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What an Overseer Must Be (Part 2)

1 Tim. 3:1-7

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. We continue to study the qualifications for an overseer, bishop, elder, and/or pastor. You remember Scripture is defining what a man should be in his observed behavior, or how he lives his life in front of other people. You also remember all of these character qualities are to be now present and observable in the life of an overseer.

In addition to all we have studied a leader is to be:

TEMPERATE OR SOBER MINDED. We might say a church leader must be “even tempered, not easily angered, not volatile or explosive in temper, and temperament.” The root meaning of the word describes one who is in control of themselves with regard to intoxicants. Paul deals with that in v. 3 when he says a church leader cannot be a drunkard. Here the Apostle’s concern is that church leaders “must be” in control of themselves mentally which rules out all forms of excess. An elder, deacon must not be one who is given to uncontrollable temper and angry outbursts when put in a situation where they are being attacked or their leadership is being criticized! When a man is called by God to the office of overseer, he is secure, not in himself, but in the truth in his heart God has called him and placed him in the right place at the right time to minister as God intends.

  1. SELF-CONTROLLED. Self-controlled means “sound mind, rational in the sense of what is intellectually sound; or rational without illusion.” Self-control is required of an overseer because he must be trusted, and give others the feeling they can come to him under any circumstance and know that his response will be calm, rational, and balanced without fear that he will ridicule or demean them in his response to their situation.

  2. RESPECTABLE. In secular Greek the word translated “respectable” describes one who disciplines himself and who may thus be regarded as genuinely moral and respectable. As Paul uses it here it also means well-behaved, honorable, and dignified. One author says that “respectable” is “not merely a demand for good breeding and flawless manners, but it describes a person whose orderly outward life is a reflection of inner stability.” Up to now Paul has been addressing characteristics that, when observed by others, reveal how the man handles his own heart toward the Lord. These next requirements define how a man must now be in his relationship and actions toward others. Like so many other truths of being a true Christian, any of God’s overseers must give all others the impression they are invited into the Kingdom, as they are at that moment; rather than driven away because they have been given the impression they are not good enough. Paul tells us an overseer must now be:

  3. HOSPITABLE. In some instances it means “foreign, alien, appearing strange, or creating distaste.” In contrast to that it also has the concept of “guest.” Most often it is used in the NT to mean “strange.” When Paul includes “hospitable” in the requirements for an overseer, he has in mind the entire process of leading an enemy of God to the point the person desires to become be one of His adopted children. The “hospitable” part of them desires to reach out to them to establish the kind of relationship that will allow the overseer to share the gospel in a way that causes the stranger to want to become a member of the Christian community. The “hospitable” part of the man compels him to reach out to the foreigner, or stranger and invest in all it takes to move the outsider into the realm of family! The last qualification Paul lists in the observable behavior of an overseer is that he must be

  4. ABLE TO TEACH. This does not mean an overseer must be able to teach biblical doctrine at a college or seminary level. The point being made here is that an overseer must know the Scriptures well enough to be able to differentiate between doctrinal truth and doctrinal error. How does an overseer learn sound biblical doctrine so he can explain truth, and recognize error? By spending quality, quiet time each day, not just reading, but thinking about, meditating on, and diligently studying Scripture. Lord willing we will continue the list next time. Beloved, you see don’t you, why God must put the desire in a man’s heart to be an overseer. It is no small title!

If we can help you with your spiritual questions, call us at 574-643-9419.

A Man of One Woman

1 Tim. 3:2

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. This is one of the most controversial verses in Scripture, and we are going to look at it in the light of all Scripture. It has been used by legalists and heretics to destroy ministry and people throughout church history. For centuries opponents of the gospel have ignored and desecrated the grace, mercy, and forgiveness of God by forcing their own heresy to become church doctrine! If you want to research long enough you can find support for almost anything you might like for Scripture to say. However, the best commentary on The Bible is The Bible! So when one has read all the commentaries, and done all the research, the only doctrine that stands against all criticism, is pure, and sound Biblical doctrine. When Jesus and the Apostles were here on earth, in everyday language that had nothing to do with Scripture, the word “husband” was always the broad designation or description of a man. The context in which it was used with adjectives, and other descriptive language defined the exact meaning of the word. i.e. A man of God, a man of wealth, a man of royalty, a man of poverty, and etc. It was used to designate man in his various positions and occupations, as well as distinguishing a man from a boy. It was also used specifically to designate the legal relationship of a man to a woman. In our passage the word “husband” is the title given to a man, who is legally married. The word “wife” has the same general meaning. It was used in common Greek language to literally to mean “female.” As with the word “man” the context and words used in conjunction with “woman” define her activity; position, relationship, and so on.

The literal translation of the phrase here in v. 2 is “the man of one woman.” Hence the phrase that appears in some Bibles “a one woman kind of man.” Many versions and translations use the phrase “the husband of one wife.” There is the thought that Paul was telling Christian men of the day that polygamy was forbidden by God. Even then, true Christian men and women were so adamantly opposed to that idea that arose out of sexual immorality and debauchery of pagan religions that the need to tell, even new Christians, it was wrong was unnecessary!  Another of the more popular interpretations is that Paul was teaching an overseer had to be married. If that were true Paul himself would be going against Scripture because he was not married. A third interpretation suggests Paul is ruling out remarriage if a man’s wife dies. The problem with that is that in Rom 7:2–3; 1 Cor 7:39; 1 Tim 5:14, The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to teach a husband or wife who lose their spouse to death, may in fact be married again. Then there is an interpretation that suggests Paul is prohibiting any man who has suffered the tragedy of divorce from serving as a church leader.

There are at least 4 reasons that interpretation is also inconsistent with Scripture. The 1stMatthew records in chapter 19 that Jesus Himself said divorce is permissible in the case of adultery or other sexual immorality. 2nd Paul adds to that teaching in 1 Cor. 7:15, when he says, “if the unbeliever leaves, let him leave.” 3rd If we impose on one qualification, not only what a man must now be, but also what happened in his past, we must impose those same restrictions on all the rest. In that case, no man anywhere, anytime, will ever be qualified to be an overseer.  More important than all these is the 4th reason it is wrong to impose divorce in this situation. That reason is – we violate NT theology of grace, forgiveness, and looking to the future. Remember, the NT never looks backward to the past; but always looks to the present and more importantly to the future. When we impose such restriction on ministry, we not only ignore the theology of salvation, we refuse to extend grace and the love of God to those who most often need it the most! One writer sums the proper Biblical approach to a man of one woman when he says, “we must not hold a man’s pre-conversion sins against him. Had Paul clearly meant to prohibit divorce, he could have said it unmistakably by using the Greek word for divorce (apolyō, as he does in other places. It is important to note Jesus and others use apolyo throughout the NT to mean divorce. May God grant that we are always those Christians who observe the “now” in any Christian brother or sister, without condemning them for their past. The best reason to do that is because God expects us to treat all others the same attitude we want to receive from Him ourselves; and, we ought to remember God will judge us the way we judge others.

If we can help you with your spiritual questions, call us at 574-643-9419.

How the Resurrection Affects our Life

1 Cor. 15:12-28

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. To those who know Him intimately, God is a God of hope. Hope to God’s redeemed, His adopted children, is not uncertainty! Hope for the Christian is exactly the opposite. Hope, for true Christians, is the knowledge that God will keep and fulfil all His promises to His own. God is compelled to keep and fulfill all His promises because of His faithfulness. For all those who have come to Christ, confessing to Him they have stopped trying to work their way into God’s heaven on the merit of their own sin-stained works, and have place their faith in His perfect finished work, i.e. His sinless life, His tortuous death, and His glorious resurrection – heaven and all God’s other blessings and benefits are absolute certainty. For all those who don’t come to Him for salvation, eternity in a bottomless pit of fiery darkness in hell is absolute certainty! And not believing that it doesn’t work that way, doesn’t change the absolute truth—it does work that way! Today we celebrate His visible, bodily resurrection from the grave! It is His own resurrection that guarantees our resurrection when Christ returns in the clouds to call us to be with Him forever! What a celebration that will be! Have you ever thought of how the resurrection of Christ affects our daily life as Christians? There are at least 3 truths that explain the answer to that question. I am using an outline from one of my favorite writers. 1st the resurrection affects our daily life as Christians in:

  1. OUR OBEDIENCE. Paul’s statement in 1 Cor. 15:58 is a statement of practical application. He is saying, therefore, or, because the truth of Christ’s resurrection is applied to your own life, make it your business to always be doing the work of the Lord…” Someone might ask, “exactly what is the work of the Lord? The Lord Himself tells us exactly what He means in John 6:25-29. Jesus is clearly explaining to them, us, and all people that our good works are not “good” to God. The “work” that God wants us to do is to believe in Christ as The Savior of the world, and more than that – to accept Him as our own Savior. The practical application is that living daily according to what is written in Scripture makes us become more like the Savior, and at the same time draws others to Christ. The resurrection also affects our life as Christians in:
  2. OUR OUTLOOK. Read Col. 3:1-4. It is important to remember the entire view of the NT is eschatological- or toward the future. Paul is transitioning from dealing with false teachers to instructing Christians to live as their new life in Christ demands. It is important that we understand, in His resurrection, Christ was raised to an entirely new life. There are three truths we are to see here. First we are to pursue heavenly things. Paul told the Philippians to “forget what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” The writer of Heb. tells us to “leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity…” Nowhere does the NT or the OT for that matter, ever give the idea a person can come to Christ for salvation, and never expect to put forth all the effort required to grow to spiritual maturity! So what is your spiritual age? Does your spiritual IQ and stature match your spiritual age? As part of our resurrection life we are to B. ponder heavenly things. In Rom. 12:2 we are told to “renew our minds so we can test and discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” In Phil. 4:8 we are told to think on things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy.” Christ’s resurrection was to new life in every way. Our salvation teaches us to think the best about Christ and our relationship to Him; but it also teaches us to think godly thoughts toward all others. We are to forgive as we want to be forgiven. Is that how it is with you? Third our outlook in our new life is to cause us to: C. Prepare for heavenly things. Rom. 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Turn your head and heart toward heaven and let God show you a more perfect outlook! Finally, the resurrection of Christ affects our life as Christians in:
  3. OUR OBLIGATION. Rom. 6:5-14. The obligation Christians have is to stop sinning. Our obligation to quit sinning is stated in vs. 5-10 of Rom. 6 which is the result of our resurrection. We are now free from the bondage and dominion of sin over us. We are now free – not to sin! Our obligation to stop sinning is grounded in our response to our resurrection – 11-14. Believe that the resurrection of Christ affects your obedience to Him, your obedience affects your outlook from earthy things to heavenly things; and those two affect how you see your obligation to obey! If you don’t now believe that, believe it beginning today!

If we can help you with your spiritual questions, call us at 574-643-9419.

What an Overseer Must Be

1 Timothy 3:1, 2

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. Last time we studied how a man “must be” in order to serve as an overseer in one of God’s local churches today. Now we are going to focus on the individual qualifications, and study what they mean and why God put them in the list. I remind you all these qualifications are to define the man and his character in the present. You will remember the theology of the NT teaches that God looks on and deals with a person as they are now, not as they were, or even will be. We may not impose on Scripture anything Scripture itself does not say! To do so is clearly violating Scripture. Read Rev. 22:18, 19. Just FYI Jesus is quoting Scripture here from Deut. 4:2; 12:32; and Prov. 30:5, 6 which all say the same thing. I’m using the outline of two respected expositors who suggest 4 general statements that summarize the qualifications for overseers listed in these 7 verses. So, 1st an overseer must be:

I. OBEDIENT IN OBSERVABLE BEHAVIOR – 2, 3.  There are 4 criteria that others must be able to see in an overseer’s daily life. The first two qualifications deal with the man himself. So an overseer must now be: A. ABOVE REPROACH. This does not mean a man must be sinless, or obviously no man could ever be an overseer. To be above reproach a man must be, one who cannot be attacked (even by non-Christians) because of his moral conduct. A respected theologian says the life of an overseer should be one that is worthy of imitation. The TDNT defines this word as meaning “not to be taken hold of.” It means that the man is now a man whose moral character is such that no one can charge him with anything that would make him unfit to hold the office. To make matters more serious, the man must be above reproach in all these things! He doesn’t turn them on and off for his convenience and benefit depending on the situation. Whether the man is in church or with unsaved, ungodly people, or with his family or at work, he is always above reproach. As a man grows in Christ and releases more and more of his own personal life to the control of God The Holy Spirit, he becomes “above reproach.” Becoming what God wants a person to become is the result of a teachable spirit. God not only uses His inspired, infallible, inerrant Word to teach people, He also uses other Godly men and women as examples, teachers and counselors. If a man will not allow himself to be guided and taught by other brothers and sisters, his heart is hard and arrogant! It is the attitude to minister that drives an overseer to be above reproach. Read Prov. 15:31-33 and 18:12. What do pastor, elder, overseer, bishop, deacon all have in common? 1st they are all titles. No one is born a pastor, elder, or deacon – or any other position in the Kingdom of God. Salvation is the 1st step in being fashioned by God to wear one of these titles. 2nd they are all earned titles. God never awards honorary titles to men who haven’t earned them in God’s school of re-creation and transformation. 3rd all these titles are awarded by God. He, and He alone, chooses who will be His leaders of His family! Every true overseer is a man whose heart is humble and pliable in God’s hands. Do you know why it is non-negotiable that a man be subservient and humble in God’s hands, and must be now above reproach? Because he is the tool God uses to teach you those works of the ministry Paul addresses in Eph. 4. If a man can’t be taught, he can’t learn. If a man can’t learn, he can’t teach! And if a man can’t teach, he can’t be an overseer!

If we can help you with your spiritual questions, call us at 574-643-9419.

 

Well Done

Matt. 25:14-21

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. It is the desire of every Christian to hear the words “well done good and faithful servant” from The Lord Jesus. It will be an “added bonus” to hear Him say, “Share in your Master’s happiness.” This passage from Matt. 25 offers us at least 3 truths concerning “good and faithful servants. Notice 1st

I. THE SAVIOR’S RESPECT. One writer says, The Master’s “well done” is the greatest reward a loyal servant could have hoped for. We don’t often speak of “respect” coming from the Lord to His servants, do we! Our focus is on the respect we owe the Savior for all He has done for us just in our salvation. But the Lord does respect His servants. Read Jn. 12:20-26. You see, anyone who gives their life in service to God the Son will be honored by God the Father! Read Psalm 91:1, that person – the one who lives in verse 1 is the recipient of all God provides according to this Ps. Notice v. 15, 16. Again you will notice the person who receives respect and honor from God, is the one who both honors and respects God. God bestows respect and honor upon only those whose way of life demonstrates they respect and honor God in their daily living. When any true Christian, but especially a recognized leader in the local church, lives their daily life in such a way that others know they respect and honor God, Paul says that person is above reproach! Notice that the Savior’s respect to is in response to:

II. THE SERVANT’S RELIABILITY. The TDNT defines the word “good” as an adjective that expresses the significance or excellence of a thing or person. From a biblical viewpoint “good” means “pleasing to God” when it is talking about man; and “kind” and “good” when it is talking about God. In the NT Jesus declares only God is good! God demonstrates his goodness toward all men in salvation. God’s goodness is always demonstrated to all people everywhere. A reliable servant is a person who: 1. Has come to Christ for salvation; and 2. Has established Christ as Lord and Master of all their life. In the OT “faith” is always how man reacts to what God does. Read Deut. 7:6-11. God’s action was His choosing, loving and caring for Israel. God is faithful by his very nature. Man, on the other hand, must learn to be faithful to God. As man obeys God, he learns that God’s response to his obedience is blessing. Man also learns when he disobeys God, God withholds His blessing, which is viewed as punishment or discipline. The best definition of a faithful servant comes from Jesus Himself, and is recorded in John 12:25. In the NT “faith” is how man reacts to what God has done – at Calvary. NT faith expresses itself in a life that knows it will spend eternity with Christ. In the OT a servant was a slave in the sense that we think of slave. However in the NT, and in the light of salvation, slave becomes bond slave; or one who could be free on their own authority, but chooses to remain a slave under the control of their master. Today we would say such a person is one whose daily life demonstrates they are dedicated to walking in harmony with Scripture. Finally, we see  

III. THE SERVANT’S REWARD. There are perhaps several lessons to be gleaned here, but the point is the servant’s perseverance for the entire time the Master was gone, is rewarded in a two-fold manner. 1st The master compliment is extraordinary him with “well done.” The servant did not do just what he had to do to get by, he excelled in all his work for his master. 2nd The masters compliment is extravagant. The good and faithful servant received a much more than he had! Have you ever noticed God always gives, not just more, but much more!

If we can help you with your spiritual questions, call us at 574-643-9419.

An Overseer “Must Be”

1 Timothy 3:2

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. As we continue our study through Paul’s 1st letter to Timothy, we come now to the biblical qualifications for church leadership. I like what one expositor says concerning this chapter. He writes, “Paul’s instructions here weren’t not merely a manual for church organization, but they were an effort to guarantee that new leaders in the church would have 1-commitment to Christ, and 2-would encourage godliness and unity.” If a man has not established Christ as the unchallenged sovereign Ruler in his own personal life, he is more committed to himself than the Savior. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Paul gives us the qualifications for overseers or bishops or elders; for deacons; and for women who help minister in the local church.This list of character traits is not Christianity 101! This is advanced Christian character developed over an extended period of time as a result of concentrated effort to becoming as much like Christ as possible in this life. Let’s consider the individual qualifications. Notice 1st:

I. AN OVERSEER MUST BE! This 1st qualification is almost always overlooked because we don’t normally think of “must be” as a qualification, but as a verb. The word “must” is the qualifier, or how the man is to be. In its simplest form “must” means The character or necessity of compulsion in an event. In the OT the word “must” is often used to indicate the mandatory response to God’s Law as in Lev. 5:17 “If anyone sins…he shall (must) bear his iniquity.” Paul often uses the word in his writings to indicate certain character qualities are mandatory to carry out a particular ministry or event. The whole concept of the word “must” is extraordinary in that it gives us a clear picture of the compelling drive that comes from deep within the heart of the individual to do the will of God. It is that all encompassing desire that becomes the driving force in a man’s life to 1st surrender all his life to God in service; and 2nd to give the Holy Spirit unrestrained freedom to conform the man to the image of Christ. As a man who “must” live his life in complete harmony with all of Scripture, learns and grows in his understanding of what God has called him to do, the drive or the “must”- in him grows more and more powerful throughout his life. Such a drive or “must” cannot be sufficiently explained, it can only be experienced! The best summary statement of the whole concept of “must” is best explained in Scripture when John the Baptist says, “I must decrease, and He must increase.” Now someone might say, “Pastor you are painting an impossible picture here. No sinful man, even a redeemed man, is capable of such a life and lifestyle!” To that I would reply, kindly but firmly, Oh yes a redeemed man is capable of such a life and lifestyle! Because God cannot demand anything of us that is beyond our human capability! To demand of us what we cannot do is contrary to God’s nature and character. God cannot set us up for failure! It is God Himself that tells us we can do all things, how? Through Christ Who strengthens us! An overseer must “be!”

The simplest definition of the word “be” is “I exist, or I am.” Does that ring any bells? God tells Moses, “I AM THAT I AM!” It is one way to put into words that God has no beginning and no end. This same verb form is used by Jesus throughout His earthly ministry to reveal His divinity! The one statement that, I believe, shows Jesus was with The Father from the beginning is found in John 8:58 when He says, I tell you the truth, before Abraham was, I am!” In our text when Paul says of an overseer, he must be, the verb form is present, active, infinitive. God is telling us that any man who is called by Him to the office of overseer must demonstrate these character qualities present – now. Each one must now “be” how the man is! They must also “be” active. “Be” is also infinitive! These traits are so well established in a man’s life there is no evidence that he will ever forsake them, or turn them off in his life. All of these character qualities define the man now, in the present! Listen! They don’t define or suggest what  he hopes to become as an overseer; nor do they define what he was in the past! If God kept reminding us of what we were, He would not be a God of forgiveness! God tells us through the prophet Isaiah, “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgression for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.” 43:25; Beloved, here is a truth to remember: Our salvation delivers us from all our sinful past, and always points us to our sinless future with Christ! We are going to look at each of these mandatory character qualities God has imposed on His overseers. Each one has its purpose, and you “must be” aware of them especially “now” as you prayerfully seek to find the man God has prepared to lead you. Stay tuned for, as Paul Harvey used to say, “the rest of the story.”

If we can help you with your spiritual questions, call us at 574-643-9419.

 

Train Up a Child

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Deut. 11:18-25

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. In the grand scheme of things it seems as though our 1st Crusader Thursday on Sept. 8th was just last week. Time passes quickly doesn’t it! David says in Ps. 103, “for God knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.” Ask a child how long they think 18 years is and they will probably tell you about as long as one of my sermons! Why 18 years? Because at 18 years old, in our culture and society is when our children are graduated from high school and begin life on their own! So if we use Moses’ example and 80 years is our “minute” here on earth, we have just a couple seconds to teach our children before they begin life on their own. Reality is that by the time they reach mid-elementary, they have already begun to form their own convictions about life. We all know the “do what I say, not what I do” philosophy doesn’t work! On the other hand the “what you do speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you say” attitude does work! So, the question becomes; what do your children “hear you do!” So that brings us to our passage this morning in Prov. 22:6. Throughout Scripture God always puts the primary responsibility of instruction on the father! Teaching most often is Mom’s responsibility. What is the difference? Instruction is defining what must be learned; teaching is demonstrating how the instructions are learned. Now listen, watch, listen! Here is how God intends for this to work. Dad is responsible to get into the Word and study. As Dad learns what God expects from His adopted children, he has a 2 pronged responsibility: 1 = he must study the Scriptures and live its doctrines in his own life. Not only is a man responsible to study the Scriptures and live his life in harmony with them, he is responsible before God 2 = to teach to his wife how she is to teach Biblical principles to the children. So with that let’s consider:

I.THE PARENTS’ RESPONSIBILITY = train up a child. Almost without exception the Hebrew concept of the word train insisted that the child was to begin learning the simplest truths of right and wrong as early as possible in the child’s life. So, how early in is as early as possible in a child’s life. Read Isa. 28:9, 10. The point being made in Scripture is that it is the responsibility of the parents to teach their children the Scriptures. Our Crusader program is not now, and was never intended to be the primary means for your children to learn the Scriptures. We might be your assistant teachers, but your assistant is all we can be! So parents the question is; to what have you dedicated your children to learning about the truth of right and wrong to this point in their life? Your parental responsibility to train your child carries with it:

II. A PROPER ROUTINE = in the way he should go. Another way to say this is “in the way God intends for all people to walk during this life on earth.” The right direction in life can be found only through a personal relationship in salvation with The Lord Jesus Christ. People prefer to believe they can come up with their own way and their own terms by which they will please God. Those same people then expect God to bless them, and receive them into His heaven, because they have been deceived into believing God is only good, loving, merciful, and forgiving; and they have not been taught that because He is all of those things He must also be righteous and just punishing all sin and evil to the fullest extent! When parents themselves become men and women of God, they train their children to become men and women of God. Finally, let’s consider

III. PATTERN FOR RESOLUTION. Every Christian parent wants their children to grow up and live a life dedicated to Christ. When Christian parents dedicate their own lives to Christ and invest in their children’s lives while they are young and at home, parents often think, “of course my children will continue to live the way we are teaching them. We all know Christian parents who have experienced heartbreak when their children leave home and leave their godly training packed up and tucked away in the closet with other childhood memorabilia! Hence, 1 reason for the proverbs! One writer defines a proverb as a literary device whereby a general truth is brought to bear on a specific occasion. He continues, “many of the Proverbs are not absolute guarantees for they expressed truths that are necessarily conditioned by prevailing circumstances.” Here is a biblical truth to remember: Scripture always teaches us how to be wise from God’s perspective, but it never forces us to apply its wisdom to our daily living! The prophet Isaiah told Israel, “this is the way, walk in it.” But no where do we read God ever forced Israel, or anyone else, to follow Him! If He did God would be a legalist! Each week your children have come to Crusaders we have made a sincere and serious effort to direct each of them in the way they should go. Parents it is your great responsibility to continue to teach them that way for the rest of your life!

If we can help you with your spiritual questions, call us at 574-643-9419.