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6 Eph 1-9 FBC

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Children, Obey Your Parents!

March 25, 2007; FBC

Cosmic Christianity background

In this relational section, Paul lays out the order and structure that is both God designed and necessary for proper function in this world.  Within this structure, he points to the person of Christ as our ultimate model.  Wives-5:22; husbands-5:25.  In our passage today, the Christological focus is maintained-6:1; 6:5.  But, that has been the focus of the whole book:

            1-redeemed, seated

            2-saved through grace; removed the wall

            3-10,11-eternal purpose accomplished in Christ; 17, Christ dwell in hearts through faith

            4-20, know Christ in this way

            5-21, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ

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— 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”a

4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.

9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.

 

What does the word “obey” mean?

Literally, a “hearing under”.  It is the choice to listen to the words, and then move under them in action.

Story of Dad telling me not to go into the store in Ruby when we were sledding.  I did disobey, he saw me but I didn’t know it.  I was punished.

            “Do what you’re told and you’ll live longer with a cool bottom.”

Is disobedience okay if you don’t get caught?

Do adults have to obey, or just children?

 

The Bible says, Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

            Why do you think God says that you should do this?

 

            Purpose of punishment-attach consequences to behaviors in the moral area.

 

The Bible actually tells us both what we should do and why we should do it.  

2 “Honor your father and mother”

“To honor.” Jesus presses the commandment to honor parents, criticizing the evasion of financial support in case of need (Mk. 7:10ff.). The honoring of widows in 1 Tim. 5:3 probably includes financial provision as well as respect. Children are to honor their parents in the Lord (Eph. 6:2), and believers are to honor all people, specifically rulers (1 Pet. 2:17). Paul receives many honors, or concretely gifts, after curing the father of Publius and others on Malta (Acts 28:10). Jesus claims the same honor as is paid to God in Jn. 5:23, for God has commissioned him as eschatological Judge. He himself honors the Father (8:49), and those who serve him will be honored by the Father (12:26), i.e., granted a share in his own glory. (TDNT)

            —which is the first commandment with a promise—

            3 “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Ex. 20:12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

 

Deut 516 “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you.  

 

Mark 7

5 So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with ‘unclean’ hands?”

6 He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:

”‘These people honor me with their lips,

but their hearts are far from me.

7 They worship me in vain;

their teachings are but rules taught by men.’  8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”

9 And he said to them: “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!  10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’  11 But you say that if a man says to his father or mother: ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is Corban’ (that is, a gift devoted to God),  12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother.  13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”

 

Is there a difference between honoring and obeying?

 

4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Provoking Children to Anger

            1.  Honor them as people

            2.  Give the gift of the “Blessing”

                        Genesis 27:36, 38

            3.  Keep your promises

            4.  Model godliness

            5.  Train

                        Provide food

                        Nurture (character)

                        Train/discipline (skills for living)

God in the Workplace

Servants

5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free. 

I.  Obedience – its character

A.  Obey – with respect (a proper attitude towards their authority) I Pet 2:18

1 Peter 2:18  18 Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.

                                    Isaiah 53

                        Obey – trembling (recognition of their supremacy, and your nothingness.)

            Seems to be a common figure of speech, designed to communicate that employers deserve our respect, not our criticism.

Do these belong together?  Seems to assume that where there is fear, there will be the “shakes.”

B.  Sincerity – of heart, single, simple; purity of motive. 

                        In the NT, personal wholeness, undividedness, uncomplicated simplicity

C.  Guiding factor: As you would obey Christ

·        Your attitude toward your boss largely determines your job satisfaction.

·        How do you handle an irrational senseless superior?

                        1.  Pray (James 5:13)

                        James 5:13 13 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.

                        2.  Recognize that you may have a positive contribution to make to her/his life.

                        3. When you really do know the better way to go, gently make your suggestion known   

                        4.  If ignored, be obedient to the wishes of your boss, even if it means certain failure

                        5.  Recognize that your real reward comes from Christ.

II.         Obedience – its motivation

A.         Not just to win their favor

                        – A performance; KJV, NASB, eyeservice

                                    ILLUS: Bruno & towline

–        KJV, NASB, men-pleasers; one who tries to please men at the sacrifice of principle

B.         Obey as you would if Christ himself were your boss; same intensity as a dedicated Christian who desires to do the will of God from his heart.

Your obedience to your employer is motivated by your desire to make a profit for him, and to enhance his reputation.

III.       Obedience – Its intensity and attitude

            – Serve with zeal and enthusiasm; lit meaning of word, Good mind.

            – the model: As if you were serving the Lord, not men

ILLUS: Dad & his cows (Colossians 3:23-24)23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

– this attitude does not depend on your station in life (whether slave or free); it is all inclusive

            REASON: For this, God will reward you.

Masters

9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him. 

              I.      Treat your servants as you expect them to treat you

a.       With respect

b.      With a proper and loving attitude

                                                               i.        Realize that you may be able to minister to them.

                                                             ii.        This can only take place if you have a proper attitude.

            II.      Don’t threaten them

          III.      Don’t forget that you are a servant too – of God

a.       Before God, your standing is equal

PROJECT:

If an employee, look for something in your boss, and either speak a word of encouragement, or drop a card or letter encouraging them in this area.  Let them know that you appreciate this quality in them.

As a boss, supervisor, manager, employer, make an effort to look for positive things in the performance of your underlings.  Once again, offer verbal praise, and/or a note of encouragement.

In both cases, ask God to give you a ministry to the people you work with and for.  Remember that with God, there is not partiality.  We are responsible to him, regardless of rank.  Therefore, seek to see God become personal in all your work, and in all the related relationships.


As does the injunction of the household code itself in v 1, so the fifth commandment lays an obligation on children toward both parents. They are to honor and respect (τιμᾶν) father and mother. As we have noted (see Form/ Structure/Setting), this was the most common formulation of the obligation in both Jewish, presumably influenced by the wording of the commandment, and Greco-Roman writings. It was understood as involving not only a respectful attitude but also care for the parents’ physical needs when they became old. So for children still in the father’s house it would mean obedience to parents, and for those who had left home it would mean continued deference to and care for aging parents.[1]

The piel imperative singular כבד means “honor, give weight to, glorify, esteem,” in the sense of giving a place of precedence, of taking someone seriously. This verb is so used both of human beings, as here, and of Yahweh, as in 1 Sam 2:30, Isa 24:15, Ps 22:24 [23], or Prov 3:9 (cf. also Gamberoni, BZ 8 [1964] 169–72). To “give honor” to father and mother means more than to be subject to them, or respectful of their wishes: they ate to be given precedence by the recognition of the importance which is theirs by right, esteemed for their priority, and loved for it as well. As Yahweh is honored for his priority to all life, so father and mother must be honored for their priority, as Yahweh’s instruments, to the lives of their children. Lev 19:3, in the chapter of the Holiness Code that gives special application of the Decalogue, even uses ירא “have reverence for, stand in awe of,” instead of כבד in the repetition of the fifth commandment.

As Gamberoni (BZ 8 [1964] 175–84) has demonstrated, the fifth commandment is foundational to a considerable body of parent and progeny material in the OT in both legal and wisdom collections, and Harrelson (Ten Commandments, 92–95) is correct in his insistence that adults are the ones to whom the commandment is primarily directed. Certainly, the whole range of filial relationship is generally involved, but the focus is upon those who are responsible and “in charge,” those who follow their parents and precede their children in shaping Israel’s responsibility in covenant. There is no reason to argue, as Kremers (EvT 21 [1961] 156–61) does, that the parents here are the “representatives (Stellvertreter) of God,” on a par with preacher, teacher and priest. In a sense, they are more than that, representing only themselves. The parents represent Yahweh no more nor less than does any other member of the covenant community, and Israel is commanded to honor them not to provide social security or because they are proxy to Yahweh, but because Yahweh requires it of those who would enter into covenant with him.

[2]


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a Deut. 5:16

[1]Lincoln, A. T. (2002). Vol. 42: Word Biblical Commentary : Ephesians. Word Biblical Commentary (405). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

[2]Durham, J. I. (2002). Vol. 3: Word Biblical Commentary : Exodus. Word Biblical Commentary (291). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

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