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Rich Relationships - Part II

Sufficiency of Christ: Book of Ephesians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  43:00
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Let harmony start at home

Where did we go wrong?
No matter where we look today, including in the homes, we see antagonism, division and rebellion. We see lack of commitment. Covenant is not spoken of very much and discipline, well that can end you up in jail.
Husbands and wives forget the covenant they entered and divorce even within the Church is escalating according to some research from 36 to as high as 50% of marriages within the church. Children are rebelling against their parents knowing parents have their hands tied. Employers take advantage of employee’s and employee’s are looking at ways to get away with things when the employer is not looking.
In a society where we have tried education, legislation and many other approaches and they are all lacking, the Bible gives us some great tools to be used in the home and that radiate out from there.
Paul offers up a way to those in Ephesus and we can learn for today. Remember Paul has spoken of the fullness of times (Eph1:10) and that Christ is the sum of all things.
Harmony starts in the family and is the responsibility of the members of the family, at home and even the work family.
In our passage today we will look at:
Children in the family
Fathers in addressing children
Slaves in dealing with masters (employee/employer)
Masters in dealing with slaves (employer/employee)

Relationships: Children

Paul is addressing, speaking to children. He is not commanding parents to admonish their children, but commanding children in what is right in the Lord, what is obedient.
Ephesians 6:1–2 NASB95
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise),
Ephesians 6:3 NASB95
3 so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.
A little cultural history, cultural background for the Greek and Roman culture at the time of this letter.
Roman: Patria Postestas: gave the Father absolute authority/power over family.
The father could sell his family as slaves, he could work them in chains. The child was always the child even in adult years and under the authority of the Father.
There was is custom of “child exposure” When a child was born he would be laid at the fathers feet, if the father stooped and picked up the child, then the child was accepted and acknowledged as a child of the father. If the father turned and walked away then the child could literally be given away or thrown away.
There was a Roman Stoic Philosopher by name of Seneca who wrote this.
“We slaughter a fierce ox; we strangle a mad dog; we plunge the knife into sickly cattle let they taint the herd; children who are born weakly and deformed we drown.”
So that does not sound very familiar today in society does it? You know why? Christianity that is why. Christianity helped change humanity beyond reconciliation with God.
Children obey your parents; as if your life depended on it.
For it is right in the Lord (Eph5:21; COl3:20)
Colossians 3:20 NASB95
20 Children, be obedient to your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord.
Obedience is right
Obedience is commanded(Exo20:12; Deu5:16; Exp320:12; Eph6:3; Jn10:10)
Exodus 20:12 NASB95
12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.
5th commandment, the 1st with a promise. Now we are no longer under the law, but the righteousness of the Law is still a revelation of the holiness of God and is for our good.
Now Paul changed the phrase when he used it here.
Ephesians 6:3 NASB95
3 so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.
Live long does not mean long living, it means the quality of the time living. God wants to enrich the lives of the believers and it comes to the children who are obedient.
Sin robs us; obedience enriches us!
A child does not raise itself, it needs teaching, guidance, it needs the presence of both parents. The results we see today when this is broken is the same that happen in the time of Paul (Rom1:28-30)
Romans 1:28–29 NASB95
28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,
Romans 1:30 NASB95
30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,
God may have gave them over, but He gave them order first! God gave parents not a system or a village. God gave instructions not an institution. God gave them fathers to be present, not an absentee person. The child should not be neglected, nor should the child be pampered, but to be brought up in the ways of the Lord with the right balance.
Children obey your parents as if your life depends on it!

Relationships: Father’s

Written in a time when the father had absolute control and authority, Paul gives sage advise, wisdom to the Father’s in the family. Advise that helps to promote unity within the family.
Ephesians 6:4 NASB95
4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Not all biblical examples of fathers is good, there are a few that were neglectful of their children and had bad results.
David pampered Absolom, it ended up costing Absolom his life and David grief.
Eli failed to discipline his sons and it brought disgrace on the family and the defeat of the nation.
Isaac pampered Esau, Rebecca pampered Jacob, the end result was division within the family.
Father’s were not to provoke them (Eph6:4; Col3:21)
Colossians 3:21 NASB95
21 Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.
A father should lead by example and should encourage the child not exasperate the child. the old adage “do as I say, not as a do” should not be the mantra of a Christian father.
Fathers should lead, should teach by example and to do that they need to be present. Providing is good, it is necessary but it is not the only necessity, presence is necessary. The Word that the husband washes the wife with, is the Word that the Father should raise the child with and it will bring harmony and unity in the home.
Fathers were not to provoke them (Eph6:4; Col3:21)
Father’s are called to nourish them (Eph6:4; Eph5:29; Lk2:52)
Children need to be nourished in discipline and in instruction
Ephesians 5:29 NASB95
29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,
The husband is to nourish the wife and the children by sharing love and encouragement in the Lord. Nourishment is good physically but it is needed spiritually and emotionally too.
(insert Rogers family dinner story here; keep it very brief) - we lacked spiritual and emotional nourishment
Where Jesus was in subjection to His parents there was the result of it
Luke 2:52 NASB95
52 And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
Fathers were not to provoke them (Eph6:4; Col3:21)
Father’s are called to nourish them (Eph6:4; Eph5:29; Lk2:52)
Father’s must discipline their children (Eph6:4; Heb12:5-6; Pro13:24)
Interesting fact that the word “nourish” here in this verse is the same word translated as the word “chastening” in Heb12:5-6
Hebrews 12:5–6 NKJV
5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”
We often learn from the chastening we receive. A father chastens, disciplines in love.
Proverbs 13:24 NKJV
24 He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.
Discipline is to be done in love not anger; discipline must be fair and consistent. Discipline is to help raise up a child not to beat the down and discourage them.
Many of here today have completed the raising of our children, maybe not the counseling of them, praying for them, but the raising. But we still should instruct and encourage.
Fathers were not to provoke them (Eph6:4; Col3:21)
Father’s are called to nourish them (Eph6:4; Eph5:29; Lk2:52)
Father’s must discipline their children (Eph6:4; Heb12:5-6; Pro13:24)
Father’s must instruct and encourage (Eph6:4; Pro22:6)
Proverbs 22:6 NKJV
6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Can we be honest? Children, even adult children, do not like to hear or appreciate our counsel at times. But it does not change our obligation to admonish (instruct) and encourage them.
When the Supreme Court handed down the ruling removing prayer in schools a cartoonist from the Washington Post said “What do they expect us to do, listen to our children pray at home>?” - Well home is where children should learn to pray by the leading of their Father. Home is where the family should be washed in the water of the Word; don’t expect the church assembly and Bible class to do it for you. When we instruct at home it will radiate out, to our schools and our communities, but it starts at home.

Relationships: Slaves (employees)

In Roman culture slavery was common, in our’s it has been done away with. Today the parallel could be loosely drawn between the employee and the employer as slave and master. (Eph6:5-8; 1Cor7:21-24)
Scriptually speaking Paul is addressing a culture where slavery was common practice, acceptable and it was said that in the Roman empire there was as much as 5-6m slaves, 15% of the total population. But, within the Church, spiritually speaking that is what Paul is addressing.
Ephesians 6:5–6 NASB95
5 Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; 6 not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.
Ephesians 6:7–8 NASB95
7 With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.
I want to add a section of Corinthians so you can get a deeper picture of the culture of the Christian slaves at the time.
1 Corinthians 7:20–21 NASB95
20 Each man must remain in that condition in which he was called. 21 Were you called while a slave? Do not worry about it; but if you are able also to become free, rather do that.
1 Corinthians 7:22–23 NASB95
22 For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord’s freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.
1 Corinthians 7:24 NASB95
24 Brethren, each one is to remain with God in that condition in which he was called.
Slaves, servants, employees- if that is what you are, be that as a Christian
Regardless of person or position, do all things unto the Lord (Col3:23)
Colossians 3:23 NASB95
23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,
So as Christians serve the Lord knowing that your earthly master, employer, hold nothing compared to the real master who is in heaven.
Slaves, servants, employees- if that is what you are, be that as a Christian
Regardless of person or position, do all things unto the Lord (Col3:23)
Person or position live our out faith, doing the will of God (Eph6:6)
Being a Christian or even a Christian slave was not popular and could bring a harsher treatment by non-christian masters. Even today we can see that too, can’t we. But look at (1Pt2:18-20)
1 Peter 2:18–19 NASB95
18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. 19 For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.
Servants, slaves, were to be submissive and respectful, even when master is unreasonable. But wait, there is more, doing this comes with a promise.
1 Peter 2:20 NASB95
20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.
When you are submissive, respectful, endure all things with patience you find favor with God!
But wait, there is more!

Relationships: Masters (employers)

Masters, employers have responsibilities. To seek the welfare of the servant and not not threaten them. A Christian employer should look to encourage and motivate an employee.
Ephesians 6:9 NASB95
9 And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
Now, Christian faith, regardless of person or position does not bring harmony by erasing social and/or cultural distinctions. Slaves are still slaves, masters are still masters. Christian faith is to bring harmony, unity by the heart. Both ar to serve the Lord from their heart and with their heart.
Masters are to have a heart for the servant (Eph6:9; Rut2:4)
Ruth 2:4 NASB95
4 Now behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem and said to the reapers, “May the Lord be with you.” And they said to him, “May the Lord bless you.”
Boaz set a great example, at how he greeted his slaves, servants. He respected them. A Christian employer should look to respect, motivate and encourage an employee.
Masters are to have a heart for the servant (Eph6:9; Rut2:4)
Masters are to seek the welfare of the servant not threaten them (Eph6:9; Col4:1; Lev25:43)
Colossians 4:1 NASB95
1 Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.
Accountable to Master in heaven, so be reasonable as it says in the O.T.
Leviticus 25:43 NASB95
43 ‘You shall not rule over him with severity, but are to revere your God.
The master whose master is in heaven must be submitted to the Lord as:
A wife submits to her husband as to the Lord (Eph5:22)
A husband loves his wife, as Christ loved (Eph5:25)
A child is to obey parents, as unto the Lord (Eph6:4)
And servants are to be obedient as unto the Lord (Eph6:5)
Relationships: when, wives, husbands, children, servants and masters know who the real Master is, then no one has issue submitting to the one who is over them.
Jesus came to serve in the flesh to set the example for us, but there were other examples too.
Joseph who was a slave before he was a ruler
David who was a shepherd before he was a king
Moses who as a shepherd before he was a deliverer
So, let me ask a question?
(invitation slide 1)
How are we walking?
Are we walking filled with the Spirit?
Are we joyful and thankful as unto the Lord?
Are we submissive to one another in our relationships?
Can we have harmonious, unified relationships with each other?
Finally, are we walking proof of the fruit of the Spirit, which starts with love? For love is the best adhesive, what can make us harmonious and bring unity.
(invitation) (invitation slide 2) song, prayer (exit slide)
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