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Watch 2022 online sermons » Dr. David Jeremiah » David Jeremiah - The Christian Household

David Jeremiah - The Christian Household


David Jeremiah - The Christian Household
TOPICS: Christ Above All: The Book of Colossians, Marriage, Relationship, Family, Children, Parenting

Gail Urban was browsing in a Christian bookstore one day and she discovered a shelf of reduced-priced items. Among the items was a little figurine of a man and a woman, their heads lovingly tilted toward one another. On the bottom was the inscription, "Happy 10th Anniversary". It appeared to be in perfect condition, yet there was a tag on that little figurine that said "Damaged". Gail said when she turned the tag over so that you would understand where the damage was, she read this on the other side of the tag: "Wife is coming unglued". I know a few wives that come unglued; do you? I hope you're not married to an unglued wife. I'm sure that tag would describe many modern marriages, wives and husbands coming unglued.

I read about a husband and a wife recently who fussed and fought for 50 years. On their Golden wedding anniversary, the kids got together and decided to give them a gift. It was a trip to a psychiatrist. They argued who was going to pick them up and then they argued about who was going to sit where in the car when they went. They finally got over to the psychiatrist and, for 15 minutes, they argued back and forth over who was gonna tell the story of what was wrong in their marriage. Finally, this young psychiatrist who had only been in practice for a short time, he had had it, and he decided to try a little "shock therapy". So he walked over to the little old lady, pulled her up out of the chair, into his arms, and planted a long Hollywood kiss right on her mouth. Then he turned her loose and said to the husband, "Now, Pops, she needs that at least three times a week". He said, "I can bring her Monday, Wednesday, and Friday".

You know, some marriages don't have a clue, do they? In the passage that's before us in the book of Colossians, we have a better plan. In addressing his Christian readers, Paul is now going to outline the new responsibilities that husbands and wives, and parents and children, and masters and servants, have now that they're Christians. When Paul begins talking about the Christian household, he begins with the relationship between the husband and the wife. It reminds me of the experience you have on an airplane. The flight attendants give the passengers the instructions, "For those of you traveling with small children, in the event of an oxygen failure, first place the mask on your own face and then place the mask on your child's face".

It's easy for husbands and wives to put the oxygen mask everywhere on everything from children to job to church to hobbies, instead of their own relationship. But in Colossians chapter 3, Paul is telling husbands and wives to first keep the oxygen supply of love flowing between the two of them. And he begins with some instruction to wives. Colossians 3:18: "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord". This is another one of those passages that a lot of pastors I know just sweep past, because if there is one word you will hear periodically among married folks, even Christian married folks, that can cause a great deal of consternation and some women to bristle, it's the word "submission". In fact, I've noticed in many of the modern marriage ceremonies, they have deleted that word because the bride and groom just don't want it in there, even though it's in the Bible.

I heard about one man who was getting ready to go to church, but his wife couldn't go with him that day because she was at a women's retreat. Lo and behold, when he got to church, his pastor preached on wives submitting to their husbands. When his wife got home from the retreat, she said, "How was church today"? He said, "It was very interesting". She said, "What do you mean"? He said, "I learned today that I'm in charge and not you. I learned today that I'm the boss and you're nothing". He didn't see his wife for three days. Then he could see just a little bit out of this eye right here. That's how angry some people get about this passage of scripture.

So let's take this apart and make sure that we're responding to what's really in the scripture. Let's talk a moment about the concept of submission. "Submitting to one another in the fear of God" is a passage found in Ephesians chapter 5 and verse 21, and Colossians and Ephesians are almost the same in these areas. But here's something I want you to know. In the Ephesian passage I have just read, Paul reminds his readers that submission is a requirement that goes way beyond the boundaries of marriage. Everyone who fears God will be characterized by a spirit of submission, first to Christ, and then to others. Remember, Ephesians 5:21 says everybody who's a Christian is in an environment where we're "submitting to one another in the fear of God". The concept of submission.

Again in Ephesians 5:22 and here in Colossians, we learn about the center of submission: "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord". In Colossians 3:18 it reads this way: "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord". Submission is not just wives to husbands, but it's also wives to the Lord. The primary relationship in a wife's life is not her relationship with her husband. If she's a Christian, her primary relationship is with the Lord Jesus Christ. The priorities of a godly wife are the Lord first, her husband second, her children third, and all of her other responsibilities after that. So listen, if you have obedience at the top level, if you are submitting to the Lord, all of the rest of this stuff sort of just takes care of itself. The concept of submission, the center of it.

Now notice the context of it. This is kind of an extra thing, but it's really important. It says in Ephesians 5:22: "Wives, submit to your own husbands". Now, watch this. Wives are to submit only to their own husbands. Somewhere along the way, some people have interpreted this passage to teach that all women are to be submissive to all men. That's not true. Paul made it clear to the Galatians that when it comes to our relationship with Christ, men don't stand any further up the chain than do women. We all stand together at the cross, it's level. Listen to this passage in Galatians: "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there's neither slave nor free, there's neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus".

Please do not try to take the guidelines for a Christian marriage outside of the context of the home, or you will be in violation of the scripture. So that's the instruction to the wives. Now, wives, if you feel a little bad that we started with that, let me tell you that for every one verse of instruction to the wives, there's three of instructions to the men. We need a lot more help. Since wives are asked to submit to their husbands, we might expect that the command to the husbands would be, "Rule, lead, be in charge". But the apostle Paul does not say that. Instead, he instructs husbands to love their wives.

Colossians 3:19: "Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them". Paul begins his instructions to husbands by urging them not to act harshly or with a heart of bitterness toward their wives. Instead, they are to love their wives with a Christ-like heart of love. It is important to note that the word Paul uses here for love is the word "agape," which is the one word that describes the powerful love that God has for us. Since we've already introduced the passage in Ephesians, it's a little more explicit to the men as to how they are to love their wives. So let me just take you through that little paradigm. First of all, husbands are to love their wives unconditionally; Ephesians 5:25 says: "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church".

Did you know that Christ was not under any illusion when he sought us in order to love us? Did he know that after he loved us and died on the cross for us that we would still mess up a lot of times? Sure, he did. He's omniscient. But he loved us in spite of all of that. He loved us as we were and he knew what we would be. He loved us with our imperfections. He loved us in such a way that we understand immediately that there was nothing in us that caused him to love us. He did not love us on the basis of our performance. The way Christ loved the church is the way men are to love their wives.

Our love in marriage must embrace all of the faults and failures that we each bring to the relationship. Christ's love for us was not idealized. It was not romanticized. He loved us as we are, and the Bible says: "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church". If you're in one of those marriages where your husband is trying to change you so that you are more like what he wants you to be or perhaps the other way around, I'm just gonna tell you straight up: cut it out. Don't do it. You are who you are. You will change along the way, by your relationships, but the Bible says: "Love your wife, as Christ loved you, as he loved the church".

Secondly, in Ephesians, we are told that husbands are to love their wives sacrificially. "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church," and listen to this, "and He gave Himself for her". The supreme demonstration of the costliness of love is the love that is seen in Jesus Christ when he went to the cross.

Love is expensive. Just as Christ gave himself on behalf of his bride, the church, so the husband is to give himself sacrificially for the benefit of his wife. Husbands and wives know what it's like to give up some of the things on their priority list so they can serve each other. Love means sacrifice. When you love someone, listen carefully, you are willing to give for them, you are willing to give up for them, and yes, even willing to give in for them, because you care about their needs more than you care about your own. When you are truly in love, the welfare of your partner becomes more important than your own welfare.

Husbands are to love their wives unconditionally and sacrificially, and then, and this one is a little more difficult to make the application, but I think we can do it. Husbands are to love their wives purposefully. It says in verses 26 and 27 of the book of Ephesians "that He might sanctify and cleanse us with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish". Now these two verses teach us that Christ had a purpose in loving us. His ultimate goal was to present us to himself as a glorious church without spot or wrinkle, a holy and without blemish bride.

Now how does that translate into our marriages? Listen carefully, I have a goal in loving my wife that is reflected in this purpose clause. My prayer is that I will never be guilty of holding my wife back from being what God wants her to be, out of deference to my own selfish needs. I have watched this over the years in some marriages where a wife is very gifted. She has an ability that goes beyond the normal and she becomes promoted in leadership perhaps, and if her husband doesn't understand this principle, he will begin to do everything he can to hold her back. A husband who truly loves his wife is her number one cheerleader. He promotes everything that she does, just as the wife, the husband. And Paul said, "Love your wife purposefully". Love her seeking for her to become everything she can and you be part of the process of helping her arrive at that place.

Husbands are to love their wives passionately. Ephesians 5:28-29: "So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own flesh, but he nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church". The Bible says, men, that we're to love our wives the same way we love ourselves, and that's a superfluous statement because the scripture says that when we get married, we become one flesh, so I don't have to love my wife as myself; I love my wife because she is myself. Paul gives us two clues as to how we carry this out. He says, first of all, we're to nourish our wives. When a husband nourishes his wife, he sees that her needs are met. Ought to be a fulfilling task for the husband to do everything that he can do to meet his wife's needs.

Nourish is a picture of investing in our wives with a view to her wellbeing. This is what it means to provide emotional nutrition for our wives. Here are some encouraging words we cannot forget about. "I do not feel complete without you". "I appreciate the way you have cared for me all these years. I am so glad I married you". "It's nice to wake up next to you every morning". "I am proud of you". "I love you". "I'll go to the mall with you". All those are on the same level, men, you need to understand that, amen? We're to nourish our wives and we're to cherish our wives. The word "cherish" is used in the New Testament to describe a nurse caring for a sick patient or a mother caring for her newborn baby. And what's at the core of cherishing is one word that isn't in the vocabulary of many husbands these days. It's the word "tenderness".

You know, when we're all into this macho stuff, we watch too many movies, but when it comes to our relationship with our wives, men, we need to work on the tenderness part. So there you have it. Paul takes care of the wives, he takes care of the husbands. Now he's gonna talk to children. I'm sure you're glad we're off this part so now you can enjoy what I'm gonna say to the children. Colossians 3:20 says: "Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord". You know, obedience is a fundamental building block of the home. Whether there are Christians in that home or not, obedience is what makes a family work.

Here are four biblical reasons for obeying your parents from Colossians and Ephesians in the companion passages. First of all, obedience is a principle of morality. Colossians 3:20 says: "Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord". Colossians tells us that obedience to parents pleases the Lord. You say you wanna please God. You don't get a lot of statements like this in the Bible, you have to kind of figure those out. But here's a very clear statement. Kids, if you wanna be pleasing to your parents, do what they say. Obey them. Ephesians puts it this way: "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right".

Now, that used to mean a lot more than it does today 'cause today nobody knows what's right and what's wrong and we've blended it all together so there's a big old mess in the middle. How plain and simple is this truth? There is order in nature ordained of God and it argues for the rightness of certain actions and it is right that children should obey their parents. Why should you obey your parents? 'Cause the Bible says it's right. It's the right thing to do. You say, "Well, I don't believe". Well, I don't care whether you believe it or not, it's true.

Secondly, obedience to our parents is a precept of scripture. Notice Ephesians 6:2: "'Honor your father and mother,' which is the first commandment with promise". I believe that God is underlining this great importance of this instruction. We're to obey our parents because this is God's design and there's a promise associated with it. Here are some of the promises.

Obedience is not only a principle of morality and a precept of scripture, it's a protection for the children. It says in verse 3 of Ephesians 6: "Children, obey your parents 'that it may be well with you.'" Now, I knew that personally, living in the home I did. I knew that if I didn't obey my parents, it would not be well with me. So I didn't test that too often. I'm sure there are disobedient rebels out there who have violated this command and have somehow made it through life unscathed, but truth be told, I have never met one. I just really have not. The simple fact is that everybody has to report to somebody. That doesn't stop when you turn 20. Everybody has to learn the principle of submission to authority. If we don't learn it at home where it's supposed to be learned, then we will struggle with it all of our lives and someday there will be a notation in our personnel file that says: "Struggles with authority". And I've seen that happen over and over.

Obedience is a principle of morality. Do it 'cause it's right. Obedience is a precept of scripture, because there's a promise associated with it. Obedience is a protection for the child that it may be well with you. And number four, obedience is a prerequisite for a long life, Ephesians 6:3: "That you may live long on the earth". Discipline in a child's life is usually conducive to good health. Does that mean that a person who's disobedient always dies young and a person who is obedient always lives into his 90s? Of course not. Let's face it, a person who grows up in rebellion against authority has put himself on a path that leads to discouragement and destruction. People who follow God's instructions have a much better chance of living a longer life. And that needs to start when children are children.

So that's what Paul says to children. He says, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord; this is right". There's a promise associated with it. "It'll be well with you if you do it, and you'll have a much better chance to live long". I used to think about that because I realized that if I disobeyed my father, I would not live long, and many of you know what I'm talking about. Now, Paul's gonna talk to parents. He's talked to wives, husbands, children. Here in the text it talks about fathers, but the word "fathers" is used numerous times in the New Testament for parents. So I think this is an equal instruction to both Mom and Dad.

This week I read about a father of nine who reflected on how he had changed as a father over the years. He said, "When the firstborn coughed or sneezed, I called an ambulance. When the last one swallowed a dime, I just told him it was coming out of his allowance". Parenting can wear you out. Can I get a witness? I mean, parenting is a hard job. And I know for a fact there's no pain like parental pain. Something's wrong with one of your kids, they're going south when you started 'em north or they're sick or they're having problems or they're being bullied at school or whatever, it hurts like you would not believe.

But Paul tells us not to wear our children out. He says, "Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they get discouraged". Ephesians says it this way: "And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord". Paul tells us what not to do as parents. He says, "Don't provoke your children to wrath. Don't irritate them. Don't discourage them by unreasonable demands". There are some parents who are always on the backs of their children and they never get on their children's team.

I remember reading just recently the story of this guy who deployed to Afghanistan a few years ago. He was Army Staff Sergeant Philip Gray, and before he left, and we have some military guys here, this is a pretty cool thing, he sat down and he wrote 270 messages for his 7-year-old daughter, one for each day that he would be away. Some of his notes for Rosie encouraged her to do her best at school and excel in her activities and hobbies. Others included doodles like snowmen or pumpkins to represent holidays that he missed. And each morning his wife, Kristen, would slip a new note into Rose's lunch box just so she would know how much her daddy loved her. When Philip returned three days before her eighth birthday, you can guess what she requested. She said, "Daddy, can you just keep writing me those notes"?

What does that say? Rather than discouraging our children, as parents we ought to be finding ways to encourage them. I wanna tell you something. It's tough growing up in this culture as a child. You just think about it. All the issues that our kids are facing now. Children need encouragement more than they ever have before. You have to discipline 'em if they do wrong, but here's something I've thought about. Don't ever discipline your child because of an accident. Accidents happen, and we don't punish our children for accidents. Listen, they do enough stuff on purpose that's bad that you don't need to go looking for the accidents, amen? So, let me just encourage you. I say this, I think, with a little perspective on history and having grown up and watching families. Mom and Dad, whatever you do, I know you love your kids, but go out of your way to encourage them.

One of the things that we did as a family when our children were growing up, and you all know this 'cause you watched it, we never missed hardly anything that was going on in their life that was important. I went to football games and soccer games and baseball games and basketball games. I look back on it now: the greatest investment of my time. And you know what's so much fun for me is to watch my children do the same thing with their children. You know how we learn to be parents? We learn to be parents by watching our parents. We watch them and we say, "I'm never doing that to my kids". And we watch them and say, "That's the right thing to do". And we learn to be parents by watching our parents. Your children are learning parenting skills by watching how you parent them.

Paul concludes this little section on children and he says, "Bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord". Training is correction, admonition is instruction. And we need to teach our kids, but we also need to encourage them and help them learn the scripture and become the people of God we want them to be. So there's the instruction to wives and husbands and children and parents. Now the next section's a little bit difficult because it's addressed to bondservants. Colossians 3:22: "Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in the sincerity of heart, fearing God".

Here we discover that Christianity is meant to work in the stress and strain and grit and grind of the marketplace. The word "bondservants" here that begins this section is a word that means slaves. And this instruction was given in the days when Rome ruled most of the world, and in that day, I learned there may have been as many as 6 million slaves across the universe. And the vast majority of business in the New Testament was family-operated. Almost all of what we would today call the workforce would be summarized under the heading of slaves or servants.

By addressing these people, Paul is not endorsing slavery. Hear me. But he is speaking into a situation that already existed and had existed for years. And now some of these people who were in this category had become Christians. These slaves were the farmers and sanitation people and educators and the nannies and the shopkeepers, and Paul knew that many of them were coming to faith in Christ, and all across the empire, those Christian slaves were experiencing every kind of treatment at the hands of all sorts of masters. Some of their masters were cruel and heartless, others were kind and treated them like families. Some of their masters would be brother Christians, others would be pagans who actually were hostile to their faith.

Paul's words here embraced all these situations, and these words embrace our situations as well. Paul weighs in here with instruction for anyone who is under authority to another in the marketplace. How should he function? How should he live? How should he work? And Paul sets out to answer these questions and we're gonna unpack what he says. First of all, he talks about the employee's action. In our world today, that's the application. "Bondservants, obey all things to your masters". It's interesting to note that the Bible clearly tells us that how we work, how we function, our actions, are a witness to those who watch us.

The importance of how we relate to one another in the business environment is underlined in Paul's letter to Titus, listen to this. Listen to his letter. I've read this many times, but never in this context. Listen to these words: "Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, not pilfering," that means stealing, "but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things". The way we work is a testimony to the watching world.

When I was in seminary, I had a bunch of jobs. I was just back there where I went to school and I was reminded of some of the places that I worked. But one of the places I worked for the longest time was Illinois-California Express, a freight company, and I was a freight hand on the docks. The pay was good but work was hard. But I enjoyed it because most of the rest of the time I was in class, I was studying. This was kind of a release. So I'd go to work every day and just jump into the thing and I'd lace tires in the truck and move freight around.

And one day as I was working, these two guys came down. They walked inside the truck where I was working. They said, "Son, we need to talk to you". He said, "You're a preacher boy, aren't you"? I said, "What do you mean"? He said, "Don't you go to that seminary over there? Yeah, you go... Preacher boy, let me tell you something. You gotta slow down. You're working too hard. You're making us look bad". He said, "You can't come in here with this white shirt you wear every day and walk out of here filthy and dirty, sweating, looking like you've put in", he said, "you can't do that. You gotta quit that. You're making us look bad". And they dogged me all the time I worked there. They loved calling me "Preacher boy". "Hey, Preacher boy, how's it going"? But they didn't want me to work hard.

But when I worked hard, I sent a message to that whole group. Christians are different. We work hard because that's what's honoring to the Lord. The required action here is obedience. Now, notice his assignment: "Obey in all things your masters according to the flesh". The assignment is to work for the men and women that God has placed in authority over you. And this obedience isn't to be diminished because your employer happens to be Christians. Listen, this is really critical. As sometimes Christians get into a situation where they work for another Christian and they can get cavalier in their attitude toward work because they know, "Hey, my boss is a brother. He's not gonna get in my face".

Listen once again to what the scripture says in 1 Timothy 6:2: "And those who have believing masters, let them not despise them because they are brethren, but rather serve them because those who are benefited are believers and beloved". In other words, he says because you're a Christian and you're working for a Christian, that doesn't diminish your responsibility; it increases it. You're both brothers, and what you're doing is having impact on the kingdom, so do it with all your heart. And that's what the next principle says: your attitude, "not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men".

Now, we don't have any problem understanding what he means by saying, don't do it with eyeservice. That means you just work hard when you know somebody's watching, and then when they don't watch you anymore, you go back to the way you were. It says don't do this to please men. Listen, this is the thing you have to understand if you're a Christian: if you work, your ultimate boss isn't the guy who's watching you down here. It's the person nobody else knows about if they're not Christians who's watching you up there.

Martyred missionary Jim Elliot once made this statement. I wrote it in my little journal: "Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God". Listen to that. "Wherever you are, be all there"! Live your life fully. I chose Colossians 3:23 as my life verse many years ago and I've written this verse in thousands of Bibles and books and at the end of letters. I have preached on it several times, but I want you to see it in the context in which it appears in the Bible. It simply describes how we are to go about living the Christian life. It says: "Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord".

We could use a little infusion of that in our world today because that's not the way a lot of people live. They don't live heartily. They don't do everything they can do with all their heart, but that's the way you should live if you're a Christian. And that's what Paul is saying. And then he says if you do that, there's an award coming: "Knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of an inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. And who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done".

One last thing and we'll be done here. We've talked about all of these different actors in the Christian household, and that brings us to some instruction for employers. In a word, Paul's desire for employers is this: "Respect your employees". Colossians 4:1: "Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair". Here, Paul instructs employers to treat their employees justly and fairly. One author describes how a good businessman who's a Christian treats his employees. Listen to what he said. "On a day-to-day basis, the good boss is one who will listen to you. He will stand up for you. He will trust you and not micromanage every aspect of your work. He will communicate clearly, instantly, constantly, in a collaborative manner. He will seek your advice, listen to your concerns, consult you on the best solutions for success. They set high expectations and encourage you to be the best you can be, striving for new heights of excellence".

When you're a Christian and you're a boss and you're a leader, there should be a different quality about you. You are interested in the success of the people who work for you. You know that if you help them be successful, they'll make you more successful. You're not always after them for what they don't do, but in the same way that parents are to encourage their children, whoever is in control of an organization should also be an encourager of those who work there. So there you have it.

There's Paul telling you, "Okay, those of you who are in Colossi, in this little church, let me give you some help here. Don't get so caught up in all the false teachers that are coming after you that you forget how to live the Christian life. Be good parents, be good wives, be good husbands, be obedient children, be good workers, and be good bosses because Christ is at the center of it all".

Now let me finish this with these words. The 3rd chapter of Colossians begins, you remember this, by reminding us that we're to "set our affections on things above, and not on things on earth". You go back and read the first few verses. Paul said to the Colossian believers, "Listen, you're gonna go through this thing you're going through, make sure you keep your eyes on God, don't get so earthly minded that you don't have any heavenly perspective".

The chapter ends in a unique way, and let me point it out to you. Wives are instructed to be subject to their own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands are told to love their wives as Christ loves the Church. Children are told to obey their parents in all things because this is well pleasing to the Lord. Employees are told to obey their employers, for in doing so they serve the Lord Christ. Employers are reminded that they also have a Master in heaven. Do you get it? Every one of these relationships is first of all with somebody else, but primarily with God. Wives, submit to your husbands because you're submitting to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives because Christ loved the Church. Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. All through this whole section, if you watch for it, Jesus Christ is at the center of it all.

Listen to me: because we are Christians, we're different. Because Christ is in our relationships at home, there should be a new quality to that relationship. It doesn't always happen all at once, but it happens along the way. As we submit ourselves to the Lord, as we should become better husbands and better wives and better parents and more obedient children and better workers and better bosses, why? Because Christ is in the equation. Christ is everything.

The title of this series is "Christ Above All". It's more important than anything we've talked about today to understand that it's all about our relationship with Christ, and here is Paul telling us, "You want to honor the Christ that is the center of your life, it's going to affect how you live, how you relate at home, how you relate at work, how you function as parents. Christ is a difference-maker". And this may not make a lot of sense to somebody who doesn't know Christ. I don't think a person who doesn't have the Holy Spirit in their heart and Christ within them would have a very easy time doing the things that I've been talking about today, but I wanna tell you something.

What is not possible for you in the flesh, when you have Christ in your heart, he enables you to do what you could not do without him. And that leads me to ask you this question: Do you know Christ? Is he in your life? Does he have a place in who you are, in your heart? Has there ever been a time when you had heard the gospel and decided, "I'm gonna trust Christ"? Christ doesn't come upon you in some sort of vague way. He comes to live within your heart because you decide to invite him to be your Savior. I wanna ask you today, if you're not a Christian, whether you're listening to me here in this room or listening across the network, would you trust Christ?

You say, "Pastor Jeremiah, I know that Christ will forgive my sin". I'm here to tell you he'll change your relationship with your husband or your wife, he'll make you a better parent, he'll make you a better worker, and if you're a boss over somebody, he'll make you a better boss. But first of all, you've got to invite him into your life. I am so concerned, men and women, that the gospel gets pushed aside. I don't want you to miss this. For you to see any of these things I've talked about happen, it begins with step number one: you invite Jesus Christ to be your Savior.
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