You may be familiar with the story in which the title for today’s article was spoken, and probably just as familiar with its popular usage today. In the Bible story, Cain had killed his brother Abel and God said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” (Genesis 4:9). Cain’s reply was this familiar statement and question: “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:10). If the cold-hearted attitude of Cain was not already evident by the murder he had committed, it was surely manifested in his reply to God! As the question is used today, it is usually used as a reply to someone who has asked about the condition or situation of someone else, and is meant to imply that the respondent has no responsibility towards the one in question [who may literally be a brother, or at least a brother in Christ]. And when it is used, there is an underlying resentment that someone would even think we had any responsibility towards this one.
When Cain uttered those now-familiar words, he demonstrated the ultimate in apathy, basically saying, “I don’t know and I don’t care.” It is no different today when disciples of Jesus Christ have this same attitude towards their own brethren! Surely we cannot imagine Jesus ever uttering these words, right? Did Jesus ever demonstrate a lack of concern for others — no matter what their condition or how they got there? If anything, we see Jesus welcomed the potential interaction with — and welcomed an opportunity to care for — others. At no time do we see Jesus turning people away because He simply did not care for them and their condition. Never did He say, “That’s not my responsibility.”
Within the religious world, there are some who see their faith as theirs alone and one that does not seem to actually involve contact or any sort of interaction with others; they are cold and apathetic towards others, and even in cases where they could easily help out a brother or sister in need, all they can see is the other person’s individual responsibility for his own situation and, thus, his personal responsibility to correct it or solve whatever problems have resulted. In so doing, those who refuse to act fail to see their own personal responsibility for helping him! The difficult part in this is getting them to see that the very thing they are demanding of others is being ignored by self! While they coldly demand that the one who ‘got himself into trouble’ somehow extract himself from the situation, the cold-hearted one fails to remember that Jesus has commanded us to help those in need and give without expecting anything in return (cf. Matthew 5:40-42), and has forgotten the rhetorical question of the apostle John, who asked, “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” (I John 3:17). The answer to that rhetorical question should be obvious: it does not! And in both of these texts, it should be clear that when others are in need, we all have an individual responsibility to help them.
Let us note that those passages are also unqualified commands and statements. Jesus did not say we should give our cloak if we think they are worthy, or only if their previous coat was not lost because of their own carelessness, or only if they have tried to get a job to earn money to buy their own cloak; John was not implying that we should help our brother in need only if we think they deserve it, or only if their need did not come because of poor choices, or only if they have gone to government agencies first. God expects us to help others in the same way He has helped us: with grace and mercy — and towards all men.
Think about that for just a minute: Where would we be if God helped us in the same manner some brethren ‘help’ others? Can you imagine God looking at man’s spiritual condition and saying to Himself, “Now why should I help them? They got themselves into that situation on their own — they can get themselves out of it!”? And if we sinned more than once after we obeyed the gospel, He would sternly chastise us and set tougher restrictions and higher demands before He would act to forgive us next time. He might even simply refuse after so many times, angry because we keep getting into trouble and He has to keep getting us out. Doesn’t it sound ridiculous when we apply human actions to God? It should!
Though the Scriptures are plain about our responsibility toward our brethren, some brethren approach their needy brethren with an attitude that our faith should follow the ‘American spirit of rugged individualism’ that preaches a message of stubborn self-reliance and a refusal to accept help or charity from others unless they have lost both arms and at least one leg. Those who live with this attitude are not content to personally live this way, but steadfastly believe everyone else should, too; so when someone is in need, the first thought that comes to mind is, ‘He got himself into that mess, and he needs to get himself out of it!’ Help is offered only begrudgingly, and even that is often a bare minimum of help that is offered. Often, too, it is a matter of seeking to place blame first and finding solutions later. Surely we can do better than this!
What is missing in those who act so parsimoniously with their help is evident: compassion. Maybe it is the brother who grew up and was what many call ‘a self-made man’; because he had a good home life and because he was successful in much of what he has done, he believes that everyone else should have the same successes he had and should have made the same wise choices he did; maybe it is the sister who has a good husband and family who believes the woman who is in a struggling marriage is somehow at fault because her husband has become worldly and is about to leave her for another woman; maybe it is the older woman who has raised godly children who looks contemptuously at the young parents who are struggling to keep the world out of their children and their children out of the world — and are losing. In each of these cases, what is needed is compassion and concern — not a reprimand.
A couple comes to you, telling you they have marital problems; how do you respond? A mother comes to you who is afraid she has lost her daughter to the world; how do you respond? A man comes to you telling you he has a problem with gambling or alcohol or pornography; how do you respond? A brother or sister comes to you in need of some temporary financial support; how do you respond? In each of these cases, do you say ‘It’s not my responsibility’ or do you show compassion? Yes [of course], spiritual guidance and Scripture should be given, but let us not be so keen on pointing out past errors and the corrective texts that we forget compassion and mercy. That was a major fault of the Pharisees (cf. Matthew 23:4, 14, 23).
In all cases where God gave His people instruction as to how they were to treat or respond to those in need, there was nothing stated about finding out how they came to be in need; that is not the point! Yes, some brethren will make bad choices and end up in financial need; they still need our help. Yes, some brethren will make bad choices and put themselves in spiritual danger because of unlawful marriages; they still need our help. And, yes, sometimes, parents will not train their children as they should and they will suffer the inevitable consequences later; they still need our help.
Am I my brother’s keeper? Yes, I am. And so are you. Knowing this, let us resolve to be less judgmental or apathetic towards our own brethren — even in times when we think they are undeserving of our time or resources. None of us deserved the spiritual help God gave us, yet He was willing to give His Son for us.
TEXT: 1 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 3:15; 1 Tim. 6:20KJVINTRODUCTION:
A. WE ARE TO BE READY TO GIVE AN ANSWER FOR WHAT WE BELIEVE.
B. WE BELIEVE THE BIBLE, INSPIRED OF GOD, IS THAT REVELATION.
C. IN THIS LESSON WE EXAMINE THE HARMONY OF SCIENCE AND THE BIBLE
AS EVIDENCE OF THE BIBLE’S INSPIRATION.
I. DEFINING OUR PROPOSITION.
A. DR. CARL F. H. HENRY’S QUOTE: “No claim is made that the sacred writers, as individuals, were personally exempt from the naïve world-view of the own day, nor that their writings articulate a classified and systematized science involving general laws. What is claimed is that, as the messengers of holy revelation, they were lifted beyond their own capacities, and that their declarations bearing upon nature and upon man are as reliable as their teaching about God and His activity.” (Contemporary Evangelical Thought, “Science and Religion,” pg. 269)
B. THE BIBLE DOES NOT CONTAIN THE ERRORS OF SCIENCE WHICH WERE
COMMON AT THE TIME OF ITS WRITING.
1. Moses (Acts 7:22). Yet no hint of Egyptian theories of origins.
a. The world came from a flying egg, man from white worms of the Nile.
b. Instead: Gen. 1:1, 26-27; 2:7.
2. Daniel (Dan. 1:14, 17-20). None of the Babylonian myths, magic, or mysteries in
his writing. They came to him for wisdom (1:20; 5:11-12).
C. CLAIMS OF MEN THE BIBLE NEVER MADE:
1. Life arose from inorganic matter – The Bible claims life from life.
2. The earth is the center of the Universe (Ptolemy, an Egyptian, ancient astronomer,
geographer, and mathematician who considered the Earth the earth the center of the
universe – the “Ptolemaic system”).
3. Superstitious medical remedies (Lizard blood, swine teeth, putrid meat, etc. )
D. REGARDING ALLEGED CONFLICTS BETWEEN THE BIBLE AND SCIENCE.
1. The Bible and theories of science may (& do) conflict (Genesis and evolution).
2. Facts of science and theories about the Bible may conflict.
3. TRUTH OF THE BIBLE AND FACTS OF SCIENCE DO NOT CONFLICT.
II. DEFINING WORDS.
A. SCIENCE: the study of the physical and natural world and phenomena, especially by
using systematic observation and experiment. (Encarta Online Dictionary)
1. SCIENCE DEALS WITH THAT WHICH IS
2. Examples of Science:
a. tadpoles and frogs
c. Bernoulli’s principle
1. An unproven conjecture. (Wiktionary)
2. Idea formed by speculation – an idea or belief about something arrived at through
conjecture. (Encarta Online Dictionary)
C. HYPOTHESIS: 1. theory needing investigation: a tentative explanation for a
phenomenon, used as a basis for further investigation
2. assumption: a statement that is assumed to be true for the sake of argument
(Encarta Online Dictionary)
D. FACT: something that has reality, that exists, or that happened or is
1. Heb. 11:6 “…a belief that he is, and that he is a rewarder …” trust.
2. Heb. 11:1 “Conviction – assurance.
3. Comes from where? (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31). Evidence presented.
F. REGARDING ALLEGED CONFLICTS BETWEEN THE BIBLE AND SCIENCE.
1. Proclamations outside one’s field of expertise often present conflicts.
2. Conflicts occur between the Bible when the theories of science are
brought against the Bible.
3. Sometimes faulty Bible exegesis causes conflict between the Bible and science
(cf. Isa. 11:12).
4. When the Bible is understood, it is not in conflict with the proven facts of science.
The God who created the universe is the same God who wrote the Bible. We should
be surprised to see a remarkable harmony between his creation and his revelation
(Psa. 19:1, 7-9).
III. HARMONY OF SCIENCE AND THE BIBLE.
A. A ROUND EARTH (Prov. 8:27 – 1000 BC; Isa. 40:22 – 740-690 BC)
1. 384-322 BC: Aristotle argued for a spherical earth, but few were convinced.
2. 1520 AD: Introduction of the compass and the voyages of Columbus and Magellan.
B. THE SUSPENSION OF THE EARTH (Job 26:7 – 2000-1600 BC)
1. When men thought the earth flat and supported.
2. 1686 AD: Sir Isaac Newton – Law of Universal Gravitation.
The earth is suspended in its orbit by the attraction of the sun.
C. NUMBER THE STARS (Gen. 15:5 – 1400 BC; Jer. 33:22 – 600 BC;
Isa. 40:26; Psa. 147:4 ).
1. 150 BC: Hipparchus taught there were less than 3,000 stars. He was a Greek
astronomer and mathematician who discovered the precession of the equinoxes,
calculated the length of the year to within 61/2 minutes, compiled the first known
star catalog, and made an early formulation of trigonometry.
2. 150 AD: Ptolemy counted 1,056 and claimed the number was not over 3,000.
3. 1608 AD: Galileo use a telescope and announce the number of stars innumerable.
D. THE PATHS OF THE SEA (Psa. 8:8 – 1000 BC).
1. 1855 AD: Matthew Fontaine Muary, upon hearing Psa. 8:8 read to by his son, set
out to discover and chart the ocean’s sea lanes and current.
E. CHANNELS IN THE SEA (2 Sam. 22:16 – 1000 BC).
1. 1504 AD: Juan de la Costa made the first ocean soundings, but nothing to change
the universal view that the ocean floors were flat, sandy beds like our deserts.
2. 1840 AD: James Clark Rose made oceanic soundings to a depth of nearly 2,000
fathoms. (12000 ft.)
3. 1971 AD: First complete map of the ocean floors showing the resesses of the deep.
F. SPRINGS IN THE SEA (Job 38:16 – 2000-1600 BC; Gen. 7:11; 8:2 – 1400 BC).
1. 1930 AD: Fresh water springs discovered in the ocean floor.
2. 1945 AD: Underwater volcanoes discovered.
G. THE WATER VAPOR CYCLE (Job 36:27-28 – 2000-1600 BC; Ecc. 1:7 – 1000 BC).
1. Sea is not full, Evaporation and rain.
2. 350 BC Aristotle comprehended the water vapor cycle and published Meteorlogica.
3. 1770 AD: Benjamin Franklin observed movement of water by storms.
H. LIFE IS IN THE BLOOD (Lev. 17:11 – 1400 BC).
1. 350 BC: Herophilos advocated blood letting as a cure of disease. They thought that
blood was the cause of disease.
2. 1616 AD: Dr. William Harvey, British physician, discovered blood circulates and
is used over and over.
3. 1800 AD: Barbers were surgeons and blood letters. ( Red stripe on barber pole.)
I COSMOLOGY – ASTROPHYSICS.
1. Time had a beginning (2 Tim. 1:9: Titus 1:2; 1 Cor. 2:7; Gen. 1:1).
2. The Universe created from the invisible ( Heb. 11:3).
3. An expanding Universe ( Job 9:8; Jer. 10:12; 51:15).
4. The Universe is winding down (Psa. 102:25-27) 2nd law of thermodynamics.
5. Stars like snowflakes are different ( 1 Cor. 15:41)
6. Stars sing (Job 38:7)
7. Orion and Pleiades are bound star groups (Job 38:7) Gravity.
8. The earth is a sphere ( Isa. 40:22; Job 26:10).
9. The earth is suspended (Job 26:7).
J. AIR HAS WEIGHT (Job 28:5).
K. THE WIND BLOWS IN CIRCULAR PATHS (Ecc. 1:6)
A. NONE OF THE MISTAKEN NOTIONS OF THEIR AGE WAS INCLUDED BY THE WRITERS OF THE BIBLE.
B. THERE ARE STATEMENTS IN THE BIBLE THAT INDICATE AN UNDERSTANDING BEYOND THE MOST ADVANCED OF THEIR DAY
C.THE BIBLE IS A SPECIAL BOOK INSPIRED OF GOD (1 Thess 2:13)
There is no doubt that sin, and the evil that accompanies it, exists in this world. When atrocious examples of evil come to our attention, people commonly wonder why God allows such evil to happen. Atheists will use the very existence of obvious evil to argue against God. “If God were so good,” they smirk, “why is there evil in the world?” Since evil exists, these people conclude that God must not exist.
Have you ever thought about reversing the argument? If evil is so prevalent, why is there righteousness in the world? Since righteousness exists, should we conclude that evil does not exist? Obviously the existence of one extreme does not preclude the existence of the other extreme.
Yet, still the question needs to be addressed. As Christians we are to have a ready answer for every question regarding our faith (I Peter 3:15). Perhaps you have studied this question in the past, but given the tragedies of recent days, it will do each of us good to review the Scriptures so we may answer the questions that are bound to come up.
But, before addressing why evil is allowed to exist, we need to define what is evil. We don’t have to look far to find recent events that most people agree are evil. There is no doubt that the taking of thousands of innocent lives in Colorado, New York, Washington, D.C, and Pennsylvania is a prime example of evil at its worse.
In fact, we can go farther and note that evil always involves sin. The two are equivalent: Sin is evil. Some sins are much more abhorrent than others. The loss of thousands of innocent lives strikes us as more evil than an individual’s lie. Yet, we must understand that both are wrong. Both are different facets of evil.
John defines sin as the breaking of law (I John 3:4). The very existence and recognition of evil argue that a law or several laws are being broken. The tragedy of September 11, 2001, and Aurora, Co.was evil because innocent people were murdered. This means that we recognize the fact that murder is wrong. In other words, we acknowledge that a law exists making murder sinful. If such a law did not exist, then there could be no violation of that law (Romans 4:15).
Recognizing this, some have foolishly argued that here lies a quick way to remove evil from the world – remove every law! Too hard to believe? We all recognize that this nation has a drug problem. What has been touted as a solution to the drug problem? Why, legalize the drugs! As if this would solve the problem!
It was once against the law to have sex outside of marriage. Those laws have been dropped from the books as being unenforceable. Has the sin of fornication therefore disappeared with the removal of the law? Has it even decreased? No, the exact opposite effect has been recorded. People are living together in staggering numbers and the rate is increasing phenomenally.
The problem we must face is that evil still exists even when we do not acknowledge it in our laws. “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned – for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses …” (Romans 5:12-14). Notice that even before God gave the law to Moses, sin was still in the world. Yet, God did not impute the punishment for sin against mankind.
Consider the age-old exclaim, “I didn’t know that was illegal!” Does our ignorance of a law mean the law doesn’t exist for us? Obviously no. We are still held accountable to uphold a law even if we did not know of its existence. Yet, if we truly had no way of knowing the law, the judge might be lenient in passing sentence.
In a similar vein, though people sinned (broken the law) before God gave the law to Moses to record, he did not count the sins against the people who broke the law. Yet, the consequences of sin, in this case death, remained even though sin was not imputed.
To summarize, sin exists even when the written laws do not acknowledge a particular action as sinful. Putting on blinders to avoid seeing evil does not make the evil go away, nor does it make it any less evil. In other words, laws do not create evil.
Where, then, does sin originate?
If we come to a fork in a road, we must choose which direction we will take. Because a decision must be made, I can guarantee that everyone approaching the fork will not choose the same path. Even if I put up a sign explaining the desirability of one direction over the other, I can still guarantee that the less desirable path will still be used.
James 1:12-18 explains that sin comes from people making the wrong choice. Sin comes from man and not from God. We all have desires that are necessary for us to live. Satan uses these natural tendencies to put us in situations where the satisfaction of our desire would cause us to break a command of God. It is a trap, but it is a snare that we willingly walk into because we want what is offered.
Not only does Satan tempt us, but our fellow men, already caught up in sin, will use our desires to gain their own goals (II Peter 2:18-19). Temptation is so prevalent in this world that none are immune to sin (I Corinthians 10:12). Yet, the situation is not hopeless. God remains in control, even when we are tempted to violate God’s laws (I Corinthians 10:13).
Yet, if evil exists, and people will choose to do evil, why did God bother giving men a law? Paul explains that the law does not cause people to sin, but it does clarify our sins (Romans 7:7-12). The law, being from God, is holy and good. It defines for man what God sees as sin. It helps us understand the nature of sin and of evil.
Unfortunately, the law is also exploited by Satan. By defining sin, it lets us know about options we might not have considered before. Every parent faces this dilemma. We want to warn our children against the dangers present in this world, but we don’t want our children to lose their innocence toward life. Paul spoke of this same problem in Romans 7. He, by nature, would not be one to covet what belongs to another man. But when he learned about coveting through the law, he faced the temptation to covet from the simple fact that he was now aware of the possibility.
This does not excuse our decision. We have been warned in advance by the law. Hence, the law leaves us with no excuse when we violate the law.
Perhaps now we can address why evil continues to exist in this world. Sin exists because people want it (Jeremiah 5:30-31). God tolerates its existence because it creates a distinction between the righteous and the wicked (Romans 7:13). When we sin, and we see the affect of evil on our lives, then we learn, however reluctantly, that God was right. We are forced to see that God’s laws are actually the best path because we see the devastation caused by people who sin. The existence of sin and the existence of people willing to commit sin show us just how bad off mankind is (Ecclesiastes 3:16-18).
When we battle against sin, we are strengthened by the effort (James 1:12). What kind of shape would I be in if I laid in bed all day? Many of us work out in some type of physical exercise. Yet, why do we bother? Simply because we understand that exercise, even when we don’t fully enjoy it, helps us to enjoy life more fully. What kind of shape would I be in if I never exercised my faith? Even though the choices are not always enjoyable, I need the opportunity to make them so that I may be better able to serve God.
We must also acknowledge that evil continues to exist in this world because we refuse to recognize sin. This is the trap the Jews fell into (Romans 2:17-24). When you don’t pay a bill, are you not stealing? If you leave out some of your income at tax time, are you not lying? How can a person lead others out of sin if they wallow in sins that they feel are not so bad?
This was a major point in Jesus’ sermon on the mount. Murder is awful, but it is preceded by the sin of anger (Matthew 5:21-22). Adultery is evil, but it is preceded by the sin of lust (Matthew 5:27-28). We cannot make a half-hearted stand against evil. Evil will not go away if we accept some sins but reject others. This is an all-or-nothing war. Evil cannot be defeated if we allow sin to continue to exist in our own lives.
Where do you stand in this battle against evil? Either you are for righteousness and God or you are against him (Matthew 12:30). There is no middle ground. May God bless and use this article and message to challenge us to be more conformed to the image of Christ.
“WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT REAL MEN” HAPPY FATHERS DAY TO ALL OUR DADS!!
Real men are becoming a lost commodity. Men who know their role in the family, in society and the world are harder and harder to find.
The feminist movement, which has entered its second generation, has failed utterly in its mission to liberate women but has caused many men to lose their sense of masculinity and purpose in marriage and the home. Most men, it would appear, have abdicated their role as family leaders under societal pressures initiated by the feminist movement.
Today’s talk shows, classrooms and workplaces repeatedly are heard to advocate the creation of unisex or androgynous human beings with no difference in functions, despite the never-greater volumes of data about the physical and emotional differences between the sexes.
The feminist goals include complete mutual decision-making and shared authority in the home, equal sharing of the role of supporting the family financially, and full sharing of home-making and child-care functions. This has been sold as a “fair” system and compared negatively with “traditional” arrangements where separate roles were identified for husbands and wives.
While these “goals” have been identified and approved by society in general, the “results” have been catastrophic.
Shared leadership concepts have resulted in no leadership because equality of authority is antithetical to the very concept of leadership.
With the majority of women insisting on sharing in the income production role that once was the male domain, larger and larger numbers of children are being surrendered to the care of modem day “orphans homes” the day care center and the public school system.
As biblical patterns for marriage roles and family life are abandoned there is emerging a rapid increase in sexual dysfunction in marriage and, sometimes, abandonment of natural sexual roles for homosexual perversions. Divorce and the broken home are now more normal in many communities than the intact family.
And, without functioning families, children are left without the environment necessary to teach love, morality and personal responsibility. Our overburdened judicial and prison systems are but another manifestation of the end results.
What is needed critically today are men who understand their purpose and roles as leaders of their families. Needed are men who carry out their God-ordained duties to wives and children.
The Bible teaches, in passages like I Corinthians 11:3 and Ephesians 5:23, that husbands are to be the “heads” of their wives and families. To people who reject the Bible outright this means nothing but to those who respect God’s word it clearly asserts a husband’s leadership, authority to direct and rule in the home.
By understanding the concept of “headship” one can see God’s wisdom. Just as a human body with two heads would be a paralyzed monstrosity so is the home with two heads.
Men today need to re-learn what home leadership is all about. Issuing orders, receiving deference and respect may be a part of it but much, much more is involved.
God tells the man to be the “provider” for his family in I Timothy 5:8. The authority given a man also calls for him to be a primary teacher and guide to the family, both in word and example.
Unlike most typical homes today, God’s ideal home has the husband and father being the principal disciplinarian responsible for training, development, and correction of his children. Passages in the Bible like Ephesians 6:4 show a man he has this responsibility. When he abdicates this job or delegates it completely to his wife, he has failed.
The real model for husband-like leadership is found in the example of Jesus himself, not in the macho-ism of the contemporary scene. Jesus led by love, sacrifice and submission of personal well-being and desires to the well-being of others.
The feminist movement is not totally responsible for the negative attitudes toward male leadership in the home today. Men who have abused or abdicated their responsibilities in the past are partially the cause.
But whatever the past failures and their causes, the crying need today is for men to re-assume their responsibilities and to lead, guide and love their wives and families through the morass of evils that today threaten our homes, nation and world.
Leadership will not be easy in our unisex society. But, then, leadership never has been easy. Real men are needed for the task.
1. We are adept at raising monuments to events, places, people.
2. But, time fades memories (Eccl 1:11), and monuments become tarnished (cf. Statue of Liberty).
3. What do you want your legacy to be?
a. Financial security to your children? cf. Eccl 2:18-19
b. Power? Can be abused (Solomon — Rehoboam).
c. Prestige / Fame? It is certainly not long-lasting.
4. We can leave a memorial which won’t fade nor be tarnished — Christ living in the hearts and lives of our family and friends!
5. Parents: What kind of legacy are we leaving our children? Eph 6:4
-“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD… (Psa 127:3)
I. THE LEGACY OF OUR LIFESTYLE, Psa 101:2.
A. “An Example is the Best Teacher.” (Actions speak louder than words!)
1. Certainly true of family life. (Children will take on the character traits of their parents.)
2. Bible insists upon godly example being set for children within the home:
a. They will learn by parents’ actions, Exo 12:25-27 (Passover)
b. Their actions would provide opportunity to teach their children. (cf. Worship, morals, language, etc.)
c. Neglect contributes to sin and ruin, 2 Chrn 30:26.
3. Where is there more need for our “lights to shine” than in our homes before our children?! Matt 5:14-16
B. “Do as I Say, Not as I Do.”
1. Losing battle when parents teach w/o living what they teach.
2. If good examples promote good character, then bad examples foster corrupt character, 1 Cor 15:33.
3. How do our children see us dealing with:
a. Family quarrels (strife), cf. Eph 4:31-32; 5:22, 25.
b. Honesty and integrity in work, cf. Eph 4:28; 6:5.
c. Conflicts with neighbors, Rom 12:17-18.
d. Relationships with brethren (backbiting, etc.), Jas 4:11.
e. Priorities of Christianity, cf. Matt 6:33.
4. If our children see unrighteousness/hypocrisy in us they can be disillusioned with the gospel and Christianity! Col 3:21
C. “Christ in our Hearts – Faith in our Lives” (Eph 3:17).
1. Things of God, not worldliness, Col 3:1-2.
2. This must be the legacy we leave our children.
II. THE LEGACY OF A WHOLESOME, SPIRITUAL ENVIRONMENT, Eph 6:4 (cf. 1 Sam 1:27-28).
A. Put the Word Of God into Our Children’s Hearts, Deut 6:6-9.
1. What will achieve this? Daily Bible study and talk.
a. Word must first be upon your heart, 6:6.
b. Takes diligent, deliberate effort to train our chi1dren, 6:7.
c. Consistency: Make Bible study a part of home’s routine, 6:7
d. Repetition: God’s word a constant part of life; 6:8-9. (Don’t assume a point once heard is forever learned!)
e. Study yourself: You can’t impart what you don’t know! Plus, your example in this is vital.
2. Training doesn’t just happen; it takes effort, Prov 22:6.
B. Worship Together, cf. Deut 12:12.
1. Make going to worship God a pleasant, joyful event — Not a dreaded burden. (By how we prepare, talk about it, etc.)
2. Set the pattern of its importance by removing all obstacles that can prevent your presence, Heb 10:25.
3. Sing, pray, study together at home – Worship isn’t confined to a church building!
C. Insist on Godly, Moral Entertainment (for you and children).
1. Phil 4:8: “Garbage in, garbage out.”
2. Monitor Internet, TV, movies, music, etc.
3. Provide alternatives to school dances, swimming parties, etc. where immoral behavior occurs.
III. THE LEGACY OF RESPECT FOR GOD ABOVE ALL ELSE, Matt 10:37.
A. Be on the Lord’s Side When Decision Time Comes, Exo 32:25-26.
1. When our children are out by themselves (date, school, work), what will they do?! What we have taught them?
2. Joshua influenced his family to fear God above all else, Josh 24:15 (cf. Abraham, Gen 18:19).
3. On the other hand, Eli, in failing to stop his sons’ ungodly actions, honored them above God, 1 Sam 2:29; 3:13.
4. What a tribute, to know that your children will honor God’s will above all else because you taught them to do so!
1. We must be concerned with the legacy we are leaving our children!
2. Epitaphs fade, memories fail and monuments erode, but the works of the righteous have a lasting impact on the world.
1. Request: Please do a lesson on raising children (scriptures) with love and discipline.
2. The question implies a link between discipline, love, & proper rearing of children. That linkage is proper (1 Ths. 2:11-12; Heb. 12:5-6, 10-11).
3. Children are our inheritance from God – Psa. 127:3 (Prov. 17:6).
4. Goal: Present our children to the Lord – Gen. 18:19; 1 Sam. 1:22; 2:11.
5. Heavenly Father knows best how to rear children. Listen to His word of wisdom, or we are liable to ‘raise Cain’ instead of rearing children!
I. COMPREHENSIVE NATURE OF DISCIPLINE – Eph. 6:4.
A. Instruction – cf. Prov. 1:8-9.
1. Teach about life; teach word of God, Deut. 4:8-10; 6:4-9; 11:18-19.
2. Training in righteousness (cf. Timothy, 2 Tim. 3:15).
B. Correction – Prov. 3:12, 13:24; 22:15; 29:17.
II. DIVINE GUIDANCE ON REARING CHILDREN.
A. Insist that Your Children Obey You – Eph. 6:1-3. (Teach & correct)
1. “The thing that impresses me the most about America is the way parents obey their children.” (King Edward VIII, 1894 – 1972)
2. “There was a time when we expected nothing of our children but obedience, as opposed to the present, when we expect everything of them but obedience.” (Anatole Broyard) cf. Prov. 30:11
3. Jesus & His parents – Lk. 2:51.
4. Eli & his sons – 1 Sam. 2:12, 22-25, 29; 3:13.
B. Praise as Well as Punish.
1. Make the punishment fit the offense (cf. Eli, 1 Sam. 2:22-24).
2. Punishment w/o praise will break a child’s spirit – Col. 3:21 (“to be disheartened, dispirited, broken in spirit”).
3. Be fair-minded & just.
C. Give Them What They Need, Not Necessarily What They Want – Matt. 7:8-11.
1. “It is not giving children more that spoils them; it is giving them more to avoid confrontation. (John Gray, “Children Are From Heaven”)
2. Say “yes” when you can & “no” when you must!
D. Be Consistent– 1 Sam. 2:12, 22; 3:13.
1. In teaching, correction (Follow through; Stay in control).
2. Practice what you preach (2 Tim. 1:5).
E. Do Not Show Favoritism – Gen. 26:28; 37:3.
-Recognize & respect individuality while remaining impartial.
F. Work Together – Lk. 2:51 (cf. Gen. 27:5).
1. Children sense conflict between parents & exploit it! (Matt. 12:25)
2. Share & help each other with the children, the home, etc.
G. Find & Develop the Child’s “Way” – Prov. 22:6.
1. Don’t try to make him/her into what you wanted to be, but weren’t.
2. Give direction & discipline fit for each – cf. Eccl. 2:3; 5:18-19; 12:1.
3. “The art of mothering is to teach the art of living to children. (Elain Heffner, O Magazine, May 2003)
H. Set Godly Examples – Isa. 39:4; Prov. 4:1-4 (2 Tim. 1:5).
1. Love God (Matt. 22:37): Obey, worship, put Him first, etc.
2. Love man (Matt. 22:39): Honesty, fairness, kindness, mercy, etc.
I. Pray for God’s Help – Judg. 13:8-9; Jas. 1:5-8 (Phil. 4:6-7).
-Rely on God’s truth to direct you – Prov. 3:5-6.
J. Be Patient.
1. Start early in life – 2 Tim. 3:15 (cf. Hannah & Samuel; Jochebed & Moses).
2. Stay the course – Prov. 19:18; 23:13-14; 29:15.
K. Confess & Repent When You Sin against Your Children – cf. Jas. 5:16.
-Parents sin against their children (Col. 3:21). Deal with it God’s way!
L. Remember: The Responsibility & Accountability is Yours.
1. Seek counsel – cf. Tit. 2:4; Prov. 11:14; 15:22.
2. Filter the well-meaning advice, suggestions, recommendations of others through the sieve of truth & wisdom.
3. Beware of intrusive meddlers & meddling – 1 Pet. 4:15.
4. Everyone is an expert: “Before I got married I had six theories bringing up children; now I have six children and no theories.” (John Wilmot)
1. Men are generally more careful of the breed of their horses and dogs than of their children.” (William Penn, 1644 – 1718)
2. Children deserve our careful attention (Prov. 29:15).
3. Use God’s word – not human theories & “wisdom” – to teach us to train up our children in the “training and admonition of the Lord.”
A BIBLICAL LOOK AT RESPECT BETWEEN PARENT AND CHILD
1. Respect is vital to every successful relationship (cf. marriage, 1 Pet 3:5-7).
2. “You don’t respect me” is frequently said by both children and parents.
3. Goal: Showing proper respect to each other as children and parents.
I. WHAT IS RESPECT?
A. Respect is Not…
1. …merely treating the person the way they want to be treated (what if we want what is not worthy of respect?).
2. …born of resentment or fright.
3. …just being polite (although it will be polite in speech and conduct), cf. Lev 19:32.
4. …just tending to their physical needs (although it is shown by doing so), Matt 15:4-5 (1 Tim 5:8).
B. Respect is…
1. Giving due value, esteem or worth to another person. cf. Jesus, Lk 2:51
2. Having and showing proper regard for the other person, Matt 7:9-11.
3. Can be both inherent (built in) and, in some ways, earned over time.
II. A RESPECTFUL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PARENTS AND CHILDREN BEGINS WITH BEING RESPECTFUL TO GOD, Eccl 12:13.
-When respect for God is absent, neither the parent nor the child has yet learned the fundamental meaning of respect: Placing the right value on the object of our respect.
-Respect for God Means Giving Him His Rightful Place of Honor and Homage, cf. Exo 20:1-7; Psa 115:1-2, 9-13; Heb 12:5-6.
III. CHILDREN: HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER, Eph 6:2 (Exo 20:12).
A. Children are to so Respect their Parents that they willingly Honor and Obey Them, Eph 6:1-2 (Exo 20:12; Lev 19:3).
1. Jewish Talmud on Lev 19:3: “”Fear” is defined as not sitting or standing in a parent’s designated place and not contradicting a parent, while “honor” is defined as feeding parents, clothing parents, and helping them come in and out.” (Babylonian Talmud, Kiddushin 31b; cited in How to Show Respect for a Parent: A Jewish View, myjewishlearning.com)
* 2. To demean or diminish the dignity of your parents is to be disrespectful of them, cf. Deut 27:16.
3. Disobedience diminishes the dignity of the parent (cf. God) Lk 6:46.
B. Children Show Respect by Listening to, Learning from and Following the Teaching of their Parents, Eph 6:1-2; cf. Deut 21:18.
1. Parents have the God-given responsibility of training their children in the way of the Lord, Eph 6:4.
2. So, parental teaching ought to be heard and obeyed by the child:
a. Because it is for the child’s good, Prov 1:8-9 (Eph 6:3).
b. Because he/she values the parent who gives it and God, who is over both the parents and the child. cf. 1 Sam 2:22-25
3. The obedient child is learning to respect God by respecting his/her parents, Col 3:20.
4. Child who refuses to listen to his parents is not listening to God.
a. A child who accepts parental discipline is learning to accept God’s discipline, Heb 12:7-10.
b. The child who scoffs at his parents’ teaching hurts himself; the one who learns grows in wisdom, Prov 9:7-12.
IV. FATHERS: RESPECT YOUR CHILDREN AND DO NOT PROVOKE THEM, Eph 6:4; Col 3:21. (Matt 7:12)
A. Parents Show Respect for their Children when their Goal is the Child’s Spiritual Profit.
1. Do not provoke: to “exasperate”, whether by unrighteous, unreasonable or harsh demands, or by failing to fairly and faithfully nurture them in the Lord. cf. Heb 12:5-6
2. Parent who is domineering and demanding may be satisfying an uninformed (or even unrighteous) need to “be in control”, but is not properly considering and addressing the child’s physical, emotional and spiritual welfare. cf. God’s love for us.
3. Provocation invariably leads to either:
a. Wrath (being enraged against the parent), Eph 6:4, or
b. Discouragement (lose heart, feeling worthless and incapable of pleasing the parent), Col 3:21.
4. Children need consistency (they can rely on), boundaries (they can live by) and correction (they can be trained by), Heb 12:10-11.
5. In Psa 128:3, children are as olive plants – similar, yet unique – each needing to be fed, tended and trained to bear good fruit.
1. Parents and children will not improve their relationships by entrenching themselves in an “it’s your fault” mentality.
2. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom – for the parent and for the child, Prov 9:10.