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What does it mean to Parent in Christ?
Last time we opened the Bible to learn what it means to be "in Christ,” and we learned that a Parent in Christ has faith in Christ and peace in Christ, and we discussed the implications of those realities.
Please listen to that episode if you missed it.
Today we’re going to see that Parenting in Christ means two more wonderful and gracious Truths.
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Okay, when we’re in Christ, we’re living in faith and peace. What else does it mean to be in Christ?
3. A Parent in Christ Has Strength in Christ.
Please consider these amazing promises:
II Timothy 2:1, “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
The source of our strength is the same thing that purchases us salvation and provides us peace. God’s graciously bestows on us the strength necessary for life and godliness.
But it only comes through the grace that is “in Christ.”
In Philemon 1:8 Paul is relying on this strength to confront Philemon: "Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required.”
The power of God gives us the boldness we need to live for Christ.
Philippians 4:19, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
This strength is not merely physiological strength. It’s emotional, mental, and spiritual as well. But it’s also physical — meaning that the God owns the cattle on a thousand hills is able to provide all of our worldly needs according to His plan and purpose.
You have everything you need, nothing you don’t, and the power to glorify God with it.
Philippians 4:7 reads, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
This power is not merely available to help us accomplish things. This same power protects us from us. As we submit to God’s Truth, even when we’re being tempted with anxiety, we can rejoice in the Lord, love the people in our lives, thankfully take everything to God in prayer, and think correctly because the peace of God guard our hearts in Christ.
And, I don’t know about you, but this is encouraging.
Philippians 2:1 says, “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy.”
The strength that is ours in Christ is infinitely encouraging.
And — again — we’re seeing that all of these realities of being in Christ works together.
The faith and peace and strength, and our fourth reality, require each other.
The Philippians 2 passage goes on to say, “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.”
The encouragement is that our faith produces peace with each other and in our homes.
And how does this happen? From where does it come?
II Corinthians 1:21 reads, “And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us.”
This strength is God’s. It’s not the pittance He shares with under-beings, it’s God’s ultimate, universe-creating power establishing us.
Are you not encouraged?
And it’s this faith and peace and strength that allows us to realize the fourth reality of being in Christ.
4. A Parent in Christ Obeys in Christ.
Now, this is both obvious and yet difficult.
It’s obvious because believing God is obeying God, living in peace with God, in ourselves, and with others is obeying God, and embracing the lifestyle necessary to enjoy the strength of Christ is also obedience.
And yet it’s difficult because we’re once again confronted by the reality that if I’m in Christ, I should be a new creature. Old things are passed away and behold, all things have become new.
My life should be different because Christ is in me and I’m in Him.
Let’s consider Hebrews 3:12-19, “12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.”
The author is warning us to flee a disobedient life. And instead . . .
“13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”
And then he gives his reasoning.
“14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said, ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.’ 16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.”
Our being in Christ is to produce an obedient lifestyle that works out its faith in fear and trembling.
If you are going to parent in Christ, your parenting (and, really, your whole lifestyle) should have faith and peace and strength and obedience to God as its foundation.
Does this sound like your parenting?
If it doesn’t let me share with you three possibilities.
1. It could be, as we discussed last time, that you don’t have a relationship with God.
It’s possible that you aren’t in Christ.
2. It’s also possible that you are what we call a baby Christian.
Now, that’s not supposed to be a derogatory title, and it has nothing to do with your age. It refers to your level of spiritual maturity.
Some people are less mature than others because they’ve been followers of Christ for a shorter period of time.
Some people are less mature because they’ve been growing very slowly.
And you may be lacking in faith, peace, strength, and obedience because 3. It’s possible you’re experiencing a period of Hard-Heartedness.
In our Four Children series we discussed that even born again believers can have Hard-Hearted responses in life. It’s not characteristic of their lives overall, but it can define a season of self-worship that exhibits itself in sinful choices.
I would strongly recommend you dig deep, ask your frientors, and be honest with the Scriptures.
These four characteristics are what it means to be in Christ.
On the next two episodes we’re going to discuss what Parenting in Christ looks like.
So, please share this episode with your friends and invite them into this parenting journey with us.
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And check us out on social media. We do out best to carefully curate articles and quotes that will strengthen you parenting in Christ.
God wants you to be in Him. He wants you to exercise your faith, be at peace, have the strength necessary to obey, and glorify Him in your parenting.
So, to that end, I’ll see you next time.
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