THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 12-30-07
LESSON TITLE: "THE HOME AS GOD INTENDS: FELLOW HEIRS OF GOD'S GRACE"
Happy Holidays, and welcome to the Living Word Program during this wondrous Lord's day morning. We are glad you have chosen to be with us this morning for this time of offering to God. I hope you're ready to worship God, for today it will again be our privilege to study from God's Word and to sing praises to His wonderful and magnificent name. I trust we will each do our part to glorify and praise our Creator. At this time, let's approach the Father's throne together in prayer!
I hope that we all turn to God on a regular basis to help us in the ups and downs of this life. We are going to start with a song today that reminds us of just how often we need our God. So, at this time, won't you join in with the congregation as we sing together, "Are You Washed In The Blood."
(SONG # 1)
Well, all the giving and receiving of presents is now past. Also, most of our gatherings of family and friends are near an end. What fun it was to have the opportunity to be with others and to give to others, seeing the great joy that it brought them. Furthermore, what fun it was to get things from others and to be surprised with what we got. We probably all are about worn out from the holidays, but they're not over yet!
I guess old Santa has put up the sleigh and reindeer for the year and I'm sure the elves are already busy making preparations for next year. And now, you and I stand in the face of another New Year. I guess we all have the feeling of excitement and intrigue on one hand, but on the other, we may be feeling a little uncertain and unsure about what this new year may hold. This is such a special time and hopefully a time of new beginnings, new blessings, new goals and new achievements.
As always, during this time of the year, everyone starts looking back and seeing how the past year went. At the same time, we all try to think of ways we can improve or make the next year even better.
As some of us look back we see a good and prosperous year. However, as some look back they see a year of trials, tragedy and heartache.
No matter what your previous year was like; let me assure you that in Christ, the next year will be better. If we will only learn to rely on Him, trust in His will and to be obedient to our calling - God will care for us, bless us, and give us all that we have need of.
I love the way John put it in his 3rd book, chapter 1, and verse 2. There he said, "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers." Wouldn't it be a great commendation to know that someone like John was acknowledging that we were doing such a good job spiritually! That is exactly what he is saying concerning his "beloved," brothers and sisters. He saw their good works and prayed that they would prosper physically, just as they had spiritually. Oh, to be that type of servant for God.
Brethren and friends, the fact is, we will be blessed according to our offering to God. If we give our best He will bless us accordingly, but if we give sparingly we will also receive from Him sparingly. Isn't that what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 9:6, "He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully."
So the choice is yours. Will you make this New Year one for the record books, will it be same as always, or will you make choices that send you down the tubes? You see, the choice is each of ours to make, but I can assure you with God by your side you will make history!
We are happy to have brother Brent Green with us today as our guest speaker. Brother Brent works with Bible Institute of Missouri. We thank him for being with us today and look forward to him leading our thoughts from God's Word.
As far as our study, we will again continue with our series entitled "The Home As God Intends." Our specific lesson of the morning is, "Fellow Heirs Of God's Grace." So please stay with us and in a few minutes we will go to God's Word for this important study. But for now, let's all join in our next song, it's name, "Bring Christ Your Broken Life."
(SONG # 2)
By Brent Green
Good morning! Again, it is a joy to have the opportunity to open God's Word and study again from a piece of the Inspired Scripture which He has given to us.
I hope this morning you will take your Bibles and turn with me to the book of 1 Peter. We have here a piece of God's family and what it means to be heirs of the grace of God. And so there in 1 Peter, God gives us through the writer< peter, some of the things that we learn about the family. And so I know over the last few weeks we've been discussing what it means to be a part of the family whether that be being a child, a son or a daughter, or whether that be being a husband or a wife or even a grandparent. And so the different things, the different responsibilities that go along with those roles are also in detail given to us here in the book of 1 Peter. But considering some of the preliminary thoughts that we might have about the family and what it means to work together. Well, working together not only as the family of God, but working together first and foremost, as often as our relationship dictates, as a family, as a physical family in this world, A husband and a wife and the children that might go along therewith.
And so we consider the thoughts that God as He instituted that of the family there in Genesis chapter 2 and verse 24, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh." Joined together there, the man and the wife becoming one flesh.
And so also Jesus reiterates this fact in Matthew chapter 19 there in verse 4 as we reads the words that He gives us here in the New Testament concerning the family and concerning what it means for a man and a wife to be joined together to start a family and that core relationship which focuses on giving a proper example to those children that will follow. There in Matthew chapter 19 beginning in verse 4, it says, "He answered and said to them, 'Have you not read that He who made them in the beginning made them male and female and said for this reason man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. So they were no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate.'" So again, the concept of joining together, working together so to speak, a man and a wife coming together unified in harmony with one another, being one item, no longer two, no longer a man and a woman, but those two coming together to be one flesh joined by God. The core of the home, the core of that family is that man and that wife. We see there that they are joined together by God. So the concept of working together is also indicated here because as we can see from the text that if you've got a husband and a wife they've got to be working together to be unified as God would have in the family.
So if you would, look at 1 Peter. We can see here as the Word is given to us in scripture not only what it means to be joined together just first and foremost as a husband and a wife, well the things that go along with that, working together as a family. So in 1 Peter chapter 3 beginning in verse 1, we read the following words. It says, "Wives, likewise be submissive to your own husbands that even if some do not obey the Word, they without a word may be one by the conduct of their wives. When they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear, do not let your adorn be merely outward arranging the hair, wearing of gold or putting on of fine apparel, rather let it be the hidden perfection of the heart or the hidden person of the heart with the incorruptible beauty of the gentle and quiet spirit which is precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in the former times, the holy women that trusted in God also adorned themselves being submissive to their own husbands. As Sarah obeyed Abraham calling him, 'Lord", whose daughter you are if you do good and are not afraid with any fear or with any terror."
And so given here to the wives these different commands of how a wife is called to do her certain duty among the family, working together both the husband and the wife doing their parts, with the wife here giving that call in her regard as what she should be to the family. And we see here the pieces as they are lined out for us. The wives being submissive to their own husbands and the fact given that even if the husbands aren't proper leaders and Christians that they should be that the example of a submissive wife would be that to win her husband over, by her own example of doing what she should for God, but also that she should be chaste, that is pure in her conduct, and that it should be accompanied by fear, the fear of God, the fear of making sure that you do what you're supposed to as a Christian and as a wife in this situation.
But not only that, not merely focusing on that which is outward, but rather focusing on that which is on the inside, the inward beauty. And so what speaks here of that incorruptible beauty that which should be a gentle and a quiet spirit. So we know the flesh will pass away, that which is this body will one day pass away, but what's that incorruptible? That incorruptible spirit, our spirit, our soul. And so the call here to wives is to be those that adorn yourselves inwardly with that gentle and quiet spirit.
So when working together as a family, how often is the wife the one who is that gentle, quiet spirit, that core that often brings a family together whether it be at the supper table or amid strife and turmoil or when a loved one has passed away? The wife with that gentle, meek spirit bringing the family together, that great attribute there.
So also the example given to us is the comparison made to Sarah and Abraham. So as we think about working together as a family, the first piece of working together given here as a man and a wife come together to be joined as one flesh, there's certain roles that the wife must play. And so she doing her part, but not also forgetting that part which is dictated to the men, the husbands in these different families.
And so we continue on and we look also at verse 7 there of 1 Peter chapter 3. It says, "Husbands, likewise." And so considering not only the things he is going to say to husbands of how they should act, how they should be leaders in the home, but likewise considering the actions also of the wife. So just as the wives are to be those who obey and give proper examples, the husbands as well should set the proper example for the family in working together with the wife, doing what is proper for the children. Also, the husbands being those that are chaste and pure, setting the example for their children of how they should follow, not focusing primarily on that outward appearance whether it be of your own or that on your wife, but being those that focus on the appearance of the inward man, the inward spirit. Am I proper and pure in the sight of God? And so giving also there the example of Abraham. Women, are we wives that are like those of Sarah? Husbands, are we those husbands that follow the example of Abraham?
And so continue on there in verse 7, "Husbands likewise (do what?) dwell with them (that is your wives) with understanding giving honor to the wife as to the weaker vessel as being heirs together with the grace of life that your prayers may not be hindered." So he says, "Look husbands, you have a great responsibility as well to dwell with your wives with understanding." And so although we may not understanding women all the time, we may not even begin to tip the iceberg of understanding, but he says that you've got to try, to have enough love in your heart, enough compassion to set the proper example in your family to give understanding to the wife as she is due as proper respect should be given. And the example here, give her understanding, give her honor as to the weaker vessel. And so often, we think of the example of women being maybe weaker physically, but really the idea here is that everyday earthenware, our plates and our silverware and our dishes, they are made to withstand the wear and tear and abuse that we give them and so washing them in the sink and putting them in the dishwasher and going through that daily use and even abusing them sometimes they get broken. But the difference here is that not honoring her as an everyday vessel, but honoring her as a weaker vessel like the fine china. What do we do with those fine dishes, those plates that we only bring out on special occasions? Well we put them up on display, whether it be in a cabinet or we put them out on a shelf for all to see, setting them up with great honor and great esteem. It says, "Husbands, love your wives." Be those husbands that are working together with your wife in that regard, those that are honoring her, putting her in proper regard, setting her up as those fine examples of what we should hold women to and what we as husbands should hold ourselves to, working as we should for God. So working together as husbands and wives.
Also, we could go back to the book of Ephesians and look that children also play into this scheme of the family as God gave this plan, that husbands and wives being that core unit that we look up to, but children as well given that command in Ephesians chapter 6 to obey your parents in what is right. Children, obey because it is a command from God. So children as well doing what is right and proper before the sight of God according to His command, working together as a family.
So we know what it takes to work together as a family or at least we should know what it takes to work together as a family and we know what happens when we don't work together and so we know that the strife comes upon us in times of turmoil when the husbands or the wives are not working together with one another and even also when the children aren't obeying their parents or when the parents aren't setting the proper example or giving the proper path for their children to follow things break down and family strife and turmoil happens.
So what do we need to do? We need to work together as Christians as a proper physical family, but the application that we can learn here considering the lesson title: "Heirs Together of the Grace of God," we must consider what Paul or Peter here gives us as a physical family of how it applies to us as a spiritual family, the family of God. So look again at 1 Peter chapter 3 at his exhortation first starting with physical families looking together at what a wife should do, what a husband should do, and we can look at other passages of what children should do. But he continues on in verse 8 of the spiritual family and how they should act toward one another. So he says, "Finally (verse 8), all of you be of one mind having compassion for one another, love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous, not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling but on the contrary blessing knowing that you were called to this and that you may inherit a blessing." So just as physical families have to work together, you as a spiritual family. He is talking to Christians, scattered throughout Pontus and Galatia, those who are of Asia Minor, those Christians in the first century who were scattered abroad. He says finally, "All of you, considering what it means to work together as a physical family, all of you do these things." Do what? He says, "Be of one mind." In other words, there must be unity among the spiritual family of God.
There in 1 Corinthians chapter 1 and verse 10 gives us the exhortation of saying, "Let there be no divisions among you." That which is contrary to God to be divided among the family. So yes, it is very hard to be unified and to be harmonious among ourselves according to the Word of God, but we must be of one mind, to be like-minded and to be harmonious with each other.
So also given to us there the command to be those that have compassion, having the sympathy in our hearts, having enough love in our hearts to look to our brothers and sisters in Christ and to know when they are hurting and to be there to give them that lending hand in time of need, to have that compassion.
But also to be those that not only are compassionate but that love as brothers. The word here coming from a word that we have for a city today in Philadelphia, brotherly love. The name there given to love as a kindred spirit, to love as a family, those brothers and sisters. So to have that love for each other, but to be those that are tenderhearted, to have hearts that are open and loving and compassionate for one another, to be those that are doing as we should, to be courteous, the idea here of being kind. And so as Christians, as brothers and sisters in Christ working together, being kind toward one another, not returning evil for evil, but what? Following the Golden Rule as Christ gave it in Matthew chapter 7 to "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Work together as a family of God, as Christians doing what we should be doing for God rather returning evil but blessing. So just as a physical family must work together, the spiritual family of God must work together as well as we are children of God, those sons and daughters, those fellow heirs as we are brothers and sisters in Christ.
As Christians, we must be those that as well work together for God and in doing so, why should we? Well, look at verse 7 there of 1 Peter chapter 3. The purpose and point of this entire message is to bring this point out. As we work together, why are we working together? Look at verse 7. "Giving that again to husbands, likewise dwell with them in understanding, giving honor as to the weaker vessel." Why? "As being heirs together as the grace of life." Because we are heirs together of that promise of eternal life. The reason we work together is we are heirs of that promise.
So look also at verse 9. Being heirs together why? "That you may inherit a blessing." So as sons and daughters of God, those Christians who have put on Christ in baptism, we have salvation. We have that which we can look forward to, that promise of heaven. So we are heirs together in that faith. So should we not as heirs together in that same promise be working hand in hand? So there is no reason for us to bicker and for us to be those that fight amongst ourselves and hate one another and that just can't get along. And why? I don't like the color of that carpet or I don't like what she said to me or I don't like how he looked at me. Working together. Yes, as physical families we go through times that are tough and so maybe the kids are bickering, the parents are bickering. As a spiritual family of God, we are heirs together of that grace of life, that promise of Heaven. And so if we can't get along in this life, how can we ever get along in the hereafter?
So we must look forward to that time in our lives when we can look forward to that home in Heaven, that time with God when we can look forward to that great promise. So be those that work together, working together everyday for that home in Heaven.
(SONG # 3 - "Because He Lives!")
Thank you again for being with us this Lord's Day. Let me invite you to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to growing in God, by studying and doing things His way!
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May this coming new year bring us all the blessings and joys which are deserving of those who are striving to please God by doing His Will!