Tuesday, June 29, 2010

More Biblical Concepts to Build On

In a recent survey, 99% of those people stated that a loving family is the most important relationship in their lives.

Prov. 14:1 "build"

The Family Series this year has been: major doctrines to build on... Family relationships must be built, considering we live in a sinful, fallen world.
We've discussed sin, sanctification, edification, and forgiving

Today: not necessarily major doctrines, but they are natural Biblical concepts to build on.

The Concept of:
#1. Moral Law - says, that rules of right and wrong:
A. exist
B. are established (determined) by God
C. are revealed by God - through nature, reason, logic, conscience, AND special revelation
Heb. 1:1-2 John 1:18 2 Pet. 1:21 therefore: 2 Tim 3:16
Christ came to reveal God's will.

#2. Sufficient light - ie. God gives enough light for each one to know:
right and wrong exist
B. to know basic right and wrong
C. grants enough knowledge for me to discover more light

This doesn't mean that it is easy to find the right answer to all moral dilemmas,
BUT there is enough light to do right. Rom. 1:18-20
(our primary problem is not lack of knowledge BUT acting on the knowledge that we do have!!
Which leads to:

#3. Free Will - ie. the freedom to decide and choose
This is more than an option. It is a necessity!! Example: Adam & Eve - Gen.2:15-17
We are daily and repeatedly confronted with moral choices and ....... we must choose!! We are without excuse.

#4. Natural Consequence.
A. choices have consequences
B. Moral choices have natural, physical, emotional, relational consequences!
Example: Adam and Eve - their choice affected everything - individual, couple, creation, offspring...
Gal. 6:7-9
Deut. 30:19-20
This does not mean that if you choose right your life will always be right. It means that if you choose right, ultimately you'll be blessed.

#5, Joint Venture. Point being: A. the family has multiple members
B. you get the best results when your work as a team!!
Gen. 1:28 Couple equals partners. Family equals team.
On one hand, you can't make the others cooperate, but you CAN attempt and address the concept!!

#6. Active Faith - ie: effective faith which is more than intellectual and/or sentimental concept. It is: head, heart, and hands. James 2:14-18
This doesn't mean you'll always do right!! But it does mean an honest/active effort to do so.

#7. Common Lord.
Means - accepting Christ
- enthroning Christ
- (actively) serving Christ

Prov. 24:3-4

Monday, June 21, 2010

Baby Dedication

Baby dedication is a public ceremony where a child is formally dedicated to the Lord.

What is the Biblical Basis? Luke 2:22-24 which is taken from Lev. 12.
It is based on biblical concepts and truths but there is no Biblical direction for Baby Dedication. It is something that man came up with.

On one hand we are NOT Jewish, and are NOT bound to Old Testament ceremonial law.
BUT, it is a great way to celebrate a birth, dedicate a child, etc.

What Baby dedication is NOT.... It is not....
-- a required ritual (contrary to Jewish Law)
-- an imparting of grace (which is God's area)
-- a passing of responsibility - spiritual development of the child remains the responsibility of the parents
-- a guarantee of success (because of sin nature and free will)

So then, what IS a baby dedication? IT IS.....

#1. A public declaration of faith
(by the parents)
Faith in: A. God - that He exists. That He is there.
B. Christ - that He is the way to God and the revelation of the Father.
C. Divine concern - that God cares
D. Divine involvement - God will be involved in the child's development

#2. A public expression of thanksgiving
Isa. 29:23 (a) - this child is the work of God's hands
Psalm 127:3 - 5 (a)

#3. A public statement of intent... to raise the child according to God's will (as revealed in God's Word) and make the best effort at it.
Deut. 6:4-9 - Prov. 22:6 Eph. 6:4

#4. A public request for assistance
from: A. God B. God's people (through whom He works)

Note the repetitive use of the word 'public' (vs. private)
Public means: A. Share the experience
B. make a clear, bold statement - "before God and these people" - comparable to Baptism, Wedding

I. Charge to the parents

dedication of the child is meaningless without the dedication of "self". (This is not magic)

II. Charge to the church
-- these are our children. They are our responsibility
-- a commitment to the body includes a commitment to the children of the body.
Baby dedication should be a big day for all of us.
00 the accumulated influence of the congregation MAKES A DIFFERENCE!

So, before we dedicate children, it's time to dedicate "selves"

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


The series is: Family + primary Christian doctrine

So far we've dealt with sin, sanctification, edification, and NOW,

Forgiveness is a major theme in scripture with 2 admonitions:
#1. Receive forgiveness - the vertical relationship between God and man
#2. Offer forgiveness - horizontal - between each other - extend and grant

Eph. 4:32 Col. 3:13 Matt. 18:21-22
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

A definition: to cancel debt, release from obligation
to forfeit a right or claim. To pardon
to bear no malice, harbor no grudge
to give up .... a right to resentment, retaliation, indignation, anger, bitterness, etc.

It does NOT mean: to absolve (declare the offending party guiltless)
to suggest the offender is not responsible
to downplay the offense, condone the act, make excuse for the offender
to deny the hurt, anger, resentment

BUT, forgiveness means: to let go of the anger, bitterness, hurt, resentment
to forfeit your 'right" to feel that way....

Our Application today is: 1. Within the family (though the principles apply outside)
2. with typical offenses that occur within the family (we're not talking about rape, incest, abduction, murder, extreme abuses..)


#1. Forgiveness is clearly (and repeatedly) commanded in Scripture.
Mark 11:25 Luke 6:36-37 (the word is found nearly 150 times in scripture)

#2. The Command (to forgive) is for your good. (benefit)
Your good which leads to your family's good which leads to society's good, etc.

#3. Your struggle (to forgive) does to negate the command.
(all struggle some, some struggle more than others. For some, it easier to forgive.

#4. Most of what you are called to forgive is very forgivable.
Contrast what Holocaust survivors, victims of violent crime, etc. went through with typical marital conflict.
Extreme cases and issues are more complex and require more attention.

#5. We should deal with offenses (Biblically) AS THEY OCCUR
Thereby, avoid accumulation. Then when a large offense occurs, it is easier to deal with.

#6. Refusal to forgive is a great evil. It's more than wrong. it's wicked and sinful.
Example: A. Parable in Matt. 18 - quick to receive forgiveness but refuses to grant forgiveness. Leads to Matt. 18:32-25
B. Christ's comment on the Lord's Prayer - Matt. 6:14-15

#7. An unforgiving spirit is a great tool of Satan.
2 Cor. 2:6-11

It's Obvious that we are to forgive.
The problem is that scripture tells us to forgive more than it tells us how to forgive.
(Easier said than done)

Helps in "How to Forgive"

#1. Allow yourself to be human - Real offenses come and really hurt

#2. Recognize when you're being a sinful human
ie: selfish, childish, petty, etc. - Admit it!!!!

#3. Don't let your feelings dictate your actions. WHO is Lord????

#4. Allow others to be human also. Rom. 3:23
everybody hurts, offends

#5. Overlook minor offenses. You have less to forgive if you choose not to be offended in the first place. Prov. 19:11

#6. Assume responsibility for your behavior.
You are NOT responsible for what others do... but, you are absolutely responsible for your reaction.
Point: if forgiveness is in order, then you can't blame them for your failure to do so.

#7. Admit the sinfulness of an unforgiving spirit (evil/wicked)
To stubbornly hold to your rightness is the same as saying "I'm right, God's wrong!"

#8. Do what's right. (what you know to be right)
On one hand, God desires forgiveness "from the heart".
But, exterior forgiveness is better than not at all.

#9. Forgive as offenses occur. (don't let it build-up or accumulate)

#10. (If needed) get help - from God, scripture, prayer, counsel, other Christians

It's much easier said than done, BUT, it's God who says, "Do it!"
John 13:17