THE FAMILY - A Biblical Catechism

1. What is the Origin of the Family?
The eternal triune God, in whose image man was created, ordained the family as society's basic unit when He
made Adam and Eve and instructed them to exercise dominion over the creation. "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and
? said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it: and have dominion over every living thing..."' (Genesis 1:27, 28)

2. How does man exercise dominion?
Man, created in God's image as a ruler, exercises limited human dominion by bringing every area of life into
conformity with God's law?word the Bible, which in principle addresses all things. "So God created man in his own image... and God blessed them and said, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over... every living thing..." (Gen. 1:26?28) ? "Man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD..." (Deuteronomy 83; Matthew 4:4) ? "Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new." (11 Corinthians 5:17) ? "In all things [we are] approving ourselves as the ministers of God... as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. " (H Corinthians 6: 10) ? "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:19?20)

3. What is marriage?
Marriage is a God ordained institution, whereby a financially responsible man unites with one woman of like
Christian faith, and they function harmoniously in raising a family and exercising dominion. "And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him... And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and... he took one of his ribs; and made... a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." (Genesis 2:18?24) ? Marriage is to be secured with a dowry: "Ask of me ever so much as marriage present and gift, and I will give according as you say to me; only give me the maiden to be my wife." (Genesis 34:12; 30:20; Exodus 22:17) Marriage is to be monogamous: "You shall not take a woman as a rival wife to her sister..." (Leviticus 18:18; 1 Timothy 3:2; 1 Corinthians 7:2) The married couple must not be unequally yoked together: "Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?" (11 Corinthians 6:14) ? The married couple must five in unity: "A man shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh." (Genesis 2:24) Husband and wife shall exercise dominion together: "So God created man in his own image... male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." (Genesis 1: 2728) ? Marriage is a life?long relationship: "It has been said, Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce. But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her an adulteress..." (Matthew 5:31?32, Deuteronomy 24:1?4; 1 Corinthians chapter 7)

4. How is family dominion exercised?
The man, and his helper?wife, exercise dominion in the family as custodians of children and property. "And the LORD God said, it is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him." (Genesis 2:18) ?"My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother." (Proverbs 1: 8; 6:20) ? "A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children." (Proverbs 13:22) "For the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children." (II Corintians 12:14b) "If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." Q Timothy 5:8) See also Leviticus chapter 25 about property and inheritance laws.

5. How is the family custodian of children?

Children, under the parents' God?bestowed authority, are to receive Christian education and discipline, and they are to be trained as trustees of the family property. "And ye shall teach [God's words] to your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." (Deuteronomy 11:19; 6:6?8; 4:8?10) ? "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom." (Proverbs9:10)? "Bring [your children] up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." (Ephesians 6:4) ? Teach them discipline: "Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge. Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die... Thou shalt deliver his soul from hell." (Proverbs 23:12?14)

6. How is the family custodian of property?
The right to unimpaired ownership and inheritance of land and other property is the foundation of the family's existence, liberty and prosperity, for by virtue of suck ownership men cannot be enslaved nor dispossessed by their neighbours or the state. "A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children." (Proverbs 13:22; 1 Timothy 5:8; H Corinthians 12:14b) ? "The prince shall not take of the people's inheritance..." (Ezekiel 46:18; Numbers 27:1?11; 36:1?12) In Leviticus chapter 25 God has given property and inheritance legislation.

7. How does the family visibly place itself under God's authority?
The family, by inclusion of all its members in the ordinance of Baptism (in the visible Church), signifies that it is beneficiary of God's covenant of grace and subject to the total covenant?law rule of the triune God "I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God." (Ezekiel 36:25?28) "Repent and be baptized every one of you M the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, for the promise is unto you, and to your children..." (Acts 2:3 8?39; compare Genesis 17:9?14 and Genesis 18:19 ? God's covenant with Abraham)

8. What is the framework of authority in the family?
In the family, the husband under Christ's headship, is in loving authority over his wife and children, and both parents are in authority over their children as prescribed by God's Word, the Holy Bible. "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body... Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it... So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself." (Ephesians 5:21?33) "Children, obey your parents In the Lord; for this is right. Honour thy father and mother (which is the first commandment with promise;) That... thou mayest live long.... And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up In the nurture and admonition of the Lord." (Eph. 6:14)

9. Who are the enemies of God and the family?
The enemies of God and the family are all those who hamper, undermine, destroy, or in any way intrude into the godly family and diminish its dominion functions. "Whosoever shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven..." (Matthew 5:19) ? "He that is not with me is against me." (Matthew 12:30) "Whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.?" (Matthew 18:6; 23:14f])

10. What is the family's chief end?

The family's chief end is to glorify God by obeying God's law and advancing his kingdom, and to enjoy God's material and spiritual blessings, not only here and now, but forever! The family is to love God and keep his commandments. "If ye love me, keep my commandments," (John 14:15) ? "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments." (I John 5:2f) ? "Thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, always. " (Deuteronomy 11: 1, 8) ? "What doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep the commandments of the LORD and his statutes, which I command thee. . . for thy good. " (Deuteronomy 10: 12f)

God will grant earthly blessings for obedience.
"The LORD will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee... Thou shalt be blessed above all people." (Deut. Chapter 7) "And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail. " (Deut. chapter 28) "Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess." (Deuteronomy 5:33) The Lord will bless the family with heavenly blessings. "I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever." (Psalm 23:6); "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." (Matthew 25:34) "And they shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. " (John 5:29) ? The family's chief end is to glorify God. "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." (I Corinthians 10: 3 1)

Source: Vic Lockman, The Family, A Biblical Catechism, 1981, USA,

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