11am On-line Service 21 February 2021
Dear GCBC Parents:
In reading through the verses for this week’s sermon (Romans 6:15-23), it brought to mind a conversation we had as a family at the dinner table this week. We were talking about how Mom and Dad have made rules for our family based on our beliefs. We believe in God and that His ways are best for us, and we discover His ways by reading the Bible. As parents, Jason and I have read the Bible (along with some good Christian parenting books) and asked God to give us wisdom in knowing how best to disciple our children. We admit that we don’t get this right all the time because we are human and not perfect. And now that we have a couple of teenagers, we have adjusted some of the rules to allow them certain freedoms to choose for themselves how they will live. Of course, our prayer is that they, too, will choose God’s ways from the Bible, but it is ultimately up to them. And it is a heart issue. Their hearts must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and submissive to the Lord (Romans 6:17-18).
Romans 6:15-23 speaks to the effect of choosing to live our own way or God’s way. Once we trust in Jesus’ sacrifice to make us right with God, we start the journey of sanctification. John Piper has defined sanctification as this:
“So here’s the definition: progressively becoming like Jesus. Gradually becoming like Jesus, or becoming holy. Becoming conformed to the image of Christ. Little by little, over time — from conversion till Jesus comes back, or you die — you are in the process of sanctification, becoming sanctified, becoming holy.”
As Christian parents, we not only teach our children the ways of God, but we must also help them understand that God’s ways are better and lead to a life of sanctification (Romans 6:19, 22). Following our own sinful desires leads only to more sin, shame, and guilt (Romans 6:19, 21). We must help them see the difference between a life being sanctified and one that is not. We must bring them into our own faith journey and let them know when the Lord is growing us, challenging us, and sanctifying us. I try to admit to my children the sins I struggle with and how the Holy Spirit convicts me and challenges me to choose God’s ways over my own. I don’t want them to think that being a Christian means being perfect…that is unattainable and not Biblical. Being a Christian means being sensitive to the work of the Spirit in my life to be sanctified.
Lastly and most of all, we must pray for our children to trust in Jesus. Only then will God’s ways be appealing to them and begin their own sanctification.
Bible Project video on “Lev/Heart” to help us understand that sanctification begins with the heart that trusts in Jesus – https://bibleproject.com/explore/video/lev-heart
“What’s In The Bible” quick explanation of the word, sanctification, for children – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp_TRnXLet0