Walking In Wisdom: Relationship (Part 2) Danny W. Davis Ephesians 6:1-9 Open Wow!

This study Ephesians has been, for me, a life-changing event. This book has had the ability to make me so joyful I could hardly contain myself. Then it grabs me by the throat and begins to demand my repentance and obedience to its words. I now know what the writer of Hebrews meant when he said, For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. This Word of the Lord has forever changed me and I earnestly pray it has challenged and changed you as well. Our last study in Ephesians dealt with the relationship between husbands and wives. Today we are going to continue on this theme of relationships. This time Ephesians draws us in to look at the relationship between children and parents; as well as, slaves and masters. For this reason I have asked the pre-teen class to stay in the sanctuary today because I believe they need understand how the scripture speaks to them and the way they treat their parents. Let’s pray and then jump into this part of Ephesians with both feet. Introduction READ 6:1-4 God is so brilliant in how he uses Paul to arrange this portion of Ephesians about relationships and submission. He first deals with marriages then he moves onto the children who come through that marriage. Sometimes the problem of disobedient children begins because of disobedient parents. Fathers who are not submitting to Jesus and walking like Christ. Fathers are subjecting their wives to abuse, which often produces hostility in the children. Paul deals with marriages before the children because if the marriage is messed up or hurting then it hurts and messes up the kids. As husbands and wives we must put priority on having Godly marriages so that we can produce Godly kids. We have a society where people are more concerned about SELF than others and this is so true in today’s parenting relationship. I look around everyday and see absent fathers who only show

Walking In Wisdom: Relationship (Part 2) Danny W. Davis Ephesians 6:1-9 up at home when they want something. I see a society where men disrespect women, treat them like slaves, and generally feel like women have to bend to their every desire. This disrespect for women by men is the root for the enormous amount of disrespect for parents in the world. Paul begins by giving a COMMAND to the children… Children Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right (v. 1). For those present this morning who are children I wish I had some sort of way of explaining away the word OBEY – but I don’t. Just like we can’t explain away the word SUBMIT when we speak of the marriage relationship. This word OBEY is a very simple word that means to “listen, take heed, and to be obedient and submit to what is being asked of you.” This means that when your father or your mother (or grandfather/grandmother) tell you that something is to be done – you do it! If you are told to clean your room, do your homework or take the rubbish to the bin – you do it. Why? BECAUSE IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO IN THE LORD! Question: What if my parents ask me to do something that is not right or unchristian? Answer: This is certainly a problem especially when the parents are not living for Jesus Christ. There are those parents in this world who are so corrupted by sin as to demand their sons or daughters to have sex with them. There are those who are so perverted as to demand that their daughters become prostitutes in order to make money for the family. Does this mean because your parent is telling you to do this – you have to do it? NO! You must refuse and go to the police and report them for this terrible thing. If your parent asks you to steal – refuse to do it! If your parent is asking you to lie – refuse! There are many of you here this morning who are serving God but your parents are not. You are being asked to make choices between your Christian faith and the traditions of your culture. Your parents are fighting against your faith and asking you to go against the teachings of the Bible. You are confused as to what you should do. Jesus tells us that it would be better for that person to have a large stone tied around their neck and cast into the sea than to offend one of God’s children. Over the years of pastoral

Walking In Wisdom: Relationship (Part 2) Danny W. Davis Ephesians 6:1-9 ministry I have had non-believing parents who refused to allow their children to attend church. I have had them tell me they would rather see their daughter pregnant or on drugs than to be involved in all this religious stuff. SHAME – but true. Now children I am not telling you to fight with you parents or to disobey them because they are not in the church. As a matter of fact if you will obey them in the right things when you have to refuse to do the wrong things it will have a great impact on them. If they have any sense at all they will recognize that you are taking stand for what is right. Paul then moves from saying OBEY to another necessary part of the relationship between children and parents… Honor your father and mother – which is the first commandment with a promise – that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on earth (v. 2). Question: What does it mean to HONOR your parents? Answer: To honor your parent’s means to understand the value they bring to your life. They are the one’s who have clothed and fed you; given you a name; sent you to school and more. Even though they may not always get everything right and you may not even agree with them at times you still have to recognize their value. In other words you RESPECT them for who they are and what they mean to you. Question: What if my parents do none of the things you are talking about? What if they do not feed me or clothe me or love me? Answer: Unfortunately this problem huge in our country. People have babies and then hand them off to the granny’s. All the parents do is give granny some money from time to time and just leave the children with them. The Apostle Paul also wrote to the church at Rome and talked to them about the necessity of submitting to the authorities (i.e. government – as long as they were not being asked to sin). In explaining to them about how to submit to these authorities he says, Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor (Romans 13:7). If your parents are involved in your life and have left you with a granny then you give

Walking In Wisdom: Relationship (Part 2) Danny W. Davis Ephesians 6:1-9 honor and respect to your granny for the value she has given you – as a matter of fact you should give her DOUBLE HONOR because she DID NOT HAVE TO TAKE YOU IN AND CARE FOR YOU. As for your parents you give them honor because they gave you life. Honor is all about understanding the value someone puts into your life…if they put no value into your life then you owe them very little. But if they are investing in you and your future you owe them honor. Paul then says this funny thing - which is the first commandment with a promise – that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on earth. Paul is going back to the book of Deuteronomy when God gave Moses the 10 Commandments. One of those commandments was that parents should be honored. This command is the first one to come with a promise. Paul is telling us that honoring and obeying our parents helps things to go well and helps us to enjoy a long life on earth. I think that is pretty straightforward! Paul then moves from what is required of the children to WHAT IS EXPECTED OF GODLY FATHERS. Fathers Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord (v. 4) The first thing I notice about this verse is Paul speaks to the fathers not the mothers! Why? Go back to Ephesians 5 and see the divine authority God puts in the home. • • • • Christ Fathers Mothers Children (in this order – the problem with the world is that this order has been reversed)

When God wants to fix the homes of His followers He begins with the head of the home – fathers. Paul COMMANDS us fathers to do 2 things: 1. Do not exasperate your children 2. Instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Question: What does it mean to exasperate your children?

Walking In Wisdom: Relationship (Part 2) Danny W. Davis Ephesians 6:1-9 Answer: The KJV tells us, “Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath…” Still confused? OK! Basically it means to not cause your children to “inflamed with anger or enraged.” This simply means we do not drive our children so hard that it makes life unbearable for them. Some of you children think that your parents making you do your homework or refusing to allow you to go to friends house is just your parents making life hard. IT’S NOT! You will have a lot harder lessons to learn in your life. Paul is telling fathers that they have the RESPONSIBILITY to make sure their children are trained in how to serve God, love their mom’s and protecting them. Paul is telling us fathers that we are not to give our child everything he or she wants but to give them what is needed to help them know, love and live for Jesus! That means no matter how hard they cry, no matter how much they beg or get angry at you – YOU STAND YOUR GROUND AND DO WHAT IS RIGHT IN THE LORD – NOT WHAT IS EASY! Fathers we don’t refuse our children things just to teach them lessons (that is what exasperates children). No we help them to see how whether or not the thing they want will help them to know Jesus. Remember we talked about how God answers in three ways? Yes, no or later. This is the same way we answer our children – yes, no or later. Question: What does it mean to train and instruct our children in the Lord? Answer: The Old Testament book of Deuteronomy gives us some great insight into how we can instruct our children. Fix these words of mine in your heart and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many… Moses (the writer of Deuteronomy) is telling us fathers ways to teach our children about the Lord and how to know His will and love Him. 1. He tells father their attitude toward God must be right. They need to have a relationship with God so they can then pass that relationship onto their sons and daughters. The word of the Lord need to be bound to them (v. 18)

Walking In Wisdom: Relationship (Part 2) Danny W. Davis Ephesians 6:1-9 2. Then Moses gives us fathers some practical wisdom about “HOW TO” teach our children. When they get up and when they lie down – teach them. This means we begin and end each day with some scripture reading and some instruction about the Lord. When we are sitting at home we help our children know the will of God. This means you turn off the TV and open the Bible. Lastly, let the Word of the Lord be the thing that protects and secures your home – put the word of God on the doorframes and your gates. Not just signs with scriptures on it but live the Word of God in your home! Fathers I want you to know something today – YOU ARE THE PASTOR OF YOUR HOME! NOT ME – NOT PASTOR JANSEN OR BRO. CLIVE – YOU ARE THE PASTOR. All the leaders of this church can do is to help you become better equipped in the Word so that you can then help your wife and your children to know and love God. If the only instruction in the Word your children are getting is at church there has to be some changes made. Take the teaching you receive on Sunday and then go home with it and talk to your children about it. If you’re not sure about something or need help CALL ME – CALL ONE OF THE LEADERS! We would be happy to help you help your children. Don’t frustrate your kids by living one way on Sunday and another way on Monday! NO! Live a life of integrity and honor in front of them. Respect and love their mom, discipline the kids so they will grow up to function in society and most of all SHOW THEM THE WAY TO JESUS. ILLUSTRATION: These principles of obedience and respect also work in the church. As the Pastor of this church I am given the responsibility to teach you the Word of God and care for you, as a father would care for his children. But this also means that you, as members of the church, show respect and honor to my family and me. For the most part, this has not been a problem in at Turning Point! BUT sometimes the children and youth disrespect those who are working under my authority as the Pastor. When I give someone a responsibility, such as, leading the choir, leading youth service, ushering or teaching a Sunday school class those people are working to fulfill the vision I have given them so the church will be trained and instructed in the Lord. By disrespecting them you are directly disrespecting me! If you do not understand why something is being done in a certain way then you speak to the leader in humility and kindness; and with the same respect and honor you would give to me. If there is a problem with the leader then I will sort it out with the help of God – NOT YOU! When God wants to fix the

Walking In Wisdom: Relationship (Part 2) Danny W. Davis Ephesians 6:1-9 church He does it through Pastors. None of these leaders are going to ask you to do something that is sin (at least they shouldn’t be) so your responsibility is to obey them. Why? Because it is the right thing to do in the Lord! That means when we set a dress standard for being in the choir/praise team, or being an usher; or teaching Sunday school you will have to follow it or not be in that position. Please do not come to the leader and try to convince them otherwise – this is the House of the Lord and He expects us to obey the house rules. There will always be rules and standards for you to follow in your work, your career and in your home. The church is great place for you to begin learning to understand how things work. This leads me to the next paragraph… READ 6:5-9 These verses are pretty simple and easy to understand! v. 5 - Slaves = employee & earthly masters = employer. We are to respect and fear our employers. What does this mean? It means we obey them (same Greek word used for obey above) JUST AS WE WOULD OBEY JESUS CHRIST! v. 6 – not just when they are watching us – BUT EVEN WHEN THEY ARE NOT LOOKING! Why? Because even when your employer is not watching – JESUS IS! Being obedient to what your employer is asking of you is the will of God. Again, if the employer is asking you to lie, steal, cheat or defraud then you refuse. But if your employer has given you a contract and they expect you do a certain amount of work for a certain amount of pay THEN DO IT. v.7, 8 - Serve your employer “wholeheartedly” – give a days work for a days pay! Serve them just like you are serving Jesus - because in the end your reward is not from the employer but from Jesus who is the maker of all things and gives you the ability to work. v. 9 – But the EMPLOYER also has a responsibility to the EMPLOYEE. He is not to threaten them because both EMPLOYER and EMPLOYEE have the same master –Jesus. You wouldn’t threaten Jesus would you? Jesus doesn’t think more of an EMPLOYER than He does an EMPLOYEE – God does not show favoritism. As an EMPLOYER you are to respect and honor your workers treating them with dignity and justice – NOT FAVORITISM.

Walking In Wisdom: Relationship (Part 2) Danny W. Davis Ephesians 6:1-9 Challenge I think it would be fitting this morning to take some time to pray. For children I think it would be great for you pray about how you need to change and begin to respect your parents. Parents it would be good to pray and seek God to know where there are areas where you need to change toward your children. We need to pray about our attitudes toward work and workers. Instead of complaining about our jobs and just doing the absolute minimum we must ask the Lord to help us be examples of what it means to be a Christian worker or Christian boss.

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