Home Improvement (Colossians 3:18-4:1)February 19, 2023 | Kyle Bjerga
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Man, good morning. Go and grab your bibles turn to Colossians chapter three. If using one in the pew it is on page 955 955. For some of us here, well first, let me ask this, how many of you guys went home, threw some clothes away last week. Get rid of some clothes, donate some clothes. I know some of you did. That’s not we’re talking about today. But I hope more so that you’re able to work on some of the things we said that we need to get rid of in our life and put on the new life in Christ. But I did hear from some of you. So it’s encouraging to hear that we’ve been working on this, not just with our actual clothes, but in our spiritual lives, as well. But today, many of us here have probably are familiar with or have bought a home. And when you buy a home, there is a lot of excitement. Like you want people to come over and see your place and maybe have a housewarming party. And some of the things we may have up in our home or pictures, pillows, candles with things printed on it that says Home is where the heart is Home, sweet home, or our happy place. But it doesn’t take long until you are actually in homeownership before something breaks. Something doesn’t work, you don’t like that wall there anymore. The fridge just isn’t in the right place. So after 50 trips to Home Depot and ace and a whole lot of repairman in and outs with bills coming in, you start to think Did I buy the money pit home. Now it’s not usually that bad. But it does make you start to think as you get in and that excitement is gone. You’re like, oh, there’s that one person who said at one point, home ownership isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Like, ah, that’s that’s I’m seeing a little bit of truth in that. But these big and small issues that come up these home repairs, these home improvements, they make an impact on our time, they make an impact on possibly relationships, they make an impact on our sanity, and they make an impact on our bank account. Oh, it would be nice to not have a house with home repairs. It’s would be nice, but it’s not reality, it never will be. And then we always have the hope when somebody comes in that that thing is working the way it was supposed to. Or even better. It’s got some upgrades. And it works better than before. But there’s something else in our homes that’s broken. It’s a different kind of home repair or improvement. It actually makes for more sleepless nights, more arguments, more stress, more headaches, and more prayers. Plus, it’s a whole lot harder to fix than the honey do list. What does that problem? It’s you. It’s me. It’s anybody who lives in your home. All of us because our homes have broken relationships. at varying degrees, of course, but we’re broken people in need of a Savior. So we’re not going to have these perfect relationships. Back in chapter one of classes you saw the god is designer, he’s the creator of everything, everything in through and for Christ Jesus. That means God is the designer of our homes. And the ways our homes are set up in the relationships that we have, he made the roles and responsibilities perfectly for us to thrive, not to hold us back, but to thrive in our relationships in our life. So why do we have broken homes? Why do we have broken relationships? Well, it goes back to the garden and all the way through till now we believe we have a better plan, a better design than God did. So we live out a different design of our own choosing. And then we quickly realize that this isn’t working. Like this is a whole lot harder than fixing a broken dishwasher, or picking the wrong paint color. Jesus cares about our homes. And Paul takes us through what has been called the household code today. If you’ve been reading ahead, you saw that this week. He wants to show us that Jesus cares about our families and wants to change our families. And he can. There were a lot of ancient household codes back here. So Paul is using something that was familiar, but he says this is what a Christian household should look like. And there are differences which we’ll see. Now from the outset, we need to address a few things. Because when we come to a household code like this, we’re going to hear some words and some things that to our sensitive ears. Today, we will want to either dismiss or we’re going to want to defend or try to lessen the blow by explain some things away. To avoid that temptation, you’ll see on your notes, I have three things that I want. I just want it stated there that I want you to be thinking through if you hear one of those words, or if you have a problem with something that the Bible says to go back to these three things because I think it will help us as we go throughout. So let me go through them quickly. Number one, the household code was radical back then, and it’s still today. So that the household code is radical because women, children and slaves which are all mentioned for Listen, these three pairings, the fact that they are addressed as equals to husbands, fathers and masters. That was not true of other household codes, but they are equals. That’s a huge deal. Christianity brought with it the equality, dignity, worth and value of every single person. That, by the way, was always true in God’s creation, but it was lost along the way forgotten. It wasn’t practiced. So it was radical back then when they read this letter in the church, and it’s radical for us today. Because hearing words like submit and obey, which wouldn’t have bothered them back then bother us today, in an individualized anti authority, culture, that makes us seem stuck, or regressive, or even harmful in this culture. And we need to remember that the gospel is counterculture to every single culture it goes into, regardless of time, regardless of the people, it always will be counter culture. The second thing is Jesus is the one who defines our relationships and roles. We don’t get to take God’s good design and say, I can define this however I want and make it better. That’s not up for us to do with his his role. So God does that. We’re called to follow that design. And like we just saying, I will trust you, even if I’m not quite sure I agree with it. Or I have questions I will trust you. And third, God’s good design is still good. Even if the examples and experiences in your life are bad. Everyone here has examples and experiences where God’s design wasn’t lived out. And you have experience pain, your experience hurt, and negative feelings towards people, and probably God, and His Word and His design. But it’s not a problem with his design. Okay, it’s not a problem with his designs, because others have forgotten how to live within that design, have chosen to do things opposite of what God says. So that’s the framer, that’s where we’re coming from. So I want you to go back to those of you have a hard time with anything that we hear this morning. And the big idea today is that the Lord transforms homes, through relationships. If you want your home to change, it’s going to come to the relationships that make up your home. So we want to follow God’s design in our marriage, in our parenting, and in our work, which is our outline today. Well, last thing before we dig in, is we’re looking at three of the most important areas of our in our whole lives in 30 more minutes. Okay, so we are leaving a lot unsaid. We have to, but I really hope and my goal this morning is that this is really just something that gets you thinking and gets you into conversation with your spouse, with your kids, with your community group and your journey group and people that work and other Christians. This is this is meant to be something that drives us into these conversations today. So I won’t be able to say everything. So if you’re like, Oh, I wish he said that. I wish I could too. We don’t have time. So I’m going to try and give us as best we can an understanding of what this text means. And we’ll try to work through some practical implications of that today. But the first thing is we want to follow God’s design for marriage. Look at verse 18. Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Like I said, we start off with a big word. Submission. submission is voluntary deference to another. We all submit to someone at some point in our life. We’re all submitting to someone now. Whether that’s a boss, ultimately, it’s Jesus, but hopefully, that we’re submitting to, but it’s that voluntary deference to another. So here in this case, it is a wife to her husband. It is not a woman to every man everywhere. It’s not what the text says, a wife to her husband. And I love how Ray ortlund describes in his book on marriage. He says submission is an attitude of readiness to yield to and support her husband’s worthy headship, a readiness and attitude of readiness to yield to and support her husband’s worthy headship. This is God’s designed for to be this way. And it says in Genesis that everything God made was good. Very good. Therefore, submission and marriage according to God cannot be a bad thing. It is not a bad thing. In fact, it was meant to help us thrive in marriage. He had a purpose for marriage with a wife would be the helper, the perfect complement to the husband and his role, which is headship and we’ll get to there get to that in just a minute. But we lose something in marriage. If we lose either one of these. We lose something in marriage if we lose submission if we lose headship. So, wives
it does not mean that you cannot have an opinion I share that opinion, make decisions, question things. It doesn’t mean you stay in a relationship where you are threatened or harmed at all. That’s not what submission means. Now, why do you submit? It says in the verse that is fitting to the Lord, which simply means you are living in an attitude that is truly Christ, like in Ephesians 521, which starts off the household code in the book of Ephesians, we get this in Ephesians 521, which I think will be on the screen for you, it says, Submit, maybe it’s not submit to one another, out of reverence for Christ. That’s what Ephesians 521 says, Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. That means before you get the household code, every Christian should be submitting to every other Christian, out of reverence for Christ deferring to them. The way the wife primarily lives this out then is in her relationship to her husband. Now a quick word here, because we’re gonna see this over and over again, in this text we see here this is for the Lord. Okay, the Lord comes up in this text six times as the Lord and one time is master in heaven. So why is the Lord mentioned this many times in nine verses, when this is supposed to be a list of instructions for the household? Because it’s the only it’s only in the Lord that any of these relationships can be lived out according to His plan. That’s the only reason. All of this is grounded. The last few weeks that we were we’ve been in collage and the Colossians, three, all of it is grounded. They’re saying you have an old life and a new life, take off the old and put on the new and here is part of the new this is how you live out the new life in Christ in your family, but it has to be done in the Lord. Because only He can transform homes, only he can transform relationships. So the Lord changes the view. And that we have and how we enter in to relationships. So we’re going to hear this throughout the attachment to see the Lord and the master in heaven throughout. So just want to make sure that we’re aware of that. So as you’re, as reading these verses, keep hearing that, because that’s the reason we can do these things. Now. Alright, so back to the wives real quick, I’m, I’m going to step away here, because this is not in the Bible, I’m giving my opinion. I am pretty sure that Eve did not have a problem with a complementary marriage that her and Adam had in the garden. I think she saw that it was good, not just good that it was perfect. That she didn’t fight it, that she didn’t question it. She didn’t say why does he get to lead? Because she saw it was perfect. That is until Adam failed, and failed to fulfill his role of loving her by protecting her from the serpent in Genesis three. Do you remember the story? Even Adam are very close to the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil that they’re not supposed to eat from. So close, in fact that she is tempted to take the fruit and eat it and she does take the fruit and she does eat it. And what does it say? She gave some to her husband who was with her. He was right there with her. It wasn’t she had to go to the other side of the garden to find Adam and given this fruit. He was right there. His role was to protect her and say we’re not supposed to eat that. So when he failed first, she failed. And in entered guilt and shame and blame. And the struggle has continued in marriage ever since. Where each person tries to live out their own ideas creating their own roles and responsibilities. Wives this this call of submission is a high calling. husband’s you to have a high calling. Look at verse 19. Husbands love your wives and do not be harsh with them. No Roman household code ever told the husband to love his wife. This is radical. They did not say that. And love Here’s the word agape meaning sacrificial love, self sacrifice, sacrificing your life for your wife and not just physically. Now if it came to that, yes, give your life for and I think all of us would stand up and say yes, I give my life for my wife. But it’s so much more than that. It’s denying ourselves daily for her good. As Christians, we’re called to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus. That’s what Jesus says A disciple is that’s what we’re called to do every single day. When we deny ourselves for Jesus that will help us deny ourselves in every other relationship. Do you see how that works? It’s not just for him, it’s for him and everyone else we’re going to come in contact with. And so for the husband is primarily happens in marriage with his wife, and then also with his children, and also in work. So we love self sacrificially. And it says do not be harsh. US So here’s one way you can be harsh. We can go through tons and tons of reasons. Here’s one way you can be harsh, demanding submission. That’s not what we are called to do. This is one reason why so many people have a negative view of submission in marriage, because of men who have wrongly interpreted this passage and use it abusively, incorrectly misinterpreted, whether it was on purpose or not, substituting submission for obedience. That’s not what it says, says submit voluntary deference, yielding to being prepared and ready to yield. Obedience is coming. But it’s not for this relationship. So men do not use it that way. Why Should men love their wives? We don’t get the answer here in Colossians. But we do in the parallel passage in Ephesians, five, which you saw, it’ll be up here again, says Husbands love your wives, which we just read in Colossians. And then it goes on to say, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up, for her, the most Christ like thing a husband can do for his wife is to give his life for her every single day, and prove, prove that he is a man we’re submitting to. So husbands and wives the roles and responsibilities God has given us in marriage, both require, both of them require us to give up ourselves for another. Both of them do. Both of them do. Jesus Christ comes in shows if there’s nothing wrong with God’s designed for submission. Because it is Jesus Christ God, the Son, who came in the flesh, who submits to the will of the Father, to go to the cross. They are co equal, co equal in divinity, in glory, and holiness, and yet the son submits to the Father. HIS Submission does not diminish Jesus at all, at all. And so a wife submission to her husband does not diminish her at all. Or what are we saying about Jesus? It is a high calling. Not only does Jesus display for the wife what it means, isn’t it, he also shows the Husband Husband how we’re supposed to love. Jesus is the bridegroom and the church is the bride. So he leads us perfectly this perfect sacrificial love and we are called to submit to Him. And when we follow Christ’s example, we follow that the love for our wife should leave her encouraged, should leave her lifted up and able to live out her calling of submission without any hesitation. Because she knows that her husband is submitting to and following Jesus and making decisions for her good, the good of the family, and for God’s glory. It is good design. So what does this look like in marriage? It means dancing together. And I don’t mean like actual dancing, though, if you’d like to do that, that’s awesome. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’ll explain in a second. But remember Genesis 224, it says that is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh, one flesh complementary roles, but one flesh. So husbands, listen to your wives, hear their opinions, hear their concerns, hear their wisdom, and love them well, by listening. Wives go into conversations, ready to both share your thoughts while also having the attitude of readiness to yield and support your husband and his headship in the marriage. So dance together because inevitably, this will go poorly. Okay. It’s not always gonna go well, it will happen. So dance together. What I mean by that I learned this from Ray ortlund. In that book on marriage was he said, It’s like learning a new dance. Okay, when you start learning to dance with a partner, you will step on each other’s toes, possibly a lot. You will have to learn steps, you will get out of sync with one another. You will have to separate for time and come back together, you’re gonna get frustrated, but you keep dancing. So in marriage, you ask for forgiveness. And you give forgiveness and you talk and you pray. And you remember God’s good design. Settling because you are two perfect, imperfect people. Two imperfect people trying to live out God’s good design. So keep dancing. Show the world that what? Show the world what it means to complement each other and bring the very best out of each other. I said I would rather step on each other’s toes trying to follow God’s way than when a dance competition doing our own thing.
We’re going to step on each other’s toes and that’s why we have Jesus. That’s what we look to. So I don’t know how many of you know this. But part of the story of how I even got to Cityview was a part of this headship and submission in marriage. So before coming here in 2015, I had a job offer from a church right down the road here in Western Springs. And there wasn’t even a job opening here yet. In fact, Brandon wasn’t even hired here yet. And I had this job offer and Jack and I talked about it was a good job offer was good ministry, we got to stay in the same area. It was better pay all these different things. And it was just screaming, yes, take this. But I thought maybe Brandon would get hired. And then maybe there’d be an opening for me. And then maybe I’d be here one day. That’s a whole lot of maybes when you’re supposed to be leading your family. And so Jack, and I talked about it, we prayed about it. We talked about it, we prayed about it. And she came if it was up to Jackie, this decision would have been made take the other job. Right? Because it made the most sense. This other thing didn’t make sense. Especially when I explained it to the other church when I did say no, and said I don’t have a job, but I might. And that’s why I’m saying no. And it wasn’t reckless and may sound reckless. But my point here is the fact that Jackie looked to me, she said I trust you to make the decision.
It was a good decision. But she said I trust you to make this decision for our family. Because I felt this what we’re supposed to do. It didn’t look wise. And I may have been wrong. But here’s the other thing she didn’t say to me was you better be right. She never said that to me. She said if it’s the wrong decision, then we’re doing it together. That’s what it looks like. That’s God’s good design. And finally, husbands, John Piper has a great practical way for us to live out headship. He says husbands should be the ones in their marriage to say, let’s the most let us okay. We should be the ones taking the initiatives. So we should be the one saying let’s go to bed early so we can get the church on time on Sunday. Let’s open God’s Word together. Let’s pray. Let’s serve our neighbors. Let’s give more to the church. That is us. That is our responsibility. We should be the one thing that the most in our families. So take initiative lead the way I find it very hard to believe that wives and children would not want to follow a father and a husband who does that. If you are single, or in a difficult situation, it just got to say something here. I’m sorry, it won’t. It’ll be very brief. But if you are single looking for marriage, you don’t become a good husband or wife the day you get married. So you may need to submit out of reverence for Christ to everyone you are around, start that now. Or you may need to take initiative in your life for your own spiritual life, and in other areas to prepare yourself for marriage. And if you have an unbelieving spouse, or are divorced or widowed or any other life circumstance where you know that this dance of headship and submission cannot happen. That is a tough position to be in. And you’re going to need to lean into your savior who gives grace when you need it. You have a community of believers here who can step in and help fill the gaps. And you will need to step into places that you don’t want to step into that you’re not ready to step into that you’re not sure you can. Again, the Lord gives grace, He is faithful. You have a community. So step into it, and hopefully it’s just for a time. Second thing is we need to follow God’s design for parenting. Children, listen up. This is for you. Okay, verse 20. Children obey your parents and everything for this pleases the Lord, obey your parents and everything. So I’m talking to you here this morning, if you’re under the age of 18. It’s not a magic number. Okay, but it is one that we kind of understand cuz you’re gonna be in your parents house at least till then. Alright, so here we are. You’re talking about your parents and your obedience. So adults here you can listen. But this is for the children for the teens. Sorry, I’ll call you teenagers, not just children. But what does this mean? It means you need to obey your parents not voluntarily submit, though that’s great as well. But you are called to obey them, which means you do what they say when they say it. Pretty simple. I tell my boys this all the time obeying your mom and dad will be better for you. And then I’ll ask them, Have I ever disciplined you for obeying me? Have I ever said How dare you do what I say? And how dare you do it when I say it? No, I never have and I never will. I want them to obey. They’re called to obey. We should demand obedience from our kids, not just for our home. But as they go out, they will always have somebody else’s submit to kids, you will always have somebody you submit to. And so it’s good to practice obedience now in the home even when you don’t want to but you are called to obey everything. Not just some things, not just the things you like. Everything. I like really everything Yes, as long as it’s in line with God’s word, as long as it doesn’t contradict what God says, As long as it’s within biblical wisdom. So here’s the rare time that you will say to your parents, I’m not going to obey you, if they tell you to do something that would be a sin, which I hope is extremely rare. That’s the only time where you have to say, No, I need to follow God here, and not my parents. Does that mean you’re gonna agree with him? No. Okay, it does not mean that. But that’s different than submit, you are called to do it still. And why do you do this? It’s in the verse This pleases the Lord. So kids, teenagers, you can worship God. By obeying your parents tell you worship God, God is happy when you follow his good design for you. He is created you put you in a home with parents who have authority for your good. One of our family values is home and we worship God with our lives. If you will obey your parents, you obey God and it brings him honor, you can worship Him in that. Next is fathers verse 21. Fathers do not embittered your children or they will become discouraged. Now mothers, this applies to you as well. It wouldn’t say to the Father, don’t do this. And why are moms do this? But I think we recent fathers is actually used, here’s because we’re just coming out of the headship section with the father and son saying you need to lead the way. You need to set the tone here. I also think this is possible that fathers have a tendency to do this more than moms do. But do not embittered. Or maybe your translation says provoke or exasperate. So to put in terms of understand today, don’t push your child’s buttons. Like Well, I mean, kids are great at pushing my buttons, we can push them too. So we need to be very careful with that. This is different than demanding obedience. Remember, we just came out of it. They’re supposed to obey us, we’re calling them to obey. So what does this mean? It means how do you get that obedience? Okay, how do you communicate with them the things that you expect of them? That’s very important. So we’re gonna look at different communication styles, and see how they can embittered or provoke our children lead to discouragement. So there’s kind of a self evaluation. Alright, just briefly here. One, are You aggressive? Do you wield the Bible or your authority as a weapon, my way or the highway? No ifs, ands, or buts. Your home is full of conflict, everything is a major thing. This discourages children, because they don’t understand the difference between great breaking God’s law and not meeting your expectations. Which probably aren’t always aligned. Okay. That can be discouraging, because they don’t experience a lot of forgiveness, right, somebody seeking forgiveness from them. They might live with anger or resent authority. So this discourages and disheartens them. Maybe you’re more passive, just letting things slide because you don’t want to deal with it. Not disciplining them because it takes too much time, maybe promising discipline, but not following through. Letting your children decide things they should do, that you should train them for. That you should share your wisdom with them. This can discourage children because they aren’t sure what the expectations are. They don’t know. They might have little drive, don’t understand the consequences of their actions have passed a parent’s means Does Mom, mom and dad even care? And then usually that equates to does God even care. Or maybe you’re more passive aggressive in your style comes out in snarky comments, veiled threats, sarcasm, you give them a compliment, except there’s a button on the end of it. You did a great job, but then you get a negative, right? These are passive aggressive ways that discourages children because they don’t know when it takes something seriously or not. There’s confusion, which means they may withdraw from you. They may not talk to you as much. They’re not as trusting of people. I’ve used all of these. When I look back at my parents and my kids, I have used every single one. Not like I aimed to. But I definitely have. And I’m sure you can see that in your own life as well. So how do we change? We don’t want embittered our children. We don’t want them to be discouraged. So we need to stop looking at other examples and compare ourselves to other parents. We need to stop looking for the newest best way to parent. We have a perfect father. We look to him not to compare to his standard because we know it’s perfect. But that is something to strive for. Each and every day as a father teach me more about how you parent me and help me parent my child that way too. So we strive after it. It is only through Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection That we can call God our Father. So let’s learn from him. Let’s learn from him. So what does this look like practically in the home children, it means obeying, okay? And praying that your heart catches up to that obedience. There’s some we all have to do, by the way, you aren’t always going to want to obey, you may never want to obey. But your parents don’t wake up in the morning and say, How can we make our kids day the worst day possible? No parent does that. Are they perfect? No, are they going to make mistakes? Yes. But they aren’t out to get you. They believe their parents in the best way they know how as they follow Jesus. So listen to them and trust them and obey and pray that your heart eventually gets to a point where you want to obey them. But practice it first. Even when you don’t want to, and learn from Jesus in Luke chapter two, Jesus and his parents leave Jerusalem. And Jesus knows his father is actually in heaven. But he’s got these earthly parents, Joseph and Mary. And it says that he went home and he obeyed them.
Because he knew creation, He knew God’s good design in the home. And he said, I’m going to follow that I’m going to obey. So we can learn from him even in that as well. And then parents be assertive in your parenting, Talk respectfully to your children, look at them in the eyes, be consistent and clear, provide understanding of what you’re doing and listen to them. We only get the negative command here what not to do. So we need to flip over again to the parallel passage in Ephesians, six, starts off the same way fathers do not exasperate your children. Instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. So teach them what God says, Tell them what God has done, tell them what God God wants for them, and from them. Now, if you’re a parent, struggling like I did this week with some guilt and shame, maybe even embarrassed to look at your children. Look up, look up and look to Jesus. Those are not the feelings that he wants us to have in this moment. Instead, go home and confess your children, ask for their forgiveness. And then ask them, this is a bold thing. Ask them at an age appropriate level. To tell you what you do that causes discouragement. What you do that causes them to be unhappy in the home and listen to them and pray that you will be able to discern what is truly something that needs to change. And what’s just been apparent. Because if you go home, and they tell you, I don’t like that you tell me what to do. It’s my job, okay. That’s my role. So but if they say, whenever I come and talk to you, you seem distracted. Or you don’t want to talk to me, or you say we’ll talk about it later. Or you can’t talk to me about that. Those are the types of things we need to hear. Because it’s discouraging to our children, and we want to change, okay, but we need to be able to discern that ask them those questions and be ready to hear the answer. And then rest in God’s forgiveness and grace. And then seek to obey Him. And then finally, we need to follow God’s design for work. Look at verses 22 through the end of our sorry, into chapter four verse one. Slaves, obey your earthly masters and everything, and do it not only when their eyes on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart is working for the Lord, not for human masters. Since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism. Masters provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a master in heaven. So a little background here is helpful. Because when we read the Bible, we see slavery, it makes us cringe. It brings up emotions, it makes us think about things. So before we press on just a quick couple of things that need to be said. Paul is addressing a culture that had 50% of its people as slaves in the Roman world. Biggest difference between the slavery then and what we know now and the thing we think about in our own history is that it was not ethnically based. There was no transatlantic slave trade. That’s not what it was. It doesn’t mean it was good. It doesn’t mean it was right. It doesn’t mean that every master treated a slave the way that they should be treated. Here’s I’m not I’m not saying that. But there were all sorts of reasons why someone would be a slave, and why a householder would have many slaves and many families in those in that group, but Paul is writing to people in their current state. He is not using this as a letter for political power or change. The church had zero political power back then zero political power, so this would do nothing to change. what actually was happening in that culture at this time? So what did he do? All right, the church? Right? All right, the church that has masters and slaves in it, who are all trying to figure out how to live out this new life. I’m a Christian. Now what does it mean to be a master? I’m a Christian, what does it mean to be a slave? I’m a Christian Now should I have slaves should I not? Like that’s who he’s addressing in this moment in this letter. So Paul was instead regulating something that can be used for bad of course, to try and make it something that could be used to help others see how amazing the transformation can be when you give your life to Jesus. The masters and slaves instead call each other brother and sister in Christ. Like that’s radical, that’s radical. From the outside they see Master they see slaves, but inside in the church, they see brother and sister, the book of Eileen and demonstrates this, Paul is writing to fight Lehmann, who was a slave owner, he had a slave name on SMS. And SMS ran away from phi Lehman. And somewhere along that journey, and his time with Paul came to faith in Jesus. Oh, an SMS was also a believer. So Jesus, or sorry, Paul sends an SMS back to fight Lehman with this letter. And here’s part of that. He said, Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might give him get him back forever, no longer as a slave, but better than a slave as a dear brother, he is very dear to me, but even dear to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother, in the Lord. That’s the change that can take place. So all that being said, all that all that stuff, the principles here can be used in all sorts of contexts, but especially in our vocation, in the workplace. So employers and employees, that’s, that’s really more where we’re thinking, okay, the boss and the employees. And so Paul also is writing to a household that would have slaves. This is not how we think. But I do think we need to step back and think a little bit, how much does our work still impact our home? probably quite a bit, right? With how we enter into the home after a long workday. So there’s a lot here for us to consider. But first looking employees, says you’re supposed to obey your earthly masters work hard all the time, don’t do what is wrong. So like children obey their parents, one way employees honor God is by obeying those in authority, doing what the boss says, right? And working hard in whatever job you have. And that means kids, by the way, you have a vocation, it’s called being a student. That is your calling right now. So you can even do this. Now. It’s not just for those who go into work every day, you’re going into school, this is an opportunity for you to live this out as well. And it’s not just winning, or working hard when the boss is watching. Right? Or to find favor with him or her or someone else. But realizing every minute you’re working is being done ultimately for the Lord. So maybe in your job, you have a direct report, well, there’s probably somebody behind them, and somebody behind them. And for us as Christians, it doesn’t matter how many people that are there. There’s always one more beyond that. Because God’s always looking, always watching our attitude of how we walk into work, how do we do our work? And then why do we do this, it says in the text, you are serving Christ and you will receive an inheritance, we serve Christ who will never withhold from us the riches of heaven, that are ours in him. So back then, regardless of how slaves were treated on Earth, okay. Or for us, regardless of whether or not we get fairly compensated here, or we missed that promotion, all of us are just working for temporary gain. If that’s how we look at it, instead, we need to remember the eternal reward and see the salvation that we have, and work from that. So that’s for employees. What about employers? It says, masters, you’re supposed to do what is right and fair, in this context, treating slaves as brothers in Christ, if they were Christians, or treating their slaves that they weren’t Christians in such a way that they would be drawn to Jesus. So today, if you’re an employer or manager, you have anybody who reports to you. You want to treat them in such a way that appoints them to Jesus. Whether or not you can say that to them in the workplace, you can demonstrate it. Don’t you want people to want to work for you? Don’t you want possible hires and new employees to have everybody around them telling them you love to work for him? Or for her? Jesus can do that. And why do we do this because we have a master in heaven. We have a perfect right to just and fair master and he has called us to represent him to others. And then we need to remember this. We are all servants of our Master Jesus. And it is a good thing to have a perfect Master. We must remember as servants of this master, we all have jobs, jobs that have purpose that help us fulfill the purpose God gave Adam and Eve all the way back in the garden. Because work was there before the fall. Right work was there before the fall. So we all have work to do. So everything we do matters and where our heart is in that work matters as well. Have you ever noticed out of all the professions in the Bible, that there’s a lot that people look down on like shepherds, God never looks down on a profession. Okay, unless, of course, it contradicts his word. If it doesn’t doesn’t matter how menial it is. Right, or how many people want that job or don’t want that job. The fact is, work matters regardless of what we’re doing. Because he’s given to us for one purpose, for His glory, but also to help the flourishing of society. So whatever you do work at it for the Lord. So what does it look like in the workplace, two quick things we worship through our work, you get to use the abilities, tools, education, everything God has given you to bless others and to contribute to the flourishing of society. God isn’t only concerned what you do here on Sundays, he’s concerned with what you learn here and take with you into your workplace, how that transforms the way you go into work each and every day.
And then we set an example through our work as well, others are watching us and how we approach work. If you go into work, believing that you’re ultimately serving Jesus, and not for a paycheck, but for eternal riches, then it’ll be hard to go into work with a bad attitude. People will notice, people may even ask you why you have such a good attitude when nobody else has one. And parents real quick, your children are watching you when you go to work. They’re listening to you with how you talk about work. It’s no shock that most kids don’t get excited about their career, or doing a job one day. We need to take it seriously and say this is work I’m doing for the Lord. And be honest about the fact that it’s tough. We know that from the curse, it’s going to be tough. But it’s God’s purpose for us. And we’re doing something that matters. We want our kids go into work excited because they get to live their life and work beyond the paycheck. They get to work before the Lord and help with the flourishing of society and to redeem work. So remember, the Lord transforms homes, through relationships, Jesus cares about our marriages. He cares about our parents, parenting, cares about children. He cares about our work and our attitude at work. So he not only saves us, but he renews our purpose in all of these things. Seeing this example of him in every single area and letting the spirit transform us, and let the Spirit transform how we view and enter into these relationships. So let’s follow God’s good design. He is our bridegroom. He is our Father. He is our master in heaven. Okay. Amen. Amen. Well, we’re going to pivot here, it’s very appropriate for this morning that we do this, we’re going to respond to what we just heard. I’m going to ask the beekler and Ransom families to come down to the front. We are doing a parent commissioning time where some of you have been here for others of you have not. But as they come down, you’re going to be seeing some very adorable pictures up on the screen. But I figured this morning, as we have been talking about parenting and our relationship in the home that it would it be appropriate to have a parent commission at the end of the service rather than at the beginning as we have these things running through our minds. So we do parent commissioning services, because we want to send these parents out in their home with their kids to take the name of Jesus. We want them to know that they are missionaries in their home, creating gospel centered homes where children hear about Jesus had the opportunity to respond and give their life to him we pray and then to be discipled by him in the home. And so here we have, we have Clint and Ali, we have Simon here. And we have baby boy beekler do in May. And then we have David Ashley ransom. We’ve got David, Caleb and James. And so this morning, as we come together, we are sending them out into their home and my charge this morning is gonna be a lot shorter than normal. Because we just talked a lot about parenting, okay. But my charge for you guys is this, that in Psalm 127, we find that children are a gift from the Lord. And you are called themselves morning to raise them in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, a responsibility of pointing these children to Jesus. And so in looking at our passage today and the charge to you just got a few things one, you will point them to Jesus when you live out the Gospel calling as a husband and wife in front of them each and every day. You will point them to Jesus when they do disobey, showing them that Jesus Christ came to pay for their sins on the cross in their place. When you sin and provoke them to anger you will point them to Jesus when you ask them for free Goodness, showing them that you too need the saving grace of Jesus. You will point them to Jesus when you forgive them for their disobedience. You will point them to Jesus as you work hard in your job, at the workplace and in the home by seeing your work as an opportunity to serve Jesus. So parents, Clint, Ally, Dave, and Ashley, I have a few questions for you. And if you commit today to these, please say we do after I read the question. Do you recognize your children as a blessing and gift that God has entrusted to you to raise in the discipline and instruction of the Lord? Do you promise to instruct your children in the gospel of Jesus Christ and in the practice of Scripture, reading and prayer and to guide them in the development of Christ like character? And do you promise to try by God’s grace to shape the home life of your child, both by example, and family worship, by word and conduct, that at the proper time your children will come to an open confession of Christ and membership in his church? Amen. Well, they are not meant to do this work alone. So church, we have a responsibility as well to come alongside these parents, encouraging them in their parenting, and also praying for these precious children, these gifts from the Lord and pointing them to Jesus, as well. So church, I want you to stand.
This is one of my favorite moments in this church. On the screen, you’re gonna see a question I’m going to ask you to commit to before God and these families. So after I read this question, if you agree, I’d love to hear you say we do. Do you, the body of Christ here at Cityview Community Church, promise to receive these children in love? Pray for them, help instruct them in the faith and encourage and sustain them in the fellowship of believers? We do. Amen. Yes, we want to have a seat. Make sure you say hello to them real quick. This one of the things that we do we love to do is like these are milestone moments for families to be able to send out in their home. So we want to congratulate them this morning, say hello, and maybe say a prayer over them and their family, okay, but I’m gonna pray for them. And for our finishes, we now transition into singing. So let me pray for the families and I pray for the rest of our service. Lord, we thank you for the beakers, we thank you for the ransoms, we thank you for the precious gift you have given to them of children. They are truly a gift to these families. They are a gift to our church. And Lord, I want to pray for each one of these kids. Lord, we pray that we pray that they’re yours. We pray, Lord, that You would capture their hearts at a young age that they would know nothing else than knowing you. And they would see that clearly in their homes. And they would see that clearly in this church. So that when they give their lives to you, Lord, they are ready and willing to step in and to serve you and to magnify You. Lord as they are in the home, and they are hearing about you as they are seeing the gospel demonstrated in the in the marriage of their parents, as they come here on Sunday mornings and hear the good news of Jesus. As they see the body of believers coming together and encouraging one another in our faith. I pray that they would be encouraged as well. I pray that they would see each and every person here today who is committed to help them in that journey. When they see them they would see someone who will care for them, love them, ask answer questions for them, be a part of their lives. I pray for us as a church to that Clint and Allie and David ashy, would never feel like they don’t have support, that they won’t be encouraged in their parenting. So Lord, I pray blessings over these families. And I pray Lord, that these families go out and that they raise these kids to be kids that the world cannot ignore. Because they love you and they pursue you together. And Lord, we thank You for Your Word this morning. And for the time we’ve had to be able to walk through your plan for the home. Your plan for our lives, living this new life in Christ out in some of the most important areas and relationships that we have. Lord, help us to trust you. When moments are hard. Trust you when we don’t understand, trust you when we have this high calling. And when we pray that you will receive glory through all of it. Jesus, we love you. We pray this in Your name, amen.