scallions through the aisles of target has a peculiar opportunity to cause an alien culture to say what is wrong with this picture.

How is this happening in other words, instead of running around with a big batch of tracts just run around with your children and let that then testify to the reality of the grace of God.

Instead of trying to corner somebody in your office and explained to them all your views in opposition to the evolutionary hypothesis just love your wife and because your calling to say why do you do that and how do you do that you see the confrontation with our culture is undeniable, but nothing is new. It was true in Ephesus.

It was true when one of my friends wrote this in England years ago dealing with his very passage he wrote we're living in a world which is witnessing a dramatic breakdown in discipline, a spirit of lawlessness is abroad and things which were once more or less taken for granted are not only being queried and questioned, but are being reduced and dismissed.

There is no question but that we are living in an age when there is a ferment of evil working actively in the whole of society in many ways we are face-to-face with a total collapse of what is called civilization and society may sound like hyperbole, but I don't think so. And one of the areas in which this is most evident and obvious is in the matter of children and periods on two occasions when Paul gives to his readers a long list of the ugly fruits of godlessness wine and ran the second half of Romans chapter 1, which you built a fine and the other in two Timothy chapter 3, right in the middle of all of that ugly list is one little phrase disobedient to parents, he says, here, here is what happens when mankind turns away from God who has created and when in rebellion and in foolishness seeks to reconstruct and construct his life in his own way and according to his own plan and in the midst of all of that that follows it is very striking that again.

On both occasions. He says one of the features of a putrefying culture is a complete loss of natural affection and the breakdown in the essential family unit whereby children would live in honor respect and obedience to their parents. That's why it is the gospel that we must proclaim however women we feel about this in the press of the pushback of contemporary culture. We realize that our hope and our confidence is in the gospel itself that God's word does its work by the power of the Holy Spirit are bringing men and women to himself, including children now. The fact that children are being addressed in this letter tells us something that we might be tempted to miss, or may even some of us want to mess and that is the for him to address children assumes the presence of children when the letter is being read. Otherwise it would be no reason to address them directly, thereby allowing the children to be on the receiving end of instruction, parts of which they're going to inevitably have to go home and asked her mom and dad about restaurant color as their grandmother. Whatever it might be. I didn't understand all of that letter he say don't worry but I didn't understand all of it either. I hope is going to read into his again sometime soon, but with that said I want just to simply observe something and that is that while we have every good reason to be thankful for the way in which we structure our programs here at Parkside church. I think we as our church family need to address this question ourselves, and that is I won't point our children included in the experience of our worship and our praise and nurse. You see, if you as parents create the impression with your children, whether they are little or teenagers who have Ukrainian prayers like all you know you want to come in there you'll like it like to listen to back you should go in room 14. If you convey that to your children you are conveying something to them that one is probably inaccurate, at least in terms of the experience, but to do it is one that is forming convictions in their own hearts and minds, which will come back to bite it when you read the Old Testament you find that, for example, when the book of the law was brought out in the experience of Ezra and admire in the in the Jerusalem context and and they said bring out the book and the book was read and now my eight reason he read it from early morning to mid day in the presence of the man and the woman, and those who could understand a people say to me why why why you sometimes a little edgy when it comes to children screaming and in in the thing wall because there's children screaming in the thing in all that. That's why because they don't need to do that and is not helpful to the mom or anybody around them and is pretty daunting to love him yeah much to love them well enough to you know, yeah, we love, but if they can understand if they can understand then why would you deprive them of the opportunity George Barna who produces statistics all the time about how post-high school, young people are dropping out of the church in droves. While I don't how accurate that actually is my reticle the other day were some incentive. If your student ministry is a four-year holding tank with pizza then don't expect young adults to stay around. I cannot entirely if I and that's all you're doing is a sort of gigantic adolescent babysitting operation inducing them to stay around the pizza, then how are they going to make a transition from there to becoming a constituent part of a church on the golf at University of Georgia College. But no, I think probably the reality of it is in many cases that these young people are not dropping out is that he never dropped in. They were never there and never they had never established or had established for them patterns of public worship that this is the Lord's day that this is the Lord's house, that this is the Lord's word that these are the Lord's people and that if I am the Lord's, then it would be very strange if I were to absent myself from the Lord's people listening to the Lord's word on the Lord's day, and the fact that they may wrestle and fiddle and discover and rediscover is perfectly understandable, but it should be pretty obvious that that which they have never experienced is going to have to be an entirely new encounter for them when they establish their own principles we say are you ever going to get to the thing yeah now now it's get to the first word children. Children. The issue here is is not age but relationship I'm sure but it seems from the context context, both of instruction here and of discipline that Paul has in mind. Three adult children who are living at home. I take it that that's the case, and so he is giving instruction in this letter to the fellowships in the Ephesian context, recognizing that there will be children who are there who will be on the receiving end of the instruction and therefore they will be able to find themselves. If you like in the great mosaic of God's purpose for his family. Note, let me just give you.

Let me just say five things about children in the time that remains to us is very straightforward and simple IRA. Okay number one number one. Children are a heritage from the Lord right some hundred and 27 three. They are a reward.

They are a gift okay, how do we know this because the Bible told us so wander on your worst day you look them in the eye and you go.

You are my heritage. You're my little gift from the Lord fact fact. Secondly, they are on loan for a time they are ours for a limited time only in those testing years. Whatever those years may be when it seems as though time has slowed, and every hour lasts for a day and that there will never be an end to this we can imagine the experience that we finally go through one we drop them at college and we turn around look over our shoulders and say 18 years. This went past in a flash because we only have a short journey and their hours for a wee while you see his parents were guardians and where custodians were not owners. They are individuals made in the image of God with their own DNA with their own standing outside of grace with their own need of a Savior with her own need of the gospel. Thirdly, these youngsters who are our heritage and who are on loan for a while are flawed from conception is quite common indeed is a natural instinct to think of newborn children as simply moral and spiritual clean sheets. After all, look at, but the Bible tells us otherwise. The Bible and this is a faith doctrine visited all doctrine eventually is there as a result of our faith and trust and confidence in the Bible itself. When the wicked are described and may be a specific reference of the wicked are restrained from the womb. They go astray from birth speaking lies. David writes that perhaps in that general way of himself. I was sound, 58, three of himself in Psalm 51 five behold, I was brought forth in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive me easy what the Bible says is that every child is born with a congenital spiritual heart disease that every child is born like guys guilty and depraved. The doctrine of total depravity does not mean that we are in a a as bad as we can possibly be in every dimension of our lives. The doctrine of total depravity is taught at least in in the context in which we understand things is that there is not. There is no part of our lives.

That is, that is not infected and invaded by the reality of sin and it doesn't really take very long for this to become apparent to me. Do you think it those early tantrums were just as a result of some external reality. Don't you look at that happen and go, how in the world. Does this little creature managed to express such unbelievable animosity towards me, my little heritage here in my little reward if you don't have children of your own help us out in the nursery. One Sunday morning in the nursery will convince you of the doctrine of total depravity. There is no other way to deal with OECS arrays are plenty ways. Of course, from the secular mind abroad about one of my books this morning is entirely unread. I tried to read this book is written by a very, very clever professor from Stanford University, is a professor of biology and neurology and above the bill because it was called behave and I need to behave inside out. Maybe I can learn how to behave in the biology of humans at our best and are worse. I am not clever enough to grapple with this book, I tell you right now. I've tried, but I also can look in the index and I looked in vain to see if there was any indication of the five that perhaps the behavior of humanity might just somehow or another be related to the fact that man is inherently bad, but no it's all neurobiology. It's all about hormones. It's all about everything and secular man says that that's the case that's why I read from Romans chapter 5, you see the theology of this is worked out by Paul, who is explaining that in our solidarity with Adam. Adam sins and brings down humanity with as in Adam all die, the existence of death in our world is testimony to the promise of God to the this the members of the garden that in the day that you do this you violate me and you will die, and death is an expression of that spread over the whole of humanity by Adam's disobedience in each of us as constituted sinners. As a result of our natural relationship with that we share in this depravity from the very beginning of our existence and that we are therefore incapable of keeping the law and that's why we need a Savior we can spend much more time on that but we don't have the time just know we can come back to it.

Number four.

An account of that the children are in need of the commandments. The children are in need of the commandments of God whatever choice we might make about our children's education in in whatever framework we are his parents. The Bible says responsible to instruct them in the law of God from their earliest days to instruct them in the law of God from their earliest days so that the 10 Commandments as an expression of God's absolute perfect way for life to be lived and enjoyed. Is there not as a mechanism whereby we can use it as a ladder to crawl up into acceptance with God, which is what we are tempted to do, but rather as a means of, as it were turning on turning a mirror on us and showing us that we know we don't love God as we shoot that we do tell lies that the that we are covetous that we do think wrong thoughts that we understand what it is to be jealous, and so on that we want to order life in our own way to wonder this when you have resembled the statement in Proverbs chapter 4 when I was a boy in my father's house still tender and an only child of my mother. He taught me and say what lay hold of my words with all your heart keep my commandments, and you will live to see was not externalism does not externalism the word of God is as we sound.

The father says to the child.

Keep these words store them up in your heart and you will live reject and you will surely die. The child says well then, what am I supposed to do more.

God wrote the commandment for sinners to convict us of our sin to highlight is of a need of salvation so our children need to understand God's law in the context of God's grace is my fifth and final point that these children who are gifts from the Lord who are a heritage from the Lord who are on loan for a time, who are flawed from conception who need the commandments are children who are saved by grace saved by grace, so that we teach our children to look to the Lord Jesus Christ.

We read the Gospels with them. We show them that Jesus was born into the family of a workman that Jesus kept the law of God in its entirety and perfectly we tell them then that when Jesus died upon the cross, Jesus died on the cross to bear the punishment that we deserve because we broken the law and he bore all of that punishment for our weakness and for our wickedness and for our waywardness and that if we will believe in him.

His righteousness is ours. Yeah. And when the children wandered away and when they give full expression to their depravity. What are they need to know they need to know that there is more grace in Christ than there is sin in them that, in the words of the song writer. There is a way back to God. From the dark paths of sin.

There's a door that is open and you may go in and at Calvary's cross. That's where you begin when you come as a sinner to Jesus. Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right here heritage, biblical instruction for children from Ephesians chapter 6, listing the Truth for Life in a series called life together from Alastair beg all about relationships will as I'm sure you're aware these past few months have been a challenge for all of us. They been marked by remarkable events, none of us ever imagined it. Yet through all of the difficulty and trial, our strength or comfort or hope of all come from the Lord through his word want you to know how grateful we are for the team of faithful truth partners whose giving by God's grace has sustained this program through this time, making it possible for people all around the world to have access to clear relevant Bible teaching. If you are a true partner. Thank you. And if you're a listener who's benefited from Truth for Life these past few months.

We want to invite you to become part of this important team today. When you do will sure. Thanks.

And the thanks of your fellow listeners by sending you a candid book on relationships called aspects of love we live in an age where there's a lot of confusion about marriage sexuality and family where we turn to find clarity and guidance.

How we build relationships that are fulfilling long-lasting and honoring to God.

This book delves deep into the essential aspects of our partnership with one another, not just in marriage, but in friendships as well.

Request your copy of aspects of love.

When you become a true partner or when you make a one-time donation, visit Truth for Life.org/partner or call 888-588-7884. If you'd rather mail your donation. Our address is Truth for Life PO Box 39, 8000, Cleveland, OH 44139. Be sure to ask for your copy of the book aspects of love. When you write about Lapine. Hope you can join us tomorrow as we continue learning about God's instruction for children, the Bible teaching of Alastair beg is furnished by Truth for Life with the Learning is for Living


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