I. CHRISTIAN LIVING TOWARDS CHRISTIANS AND NEIGHBORS.
A. Basic morality and Christian living.
1. Col 3:5-9 - We must put off the old man with his deeds.
a. We must ‘mortify’ (kill) these ‘members, which are upon the earth.’
b. These things bring about Gods wrath.
c. We once walked and lived in these things.
2. Col 3:10-14 - We must put on the new man.
a. The new man is after the image of the Lord.
b. These are all parts of the love of God, the divine nature.
B. How to treat others.
1. Matt 7:12 - The “Golden Rule”: do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.
2. James 1:19 - Be “swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.”
3. Php 2:1-8 - Put on the mind of Christ.
a. Humility of mind: let each esteem others better than themselves.
b. Look not on your own things, but on the things of others.
c. Christ humbled himself, served others, and was obedient to God to the point of dying on the cross.
4. Pr 15:1 - A soft answer turns away anger.
5. James 3:2-12; Eph. 4:29 - Bridle the tongue, and speak only good things.
II. CHRISTIAN LIVING ON THE JOB.
A. Col. 3:22-24 - Obey in all things your earthly masters.
1. This should not be done with eyeservice; God sees us all the time.
2. We should work heartily to serve the Lord, not men, and the Lord will give an eternal reward for this.
B. 1 Tim 6:1 - Not obeying our bosses can cause the name of God and his doctrine to be blasphemed.
C. 1 Pet 2:18-21 - This must be done even towards “froward masters,” as this is following the steps of Christ.
III. CHRISTIAN LIVING IN THE HOME.
1. Col 3:18 - Obey your husbands as it is fit in the Lord.
2. Eph. 5:22-24 - What is “fit” is for wives to be subject to their husbands “in every thing” as the church is to Christ (the only exception would be if he commanded her to disobey God, Acts 5:29).
a. The husband’s authority is in matters of judgment.
b. Submitting only when you agree with him or think he knows what he’s talking about is not submission.
3. 1 Cor 11:5 - A woman merely having short hair is a dishonor to her husband. How serious then are words and deeds towards him?
4. Prov. 12:4 - “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that makes ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.”
1. Col 3:19 - Love your wives and be not bitter against them. (It will take them time to grow in submitting.)
2. Eph 5:25-28 - Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it and love their wives as their own bodies.
a. Putting yourself, your work, or anything else ahead of her is not consistent with this.
b. The goal is to help the wife to grow to be holy and without blemish (spiritually).
c. This love requires time, attention and a sincere concern for her physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.
3. Jas 3:17 - The wisdom that is from above is gentle, peaceable, and easy to be entreated.
4. Gen 21:12 - God told Abraham to listen to his wife. Changing your mind is not a sign of weakness.
C. Parents and children.
a. Col 3:20 - “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.”
b. Eph. 6:1- Obeying parents lasts for a few years; honoring them lasts a lifetime (1 Tim 5:4,8,16).
2. Fathers - Train your children; don’t discourage them.
a. Col 3:21 - “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.”
b. Eph. 6:4 - “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
1) God puts the responsibility on the fathers for how the children are raised.
2) Fathers need to be involved in the rearing of their children.
a. Prov. 22:6 - Providing for them physically is important, but the main job is to train them.
a. Proverbs 22:6 applies to mothers too.
b. Titus 2:4-5 - Love your children, be keepers at home.
1) Mothers have to learn to have Gods love towards their children: this means train them right.
2) “Keepers at home” literally means, “house guard”; not just guarding their bodies, but most importantly, their souls (Study Proverbs 31:10-31 in depth).
c. 1 Tim. 5:14 - Mothers are to literally be the “house despots.”
1) Prov. 6:20 - There should be one law (one set of rules) in the house, which flows from the father, through the mother, and to the children.
2) This requires much advance planning, discussion and praying by husbands and wives.
3) The mother is the enforcer of the family laws while the head of the house is away.
d. Prov. 29:15 - Mothers who leave their children to themselves will be brought to shame.
a. 2 Cor. 6:14-18; 2 Tim. 2:2 - One of the most important decisions a person will ever make is who they marry. Christians should always and only marry faithful Christians.
b. Both parents and children most do their part to ensure that this is what happens.
c. Some sobering statistics, based on a study of two churches of Christ in America.
d. The Church of Christ, B Street, Miami, Oklahoma (1957-1977).
i. In these years, only 45% of the marriages (64 out of 143) were Christian to Christian.
ii. Is it any wonder why the church has been growing so weak during these years?
iii. When Christians married non-Christians, 79% of Christians left the faith, and 32% divorced.
iv. When Christians married Christians, 92% remained faithful, and only 3% divorced.
e. Bridges Street Church of Christ, Wynne, Arkansas (1962-1981).
i. In these years, only 27% of the marriages (28 out of 104) were between Christians.
ii. When Christians married non-Christians, 80% of Christians left the faith, and 30% divorced.
iii. When Christians married Christians, 86% remained faithful, and 14% divorced.
f. Overall, 63% of marriages in the two congregations were Christian to non-Christian; of these, 76% of Christians became unfaithful, and 31% divorced. In Christian-to-Christian marriages, 90% remained faithful, and only 6.5% divorced.
b. Statistics aren’t the reason we should do anything, but they certainly demonstrate Gods wisdom.