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Ephesians 6:1-9: Obedience Print E-mail
Ephesians
Sunday, 07 January 2018

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In Ephesians 5:22-23 Paul addressed the Husbands and wives on how the family should operate according to Godís plan. But before that in the beginning of chap 5 he addresses each individual Christian on how to walk in this world. And the key verse that ties this whole family construction together is Eph 5:1  Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. Before Paul instructs us on how the family should function he tells us we should first take care of our personal relationship with Christ! Now to some people this might sound selfish, but it is actually the opposite. If my goal in life is to be an imitator of Christ, the how much more will I love my spouse? My children? My fellow brothers and sisters? This brings us to our text today.

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Verse 1-3: Childrenís obedience to parents.

What I find great about this verse is Paul is showing us that children have a responsibility in the institution of family that we often donít think about. Often times we donít see or recognize this truth. Not only in our family but in our churches as well, they are the generation that will carry on the gospel. How will they do that if we exclude them from worship and not show them how a family should function to honor Christ? Is it an easy task to include children in these areas? NO! Because we are a group of sinful people, that alone causes problems, but now you are telling your child they have a responsibility in the family and church. One thing God has taught me since he blessed me with children is they will often times mimic their parents attitudes, actions, and desires. we must show them by example first by obeying God in our own lives.

Another thing that is very important to point out is that children are to obey their parents. But wait! Thats not where the scripture stops! They are to obey them in the LORD! Simply put if you are not walking in the ways of the Lord, do not expect your children to obey you just because you quote this verse every once in awhile to them. Children are children and will need to be taught in the ways of the Lord in order to obey you as the parents in the LORD. On the same thought here no matter what situation you are in, if you are a parent with children or if you are a child that has parents who donít trust in Christ, God will still receive honor from every situation. Kids, children, I donít know your home life, but I want to share a quick story about my childhood that I hope will encourage you that God is good in all situations. This story I hope will show us how we can honor our parents and stay faithful to God even in bad circumstances. (Ex. My childhood.)

Now did I see any good God was getting during this situation in my life? Did I understand how I could honor my Dad? No not at all, but when God reveled himself to me around the age of 20 it all started to make sense. The lessons I was taught was this, 1- that is no way a man should treat a woman, that is for sure is not how a husband should treat his wife. 2- no father should treat their children like that. 3- I could still honor both my father and mother in this because these are the two people that God the Father chose to use in order that I might have life. So I could honor my dad by honoring the Father in heaven for using him as the vessel that brought me into this world. Now God blessed me more than I deserve, not only did he teach me all these things early on in life, but shortly after my salvation God brought me and my dad together and we had a great relationship one that I will cherish for all of my life. God also showed me how much love that man truly had because of the relationships he had with my children.

The point of this is no matter your situation, no matter your current relationships, we can all honor our parents by ultimately honoring God the father of all. Why is this important? So that even if our parents are not faithful to God, we can stand firm in His word, stay true to the scriptures so that the gospel of Christ will be passed from generation to generation. We are all part of a bigger plan in this life, the question to us is this are we doing our part or being a hindering it?

Verse 4: Fathers do not provoke our children to anger

Parents do not provoke your children to anger. Psshh this is an easy one right? I mean non of us have ever made our children mad correct? This one is difficult and will take work on the parents part. But just like all of scripture, it points to Christ and this is another example of the church. How do we confront other Christians, other members of our congregation when we see them in sin? Well first we must remove the plank from our own eye in order to see the speck in theirs. So first we go to God, then we go to that person in love, not in haste or with a better than thou attitude. Why does Paul call himself the chief sinner in 1 Timothy chap 1? One reason is to let his brothers and sisters know that he was not coming to them with a holier than you attitude but an attitude of love.

The same thing applies to us as parents. When our children disobey, when they purposely do the total opposite of what you have asked. We must first approach God for guidance then go to our children with loving correction. We must discipline our children, but it must be in the ways of the Lord. We need to explain to them why they were disciplined. Why we took the action that we took in that. So next time you discipline your child, ask yourself this question, was that for the lord or for my own selfish desires? (too tired, bad day at work, etc) I have failed in this area more times than I care to admit, but without admittance comes no repentance. Remember God has placed those children in our care to bring them up in His ways not our selfish desires. So discipline your children in love and do not provoke them to anger.

Verse 5-9: All people's obedience to Christ

The situation Paul addressed was not like slavery in American history. It was complex and massive in scope. American slavery was primarily racial and lifelong. In Paulís day it was not racial, and it was not always lifelong. Slaves in these days could become heirs to their masters inheriting estates worth millions. Some where white collar workers and most could obtain freedom if they desired. No where in scripture does the Bible endorse slavery in this since. One reason the new testament writers did not call for the end of slavery was because Christians were an insignificant group in the Roman Empire. But Paul does plant the seeds of destruction to slavery beginning with the Christian community as we see in our text. He starts by addressing the slave/bondservant, by telling them to obey their earthly masters, as you would Christ. And over and over in the next few verses we one constant! Ultimately they are servants to the Lord. They are not to be people pleasers but slaves/bondservants to Christ. In verse 8 he tells them whatever good anyone does, he will receive back form the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or free.

It made me think of the scripture that says we donít lay up treasures here on earth that moth and rust destroy but up in Heaven where they will remain forever. Everything we do should have Jesus at the center of it! Then in verse 9 he turns his attention to the masters. He tells them look how I have instructed the bondservants to behave towards you, now you should treat them in the same exact way. Because as a believer you know that He who is both their master and yours is in heaven. And he doesnít show favoritism. As Christians you are brothers and sisters in Christ and you should treat each other that way. It doesnít matter what the world around you says is correct. It doesnít matter if the Roman Empire says it is correct. Your duty is to be faithful to God and show love to each other.

Now how in the world do we apply this to us? I struggled for days about this question. I had an ideal but wasnít sure if it was applicable and staying faithful to the text. So I went to the commentators and they confirmed my thoughts. So here is what we decided, lol, we can apply this to how we work each day. No work is just work, all work is to be done for the kingdom of God. No matter what kind of job or position we have at our work place. No matter how bad the working conditions, no matter how hateful or rude your boss might be, we must remember that we are working for the Lord. He has placed us in our positions for a reason. So for that reason we must work diligently and to the best of our ability in our position so that Christ will get the honor he deserves. No to those in a position of authority. You are called to lead like Christ. To set the example, to show those under your authority love and compassion because no matter what position you hold, we are all humans, created to worship the almighty side by side with each other.

We are all slaves to sin at birth. But the good news is this, we can be set free from that slavery! But only by the blood of Jesus Christ! The payment that we owe in not obtainable by human hands. We cant even scratch the surface of what is owed. But the one who left glory, lived a perfect sinless life, was beaten, mocked and crucified has offered his blood for payment to all those that would believe. This how we can be set free from this slavery of sin and become heirs to the Kingdom and slaves of God!

Rom 6:22  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.

Jesus is the best example of an obedient servant and the best master. We are already rich beyond measure because we are promised eternity with Christ. No matter how low, how alone, how broken you feel in your life, God is always there with us showing us how much he loves us and that he is Good in all things. Nothing can take that hope away because we are slave to the king of all!

Closing questions:

What is our motivation as overseers of our children?

Parents is you life a Godly example to your children?

Have you provoke your children to anger bc of selfish reasons?

Have we been working for ourself or Jesus at our jobs?

Have we treated everyone with respect and love no matter the position they are currently in?

What master are we really serving? Sin or Jesus Christ?

~ Lucas Polk ~

Last Updated ( Friday, 26 January 2018 )

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