Program Air Date - 12-2-07



What a privilege we have this morning to join together in the study of God's Living Word. We welcome you to our program and we thank God that you have chosen to be with us today. We are excited about this opportunity we have together this morning to glorify our creator. May we each do our part to make this time acceptable in His sight and according to His Will? Now, let's approach our Father's throne in prayer.


What a wonderful privilege we have as Christians to lift up our voices in praise to God. So, this morning won't you join in with the congregation as we sing together our first hymn of the morning? The name of the song, "To Christ Be Loyal And Be True!"

(SONG # 1)


Notice the beautiful words spoken by Jesus in Matthew 7:20, where He said, "therefore by their fruits you will know them." Scary isn't it! Jesus here is telling us that it is through our fruit that we are seen to be faithful or unfaithful. What does the Son of God mean here by the word fruit? Well, think with me about a tree, let's say an apple tree. If you plant it, then it brings forth apples and if it is a good tree it will bring forth the best apples - after its own kind. Now, let's apply that to us. If we are of Jesus, we are products of Him and after His kind. Furthermore, as we are planted in this world to work for our heavenly Father we must also bear fruit just like the apple tree. If we are good trees we will produce that good fruit after our own kind, which we have already clarified as being Jesus. But why is this so important.

To answer this question let's continue reading from Matthew 7, and hear what Jesus went on to say after telling us we are known by our fruit. In verse 21, we read, "not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven." Now we see the importance of being able to see good fruit. Jesus says it's not enough to just say you are a follower of Him or that you love Him, the proof is in the fruit we bear from our faithful labors in His vineyard.

You might again say, "but Ray, is this really important?" When you drive around Springfield what do you see on almost every block that you pass? Well, most of us would probably say restaurants, and you would be right, but besides that what do you see? I see many, many different types of churches. The tricky part is that they are all claiming to be of God, yet they are all teaching different doctrines. Can they all be right, yet teach something different? Can they all be wrong? You remember what we began with this morning, we are known by our fruits. If we are of Jesus our fruit should also be like Jesus, not us! Isn't this why Paul said, "imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ," 1 Corinthians 11:1. Paul was not saying that you were following him by imitating his example, he was saying you are imitating Christ by following his example.

Let's go to the Bible to see what God wants, so we will know which churches are standing on God's Will and which churches are not! If you and I go to God's Word and determine those marks that identify the Lord's church as being His, we can then know if the church we are a part of is that same church which Jesus built or something merely made by man. Will you accept the challenge to study God's Word to see what His true will is?

Today we will again continue our study from God's Word concerning "The Home As God Intends." Our next lesson in our series this morning is, "Godly Husbands And Fathers." So continue with us and after our next song we will have our guest speaker lead us in this lesson from God's Word.

As far as our speaker we are happy to again have brother Church Northrop with us. Brother Chuck is one of ministers at the Kansas Expressway Church of Christ and is also a full time instructor at the Bible Institute of Missouri. We thank him for being with us. It's now time to join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, "O To Be Like Thee."

(SONG # 2)


By Chuck Northrop

An orphaned child was once asked what he wished, and he said, "I wish my father would step out of the picture." Of course, we know the term "orphan" means fatherless, but some orphans are orphaned because their fathers have died or passed away, but others are orphaned because their fathers are irresponsible. Tragically, many men have stepped out of the picture in the home and in the church. Where have all the men gone? Have men lost their identity in the home? Have humanists or the women libbers taken men out of the home? Have men lost their sense of responsibility? Do men not understand their part that they play within the home? Sadly and tragically, men have lost their identity. They have lost their sense of responsibility and they have lost their understanding of their role in the home.

Think about it for a moment in the standpoint of the church. A number of years ago, I took a survey of a congregation where I was laboring. In that survey, I found that on average the Sunday morning attendance we had only 17 men actively who participated in some way if not by any other way by attending Bible class. That was 18% of those who attended that congregation. Of the adult Bible classes, 34% of them were men and 76% were women. Of the teaching staff, only 30% of the teaching staff were men and 70% women.

Men, we are responsible. We're responsible to God. We're responsible to our families. No matter what the world may teach, we are responsible.

The responsibility of men in the home can be divided into three basic areas: Leaders, lovers and providers.

So consider with me for just a moment the responsibility that we have as far as being leaders. God's design for the home has always been that men are to be the head of the home. In Ephesians chapter 5 and verse 23 Paul wrote, "For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church and He is the Savior of the body."

In 1 Corinthians the 11th chapter in verse 3 Paul wrote concerning the line of authority and that line consists of this. He says, "But I would have you to know that the head of every man is Christ and the head of the woman is the man and the head of Christ is God." God then is at the top or the ladder of responsibility. Then we have Christ and then men and then women.

As head, men are responsible for the direction and for the development of the home. Leadership though is not based upon ability or work. A woman's value is just as valuable as a man. She might have the abilities that men may have, but the leadership is not based upon such things. It is actually based upon the creation.

It goes back to Genesis chapters 2 and 3. Paul wrote about this in 1 Timothy chapter 2 beginning with verse 11 and this is what he wrote. "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach nor usurp authority over the man but to be in silence for Adam was first formed, then Eve, and Adam was not in the transgression, not withstanding she shall be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith and love and holiness with sobriety."

So we learn that men or man was the one that was first formed. That was the first reason Paul gives. The second is that the woman was first deceived. The problem in the church and in the home and in the world is oftentimes men... It's not the domineering woman in most cases, but it is the subservient or the fawning men. Oftentimes, man's responsibilities are turned over to their wives or turned over to the state or to babysitters. Men, we must provide leadership in the home. We must provide leadership as far as the physical things of the home as far as the emotional things of the home and as far as the spiritual things of the home. The spiritual training is up to us. We must be those who train our homes in a spiritual way.

Paul, in 1 Corinthians 14 and verses 34-35, wrote that, "Women were to keep silent in the church," talking about the worship assembly. And they were to ask their husbands at home. Now listen to what he is saying there. The implication is the man was to provide that leadership for his wife in the home. We know that is true as far as children are concerned. In Ephesians chapter 6 and verse 4, he says, "You fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the home."

Two marvelous examples in the New Testament I want to look at for just a moment.

Consider Cornelius. Cornelius in Acts the 10th chapter and verse 2 is said that, "He was a devout man who feared God with all of his house and gave much alms to the people and prayed to God always." Now he called for Peter to come and teach the gospel to him and he waited for Peter to do such and when Peter came, Cornelius was the man that called his kinsmen together and his near friends. He was a leader in spiritual guidance for his home and for his friends.

The jailer was much the same way in Phillipi. The Philippine jailer was a man that when he heard the gospel, he invited his family to hear the gospel, too. He was a leader in providing spiritual guidance.

But husbands are also to be lovers. In Ephesians chapter 5 and verse 25 Paul wrote, "Husbands, love your wives even as Christ also loved the church." Love should be the motivation behind our leadership. Our leadership should not be motivated by a power struggle, but it should be motivated by love.

Within the New Testament, we know that love is a word that is used that would actually represent four of the original Greek words, original Coin Greek words. All of those different words describe different aspects of love. There is a place in the home for Eros type love. Eros type love is that natural or that animal affection. "Amnion loved Tamara. He boiled in his heart for Tamara," 2 Samuel chapter 13. But then after he was done with his dirty deed, he bolted the door. So he boiled, then bolted 2 Samuel chapter 13 verses 4 and 17. Well, that's not the kind of love that the home should have, at least should not be built upon that. It should be greater than that kind of love.

Then there is the Storage type of love in the New Testament. Storage is the natural affection, the natural affection that men have for their children and women for the children and children for their parents and parents for others as well in the family and siblings and things like that. Well, the type of love must be greater than simply just that natural affection that we have within the home.

Then there is the Philly type love. The Philly word means simply "friendship affection." There is a place for friendship in the home, but the home must be built upon a greater love than that.

The type of love that the home should be built upon is agape. Now there is a place and a rightful place for each of these other types of love, but Agape is sacrificial love. That is the kind of love that men ought to have for their wives and for their children. The degree of this love is seen in Ephesians chapter 5 verses 23-29. In verse 25, it says that, "We are to love our wives even as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it." There is the sacrificial love. He was willing to give Himself for the church. We ought to have that kind of love for our wives that we are willing to lay down our lives for our wives even as Christ did for the church.

The last kind of responsibility that we'll consider in this lesson is that men ought to be providers. Now there are two passages within the New Testament, I think, that illustrate this point that I want to use this morning.

In 1 Timothy chapter 5 and verse 8, Paul says, "But if any provide not for his own especially those of his own house, he has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel." Now listen to what Paul says. The person, who will not provide for his own, he is worse than an infidel is. Now that particular word literally means "one who is without faith." He is the unbeliever. He is the person that is an atheist. He is the person that simply has no faith, rather than being faithful, he is faithless. This is the kind of person that will not provide for his own.

Paul in 2 Corinthians chapter 12 and verse 14 also wrote those parents should provide for their children rather than children providing for their parents. Well we know it is natural that people of the world recognize it is a natural thing for men to provide for their families, but it also is according to Revelation, God is His revealed Will wrote concerning these matters and wants us to understand that we have a responsibility and God wants us to understand that responsibility. Sometimes when we talk about a father, we mean simply "one who procreates a child," but there is more to fathering than simply procreation. Husbands and fathers and a true father must provide for his children and for his wife, for his family.

This is one thing wrong with the promiscuous sex taking place so often, fathering children out of wedlock and not providing for their welfare. Consider the lesson that Jesus taught concerning the Heavenly Father providing for us. He talked about the fact that if we will ask and knock and request from God, God will provide all things for us. And He says, "Think about your own earthly fathers, if you ask for bread, will he give you a stone? If you ask for a fish, will he give you a serpent?" If you ask for these kinds of things, well you see, they provide for us. Our Heavenly Father knows how to provide for us as well. Again, the application is this, if ye then being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children, we ought to know how to give good gifts to our children. Even worldly men know how to provide for their children.

The provisions that are needed within the family is more than simply the material provisions. Oftentimes, men think that they're providing for their family if they just simply bring home a paycheck at the end of the week. But men, we need to provide for more than just the material things. We need to provide for the emotional welfare of our children and of our wives. We need to provide for the spiritual welfare of our children and for our wives. It is more than just simply providing for those basic necessities of life. We need to provide for such things as a sense of belonging, as a sense of security. We need to provide a feeling of worth and we need to provide rightful and wholesome entertainment. We need to provide information for them and beautiful experiences for them. We need to provide direction for them in their lives.

The solution to the world's problems is not to take men out of the home. It is to put men and godly men back into the home so that we can be leaders, lovers, and providers. When men change God's design the only outcome will be disaster. Men, let us be the kind of men that God wants us to be. Let us be leaders. Let us be lovers. And let us be providers. Let us be God's men and provide for our family and for our home, for our wives and for our children and be the kind of people that we ought to be.

We appreciate your time and we appreciate the information that God has provided for us in the scriptures.

(SONG # 3 - "My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less!")


Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word program. I hope and trust, that together we have all benefited from this service to our Lord. Let me also invite you to join us every Lord's Day morning at 7:30 as we give this time to our Creator.

Now let me ask if you have any questions or comments about today's lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a free cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or free Bible correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:

The Living Word 2540 N. Kansas Expressway Springfield, Mo. 65803

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Thanks be to God for His Word and it's guidance to make us better Christian husbands and fathers. May we always choose to do things God's Way for His Way is always the right way!

(Program closing)