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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
June 17, 2018
What Influences You?
Happy Father’s Day! Today is a day in which our society recognizes the Fifth Commandment of Exodus 20 to “honor your father and your mother.” I fully recognize that this is easy for some of you because your dad has a good character so this is a joyous occasion. I also recognize this is difficult for others because your dad’s character has serious flaws, so this is a day of obligation that may even be devoid of joy. Even so, the command still remains the same for whether your parents were good, bad or in between, the reality is that without your mother and your father, you would not be here. The command is directly related to your existence.
This morning my focus will be more broad than just fatherhood, for I want to talk about the influence and impact that people have on one another. That is of course greatly magnified in the relationship parents have with their children, but each of us has an influence on those around us, and in turn, they have an influence upon us, therefore we must be mindful of them. Today I want stress to you the importance of having godly influences in your life while also giving strong and serious warnings about the effect the ungodly can have upon you.
The Influence of Friends
In 2012 I preached a sermon series on the book of Proverbs which included four sermons on friendships. I pointed out then that there are various levels of friendship ranging from acquaintances to intimate (best) friends, and that with each deepening level of friendship there is greater influence. I also pointed out that the level of friendship between two people does not have to be the same. Someone may consider you to be their best friend, while you may only consider them just a friend. That is important to recognize because the goal of the Christian is to be a godly influence on all acquaintances, casual friends, close friends and intimate friends while at the same time restricting the influence of others upon you. It is good for Christians to have non-Christians that consider them to be good friends while the reverse is only an acquaintance or casual friend. We want the influence to be flowing from the godly to the ungodly and not the reverse. Remember that Jesus was “friend of tax-gatherers and sinners” (Matthew 9:10,11; 11:19) without them being friends who influenced him. However, we must also be realistic in recognizing the danger of that happening to us. Part of my warning in today’s sermon concerns that very danger.
The Danger of the Ungodly
Psalm 1 begins “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!” This state of blessedness is stated from the negative because it is not enough to walk in the counsel of the godly, stand in the path of the righteous and sit in the seat of the faithful. While that is what we should want to do and where we should want to be, the danger of the influence of the ungodly is great. As the modern saying goes, one bad apple can ruin the whole barrel. What can begin by the casual reception of the counsel of the wicked can quickly escalate into following that counsel, developing the ungodly as friends and conclude with teaching their ungodliness to others.
Proverbs begins with the warning of a father to his son. 8 “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, And do not forsake your mother’s teaching; 9 Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head, And ornaments about your neck. 10 My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent.” The chapter and book then continues on to warn about the specific ways in which sinners may entice you to join in their sin.
The most general warning is about the fool, kesil (kes-eel’), a common term used in Proverbs that describes the person who is dull and obstinate with a proclivity to make wrong choices because they do not like knowledge that goes against their desires. Their bent is toward sin. Proverbs 14:7 warns, “Leave the presence of a fool, Or you will not discern words of knowledge.” The consequences of having a fool as an influential friend may not be as immediate as having the sinners, the wicked and the evil as friends, but that is the path it will follow. If your friendship hinders you from being able to discern wisdom, then you have entered the path of folly and the “companion of fools will suffer harm” – Proverbs 13:20.
Specific warnings are made about the dangers of the influences of those characterized by vices such as being hot tempered (Proverbs 14:29; 22:24-25; 29:2), being gossips and slanderers (Proverbs 16:28; 20:19; 26:20), and those who are immoral (Proverbs 5:8-14; 7:6-27), because you will become like them. Proverbs 4:14-15 gives a general warning and description of the wicked. “Do not enter the path of the wicked, And do not proceed in the way of evil men. 15 Avoid it, do not pass by it; Turn away from it and pass on. 16 For they cannot sleep unless they do evil; And they are robbed of sleep unless they make [someone] stumble. 17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, And drink the wine of violence. 18 But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day. 19 The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know over what they stumble.” Proverbs 6:12-15 gives further description, “A worthless person, a wicked man, Is the one who walks with a false mouth, 13 Who winks with his eyes, who signals with his feet, Who points with his fingers; 14 Who [with] perversity in his heart devises evil continually, Who spreads strife. 15 Therefore his calamity will come suddenly; Instantly he will be broken, and there will be no healing.” The present and end of the wicked will be terrible. Proverbs 3:33 states, “The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked” with Proverbs 12:2 adding that the Lord will “condemn a man who devises evil.” Proverbs 10:27 states their years will be shortened. Proverbs 24:20 declares their lamp will go out and Proverbs 10:17 that even the name of the wicked will rot.
I have seen the truth of these Scriptures played out over and over again by those who become influenced by the wicked and end up walking away from righteousness and truth. You have probably seen the same thing too. Some do this early in life when they are able to start making their own decisions. They develop friendships with people who have similar interests and are pulled into greater and worsening circles of the ungodly. We see this most often with those who walk away from church and godly friends while in college or first joining the work force. I can also think of many specific examples of those in their twenties or thirties who develop business relationships and their beliefs about success shift resulting in them becoming materialistic. The things of God become less important to them as building their own kingdom and portfolio becomes more important. I can also remember many examples of those who became hedonistic to various degrees through exposure to the enticements of the world. Seeking personal pleasure becomes more important that pleasing God. There have also been many who started listening to aberrant or heretical teachers whose Bible interpretations caught their interest, then instead of digging into the word as a Berean to know the truth, they gravitated to what they wanted to hear. Eventually they left and attached themselves to those false teachers.
The Scriptures and Godliness
The blessed man not only avoids the negative influences of the ungodly, but he actively pursues righteousness which is found in the word of God. Psalm 1:2-3, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.”
I must stress that the word of God is sufficient to produce godliness because it is used by the Holy Spirit to bring a person to conviction of sin and instruct them in the ways of righteousness. That is why Psalm 119 is a song of gratitude and love for the Scriptures. David expressed this well in the second half of Psalm 19 in recounting the characteristics, value and effect of the Scriptures. 7 “The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether. 10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. 11 Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward.”
I stress this fact for several reasons. First, simply because it is true. Second, it removes some excuses that people give for why they have sinned. Third, because it is encouraging to know that God has already provided for you sufficiently to be able to stand alone when such circumstances arise. There are many situations in the course of normal life in which you are either alone or there is no other Christian with you. There are circumstances in which persecution isolates you. Yet even when alone, temptations can be handled according to 1 Corinthians 10:13 – “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” You can stand firm in the strength of God’s might when spiritually attacked as explained in Ephesians 6:10-17 being equipped with the armor of God. You can take advantage of opportunities to defend the faith and explain your hope in Christ as commanded in 1 Peter 3:15.
You can stand alone when necessary, but God has made man as a social creature and has structured the church to be built up by the relationships within it. This goes back to the importance of the Christian community that David preached about on Mother’s Day.
The Importance of Christian Community
David explained the first part of Ephesians 4 about the unity that is to be among Christians because of what God has done in Jesus Christ who has redeemed us from sin by His own death at Calvary that we might be forgiven and adopted into His family. He has called us to Himself, so we should walk worthy of that calling. According to Ephesians 4:2-3 this should result in us “all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” The basis of that unity is given in verses 4-6, 4 “There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.” This is not something that can be artificially contrived, for such efforts invariably result in either division or a unity based in human philosophical musings and not Biblical doctrine. Only the Holy Spirit can produce the unity described in the diverse people that make up the church. Humility is contrary to man’s natural pride and doctrine divides because it distinguishes between truth and error. It is the Holy Spirit that produces both humility and the quest for truth in the believer.
Paul continues on to explain that each believer is given grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift and that includes the apostles and prophets which laid the foundation of the church in the Scriptures (Ephesians 2:20), and the evangelists and pastors and teachers that build on the foundation in the present as they equip the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:7, 11-12). It is in this section that we see the importance of the Christian community. Followers of Jesus are to learn to minister to one another as God has gifted them so that the body of Christ can be built up which is defined in verse 13 as attaining “unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” Verse 14-16 then continues, 14 “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”
To summarize, in order for you and the rest of the church to become mature and reflect Jesus Christ in you and not be lead astray by doctrinal aberration or heresy, you must have relationships that are close enough with one another so that all the various gifts can interact. You must be actively involved in the Christian community, the local church. If you isolate yourself, not only will you will be left immature and in serious spiritual danger, but you leave the rest of the body handicapped.
That interaction within the body will occur on multiple levels ranging from acquaintance to intimacy just as with friendships in general, but because of the commonality of belief in Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, relationships can deepen very quickly because a foundation for trust is already laid. The carrying out of the various “one another” commands strengthen the ties that bind us to each other enabling us to stand firm together and proclaim Christ to the world by our unity of love and faith.
Based on this, we can conclude that all of the relationships within the church are important, but at the same time there are both commands and models in the Scriptures that tell us some relationships are more important. This brings us to the impact of mentors.
The Impact of Mentors
Jesus said in Luke 6:40, “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.” That is the definition and purpose of a relationship with a mentor. The less mature gain maturity through the help of someone that is more mature. That occurred in the relationship between Elijah and Elisha. It is seen in the relationship of Jesus with His disciples. It was actively pursued by Paul to such a degree he said in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.” The impact of Paul doing this is seen in the ministries of those he trained such as Timothy and Titus. It is a model that we are to be following in our own time.
There are several passages which give specific instruction for those who are older to mentor those who are younger, and for the spiritually mature to mentor the spiritually immature in order to produce godliness in them. For example, 1 Peter 5:5 states specifically, “You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
This has been a truth down through the ages, however, I have noticed that the generation gap of the latter portion of the Twentieth Century has become a wide chasm in the Twenty-first Century. Whatever reasons may be used to explain this, it is simply sinful and foolish. The younger may be more tech savvy, but they do not understand life as well as those who are older. The young who are wise will humble themselves before their elders and learn from them. Those who do not will prove themselves to be foolish and will learn their lessons the hard way through the school of hard knocks.
Another example is Titus 2:3–5 which states, 3 “Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.” I have seen this command not only ignored, but viewed with apparent contempt by some millennial moms who have rejected the advice and shunned the older women with grown children.
Again, the twenty something year old may be able to do things on a computer or a smart phone that is confusing to the sixty something year old, but they are ignorant by comparison when it comes to the more important questions about life such as its purpose, priorities and as pointed out specifically in this passage, loving a husband and children. The word translated as “encourage” in verse 4 (swfronivzw / s phronidz ) means to “make someone wise, bring them to reason.” This is not an attack on intelligence, only ignorance and foolishness. It is difficult to be wise about things you have not experienced, so the prudent seek to learn wisdom from those with experience that have already learned and proved themselves. The foolish reject it because their pride leads them to believe that somehow they and their generation are smarter, but they prove their foolishness. They seek counsel from each other and only manage to reinforce their own foolishness, or they search the internet for advice. While the internet is a great tool to find out information, unless you have the background and wisdom to evaluate and discern truth from error, it will lead you astray and straight into the clutches of the ungodly who will say what you want to hear instead of the truth you need to hear and heed. Or to expand on the current popular phrase, it is full of fake news, false facts, corrupt counsel, and the folly of ungodly philosophy.
Now I must quickly add here that I also know it is not just the younger generation that has created this problem. Though I know for a fact that many of the older, godly women here offer themselves sacrificially to help younger women as Titus 2 commands them to do, I also know that in general society, including within the conservative Christian church, most older women will not give the younger women their time. A year or so ago there was an article in our church association’s magazine of a young mother pleading with the older women to fulfill Titus 2 and coach her instead of mumbling some platitudes and quickly departing if spending any time at all.
Standing Firm with Christ
I want to conclude by tying together this string of thoughts and give some strong and practical challenges and admonitions.
First, who you choose as friends has far reaching consequences. Your goal should be to have godly influences upon your life even as you are a godly influence upon others, and to be very wary of the influence ungodly counsel may have upon you. Proverbs 13:20 states it succinctly, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” I will quickly add here that the danger of ungodly counsel is not only from poorly chosen friends, but also acquaintances, co-workers, news and entertainment outlets, media, internet and schools. I have seen too much of this in the past and the present not to give you a serious warning about this today.
If you want to be a godly man, a godly husband, a godly father, a godly woman, a godly wife, a godly mother, then you must be sure the influences upon you are those who have already proven themselves to be godly and wise in these areas. If you receive the counsel of fools, then you will learn to be a fool, and tragically, it will not be just you who suffers the harmful consequences from that. It will also be your friends, family, spouse and children.
Second, you must understand that the purpose of the life of every Christian is to bring glory to God by becoming like Christ. The proof of your love for Jesus is your obedience to Him (John 14:21, 23). The evidence that your profession of faith in Him is genuine is your love for other believers (John 13:35). That love for Christ must be greater than any other love in your life. Jesus stated this very forcefully in both Matthew 10:37 and Luke 14:26 saying that loving even family members more than Him renders you unworthy of Him and demonstrates you are not really His disciple. These truths have many implications upon the purpose of your life and the manner in which you live. It means that you must heed the call of wisdom in Proverbs and not join in the activities of sinners and the foolish. It means you will stand firm in obedience to Christ though all others fall away including those closest to you. Let me point out the serious implications and importance of this using marriage as an example.
Genesis 3 records the fall of mankind into sin when Eve was enticed by the serpent to reject God’s commands and eat of the forbidden tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and then to give it to her husband with her for him to eat. The Hebrew grammar in this passage leaves the distinct and disturbing possibility that Adam was present with Eve when she ate of that fruit. That compounds his sin, for it means that first he failed to stop her and then he failed again when he joined her in eating it. His cognitive disobedience plunged all of mankind into sin.
There are many Scriptures which speak about the marriage relationship and the responsibilities of both the husband and wife. Ephesians 5 is one of the more clear and commonly cited passages concerning marriage, but it is also one in which particular phrases are pulled out of their context and twisted to into strange meanings foreign to what it actually states and teaches. Let me quickly go through this passage
It begins with instructions to the wife based on the mutual submission commanded in the previous verse. Ephesians 5:22-24, 22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.” The command to submit is a willing subjection of her own will to that of her husband and is directly tied to the order of authority that God has established in the family with the responsibility of headship placed upon the husband. It is further tied directly to the example of church’s subjection to Christ. This command is independent of anything the husband does, for 1 Peter 3:1-6 reinforces it stating, “1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.”
The second section addresses the responsibility of the husband. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body.
The husband is commanded twice to love his wife. The first command is tied directly to the example of Christ and the church emphasizing the sacrificial nature of that love and its purpose in her sanctification. Highlight that purpose of this sacrificial love. The husband is to like the second Adam, Christ, and help produce holiness in his wife. He must protect her from her own bent to sin. He must not be like the first Adam that failed to protect Eve from the devil’s enticements and falling into sin. The second command is pragmatic in nature in that a man who loves his wife also loves himself, but this command is also again tied into the example of Christ and nourishment and cherishing of the church. Again, these commands are independent of what his wife does.
The final section goes back to Genesis and reveals the mystery of marriage before summarizing the commands again. 31 for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.
The emphasis here is that marriage is more about this mystery of its reflection of Christ and the church than about the husband and wife. That should strip away any selfishness in a Christian marriage because you obey the commands in order to honor Jesus Christ our Lord. It also means that marriage is more important to God than it is to you and therefore He will hold accountable those who destroy it.
The final commands add additional aspects to the earlier commands. He is to love her as he loves himself which is slightly greater than just loving his own body. She is to show respect to him in her submission to his headship. That reinforces the idea that this is something she does willingly with a good attitude instead of something forced upon her.
It has become popular to twist this text into requiring the other person to fulfill their role before you fulfill your own. She may refuse to submit unless he loves her sacrificially which is then redefined as the way she wants to be loved instead of for the purpose of her sanctification. He may withhold his love if she does not show respect and submit to him. Such views are pure evil since they are contrary to the central aspect of marriage which is to be a picture of Christ and the church. But perhaps the reason for these perverted views is that those holding them love neither Christ nor their spouse, but only themselves. What should you do if you find yourself in such a situation? The simple answer is pursue Christ and obey him regardless of the circumstances, but let me expand.
If you are the wife, I already mentioned 1 Peter 3. Follow Christ and seek to be used by Him in your husband’s life even if he is ungodly. Submit to him in everything except what would be contrary to God’s commands because your first allegiance and obedience belongs to the Lord. You neither participate in his sin nor aide and abet it. To survive and thrive in such a situation, you must have godly women who can support and counsel you. Ungodly counsel will further your sin and put additional strain upon or even destroy your marriage. I have seen both happen many times.
If you are the husband, continue to love her sacrificially in the pursuit of her sanctification. That means you will willingly suffer as did Jesus in your efforts to point her to holiness. That is the opposite of yielding to her sin and selfishness. You must have the counsel of godly men to get through this and respond in righteousness. You must obey Christ even if she does not like it and makes threats or even carries them out. How extreme must this be? It includes threats to leave you if you don’t bend to her desires. That will hurt immeasurably, but in such a situation you have entered into a parallel with 1 Corinthians 7:15 of the unbeliever leaving because of your own pursuit of godliness, and the reality is that she is acting as an unbeliever and may well be one. Seek reconciliation, but only on the terms of godliness. The same is true in the reverse situation and it is an ungodly husband that leaves.
Let me restate that this way. The cost to preserve a marriage can be high and you must be willing to pay it in your pursuit of God’s glory, but if it requires you to sin by either commission or omission in order to preserve it, then it will not be to God’s glory and the price is higher than the value of the marriage. Your love for Christ and the godliness that flows from that must be much be greater than your love for your spouse. If the marriage fails, let it be only because of your own commitment to righteousness and your spouse’s pursuit of sin. Two people committed to godliness can resolve anything and will bring glory to God. Two people pursuing selfishness and sin cannot glorify God except as vessels of His wrath, and they will suffer the consequences of their sin
I can summarize all of this in a general statement that applies to all relationships. If your friendship, including a marriage, falls apart, then make sure it is because of the other person’s ungodliness and not your own. Make sure you have close relationships with godly people who will give you wise counsel so that your righteousness will remain intact. If you get counsel from the ungodly, then you will also bear the responsibility of the destroyed relationship, and in the case of a marriage, that is very serious, and something God will punish. If that has already happened in your life, then there is forgiveness and restoration in Jesus Christ, but only in Him.
Stand firm in Christ. Never yield. Pursue holiness in the company of the saints. Seek the counsel of those who are godly and wise while avoiding the wicked. The importance of who and what influences you cannot be stressed enough. Proverbs 13:20 – He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.
Sermon Notes – 6/17/2018
What Influences You? – Selected Scriptures
Exodus 20:12 – It is a joy to _____________ a godly father, and an obligation to honor an ungodly one
The Influence of Friends
Friendships exist at various levels of closeness and therefore also _____________
Christians are to be a godly influence on others while _______the influence of the ungodly upon themselves
The Danger of the Ungodly – Psalm 1:1 & various Proverbs
Avoid the influence of the _________ (kesil) or you will become like him – Proverbs 13:20; 14:7
Avoid the hot tempered, gossips & slanderers, the immoral and the wicked for they are ____________
College students often develop friends who lead them _________ from their upbringing
Business associates can lead to materialism and worldly enticements to _________
False and careless teachers lead people into aberration and ____________
Psalm 1:2-3 – The blessed man actively pursues righteousness which is found in the word of ___________
The word of God and the Holy Spirit are ______________to produce righteousness – Psalm 19:7-11
We can stand alone when necessary, but God has made us to stand _____________with other godly people
The Importance of Christian Community
Unity is founded in the humility and quest for _________that is produced by the Holy Spirit – Eph. 4:2-6
Every believer is gifted by God to serve Him, and Evangelists and Pastor / Teachers _____the saints to serve
The people in the church are used by God to _________each other up to maturity – Ephesians 4:13-16
The interaction of the body occurs on ____________levels as the “one another” commands are carried out
The less mature gain maturity with the help of the more mature – that we should all be __________of Christ
The younger _____________ themselves to be taught by their elders – 1 Peter 5:5
Titus 2:3-5 – this principle is ignored to the _____________ of the younger
The wise seek out wisdom from the wise while the foolish seek out __________ from the foolish
Both the younger and the older need to be _____________ in establishing mentor relationships
Standing Firm with Christ
Who you choose as friends has far reaching _________________ – Proverbs 13:20
The purpose of the life of a Christian is to bring honor and glory to Jesus Christ by _____________and love
Your love for Jesus Christ must be ____________than your love for anything else (Matt. 10:37; Luke 14:26)
Genesis 3 – The fall of mankind into sin – Adam did not ________Eve from Satan and then joined her in sin
Ephesians 5:22-33 gives clear ______________concerning roles in marriage and reveals its greater purpose
Ephesians 5:22-24 – the wife’s role is to _______to her husband in reflection of Christ as head of the church
This command is ______________ of anything the husband does – 1 Peter 3:1-6
Eph. 5:25-30 – the husband’s role is to love his wife in __________of Christ’s sacrificial love for the church
The purpose of his sacrificial love is the ____________of his wife – he must promote & protect her holiness
The husband must also ___________ his wife in reflection of how Christ cherishes the church
Eph. 5:31-33 – The ____________ of marriage is to be a reflection of Christ and the church
There is no room for _______________in Christian marriage, and God cares more about it that humans
The husband is commanded again to love his wife and she is commanded to _____________ him
It is evil to twist this passage to require one spouse to act before the other. Both ______________regardless
Wives, fulfill God’s commands even when your husband is ____________- your first allegiance is to God
Husband, fulfill God’s commands even when your wife is _____________- your first allegiance is to God
Pursue godly love with the purpose to make her ___________even if she rejects it and leaves (1 Cor. 7:15)
Pay the high price to preserve your marriage, but compromise with ________ is too high of a price to pay
If a marriage fails, let be only because of your pursuit of ________________and your spouse’s pursuit of sin
Godly counsel promotes godly lives while ungodly counsel promotes ____and the consequences are serious
Stand firm in Christ. Never yield. Pursue ______________ in the company of the saints.
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Count how many times the word “influence” is used. 2) Discuss with your parents the importance of choosing godly friends and be cautious of those who are ungodly.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Friendships exist at different levels. How would you describe them? What kind of relationship should a Christian have with non-Christian? Why is the state of the blessed man in Psalm 1:1 stated from the negative – what he does not do? What is the danger of being influenced by a fool? Why does Proverbs give such strong warnings about having relationships with those who are hot tempered, gossips & slanderers, the immoral and wicked? Have you seen professing Christians fall away due to relationships with non-Christians? What is the delight of a godly man? Explain the sufficiency of the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit to produce maturity in a believer? What is the basis of unity in Ephesians 4? What is the importance of the Christian community in the life of a believer? What is the purpose of evangelists, pastors / teachers in the church? How do believers help each other mature? How does Ephesians 4 define maturity? What is the importance of having a mentor? (Luke 6:40). How should younger men treat older men? How should younger women treat older women? What responsibility do those who are older and more mature have toward those who are younger and less mature? Explain Proverbs 13:20. What is the purpose of your life? How does a Christian show love for Christ? How do they demonstrate they are true followers of Christ? How should love for Christ compare to other people including family members? According to Ephesians 4, what is the role of the wife? Of the Husband? How is marriage to be a reflection of Christ and the Church? What is the purpose of a husband’s sacrificial love for his wife (Eph. 5:25-27)? What should a wife do if her husband is not godly? What should the husband do if his wife is not godly? Explain. Should a godly spouse ever yield to sinful demands of an ungodly spouse? Explain. How important is marriage to God? What is more important?
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