Extreme Makeover Home Edition - DOC by sdfsb346f


									                          Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
                                    Eph. 6:1-9

Introduction: If you want a better family, get on reality T.V.!
You want to find a way to a better marriage, better kids, or a better home? There is
“Trading Spouses” and “Wife Swap” to lead you to a better marriage, though I don’t
think some of the participants want to swap back at the end! There is “Nanny 911” and
“Super Nanny” to help kids be better kids and parents be better parents. When you watch
these shows you are shocked to know that there are families out there as dysfunctional as
what you are witnessing. Maybe we can find our own families represented a lot more
than we would like to admit!

Many of you have seen Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. They find a family that has
had an extremely difficult time, who have sacrificed to help others, and are also in need
of some major home renovations. These are large families in old, overcrowded homes.
They send the family on vacation for a week and they completely level the old house and
build a new house that is absolutely stunning (show before/after pictures on PP).

It is great to have a new house, but what we really need in this world is a makeover of our
relationships. When we come to Christ and become part of his body, it is not only the
church that is made over, but the family as well. Christ gives our families an extreme
makeover, and it touches every single member of the household. We have already looked
at the marriage. Today, we focus on other roles in the family to see what new life Christ
has breathed into the home.

Move 1: Before: What our families look like before Christ.

   1. Families in the Roman Empire.
        a. Dictator Dad
             This society had taken patriarchal rule to the extreme. The
             husband/father/master was the absolute dictator of the household. His
             wife was his servant and did what she was told. He, on the other hand,
             could sleep with other women, and she could do nothing about it. He had
             absolute say over the life of his children. When the child is born, he could
             without any penalty throw the child out with the garbage. He could sell
             them as slaves, make them work in chains in the field, and even inflict the
             death penalty. It goes w/o saying, that he could abuse the slave anyway he
             chose. Imprisonment, torture, and death were constant threats to control
             the slaves. The wife/mother of the household also could wield this kind of
             power over a slave, but absolute authority rested with the patriarch.

           b. Powerless children
              Unwanted babies were abandoned, deformed ones killed, and even healthy
              children were considered a nuisance because they inhibited sexual

              promiscuity and complicated easy divorce. The words of Jesus years
              earlier, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me,” stand
              in stark contrast to the belittling of children in the Roman Empire.

          c. Less than human slaves
             Some estimate that as much of 1/3 of the R.E. pop. were slaves, maybe up
             to sixty million! The fact is that they were apart of many households. I’m
             sure many fathers loved their wives, cherished their children, and valued
             their slaves, but the prevailing attitude was that slaves were less than
             human. Aristotle said, “A slave is a living tool, just as a tool is an
             inanimate slave.” They had no rights, and were dehumanized legally and
             personally. This was the status of the Roman household.

   2. Families in our society.
      We normally don’t have anyone in the household with such absolute power as the
      father did in the Roman household. We have replaced it with confusion, where no
      is in charge of anything. Fathers rarely lead their household spiritually or
      otherwise. Wives shriek at the very mention of submission. Children invent
      ways to be devious and rebellious. Parents shirk the responsibility to discipline
      and train their children, often simply ignoring them. Dysfunctional is the norm.
      Healthy and balanced family relationships seem unattainable. What is needed is
      an extreme makeover, one that can only be crafted by the hands of Christ.
      Though family life in our society and its problems are drastically different than
      the problems of the 1st century, the solution is the same. Christ has redeemed our
      relationships. In Christ we relate to one another as we relate to Christ. He has
      told us to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The results of that filling are radically
      transformed relationships. Let’s look to the words of the A.P. to see this
      construction project in Christ Jesus.

Move 2: Under construction (read 6:1-9).

   1. Children, obey your parents in the Lord.
      The mere fact that children are even directly addressed is an acknowledgment that
      secular household codes of the day never would have given. It is noteworthy that
      the word “submit” used for wives to submit to their husbands is a different word
      than “obey.” Husbands and wives live in mutual submission to one another (5:21)
      with the wife specifically submitting to her husband and the husband loving the
      wife as Christ loves the church. Now their radically transformed relationship
      comes to the focus as parents. The child is to obey and honor his or her parents.
      The child is to do so, because it is right, because it was commanded in the law,
      and because they are in the Lord. It is the foundation to a healthy society.
      Believers and non-believers alike understand that if a society looses this, then it
      will be chaos. This is not an absolute promise that every obedient child will live a
      long life, but a general one for society. It is beneficial for the child and for
      society. Though the command to honor your parents never expires, the command

   for obedience is probably referring to children in the household, and of course
   does not trump our obedience to Christ, if there is a conflict.

2. Fathers, do not exasperate your children.
   The authority of the fathers is reigned in. They are to nurture their children in the
   instruction and discipline of the Lord. They raise their children with care and
   intentionality to help their children to become godly people. Though fathers are
   directly addressed, most believe this is referring to both parents. Parents are not
   to frustrate and anger their children. They are not to discipline when out of
   control, but with tenderness and purpose.

3. Slaves and masters redefine their relationships.
   We are bothered that the Bible doesn’t outright condemn slavery. Our view of
   slavery is mostly influenced by our own history with it, which was damnable in
   every sense of the word. There is no doubt that God never intended for humans to
   be owned by other humans. Yet, he allowed it, even within his own people,
   however not perpetually (according to the Law slaves had to be released every
   seven years). The church at this point had no political power and was considered
   an enemy of Rome. It would not have helped the spread of the gospel had the tiny
   Christian community called for the freedom of 1/3 of the total pop. The entire
   society would have spun into chaos. So, Paul’s strategy is different. He redefines
   the relationship of slave and master in Christ. It is smart to pick your battles, and
   the seeds were planted that would one day eradicate slavery, albeit way too late.
   Nevertheless, Paul believed in the transformation of the heart by the gospel and he
   knew it would take time to have its impact on society.

       a. Slaves
          Slaves were called to obey their masters in recognition of their heavenly
          master, Jesus Christ. They are not to do so only when watched, as men-
          pleasers, but as slaves of Christ. This is true even if their masters were not
          Christians. Which would be better for the cause of the gospel? A slave
          becomes a Christian and shirks his responsibility. A slave becomes a
          Christian and becomes his master’s best slave. It is recognition that the
          Lord will reward.

       b. Masters
          This may be the most outlandish part of the passage. The masters who
          had absolute authority legally are told to “treat your slaves in the same
          way.” They still have authority, but their submission is in they treat their
          slaves with respect not with threats. They are reminded that their Master
          is in heaven and he does not recognize privilege based on freedom or
          slavery. He is to respect the dignity and humanity of the slave, and even
          receive him as a brother (cf. Philemon). No other area of transformation
          could show the power of the gospel than the redeemed relationship
          between slaves and masters.

Move 3: After: What our families look like after we come to Christ

   1. Complete transformation in the biblical world.
      God’s new society is not complete with the new one body made of Jews and
      Gentiles. This has to take root in the home. After all, the body is a family, and
      there can be no hypocrisy between church and family. The result is that the
      Christian family looked vastly different than the families of that time. It reminds
      us of a brand new home in the midst of dilapidated old homes. Yet it became a
      testimony to the transforming power of the gospel.

   2. Complete transformation in our world.
      Winston Churchill: "We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing
      grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills."
      But will we fight for our families? Will we surrender them to the transforming
      power of the gospel or allow them to float down the cultural river of dysfunction
      and destruction? The only way it works is for everyone to do their part. Wives,
      submit to your husbands, as to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives as your own
      body, as Christ loved the church. Children, obey your parents in the Lord.
      Parents, nurture you children in the training and instruction of the Lord. This is
      not a perfect family, but it is one that functions and glorifies God.

   3. What we can learn from slaves and masters.
      The principle in this section is that everything we do, we do as to the Lord (cf.
      Col. 3:17 &23, 24). If we are picking up garbage, we are doing as to the Lord. If
      we are serving customers in a restaurant, we do so to the Lord. If we are in
      charge of a great many people, we treat them with fairness and respect, because
      we are servants of the Lord. We recognize are equality before God and we treat
      each other as brothers and sisters. There is no relationship left outside the scope
      of the Lordship of Christ.

   4. The family of God.
      We are part of God’s family in the church. The great thing about the church is
      that everyone belongs. “A family shares things like dreams, hopes, possessions,
      memories, smiles, frowns, and gladness...A family is a clan held together with the
      glue of love and the cement of mutual respect. A family is shelter from the storm,
      a friendly port when the waves of life become too wild. No person is ever alone
      who is a member of a family” (Fingertip facts). The same can be said about the
      church. We recognize that God is making us into, “a holy temple in the Lord.”
      Let God give your life and your family the makeover it needs.

Invitation: Join God’s spiritual family and receive the family benefits!
All through Ephesians we have heard of the inheritance God intends to give his family.
Some of us didn’t grow up in ideal families, but you can become one of God’s family
members for the rest of eternity. This is where you belong. If you want to give your life
to Christ today, please make it known.


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