Institutional First Baptist Church Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr
Delivered On
August 23, 2015 at 10:45 AM
The Christian Family
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr. Sunday August 23, 2015
The Christian Family
“And when the days of purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord.” Luke 2:22 “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him” Luke 2:40
Special note - Technical difficulties presented posting the sermon for 
last Sunday - 8/16/15 
There are five major organizations around which group life is 
centered. These organizations, often referred to as institutions, are: 
Family, Religion, Education, Government, and Economic. Each of 
these organizations must have people for its survival, but only one 
of them - the Family - can provide the human requirement. All of 
the institutions exert influence on the family. Education, for 
example, provides the formal training by which the young family 
member eventually becomes an educated and employable person. 
Notwithstanding the institutional forces, the family assumes it 
personal goals and values. These family choices extend to religion. 
Thus, some family are highly committed to religious while others 
are totally indifferent to it. Our sermon today, differing from the 
earlier Scripture announced last Sunday, will carry further the 
message presented at the Children Altar Call this morning and 
has been entitled, The Christian Family. It will encompass 
the following considerations and/or inquiries, namely: 1. an 
overview of biblical family types, 2. the division of labor in the 
child rearing process, and 3. the correct priority of values for 
child rearing. 
Prior to addressing these considerations, attention will be 
focused on some essential concepts that undergird the sermon. 
The first word is family; it can be viewed from two angles; the first 
is known as traditional. This type consists of the husband, the wife, 
and at least one child. Next, there is a broad category referred to 
as the Non traditional family. This segment includes the single 
parent family, the blended family - a couple in which both had 
children in a previous marriage. A third family type is known as 
the extended family; it is one that consists of grandparents living 
with the parents and children. Finally, there is a type - religiously 
condemned - known as the same sex marriage. 
Having highlighted the word, family, the next concept that 
of religion. This concepts refers to an organized set of beliefs and 
practices that people embody regarding a supreme being. Old 
Testament History, for example, is a lucid example of religion as 
practiced by the Ancient Israelites. Christianity, the third - and 
final background concept - is a form of religion; it grew out of 
the religion known as Judaism; however, it is different from 
Judaism in that it accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior. 
With the definition of these four words, it is now possible to 
formulate a theoretical basis for the sermon topic, earlier 
announced as The Christian Family. This reference is to the 
Family as presented in the New Testament, as practice by Joseph 
and Mary, and as taught by Saint Paul. 
Against this background information, attention will now be 
turned to the earlier defined considerations, the first of which is 
an overview of biblical types. Friends, the past national election 
capitalized on a distorted biblical notion of family type. Much 
attention was placed on statements such as “I believe in marriage 
involving one man and one woman”. I concur with this statement, 
but it was distorted, in the past election, to convey the idea that 
any Bible believing person must embrace the one man and one 
woman type. Friends, any person even with an elementary 
knowledge of the Bible knows that Old Testament History was 
replete with plurality of wives. Abram, while not having two wives, 
did father a child, Ishmael, by his wife’s maid. Yet, that same 
Abram would have righteousness imputed to him and he would 
become the father of a nation. Jacob, the grandson of Abraham 
had two wives and two maids all of whom bore children for him, 
yet this same - Jacob’s name was changed to Israel. Elkannah, the 
father of Samuel had two wives and yet his Son, Samuel, became 
the first Priest of Israel. These are but a few of prominent Old 
Testament characters who had several wives. Beloved, no attempt 
is herein made for plurality of wives, instead, the emphasis is 
on being biblical correct in interpretation. 
Having cited some facts about the Old Testament family, let 
us now turn attention to the New Testament from which the 
Christian family originated. An examination of New Testament 
Scriptures discloses a consistent monogamous marriage, that 
is one husband and one wife. Some of the couples include: Joseph 
and Mary; Ananias and Sapphira, Acqulia and Priscilla, and the 
Apostle Peter of whom the Bible tells us that Christ healed his 
mother in law. Beloved, these highly profiled persons provide 
adequate document to conclude that the Christian Family is 
New Testament based. 
Having examine the Biblical types of family structures, 
attention will now be focused on the division of labor, or work 
tasks, performed in the family. Beloved, the fact is that men 
were more involved in child rearing during the Old Testament 
Period. In fact, the dominated the wive and the children. They 
were held in high respect, treated as kings, issued orders, and 
pronounced blessings on the children. 
The New Testament, in contrast, records a different picture 
of family interaction. First, there is the writings of Saint Paul in 
which he calls upon the wive to honor the husband, the husband 
to love his wife and to provide for his children, and for the children 
to obey their parents. The Christian family, in this connection, must 
viewed as a family affair. As a side note before taking up the 
third, and final, concern is that of the African American family. 
It is an unfortunate fact that too many fathers are non involved 
in the religious training, the educational development, and the 
economic well being of their children. As a matter of fact, many 
of them are dead weight to the family. Hopefully, this trend can 
be reversed by instilling Christian values into our young boys and 
And now to the final consideration of the Christian Family 
which is - the correct priority of aspirations for children in the 
Christian family. Beloved, there are three desires or goals that 
mothers, especially, have for their children. Each of them is 
Biblically anchored. The problem, however, it that too often 
mothers seem to get the goals in an incorrect order. Let us take 
a look at some biblical mothers which different priorities for their 
Our Bible tells us of a mother whose child was grievously ill 
and in need of medical attention. The woman, by nationality, 
was a Gentile and, according to custom, had no dealing with Jews. 
Thus, she felt excluded from the spiritual healing of Jesus. Yet 
the seriousness of her child, caused the mother to seek Jesus. 
She was rebuffed by Jesus who referred to her group as dogs, but 
the woman - nonetheless prevailed -. Seeing her persistency, Jesus 
told her that the child was healed. Many years separate that event 
from contemporary times, but the Christian family should yet be 
concerned about the health of its children. 
The second goal, often sought for children, is that of 
prominence or high status. Our Bible tells us of a mother who 
approached Jesus to obtain the privilege of having her children 
sit beside him. Jesus, in the meantime, asked her if she thought 
that her children could bear the pain that awaited him. Friends, 
there are Christian Family settings in which the parents place 
nearly unbearable demands on children. 
The third and final goal is that of obtaining spirituality. Again 
the Bible provides an excellent example. It is that of Joseph and 
Mary bringing the Christ child into the temple on the eighth day 
his birth. Friends, that habit was soon internalized by Jesus for 
he was later found in the Temple sitting among doctors and lawyers 
when he was but twelve years old. On a later occasion, Jesus was 
found in the temple reading from the Book of Isaiah. 
In closing, what is the correct priority for the Christian family? 
It is herein submitted that it should be knowing Jesus, being 
healthy, and obtaining prestige. ( refer to Luke 2:42 ) invitation to 
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