Monday, March 4, 2013

Obedient Parents and Obedient Children

Part 32 of a series through the New Testament book of Ephesians

You can listen to this sermon here. [This sermon was preached to both adults and children.]



Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (6:1-4).


Being a Christian in Your Home 

Who we are in public is often very different from who we are at home.

How you act in your home reveals the true condition of your heart. 

Maybe you can relate to this video called “Sunday Morning.” 



Why Should We Obey? 

In Ephesians 6:1-4, the apostle Paul gives commands to both children and parents. To children, Paul writes, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ (this is the first commandment with a promise), ‘that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land’” (vv. 1-3). To fathers, Paul writes, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (v. 4).

1. God has given us rules for how he wants us to live. 

The most famous rules in the Bible are called the Ten Commandments. These rules were given by God to the people of Israel in Exodus 20. The first four rules are rules about our relationship with God. The First Commandment says, “You shall have no other goes before me” (Exod. 20:3). The last six rules are rules about our relationship with others. The Fifth Commandment says, “Honor your father and your mother” (Exod. 20:12).

The people of Israel thought they could obey God’s rules. They said, ‘All that the LORD has spoken we will do” (Exod. 19:9). “But they were wrong. No matter how hard they tried, they could never keep God’s rules all the time. God knew they couldn’t. And he wanted them to know it, too.”

[Ask: “Does anyone think they could jump high enough to touch this ceiling?” (The ceiling is about 30 feet high.) Even if grew to be 8 feet tall and trained every day, you would never be able to jump high enough to touch this ceiling.”]

The Bible tells us some very bad news: we have all disobeyed God’s rules and deserve to be punished. But the Bible also tells us some very good news: God sent Jesus into this word to die for our sins so that we could have eternal life. God did this for us because he is gracious. (“Grace” means “undeserved kindness.”) 

Earlier in his letter to the Ephesians, Paul wrote, “By grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (2:8-10).

When people—especially kids—are told to do something, they ask, “Why?” (“Why do I need to go to bed now?” “Why do I need to eat my vegetables?” “Why do I need to take this bad-tasting medicine?”) There are many good reasons for obeying God’s rules, but there is one reason that is best.

2. The best reason for obeying God’s rules is to show our love for him. 

“This is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3, NIV). Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

[Say: “Imagine that you injured your eyes and needed an operation that would cost $20,000. Without the operation, you would go blind.” Hold up $20,000 in Monopoly money. Say: “Now imagine that a man heard about your need and decided to sell his car so that he could give you the $20,000 for your eye operation. How would you feel? If that same man asked you a year later to help him rake the leaves from his yard, what would you say? You would probably be happy to do it because you were so thankful for what he had done for you.” Finally, say: “God gave us something much better than $20,000. He gave us eternal life through the death of Jesus. We should want to obey him because we are so thankful for what he has done for us.”]