Presentation on theme: "The Community and Family Course"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Community and Family Course Community Courses:The Lamb of God Community Foundations Course 2
2 Why These Courses?We aim to give 3 to 4 FC series each year. We are in a journey… Ephesians 4:12-13 We need to learn what is the community way of life Our goal: move from initial membership to underway to full covenant commitment Is the Lamb of God the place where God has called you to live? The Christian Community: A School of Love
3 Community and Family Course Talk 1. Community and Family in God’s Plan [t] Talk 2. Families, Children, Christian Community[m] Talk 3. Men and Women in Christian Community- [t] Talk 4. The Christian Marriage Relationship – [t] [Talk 5. Christian Single Life] - [m] [Talk 6. Christian Community and State of Life [m] Note: Talks 5 and 6 are combined.
4 Community and Family in God’s Plan Talk 1Community and Family in God’s Plan
5 1. Introduction to the series and the course a. The stages and states of life seriesb. The Community and Family Course1) A community of young and old, married and single2) According to God’s plan3) Lived in modern circumstances.
7 Matthew 19:3-8And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?" He answered, "Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate." They said to him, "Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?" He said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.
8 Genesis 1:26-28Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
9 Genesis 2:18-24Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him." Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.
10 Genesis 2:18-24So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
11 Malachi 2:13-16And this second thing you do. You cover the LORD's altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favour from your hand. But you say, "Why does he not?" Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. "For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the LORD, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless."
12 c. Summary:1) Sex is for marriage 2) Marriage is for family 3) Family is for community 4) Community is for the kingdom of God
13 3. God’s instructionsa. You shall not commit adultery (Ex. 20:14; Deut. 5:16): sex is only for marriage. b. Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God gives you (Ex. 20:12; Deut. 5:18): there is an order to family life that allows it to function corporately and fulfil its purpose.
14 4. Sin and the Fall a. Romans 1:20-28 Loss of relationship with God results in loss of moral self-control, which leads to sexual immorality.For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
15 4. Sin and the Fall a. Romans 1:20-28 Loss of relationship with God results in loss of moral self-control, which leads to sexual immorality.Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonouring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonourable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.
16 4. Sin and the Fallb. Ephesians 4: We need to avoid living like those around us do. Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!-- assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
17 5. The restoration in Christ [See “Foundational Texts: Household Codes”]Colossians 3:18-4:1 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.
18 5. The restoration in Christ [See “Foundational Texts: Household Codes”]b. Ephesians 5: 22-31: Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Saviour. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendour, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."
19 5. The restoration in Christ [See “Foundational Texts: Household Codes”]c. 1 Peter 3:1-7 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external--the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewellery, or the clothing you wear-- but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening. Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honour to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
20 5. The restoration in Christ b. In Christ we can live the life for which God created us. Redemption is more than salvation in the next life; it is restoration of human life on earth.
21 5. The restoration in Christ c. What we see at creation holds true “in Christ”. 1) Sex is for marriage. 2) Marriage is for family, a place in which the next generation is born and raised. 3) Family is intended to foster Christian community and be supported by Christian community. 4) The purpose is to take part in God’s plan for the restoration of the human race.
23 Talk 2. Families, Children, Christian Community Why be a family Talk 2. Families, Children, Christian Community Why be a family? Why have children? Why community?
24 1. Common misunderstandings of family life – The current situation: the weakening of family and the bad results of certain contemporary misunderstandings.
25 Common misunderstandings of family life a. The traditional family as an outmoded institution [‘old fashioned’] 1)The couple cannot be expected to stay together for life. 2) Children should mainly be taken care of and raised by societal or church institutions. 3) Home is not a place where family members spend much time. b. The “freedom of the child” [sponge mentality] 1) Parents should not impose their beliefs on their children, but should let them choose for themselves how they will live. 2) Children should clarify their own values. 3) Children need to “individuate out of” their family.
26 Common misunderstandings of family life c. The idolization (romanticizing) of the nuclear family 1) The time spent in the family should be maximized. 2) The family and relationships in it are seen in an idealized, romantic light. d. The child-centred family 1) Family life exists for the benefit of the children. 2) Parents should seek to “develop the child’s full potential”. 3) Development of the child takes priority over participation in family life and also over the welfare of the other members of the family. 4) Development of the child takes priority over the community and the church.
27 Our Goal2. A communitarian transgenerational vision for family life [passing our way of life to our children]a. Families as part of a people“At that time,” says the Lord, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people” (Jer. 31:1).In Old Testament times (cf. Num. 1:2-3)In the early church (cf. Col. 3:1 8-4:1) We need something similar.
28 b. Families as cells 1) The community supports the family, and the family supports the community. 2) The family needs a broader set of relationships than the modern, isolated, nuclear family provides. 3) The Lord intends family life to be fulfilled and transformed in him and therefore in Christian community.
29 b. Families as cells Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. (Mark 10:29-30) 4) The family in and with the Christian community should be the instrument of passing on to the next generation redeemed life in Christ and the Christian way of life that embodies it.
30 3. The role of Christian parents a. They should have children if they can: Increase and multiply (Gen. 1:28), forming them into a family in the Christian community. b. They should bring [children] up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph. 6:1-4), teaching them his ways (Deut. 6:4-9). c. They should be concerned about worldly influences and about their children’s relationships: Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33), and good company strengthens good morals.
31 3. The role of Christian parents d. Their children should obey them, not just in practical matters, but also in how they live: Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord (Col. 3:20; see also Eph. 6:1-3). – Parents should exercise their authority in a way that facilitates obedience: Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged (Col. 3:21). e. Their service as parents is a Christian ministry, one they have been “ordained to”.
32 ConclusionThe Lord wants us to recapture a vision of the family that sees it in the whole of God’s purpose. Sex is for marriage, marriage is for family, family is for community, community is for the kingdom of God. Do you want to have a communitarian transgenerational vision for your family life?
34 Talk 3. Men and Women in Christian Community [Equal, different, and complimentary]
35 Introduction1. Introduction: sameness and difference a. The reigning ideology tries to say men and women are the same, except sexually. b. The sameness approach is increasingly being seen to be defective.
36 2. The fundamental biblical teaching: equal, different, complementary a. Men and women are the same (equal): 1) In God’s image: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (Gen. 1:27). 2) In sin: For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). 3) In receiving the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:17-18). 4) Men and women are one in Christ (Gal. 3:27-8): For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
37 2. The fundamental biblical teaching: equal, different, complementary b. Men and women are also different 1) The scriptures teach that there should be social role and personality (character trait) differences (Titus 2:1-6). 2) Scientific and social scientific evidence indicates that these differences correspond to psycho-social patterns that are rooted in our biological makeup (created by God).
38 2. The fundamental biblical teaching: equal, different, complementary c. The differences between men and women are complementary 1) Two things are complementary when they go together to create a whole, something greater than each one alone. 2) Each has a contribution to make that cannot be simply replaced by a contribution from the other.
39 3. Social roles in a changing culture a. In our culture we are living through a time of tremendous social change in this area – This change is contributing to some significant problems, especially in family life. [Example]
40 b. The scriptural pattern for differences: 1) There should be an order in relationships: – The husband is the head of the family (e.g., Eph. 5:21-33) The wife shares in authority (e.g., 1 Tim. 5:14) – Men are the elders of the community (e.g., 1 Tim. 3:1-7; 2:11-12) – Women share in the leadership (e.g., Titus 2:4-5; 1 Tim. 3:11; Rom. 16:1) 2) There should be outward expressions of sexual identity (e.g., Deut. 22:5; 1 Cor. 11:4-5, 13-16). 3) There should be some task distinctions between men and women.
41 c. Women’s and men’s contributions 1) Roles are primarily a matter of special contribution, not of limitation or restriction. 2) Both men and women should be strong and capable, but in somewhat different ways.
44 1. Common misunderstandings of marriage a. The minimalist views 1) Marriage as a way of satisfying sexual desire 2) Marriage as a way of having companionship 3) Marriage as a social institution with benefits 4) Marriage for personal fulfilment
45 1. Common misunderstandings of marriage b. The mystical-romantic views 1) Marriage as mystical oneness 2) Marriage as the model of relational intimacy and shared feelings
46 2. The marriage relationship “in the beginning” a. “A man shall cleave to his wife” — marriage is a personal relationship or union. Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh (Gen. 2:24). b. “One flesh” — marriage involves sexual union in the context of personal commitment. Do you not know that he who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For as it is written, “The two shall become one flesh. ” (1 Cor. 6:16).
47 2. The marriage relationship “in the beginning” c. “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen. 1:28) — marriage involves having children. d. “A helper like himself” — marriage involves the wife helping the husband and the husband caring for the wife. The LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him (Gen. 2:18). 1) They are complementary in role: 1 Cor. 11: 9; 1 Tim. 5:10, 14; Gen. 2: 15. 2) They should live together well: she is your companion and your wife by covenant (Mal. 2:14).
48 2. The marriage relationship “in the beginning” 3) They should love one another: Love one another warmly, from the heart (1 Pet. 1: 22). Through love be servants of one another (Gal. 5: 13).
49 3. The order of the husband-wife relationship in Christ (Eph. 5:22-33) a. The passage is one of the household codes, texts on order in marriage (see Foundational Texts section) b. Christ and the church are models for the husband and wife. 1) As the church submits to Christ her head, so the wife should submit to her husband. 2) As Christ loves and gives himself up for the church, so the husband cares for his wife. c. The new covenant makes a new marriage relationship possible. 1) The crucifixion is the example. A new commandment I give you that you love one another as I have loved you (John 13:34). [dying for your best friend] 2) Being in Christ makes holiness possible.
50 4. Marriage in our community a. We are not authorized to tamper with marriage. b. Ecumenical marriage can work well. c. Divorce is not God’s plan (Mal. 2:16; Matt. 19:3-9). d. Marriage and community are mutually beneficial.
51 4. Marriage in our community Conclusion: Marriage Ideal: It is a three-legged race. It is three dimensional union: God, husband and wife.
53 Talks 5 & 6:  Christian Single Life and  Christian Community and State of Life
54 Christian Single Life1. Introduction For Christians, a godly single life can be a very positive ideal and, according to the scripture, for many the better life. 2. Reasons for the Christian single life a. There is the temporary single life that is part of the life of all young Christians. b. There can be practical reasons for deciding not to get married
55 Christian Single Lifec. Sometimes people do not get married because of the lack of a good Christian partner with whom they can live the life they have been called to. 1) It is normally better to remain single than to marry the wrong person. 2) Such a single life is a vocation. d. Some Christians do not get married because of service of the Lord, a service that they could not perform as well if they were married or one that would make it hard to care for a family. 3. Living single for the Lord (consecrated celibacy)
56 Living single for the Lord (consecrated celibacy) Example of JesusJesus said in Matthew 19:12: some are called to do so.Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 7: 25-28Single men and women can serve the Lord more directly and without ‘hassles.’b. Ways of living single for the Lord in our communities.1) In a brotherhood or sisterhood2) In another supportive living situation.
57 Living single for the Lord Single men and women are tremendous blessings to all of us! Let us value and honour them! Single life is a blessing – make the most out of your time to serve God!
58 Christian Community and State of Life Introduction: moving towards a state of lifeWe should form our children in this area.We should not assume that all our children are called to married life.We need to dedicate our children and offer them to the Lord, including their state of life.We should not conform to the worldly pattern of bf/gf relationships – can cause hurts, suffering, bitterness and personal anguish.
59 Very important Principle: State of Life Sex is for marriage Marriage is for family. Family is for community Community is for the Kingdom of God.
60 Christian Community and State of Life Why is there a community pattern towards state of life?We do not encourage recreational dating, but purposeful dating.Encourage our young people not to have and look for boyfriend/girlfriend relationships until they are ready to move on: ideally, after uni and/or when he/she is mature enough and ready to move in to marriage within a few months or years’ time; pastoral role is very important in this area.
61 Christian Community and State of Life What is the community pattern towards state of life? 3. When he is ready to move on, we encourage him to make a state of life decision; am I for married or single life? [Discernment]; pastoral input is very important here. 4. If he/she is for married life, we encourage him/her to write down essential qualities for a spouse based on what he/she thinks.
62 Christian Community and State of Life What is the community pattern towards state of life? 5. At this stage, he/she can go dating other young men or women in the community. 6. If they found a person who can possibly be a spouse, they can move towards a relationship stage [boyfriend/girlfriend]; can be broken at any time. Here, serious discussions happen; input of pastoral leaders are very important at this stage. 7. Engagement 8. Marriage!
63 Conclusion:1. The state of life process is not theoretical but a practical guideline to move forward in a Godly way. It works! 2. As singles, we need to surrender our state of life to God. God cares for us, and we need to trust Him in this area.