I wanted to start this morning looking at the whole family as a unit of faithfulness. It is frequently stated that the family is a microcosm of the world, of government, of church, really the family serves as the smallest building block of any social structure. The quality then of that building block is important.
One of the features of Haitian living that sticks out almost immediately when you enter the country is that every structure is made of either poured concrete or concrete blocks. But it’s not the same kind of concrete blocks that we would use here. Oh, they might look the same – but they are not.
In fact a regular bag of concrete be about 2/3 of a cubic foot. Haitians will add sand and gravel to make it stretch to about 3 cubic feet (no, I’m not kidding.) The result is that a wall of blocks will break with much less force. That’s one reason why OMS has already started making their own bricks in preparation for building the new Emmaus Seminary location.
Likewise for us. If we want a solid country, a solid government or more directly a well built and well-functioning church than we need to construct it with well-built families. We want to build the very best bricks we can.
So today we start a series I’ve titled, “Five Functions Of A Faithful Family” and we’re going to investigate What Should A Christian Family Look Like? How should each member of the family function in relation to the others?
Now before we can really dig into our topic we need to find a starting point. To do that we have to start at the foundation of the family itself. It might look briefly like we’re starting outside of the family; but we’re really starting with the head of the family Jesus Christ.
So starting there let’s look at 1 Corinthians 11:3 which outlines God’s pattern of leadership in the home.
“But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.” (1 Co 11:3, NASB95).
More than just the pattern of leadership however, we see something else going on. If we start at the end we see that God the Father is the head of God the Son. Immediately we’re introduced with a need to start defining some doctrines. Since this scripture is in many ways the start of our series we need to investigate its impact on the relationship between husband and wife. But before we can really do that we have to investigate its implications in the trinity.
And if you’ll forgive me for putting the cart before the horse I’ll start with my conclusion and then return to the beginning. Are you ready? Because this is a conclusion that we don’t come to naturally – it really does flow from scripture. And it really does fight against what likes to settle in our hearts.
Here’s my conclusion: Headship Does Not Imply Superiority & Neither does Submission demand inferiority.
We need to look into the doctrine of the trinity in order to understand what’s going on here. So let’s start real quickly with
For this, let’s go back to another text, which is familiar or at least will become familiar and that is the SH’MA in Deuteronomy 6:4.
““Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! ” (Dt 6:4, NASB95) (שְׁמַ֖ע יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵ֖ינוּ יְהוָ֥ה׀ אֶחָֽד׃)
The lesson of the text is primarily that there is no other God than the One true God! Israel herself and we by extension who share now in the blessings of Israel by our adoption as sons – we are to have no God but God.
Throughout the text of Scripture God is God and there is no other. The new testament does not introduce a different God – for God does not change. He is the same God forever and ever amen! I want to very quickly prove to you if I can the full Deity or to put it in my own words the full GODNESS of the FATHER, the SON and the SPIRIT.
We call them the Godhead because it is the only way we can attempt to communicate the Godhood or the “Godness” of God.
For the Deity of God we could take and make a very long list but I’d like instead to focus on just a few aspects or we’ll be here till Tomorrow.
Let us agree that if God is at least described in the Scriptures as ETERNAL, CREATOR, OMNICIENT (All Knowing), OMNIPRESENT (Everywhere Present), OMNIPOTENT (All powerful) and SAVIOR. At minimum we should be able to find all three members of the Godhead described in these terms, and we can!
So let’s power-walk through the Scriptures.
The Eternality of God
The Father is Eternal: Romans 16:26
“but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; ”
The Son is Eternal: John 1:1.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ” (Jn 1:1, NASB95)
The Spirit is Eternal: Hebrews 9:14.
“how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? ” (Heb 9:14, NASB95).
The Creativity of God
To prove that God is creator we need nothing less than to go back to Genesis 1:1. Where we see God Creating. Together with John 1:3, (“All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. ” (Jn 1:3, NASB95)) Colossians 1:13-ff is a wonderful section describing the deity of Jesus but it is verse 16 (“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. ” (Col 1:16-17, NASB95)))that should grab our attention as it describes Jesus as the Creator.
Notice the certitude of the statement that NOTHING that has been created was created without Jesus creating it. That means that GOD in Genesis 1:1 is talking about God the Father creating with the WORD of God the Son. And then for the SPIRIT’s creative activity we go back to Genesis 1:2 where the Spirit of God is HOVERING over the waters in preparation of its formation after it’s divine creation.
The Omniscience of God- God knows everything (Without Reservation!)
The Father is Omniscient: 1 John 3:20 declares that God is greater than our heart’s which sometimes falsely accuse us and God the Father knows all things. And Psalm 147:5 declares “Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.”
The Son is Omniscient: At the end of John (21:17) Peter acknowledges to Jesus that He knows all things. And Colossians 2:2-3 declares that Jesus contains “…all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
The Spirit is Omniscient: “For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. ” (1 Co 2:10-11, NASB95) reminds us that the SPIRIT knows and searches the depths of God. – thus as the father is Omniscient – so also is the Spirit of God.
The Omnipresence of God
This doesn’t mean that God is everywhere in the sense that as I move I’m somehow stepping through God. It means that everything and every place in all of the universe is equally in front of Him – so that there is nothing done that is not seen and no place from which we may hide from Him because in that sense God is indeed present everywhere there is a place to be.
With that in mind we see that The Father is Omnipresent: Jer. 23:24 ““Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the Lord. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the Lord. ”
The Son is Omnipresent: Eph 1:23; 4:10 each declare that Christ fills everything and Matthew 18:20 is a familiar passage which teaches that wherever Christians come together in his name, he is there with us.
The Spirit is Omnipresent Ps 139:7-12 declares that there is nowhere we can go to get away from God’s Spirit.
The Omnipotence of God
The Father is All powerful as we see in Genesis 17:1 where God tells Abraham “I am God Almighty”. (El Shaddai)
The Son is All powerful as he is called “The power of God” in 1 Corinthians 1:24. And the Spirit of God himself is Omnipotent in Romans 15:19 where it is the POWER of the Spirit that confirms the gospel which itself is the POWER of God to save those who believe (Rom. 1:16)
The Salvation Work of God
The Father and the Son are both declared our savior and the Spirit is the agent of regeneration and renewal in our salvation in Titus 3:4-6.
Titus 3:4-6 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, ”
So as we return to our text in 1 Corinthians 11:3 and see the Son submitting to the Father and we acknowledge the full Deity or “Godness” of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit we learn this important lesson that forms the foundation of faithful families:
That headship neither implies superiority of the leader nor does it demand inferiority of the submissive person. Jesus is not inferior to the Father but He is submissive to Him.
In the Godhead God the Father gives the orders, Jesus the Son of God submits to the Father and Jesus asks the Father and the Son and the Father sends the Holy Spirit whose work is to glorify the Father through the son. – and we talk to the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit through the sacrifice of the Son.
What happens in the Godhead is a pattern of what is supposed to happen in the family. And that is why it’s so important to Satan that the family fail. And that is why it is so vital to us as Christians that – whether it’s just husband and wife or also children – our families need to reflect the nature and Character of God in terms of Headship – submission and obedience and even glorification. For the nature of God is a model of a faithful family.
Let us pray that God in his grace will start moving us towards a better understanding of our own roles in the family and let’s pray that God will grant us humble hearts that will receive and obey his word in our hearts.
a Ps 48:1; 145:3
1 Lit innumerable