Ephesians 6:1-4 Children Obey Your Parents
Our text this morning is Ephesians 6:1-4,
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
There is a book that I have quoted from often over the last year. I have enjoyed the book so much that I have made it my practice to read a chapter from it each day. It is a book by P.B. Powers which is entitled, ‘A Book Of Comfort For Those In Suffering’. The original title of the book was, ‘A Sick Man’s Comfort Book’.
As you can tell by the original title, the author of this book was no stranger to suffering. He was a minster who became ill and his health rapidly declined at the age of forty-three. He spent the next sixteen years as an invalid before he died. He made good use of his illness and learned many things, he wrote them down in a book which is intended to give comfort to those who are suffering.
In the final pages of his book, Powers begins to talk about how there is even comfort to be found for those who are facing certain death. He writes these words, “The little infant that is sent into the world, so strange to it, has everything provided for it by the one who sent it; those who are sent by the same one into another world shall not be worse off.”
This has always been one of my favorite sentences in this little book. However, I recently discovered as I was reading it again that I had totally failed to see what the author was really trying to convey to his readers.
I always took this passage to mean, that all people who are born into this ‘strange’ world are greeted by parents who love and cherish them, and that when a believer dies they will be greeted by the loving embrace of our LORD. This thought is comforting; however, what the author was saying is far more comforting than even this.
The author is making the observation that it is God who sends an infant into this strange world and then provides for him/her everything that they will need. Then he says, “...those who are sent by the same one into another world shall not be worse off.” In other words, the same Lord that has sent each of us into this strange world and provides for us here will one day send us into another world and we shall not be worse off.
The same God who has providentially provided for us here throughout our entire lives will have everything ready for us when through death we arrive to be with Christ in heaven. It is then that every Christian will be received by the loving embrace of the LORD. Once there we will be completely restored, sanctified and glorified. And it is there that we will be greeted into the eternal kingdom and into our new home
John 14:1-3 - Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
The apostle Paul spoke of similar things when he said, “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – of God and fellow heirs of Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.” Then Paul says, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:16-18)
It may seem to you a strange thing that I have started off this sermon on Ephesians 6:1-4 with that particular story. But there are a couple reasons why P. B. Powers words seemed to go with our text this morning. First, his statement reminds us that God has given to each of us life and that the Lord providentially cares for us at all times. He is always present and always involved in our lives. We are rarely aware of his providence over our lives; but He is always at work and He is always looking upon us.
Secondly, we are reminded that one of the means through which God provides for us in this life is through our parents. Parents are to be the means through which God administers correction and care. It is our parents who have been given the blessing to receive us into this world and to care for us as we mature. A parent is to not only to meet the physical needs of their child, but they are to give the child the spiritual nutrition that they need as well.
Let me read our passage one more time and then we will work our way through the text highlighting certain things.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:1-4)
Let me make three broad observations concerning our text and then we will briefly discuss each.
God addresses the children of this church through the apostle Paul
The children are given responsibility for obeying two commands and they are promised a reward
God gives the fathers two commands concerning their children that they are to obey
#1 God Addresses the Children
God, through the apostle Paul, addresses the youngest members of the Ephesian congregation. God cares so much about the children that they were not going to be forgotten about in this letter.
Jesus displayed this type of care for children in Matthew 19:13-14 when we read, “Then children were brought to Him that He might lay His hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for such belongs the kingdom of heaven.’”
Paul seems to have been convinced that there would be children who would be gathered with their parents in the congregation. Paul had an expectation that the parents and their kid