Sunday, 18 March 2012

Should children obey their parents?

Ephesians 6:1-2 (NIV)
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---

Why should children obey their parents in the Lord?

- it honours them 
- the natural law that God has written 

We should interpret the promises in v3 as a guidance for social stability.

Ephesians 6:2-3 (NIV)
"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."

There are many benefits to society when children honor their parents. Good stable framework for the child's future.

Ephesians 6:4 (NIV)
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Why just Fathers?

Do mothers have greater patience when men may be more tempestuous?

Ephesians 6:4 (NIV)
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

How are parents to raise their children?

- with boundaries
- manage who they are friends with
- with love
- with clear standards
- by spending time (not just quality time)
- affection
- trust

How do parents exasperate their children?

- different standards
- not listening
- not saying sorry
- "I was never allowed to ...."
- embarrassing
- not showing love

What happens if they are brought up following Paul's teaching

- stable
- trust in God
- good, well balanced

Slaves and masters

How are Christian slaves different?

Do as they are asked, do it completely and fully as if Christ had asked.

Bearing in mind the horrible and harsh treatment of slaves it would be additionally harder for Christian slaves to be cheerful.

Due to the fact that Paul is actually speaking to the slaves that they are accepted. 

Where the master is a non-Christian the slave would be able to act as a good witness.

Read also 

Philemon 1:1-25 (NIV)
Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker, [2] to Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier and to the church that meets in your home: [3] Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. [4] I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, [5] because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. [6] I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. [7] Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints. [8] Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, [9] yet I appeal to you on the basis of love. I then, as Paul---an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus--- [10] I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains. [11] Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me. [12] I am sending him---who is my very heart---back to you. [13] I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel. [14] But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do will be spontaneous and not forced. [15] Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good--- [16] no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a man and as a brother in the Lord. [17] So if you consider me a partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. [18] If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. [19] I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back---not to mention that you owe me your very self. [20] I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ. [21] Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask. [22] And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers. [23] Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. [24] And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow workers. [25] The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Why should they serve?

Ephesians 6:7-8 (NIV)
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.

What do Christian masters and slaves have in common?

Ephesians 6:9 (NIV)
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.

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