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Summary: Colossians 3 gives practical advice about our most basic human relationships: Husband to Wife; Parent to Child; and Boss to Employee.

Colossians Series # 4

Jesus the One and Only

Revealed in Our Relationships

Colossians 3:15 – 4:6

Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:18-4:1

INTRODUCTION:

Have you ever thought about the concept that God is --- by His very nature --- a RELATIONSHIP. God presents himself to us as a Unity of Three – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When Jesus was here on earth, he said that he did nothing apart from his Father. His very existence was defined by His relationship with God the Father.

When we think of it that way, it should not surprise us to know that God created us for RELATIONSHIPS. God cares about our relationship with Him and with each other. In fact, we can see Jesus Christ through the way we RELATE to each other. In Colossians chapter 3, the Apostle Paul gives us some very practical advice about our most basic human relationships: Husband to Wife; Parent to Child; and Boss to Employee.

The TEXT that _____________ read today sounds familiar to most of us. We think it’s just common sense that Husbands should love their wives; and Fathers should not be harsh to their children; and Employers should pay a fair wage. But these instructions were REVOLUTIONARY in Paul’s day.

The Roman Culture of the 1st century was like every other culture in that day. It held the view represented on the screen. By Roman law a man with a wife, children, and slaves had the power of life and death over them. He could do anything he wanted --- they had no legal recourse. Wives, Children, and Slaves had all the Obligation - Husbands, Fathers, or Masters held all the Power. That’s the way the WORLD’S ETHICS worked back then --- and it’s still the way the WORLD ETHIC system works today.

Jesus introduced an entirely new ethic. The Christian Ethic can be called the Ethic of RECIPROCAL OBLIGATION. Notice the difference as pictured on the screen. Instead of exerting Power Over the other person, the one in authority is responsible to LIFT the other person up. This is SERVANT LEADERSHIP. Let’s take some time to see how the Christian Ethic works.

In Colossians 3:18-19 Paul focuses on the relationship between a Husband and Wife.

1. Husbands and Wives

It’s not going to shock any of you to hear that the Institution of Marriage is in trouble. It’s disturbing to see how Culture has changed just during my lifetime. I read an article recently that said the number of single-parent households doubled from 1960 to the year 2000. A recent Gallup poll reported that 60% of Americans find nothing wrong with premarital sex, and 52% say living together is a good idea. A full 1/3 of babies in the year 2000 were born to unmarried women. (Leadership Magazine, Fall 2001, p. 9)

Every Study I’ve heard of shows that the disintegration of marriage is weakening our culture in all kinds of ways. Unfortunately, Marriages in the Church are not much stronger than Marriages outside the Church. But, I’ll tell you one thing. That is NOT because God’s plan for marriage is faulty. Our problems come because we don’t KNOW God’s plan for marriage. Or because we know God’s plan, but we don’t FOLLOW it.

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