Be Obedient

The Bible has instructions on obedience for children, parents, and servants in Ephesians 6. We discuss the attitude and heart behind our obedience today.

You can play, download, or read the transcript of this Take Note Podcast below.

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Be Obedient

Ephesians 6:1-9

  • Obedience is a theme throughout both New and Old Testament scriptures
  • Not only obedience to God, but obedience to authorities in life
  • And our passage of the day starts with obedience
  • First with children obeying parents
  • But then, also, with servants obeying masters
  • It’s not just the obedience that’s important
  • But the way in which we obey
  • The attitude and heart behind our obedience
  • Even in situations where we have very little control
  • And are at the mercy of others
  • We’ll talk more about this as we approach the topic “Be Obedient”
  • From Ephesians 6:1-9
  • There are instructions for those under authority in this passage
  • But also for those in authority
  • Everyone, of course, is under the authority of God
  • And He has the right to demand our obedience
  • As the author of authority, He often tells us to obey authorities
  • And He tells us to do it in a certain way – and for certain reasons
  • We begin the discussion with children here…

Ephesians 6:1-3

1  Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 

2  Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 

3  That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. 

  • If children want to do what is right, they should obey their parents
  • This is God’s plan for children
  • It is what God wants for children
  • And He says when they do this, they will have long life
  • This command, with promise, is a rather unique one
  • God clearly puts an emphasis on this type of obedience
  • And He makes it clear how important it will be in any person’s life
  • Things will go well with the obedient one
  • Life will be extended because of the obedience
  • But children must not only obey
  • They are to honor
  • This is a particular kind of respect
  • It means to fix a value upon them
  • To see them as valuable
  • To revere and venerate them
  • It is obvious that some parents fall very far short
  • They are not the kind of parents God wants
  • But the fact that they are parents means something
  • It has value in and of itself
  • And God makes no exception
  • He says to obey and He says to honor
  • But parents have responsibilities too
  • God does not leave them out
  • Here’s what He says to fathers…

Ephesians 6:4

4  And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. 

  • Fathers can provoke their children to anger in many ways
  • We can do it through our action or inaction
  • By our words or by our lack of words
  • With our attitudes
  • In our teaching and modeling
  • Or in any number of ways
  • God says this must not be done
  • Fathers provoking their children to wrath are doing the wrong thing
  • We should do the opposite
  • Fathers should bring them up modeling and proclaiming the word of God
  • Taking action and providing instruction that is consistent with scripture
  • In essence, fathers are simply to be obedient as it regards child rearing
  • This is the right thing for us to do
  • People have responsibilities in other areas of life…

Ephesians 6:5

5  Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; 

  • The servants of this day are different from servants in our day
  • And for some very key reasons
  • Particularly in modern societies like our own
  • But the principle is that anyone under authority should obey that authority
  • Despite the circumstances in which we find ourselves
  • And we should do so with a certain amount of Godly fear
  • There are certainly consequences for not doing so
  • Consequences for our service
  • But also consequences for our fellowship with God
  • And so we should have a single heart
  • Not just to serve man, but to serve Christ
  • Because He is our primary Master and our King
  • And when circumstances get difficult, which they often do
  • Or when obedience gets hard
  • We look to Him
  • We yield to Him
  • To His will for our obedience to the authorities He has established
  • There are definitely some ways we should not obey…

Ephesians 6:6-7

6  Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; 

7  With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: 

  • Don’t just do right when the guy in charge is looking
  • This is wrong
  • Especially for the man who is a disciple of Christ
  • God’s eyes see everything
  • And He is worthy of serving every moment
  • With every breath
  • And with every ounce of energy we have
  • It may not seem like this service to an earthly master is of any consequence to eternity
  • But all service to the Lord is worthwhile
  • And so we must serve Him
  • Not men – Him
  • Men in authority may do right and may do wrong
  • God knows this
  • And God always does right
  • He is a righteous Master
  • Serve Him
  • In work that is exciting
  • And in work that is mundane
  • Enjoying the work
  • Or suffering through it
  • Because here is what we know…

Ephesians 6:8

8  Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. 

  • Bond or free, God sees what we do
  • Nothing is overlooked
  • Hard work
  • Done with the right attitude
  • With the right level of reverence toward our authority
  • Not for them
  • But for Christ
  • Is rewarded
  • This should be such a wonderful reassurance for God’s people
  • As we serve in all manner of circumstances
  • And in all manner of ways
  • He sees
  • He rewards
  • He sees Masters too…

Ephesians 6:9

9  And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him. 

  • Masters are to act in a very similar way
  • With the same level of character
  • God does not treat masters in any different way
  • They have a responsibility
  • They are under Him
  • And they also must do right
  • “Be Obedient” is the theme of our passage
  • And so often the theme of God’s instruction in scripture
  • I wonder if we are doing so?
  • How often?
  • With what kind of attitude?
  • In which way?
  • Questions to ask ourselves
  • Themes to reflect upon…

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