2007-07-08_Of the Lord_Ephesians 6.4_Baby Dedication_SL
Of The Lord
Ephesians 6:4 | Shaun LePage | Baby Dedication—July 8, 2007
A. Baby Dedication—Mt 19:13-15 (simple prayer; “hands”=blessing). First to God’s Word.
B. Josiah’s response to hearing the Word of God. 2 Chronicles 34:1-21—We must be willing to change anything and everything if we find it contradicts God’s Word.
C. Romans 12:2 (Read in NASB), then in NLT: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
D. No area of the lives of Christians is in greater need of transformation than families. Study after study has shown that Christians—when it comes to divorce, sexual immorality, financial irresponsibility and many other moral issues—look and behave exactly like non-Christians. “Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”
E. Ask God to show you how you think and live contrary to His Word.
II. Body—Ephesians 6:4
A. The Negative Command (4a)
1. “Fathers” Fathers tend to be too harsh? Fathers = parents (Hb 11:23; Moses pater); father head of home—ultimately responsible for discipline | mothers can’t provoke?
2. “Children” culture: nuisance—get in the way of careers, travel and comfortable life | Ps 127—“Blessing” (transform? Don’t believe!)—What does this mean on a practical level? Lord of universe, your life, your finances, your…family planning? Trust Him that children are a blessing? What other blessing would you refuse—money, health?
3. “Do not provoke…to anger” (negative); important balance—Discipline is good and important, but don’t be harsh! cf. Col 3:21—exasperate “take the heart out” (repeated, on-going pattern of mistreatment) | How? Common ways: 1) Divided authority—Dad & Mom not on same page; mixed messages; 2) smothering—overly strict, no trust; 3) showing favoritism; 4) pushing too hard—beyond reasonable bounds; too much pressure; 5) discouragement—no positive input, only put-downs; verbal abuse; 6) physical abuse—Don’t discipline in anger, controlled and loving
B. The Positive Command (4b)
1. “But…” (contrast!)—Don’t over-react and neglect discipline—just as bad! Jay Adams (Biblical Counselor): “Underdiscipline exasperates kids more than anything else”— inconsistency; no boundaries—feel neglected; unprotected.
2. “Bring them up”—proactive involvement; Pr 22:6—“train”=repetition, persistence
3. “Discipline” Pr 13:24—Pr 3:12 and Heb 12:7 (like God the Father)—includes punishment “rod” (“correction,” not abuse). “Hates” (13:24)? Selfish—not guiding; also much quicker—get it over with, grant forgiveness and move on! Pr 22:15
4. “Instruction”—basic to good parenting; Dt 6:6-7; Pr 22:6 “the way he should go”—the way of wisdom and blessing;
5. “Of the Lord”—Full circle: Not our own ideas (i.e., foolishness), but “instruction of the Lord” (i.e., Biblical wisdom). Instruct yourself first—“Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” (Rom 12:2)
A. Principles (Parents!): Correct your children with balanced, Biblical discipline; Teach your children with God-given, Biblical instruction. (Both require an education)
B. Parents and extended families come up; public commitment; elders lay hands on and pray