As a father of a 15 month old (and another on the way!) I do not have much ground to stand on when it comes to preaching on parenting. Thankfully I was standing on the words of Paul in Ephesians 6:1-4. I hope this is as encouraging and challenging to you (whether child or parent or both) as it was to me.
A special ordered relationship where it is the child’s best to obey and honor their parents while the parents oversee their children on God’s behalf to develop them into mature, responsible God-loving adults.
Pastor Dad: Scriptural Insights on Fatherhood by Mark Driscoll
Like I said yesterday, I don’t have a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw from with topics like marriage (or parenting this week), but I do have the Bible and I have some great resources. In case you are one of the two people who listened to my sermon on-line or the one guy who downloaded the PDF (because he thought it was a link to something else) here are the resources that helped influence me and various stats, stories or tid-bits that I out-right stole. If you are interested in discovering out what some smarter people or just what other people think on these matters, please click a few of these links. You won’t be disappointed as there is great some great depth here.
This past Sunday I had the tremendous burden responsibility to teach on the roles of husbands and wives as taught by Paul in Ephesians 5:21-33.
Seeing as I am young, a man, and have only been married for 6 (and a half) years, this topic was daunting at best and downright scary at worst. However, I was blessed to have an extra 15-18 hours to put into preparation this week and I was very happy with what I put together. My goal was not to wax eloquent of my own experience, but to interpret faithfully in light of its context in Ephesians and to honor what God has set up for the glory of marriage and the picture of Christ and the church. I hope you’ll give it a listen, but also I have been asked to put my outline and some of the key definitions and statements on here so that others can use them.
(Tomorrow I hope to put up some links to various sermons, articles and books that I consulted in addition to my great commentaries.)
Christian marriage is at its best (most freeing, most satisfying and reflective of Christ and the church) when it is founded in the divine ordering of creation and God’s specific calling to each spouse.
The surrounding cultures had a low view towards women and marriage
Paul has already laid the foundation of equality between men and women
Paul has already laid the foundation of proper Christian behavior among believers AND this also applies to husbands and wives
Submission is not:(the “Nots” are largely taken from Sexual Complimentarity by John Piper)
Submission does not mean agreeing with everything your husband says. His word is not absolute, only Christ’s word is absolute. BUT it does mean listening and providing your input and wisdom in a respectful way.
Submission does not mean leaving your brain or your will at the wedding altar. God wants your submission to be free, willing, glad, refining and strengthening; your brain and will are very necessary.
Submission does not mean avoiding effort to change your husband. BUT it does mean you don’t berate him or dominate him into changing, but rather invite him and encourage him toward greatness.
Submission does not mean putting the will of the husband before the will of Christ. AND it certainly does not mean following him into sin.
Submission does not mean acting out of slavish fear toward the husband. NOR to put up with any sort of abuse.
Submission is not a right of the husband, but a responsibility and calling of the wife.
“Submission is the divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts.” (Sexual Complimentarity, John Piper)
Headship is not:
Headship is not something to be made known. It is a calling to sacrificially serve.
Headship, characterized by loving service, does not mean always giving in to what your wife wishes. Just as she is not to follow him into sin, he must not serve her by participating with her in wrong.
Headship is not optional for Christian husbands. They cannot rightly opt out of family leadership or become passive nonparticipants in decisions and activities.
“Headship is the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christ-like servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home.” (Sexual Complimentarity, John Piper)
And remember, that marriage at its best should always drive us to worship Christ.
We are BACK… in Ephesians! This was so exciting for me. Even though we only took a short break (and it was for Christmas), I was so happy to be back trying to pick Paul’s brain as he writes to the church about “living a life worthy of the calling (Eph 4:1).” We picked up right where we left off, and I hope that for anyone who has been following (crickets?), being back in Ephesians feels homey and comfortable for you too.
Paul is very clear that sex outside of marriage (sexual immorality) and further sexual and lustful vices are not consistent with placing your trust in Christ and the new life that ensues.
Wittiness can also have a negative side; wittiness with a lurid and distasteful heart, and a disdain for the beauty of sex and sexual relationships creates subtle pathways that lead others into dirtiness.
It matters what you do:
If we are reading His revealed Word; attending church to hear it taught, to sing songs that reflect His word (so that it gets into our hearts); if we are meeting with other believers to better know it and see how it relates to our own lives and if we are praying and asking God to show us what please Him… we just made our life about pleasing God… don’t you think that pleases Him? I do.
It matters how you live:
When we hear God’s will; we are conditioned to think about what is God’s specific will in my life in the present thing I’m thinking about… but Paul is thinking much bigger picture here… when he talks about God’s will he is thinking about God’s gracious saving plan (the summing up of all things in Christ) and how part of that is the forming of a people into the likeness of Christ who will be pure and blameless. Our desire for personal guidance must first be submitted to and fall under these purposes.
We are to be receptive to the Spirit’s transforming work, subject to his control which is akin to letting Christ’s word rule in our lives, so that we may walk wisely and understand what is the Lord’s will. The goal then is to attain we already have in Christ – fullness and spiritual maturity.
Due to all the stories surrounding Tim Tebow these past few months I was very interested to discover some more about him. More than the discussion of whether or not God was helping him win I was intrigued by various writer's reactions to a man proclaiming Christ AND trying to live according to the new life found in Christ. Listen to sermon for more. See link below for referenced article.
Mr. Tebow may indeed turn out to be a hypocrite, like other high-profile Christians in recent memory. Some of us might even want that to happen, because moral failure is something we understand. We know how to deal with disappointed expectations, to turn our songs of praise into condemnation.
What we are far less sure how to do is to take seriously a public figure’s seemingly admirable character and professions of higher purpose. We don’t know how to trust goodness.
My wife and I were traveling over the New Year and Remix had the privilege of having a fine young (yes, actually younger than me) preacher by the name of Dana Dill step in and speak on the final scripture in our “The Light Shines” series looking at John 1. I have known Dana since I first started interning at South Shores Church and he was a sophomore in high school. I have watched him be a leader among his peers, continue on to Biola University, be a terrific intern, graduate college, take on full time ministry, get married and now continue his education at Talbot School of Theology. And if I may say so, this man has a tremendous heart for Jesus and for the church and an incredible desire to serve both faithfully (not to mention he is a very gifted communicator). My office is next to his and I am blessed weekly by this great man of God. (Follow his blog here).
A few words about this sermon:
This is a beautiful and theologically rich sermon on John 1:14. Dana helps you to understand the passage in light of the author’s aims in the whole chapter, while also giving you a lot to chew on as you develop a full understanding of what the “incarnation” is. Do yourself a favor and listen intently: beginning with the opening prayer (grace & truth), his humorous illustrations, thought-provoking quotes from historical figures and pastors, plus his own reflections and insight… listen intently and see if it doesn’t make you love Jesus more for coming down and pitching a tent in our backyard.
In an effort to do a little catch-up on this blog-thing, (which has largely turned into a place for posting sermons… sorry about that – hopefully it will become more and not less), I will be posting three different sermons this week. However, with the breadth of good sermons on the internet, why should you listen to these?
If South Shores is your church
If Remix is your service
If you want to encourage young men in their journey of becoming better preachers
You know me.
But, be warned, they may not be all that you could receive from some famous pastor, so here’s a fantastic article excerpt to help you love me (us) a little better:
Steve Burchett, When Your Preacher Is Not John Piper:
Many who have had the privilege of hearing John Piper preach in person would testify that it felt like a monumental event. His preaching powerfully combines truth and passion, leading to convicted and exhilarated listeners. After the sermon, certain hearers might leave wondering if they were just in the presence of a figure who will be talked about in future centuries.
Then they go back to their home church, where several things are different, including the preaching. Thankfully, the gospel is still proclaimed. In fact, the sermons are thoroughly biblical, but the ability of their regular preacher simply does not measure up to the phenomenal preaching they recently heard.
Unless you attend a church led by of one of the celebrated preachers of our day, you most likely have faced a similar situation. Either at a conference or on the internet, you have heard exceptional preaching, but each Sunday you’re back in your simple little home church that hardly anybody beyond your town knows about, with its “nobody” of a pastor who will probably never preach to thousands.
What if your gospel-preaching pastor is not as good as one of the great orators of our day? Is it time to sell the house, pack up the family, and change churches? No, I don’t think so. But what should you do?
Then he lists five things:
Rejoice that your preacher is a man who proclaims the gospel.
Recognize that certain men are uniquely gifted by the Lord to have an international ministry and appeal, but this is not the norm.
(If he is dull) Remember that the mature worshiper is easily edified.
Listen eagerly and with Bible open to encourage better preaching.
Verbally encourage the preacher(s) in your church.