- Scriptural Responsibility for Social Action
- Scriptural Family Responsibility
- Prayer Effort
– The Scriptural Responsibility of Family and the Scriptural Basis for Involvement in issues concerning the spiritual, social and physical health and welfare of men, women and children.
Bold verses in this segment are from the Christian Social Responsibility section of the Lausanne Covenant, World Conference of Evangelical and Missionary leaders, Lausanne, Switzerland; 1974.
Acts 17: 26 “From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.”
1 Tim 2:1-4 “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
Jn. 3:3-5 “The Father Loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.”
Luke 4:18-19 (Jesus quoting from Isaiah 61) “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
2 Cor. 3:18 (Disciples) “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
Matt: 19:21 “Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
Lev. 19:15 “Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.”
Lev. 19:18 “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”
Deut. 24:17-18 “…do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow in pledge. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord you God redeemed you from there. That is why I command you to do this.”
Ps 35:10, “My whole being will exclaim, ‘Who is like you, O Lord? You rescue the poor from those too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them.”
Ps 68:10b “and from your bounty, O God, you provided for the poor.”
Ps. 82:3-4 (Psalmist to the kings) “Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the week and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
Ps. 112:9 (Psalmist about the man who fears the Lord) “He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever; his horn will be lifted high in honor.”
Ps. 113:7 (Psalmist about the Lord) “He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes of their people. He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the Lord.”
Ps. 140:12 “I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy. Surely the righteous will praise your name and the upright will live before you.”
Prov. 22:9, “for he shares his food with the poor.”
Prov. 29:7 “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.”
Prov. 29:12 “If a ruler listens to lies, all his officials become wicked.”
Prov. 31:8-9 “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Prov. 31:20, “She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.’
Luke 14:13-14 “… when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
Acts 9:36 “In Joppa, there was a disciple named Tabitha…, who was always doing good and helping the poor.”
Gal. 2:10 “All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.”
James 2:15-16 “Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?”
Isa. 1:17 “learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the fatherless , plead the cause of the widow.”
Isaiah 10:1-3 (God, through Isaiah, to the Israelites) “Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless. What will you do on the day of reckoning, when disaster comes from afar? To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your riches?
Jer. 22:16-17 “He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?’ Declares the Lord, ‘but your eyes are set on dishonest gain, on shedding innocent blood and on oppression and extortion.”
Luke 6:27 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”
Luke 6:35-36 “… love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your father is merciful.”
Heb. 13:1-3 “Keep on loving each other as brothers. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”
James 2:1 “My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism.”
Matt 6:33a “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness…”
Matt 5:20 “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Acts 4:18-19 “Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, ‘judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God.”
Acts 5:29 “Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than men!”
Jn. 15:18-21 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world., That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.”
Matt 5:10-12 “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Col. 3:24 “since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
Ps 45:7 “You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” (about the King after God’s own heart – a wedding song)
Scriptural Responsibilty of the Family
The 6th President of the United States, John Quincy Adams, wrote in
a letter to his son:
“The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal as well as moral and religious code; it contained many statutes…of universal application – laws essential to the existence of men in society.” John Quincy Adams, Letter of John Quincy Adams, to His Son, on the Bible and Its Teachings (Auburn: James M. Alden, 1850), pp. 22-23
Parental Responsibility toward Children
Deut. 4:9 “Only be careful and watch yourselves closely do that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”
Deut. 6: 6-9 “These commands that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
Duet. 11:18-21 “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds: tie them as symbols on your hands, and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the Lord swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.
Ps. 78:2-7 “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old – what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.
Jesus’ Love For Children
Matt. 18:1-6 “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? He called a little child and has him stand among them. And he said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (5) And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. (6) But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
Matt. 19:13-15 “Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, ‘let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.”
Mark 9:36-37 “He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
Mark 10:13-16 “People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.”
Luke 18:15-17 “People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
The Child’s Responsibility to Parents
Ex. 20:12 “honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord has given you.”
Lev. 19:3 “Every one of you shall revere his mother and father.”
Deut. 5:16 “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord has given you.”
Prov. 6:20 “My son, keep your father’s command, and do not forsake the law of your mother.”
Prov. 17:6 “Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.”
Prov. 23:22 “Listen to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old.
Matt. 15:4 “Honor your father and mother.”
Mark 7:10 “Honor your father and mother,’ and …”
Luke 18:20 “Honor your father and mother.’ ”
Eph. 6:1-3 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for
this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment
with promise: ‘That it may be well with you and you may live long on
Responsibility of those who have struggled in their relationship with
one or both birth parents
It is possible to honor abusive or neglectful parents. We do this because God commands it, but also for our own emotional and spiritual health. Honoring them can be done in simple yet honest ways.
1. After giving one’s hurts to God, the criticism and resentment can be left behind. In public talk about parents, there is no longer a need to discuss the past bitterly.
2. Forgiving one’s parents doesn’t mean pretending all was well and that there aren’t still important issues. But there are still things that one can be grateful and thank them for. At the very least, we can be grateful for their help in bringing us us into the world, or for providing a home and education.
3. We can never forget that some of the people that exhibit the most dysfunction are in fact the very people that need us the most. Some people push others away because they themselves feel unlovable. Sometimes the best response to that is to stubbornly continue showing them love.
Luke 12:48 “To whom much is given, from him much will be required.”
Breaking the Tradition of Veneration of Ancestors
“Honoring your parents” means a humble respect and loving care for your parents, which we are to do no matter the circumstances. Honoring our parents is commanded by God. However, Going beyond that and placing more value on family members than God is not part of that command. Our relationship with family members should not cause us to lose sight of God in our lives.
Matt. 10:37 “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”
CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY – Those Who Believe Enter the Family of God
Scripturally, we are Children of God; descendents of Abraham through identical faith.
Romans 4:11-13 “And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. And he is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.”
Romans 4:16-18 “Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring – not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. As it is written: ‘I have made you a father of many nations.’ He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed – the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were. Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’ ”
Romans 8:14-17 “because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
Continuing to love, honor and tend to our physical family, we are now part of a new, spiritual family with our father in heaven.
Mark 3:31-35 “Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him ‘Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.’ ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ He asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.’ ”
Mark 10:29-30 “[N]o one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age.”
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