“The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God” Ephesians 6: 17
In previous articles concerning the Holy Spirit’s role in your children’s life, sales the Spirit’s ministry was essential in effecting God’s plan to disciple your sons and daughters and prepare them to reach the lost in the 21st Century. Your children are quite unique because they have been born at the end of the New Covenant era, for sale man’s last ordained days on earth. They will most likely see the return of Christ (I Thess. 4:15-17). The New Covenant era was introduced by Jesus; it replaced the Old Covenant which began with Moses. The revolutionary teachings (Law to Grace) of the New Covenant were quite a change from the Old Covenant (Hebrews 8:13). These teachings permeate the entire New Testament. The book of Galatians is specifically dedicated to the New Covenant (Law to Grace) and would be a great book for your family to read and discuss. But as incredible as the New Covenant teachings are, (Galatians 3:22-26) they easily can become only good Sunday morning information when not accompanied by reliance on an indwelling Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 3:16).
The Holy Spirit was given to your children when they believed, and without Him the entire Bible, including the New Covenant becomes only an information-gathering source, rather than a transformational living truth (2 Cor. 5:17). The biblical definition of transformation means to make a complete change. The actual Greek word is metamorphoo (metamorphoo); it means to make incredible change. A picture of what metamorphoo encompasses is the metamorphosis of a butterfly. The change a caterpillar goes through to become a beautifully butterfly portrays the dramatic transformation God’s hopes for with His believers (Romans 12:1-2).
The Word was never meant to be merely a storehouse of biblical facts or beliefs. The intention of the Word was designed to be the Spirit’s tool to empower children to make needed heart changes, lifestyle repair, and steady progress in building their relationship with God. (John 14:16-17). The fruits of the Spirit as mentioned in the book of Galatians are a list of those intended changes, and will be the focus of our study over these next few weeks.
Your responsibility as parents is to partner with God in this goal. His role is to work within your believing child’s heart. He does this through the Spirit, who is committed to inspire, lead, and guide your children in truth. You represent God’s effort from the outside. You are His greatest earthly example of what Christians become when the Spirit is allowed to transform them through the Word (John 14:26).
Whether you fully accept this responsibility or not, you are still God’s primary means to build Godly character in your children. Hopefully, for their sakes, you will not decline this great opportunity. If you do, He will work around you for the sake of your children. There can be no greater joy for a Christian mother or father than to face Christ one day, knowing you did all you could to partner with Him in raising your children (2 Cor. 5:10). And perhaps nothing more discouraging than to face Him knowing you actually hurt their spiritual development. (Ephesians 6:4, Mark 9:42).
A parent led prayer before reading the Word will help and I strongly suggest it. Something like, “Lord, as we read the Word; make the necessary changes in each of us. Help us to become more like You in everything we do.”
In this Teachable Moment, highlight how important it is to recognize the Spirit’s presence, desire, and ability to help your children be transformed as they read the Word. Take your children to the kitchen and get out a prized frozen piece of steak (or the best piece of meat you have). Ask one of your children to take out a butter knife and attempt to cut the steak into portions. After they try without success, put the prized steak in the microwave, and after cooking it, take a sharp steak knife and cut it. Ask you children to compare what they have seen in the kitchen with reading the Word and the Spirit’s transforming presence. Hopefully, they will say that reading the Word without the Spirit is like trying to cut into a prized steak that is frozen. This is what happens when the Word is read for information rather than transformation. If they have not already said it, tell your children to always pray for transformation when reading the Word; it is like eating the prized steak when it is cooked, cut, and ready to be eaten.
I Thessalonians 4:15-17 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
Hebrews 8: 13 When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.
Galatians 3: 22 But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the Law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. 24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 3:16 May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the Holy Spirit Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality.
2 Corinthians 5: 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold new things have come.
Romans 12:1-2 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
John 14: 16-17 16 “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.
John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
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. 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Mark 9:42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.