Our Generation 5 Headship
The Scriptures repeatedly speak of the disobedience of specific generations, as well as those like sons of Issachar who “had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (1Chr. 12:32). We must see our place in history and discern how we are being conformed to the world in our generation. Then, by grace, live faithfully and with transformed minds. The first failure of our generation we will consider is our failure in worship. We must know the awe of coming to true Zion to renew our covenantal bond with God and be satisfied with God's magnificent glories, rather than in any other fading pleasures (Psalm 27:4). We must see how lovely is the place of His glory (Psalm 26:8). People drive across America to see the Grand Canyon; The Grand Church Triumphant joints the Church Militant in worship each Lord’s Day and the parade is stretched from here back and forwards through eternity (Hebrews 12:22).
In this message we turn to consider the failings of our generation in terms of the family. Godly families are the primary organization in the plan of God. The Word gives us hope for blessing, prosperity and a great heritage through fearing the Lord in the context of God’s blessing from Zion, the peace of His people, and the stability throughout all generations. A major sin of our generation is to have blessing and prosperity individualistically and in isolation from Zion. Further, we want blessing without thinking in a long-term way. This is settling for cottoncandy rather than a banquet. The critical need in our day is to see our families as a garden. Godly wives are fruitful vines and children as olive plants. Each of these require long-term cultivation. Moreover, the blessings cannot be individualistically realized. This happens in the community of God’s people. The second portion of the Psalm connects the individual blessings of a godfearing family with the corporate community of believers, prosperity is from Zion and peace is upon Israel. This leads us to see two major problems in our context: 1) We want blessing, happiness, all to be well, without the context of God’s people. 2) We want do not think of blessing extending to multiple generations.
Another significant challenge in our generation is Biblical Headship vs Egalitarianism. The structure of leadership reflections the nature of our Triune God and His covenantal relationship with men. The spheres of government God has made are church, civil, and familial. The sanctions of leadership involve the very ways that God uses to accomplish his purposes.
The critical issue is: What is the meaning of the word “head” (Greek kephalé)?
Egalitarian Bilezikian argues, however, that “source” or “origin” is a better translation for head. “The head of [authority over] the woman is man” thus becomes “the source of woman is man,” a reference back to Eve’s being formed from Adam. A professor of New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Aida Spencer, speaks of head in terms of sacrifice and service, as in Ephesians 5, where Christ the head of the church is its Savior.28
Having examined the evidence, complementarian Elisabeth Elliot concludes, “The answer is perfectly clear: the man is subordinate to Christ who is the supreme Head, while the woman is blessed by being subordinate to the man. Each is assigned a place, and each finds fulfillment in accepting that God-given order.”
Using a computer word search, Trinity International University professor and CBMW vice-president Wayne Grudem did an extensive study of kephalé as used in over 2,000 contexts in ancient Greek literature.26 The basic meaning is the physical head of the body, but he also points to 49 cases he says clearly refer to authority.
Ephesians 1:22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,
Eph 5:21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.
1. THE STRUCTURE OF LEADERSHIP
a. Reason for Headship: God’s nature
b. Roles of Headship/Submission
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more
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