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Tag Archives: God the Father

Men, Women, and Authority

As we continue to study Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church, we now come to another controversial section.  He begins to talk about men and women in regards to the principle of authority.

I think that so much of our debating and anger over this section comes from both a misunderstanding and a misrepresentation of what Paul is teaching.  We need to see this without any preconceived ideas of what’s being said.

Therefore, I’ll try to stick to the simple statements found in Scripture, rather than my personal perspective.  The key word is “try.”

Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
1 Corinthians 11:3

Let me get started by getting everyone mad at me!  This Scripture is a loaded minefield if you’re not willing to take it at face value.  It deals with the issues of authority and submission.

First of all, we’re talking about headship on an individual basis.  Notice that both the word man and woman are singular.  Paul is not saying that all men are the head over all women.

We make submission a very complicated subject.  I’m not going to talk about it much in this post.  I’ll simply give you some homework.  If you do a study of submission, you’ll find that the specific areas in which a woman is told to submit are to her own husband, or to her own father.

Having said that, this verse is saying that the head of a man is Christ.  The head of a woman is a man (either her husband or her father).

Women – Please don’t shut me off just yet!  Wait and see where I’m going with this.

All too often I’ve been flagged down by a husband, dragging his wife along.  He needed to ask me a “Bible question”.

“Pastor Nick, doesn’t the Bible say that the husband is the head of the wife?  Doesn’t she have to submit and do what the husband says?”

Immediately I see a problem in the relationship, and it’s not the wife.  It stems from a total misunderstanding of authority and headship.  Let’s see how Paul explains it.

In the above verse, he makes it clear that even within the Godhead there is headship and authority.  God the Son – Christ – is under the headship of God the Father.  Does that make Christ any less God?  Absolutely not!  He is fully God.

What then is the relationship when it comes to headship?

Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”
John 5:19

Notice what Jesus said here.  He did not say that He does everything the Father tells him to do.  Instead, He tells us that He does what He sees His Father doing.

The head sets the direction for the body.  In my last post, we saw Paul instructing them to imitate him as he imitated Christ.  This is true in any headship – authority relationship.

In my experience, the relationship of a wife to her husband is usually the same as the husband to Christ.  Godly men who are serving Christ faithfully usually don’t complain about lack of authority in their families.  It’s not about trying to get others to obey me, but about me getting my relationship right with the Lord.

Question: How well do you follow the headship of Christ?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

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The Best Father

FallenAs we look forward to Father’s Day this weekend, the best example of a father that I could give is of God Himself.

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
II Thessalonians 2:16-17

In this short passage I see four things that we, as godly fathers, need to take to heart. First, the most obvious…

A father loves his children.

This love is the choice to love our children. You might be thinking, “This is the easy part.” It might be easy to say it, but not to do it.

That’s because true love involves disciplining our children. That’s one of the most important aspects of a father’s love. It’s also the part I liked the least, yet it brought about the greatest rewards.

Unfortunately this is a generation of fatherless children. Fathers have either left home or are never home. As of the last census, fatherless homes produce:

90% of homeless and runaway children.

71% of pregnant teenagers

63% of teen suicides

85% of children with behavioral disorders

90% of teen repeat arsonists

71% of high school dropouts

75% of teens in rehab

85% of teens in prison

43% of U.S. children live without their father

We desperately need fathers who are there for their children.

The second thing I see is that a father encourages his children. This Greek word implies what a coach does. The coach can’t play the game for you. But he can give you everything you need to win. A true father gets his coaching from God in order to coach his children.

Next, a father gives hope to his children. We live in a generation with no hope. Teaching our children about Christ gives them a lasting hope. This will give them the strength to endure any challenge ahead of them.

The last thing I see is that a godly father is imitated by his children. Knowing this should drive us to our knees before God. That’s because a true father loves by both discipline and example.

This Father’s Day, I want to encourage any fathers reading this to look to our Father in heaven as their example. Spend time with Him to pick up His heartbeat. Your family will be all the stronger for it.

Question: What are some examples of godly fathers that you’ve seen?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2016 in Encouragement, Leadership, Spiritual Warfare

 

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God is God

GalaxyIn my last post I started talking about the person of the Holy Spirit. I’m trying to show that the language we use is messing us up sometimes. We don’t serve three gods. We serve one God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We run into problems when we try breaking them apart into separate entities. That’s because it’s God we’re talking about.

We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.
1 Corinthians 2:12

So who lives in us? According to this verse it’s the Holy Spirit.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20

Does Christ live in me or does the Holy Spirit live in me? That’s a dumb question – God lives in me.

You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
Romans 8:9

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ. He’s all the same person. To know the Holy Spirit is to know Christ and the Father. We just need to deepen our relationship with Him.

“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
John 17:22-23

The Lord wants us to be one in Him. How will He accomplish this? Jesus said, “I in them…” It’s His Spirit within us, bringing us to unity.

That’s why we call that the unity of the Spirit. You can’t break up God into little separate pieces. God is God – Father, Son, and Spirit.

In many areas of life there’s overlap and cooperation in their function. You can’t say – “Only the Holy Spirit did this.”

The fact is that the God of Glory, Creator of the universe has decided to take up residence in His people. I don’t understand why He’d want to do that, but I’m glad that He did.

It’s the greatest insult imaginable to ignore His presence in us. We should be eager to run to Him throughout our day. It’s the Holy Spirit of God that leads and guides us into the life that’s truly worth living.

Draw on this precious relationship that we’ve been given. The more time you spend with the Lord, the greater the blessing.

Question: How much quality time do you spend with the Holy Spirit?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

 
 

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Word of Truth

James 1:18
He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

This verse is referencing our Heavenly Father.  In the book of James He is called the Father of Heavenly Lights.  It is His light shining on us that brings us life.  In His love and wisdom He sent Christ into the world to bring us life.

This verse is clear.  We have been given a new birth.  A birth that was not of flesh and blood like our original entrance into this world.  This birth was through the Word of Truth.  I believe that James is referring to something more than the Bible, as wonderful as that Word is.  It is a Word that speaks to our inner being.

One of the names of Christ is the Word made flesh.  He was not a matter of ink and paper coming alive.  He is the living and enduring Word of the Most High God.  Christ said of Himself, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes to the Father but by me.”  He is the direct expression of the Word of Truth.

It is through this Word, Christ Himself, that we have been given new birth – if we have accepted the free gift of His salvation.  He did this so that He could begin the renovation of the human race in us.  That is what the last part of this verse is all about.  The firstfruits of all He created.

This is the beginnings of the kingdom of God manifest on earth.  Right now it is difficult to see.  It is taking root in the hearts of men and women throughout the world.  But they are changing, becoming what God intended them to be.  His Kingdom is starting in us.

The more time I spend in the presence of that Word, the more I become like Him.  Don’t ever take the presence of the Lord for granted.  It is a privilege to have access to the throne room of God.  It was paid for by the precious blood of Christ.  Let the living Word do the work in you that only He can do.  Spend quality time with Him today.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Jesus and Religion

John 5:17-18
Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.”  For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

Jesus and the Pharisees had a hard time getting along.  They were the “religious bunch” in Israel at that time.  Jesus didn’t seem to tolerate religious people too well.  That gets me thinking about the church today.  When you talk to some people, they think that being religious is a plus.  I wonder how they would feel if they ever met Jesus in person.

In this section of Scripture, persecution is starting to arise because of the things Jesus is saying and doing.  The Pharisees don’t like the way Jesus is ignoring their religious traditions.  Among other things, He’s healing on the Sabbath.  To make matters worse, the Lord makes an announcement that really starts them grumbling.  He actually calls God His Father.

The Pharisees were always having a problem with what the Lord said and did.  They didn’t like the fact that Jesus made himself out to be God in the flesh.  According to Scripture, that’s who the Messiah was meant to be.  He couldn’t lie about who He was.  Of course, this didn’t sit well with the Pharisees, who enjoyed the esteem and praise of the people.  They didn’t want to hear who the Lord was, because it meant that they’d have to submit their will to His.

It seems that religion always gets in the way of a relationship with Christ.  We need to step back and take a good look at how we view our connection with God.  Do we see it as a set of rules that need to be followed.  Or is it about time and intimacy spent with the Lord.  Don’t become like the Pharisees.  Cultivate the living relationship that Christ wants to have with each of His followers.

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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