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The Fifth Commandment: Honour your Father and Mother

By Scott Masson/ February 9, 2014

Series  Ten Commandments

Context  Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic  Law & Gospel

Scripture  Exodus 20:12; Leviticus 19:1-3; Deuteronomy 6:1-9; Ephesians 6:1-4

We learn about God as Father when our fathers and mothers act in accordance with God's fatherly presence. We're to educate and build for the future and as a consequence the world grows under God's dominion.

Scripture:  Ex. 20:12; Lev. 19:1-3; Deut. 6:1-9; Eph. 6:1-4

Sermon Notes:

  1. In our culture, fatherhood is disgraced, both by unfaithful fathers and by culturally idealized defiance of authority.
  2. There is both a hunger for true fatherhood and a contempt for fathers in our culture.
  3. We learn about God as Father when our fathers and mothers act in accordance with God’s fatherly presence.
  4. Honouring parents and the Sabbath rest are part of God’s standard of holiness (Lev. 19:1-3; 1 Pet. 1:13-16; Heb. 12:14).
  5. Commandments 5, 7, 8, and 10 reflect the God-ordained family order; the family is central to God’s plans for a holy people.
  6. The first injunction is to become fathers and mothers, and then to exercise dominion by spreading a godly order into all the world (Genesis 1:28)
  7. Only in the biblical faith is the exclusive fatherhood of God emphasized.
  8. The return to the ancient world’s paganism brings social woes: fatherlessness, divorce, venereal disease, etc.
  9. The woman was made to be an essential helper to the man; together man and woman in marriage represent the fatherhood of God to their children (cf. Proverbs 1:8).
  10. The parents’ mandate is to teach the honour of the Lord.
  11. The Sabbath principle unites all of history, and it refers to the ultimate renewal of all things.
  12. All human progress is rooted in the past; we inherit property, knowledge, and progress from our parents.
  13. We now live in the present and build for the future; as a consequence the world grows under God’s dominion.
  14. God’s dominion will encompass everything.  We are to teach the nations to obey all of God’s commandments.
  15. The fatherly presence of Christ is with us in our marriages.  God hates divorce because it hurts people.
  16. We honour our parents to honour God, even if our parents were unfaithful.  In Christ we are a new creation.
  17. If parents and children reject God’s familial bond, the consequence is utter destruction (Malachi 4:5).
  18. We must first come to Christ before we can have right relationships in our earthly family.
  19. Our culture idealizes the orphan as the best family unit.
  20. Education is now oriented not to teach children, but to make them well-adjusted to being like an orphan: one who acknowledges no authority outside themselves and who looks to themselves for superhuman power. 
  21. We have embraced the cultural paradigm of rebellion.
  22. Your mandate as parents is to educate your children in the fear of the Lord, giving them godly examples.
  23. We are adopted by the heavenly Father, so we are enabled to honour our parents, even if undeserving.

Application Questions

  1. What is the theological reason for honouring parents?
  2. How is holiness connected with honouring parents?
  3. What are some practical ways we can honour our parents?
  4. How does the family fit into God’s purposes for dominion?
  5. As parents how can we model God’s fatherhood toward our children?  Why is godly education a parental responsibility?
  6. What are the implications of the fifth commandment for our attitude toward other God-ordained authorities?

Sermon Notes