By: Dave Jenkins– Charles Spurgeon once said, “The surest way to promote godliness abroad is to labor for it at home.” Jonathan Edwards reflecting on the importance of being a man of God in the home believed that the home was a mini-church. By this, he didn’t take away from the primary place of the local church or the importance of Christians participating in it. Instead, both Spurgeon and Edwards taught that the home is the place where we take what we believe and put it into practice. This principle is thoroughly biblical and one that needs to be recovered first in our own lives individually, then in our homes, which will then impact our local churches, and thus our country.
James teaches that without works is dead (James 2:14-26). His point is similar to that of Paul in Ephesians 2:8-10 except that Paul is writing to Gentiles and James is writing to Jews. While the essence of the message is the same between both of them the method they employed to get to that message is not. They both affirm that salvation is by grace through faith in Christ alone not of ourselves. Both men call us to put into practice what we say we believe. It’s not enough to be able to recite the right words or even pretend that we have it all together. Faith without works is dead. We are saved so that we can do the works of Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Paul four times in Ephesians 5:13-33 tells us that we are to love our wives. This isn’t an option; it’s a command grounded in the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37-40). Since God the Holy Spirit empowers us to live on mission for Him—it goes to reason that we must obey Him. While every Christian struggle against the world, the flesh, and the devil—every Christian can and must overcome sin through daily reading, meditation, and application of the Bible.
This is where we as men need to step up. You and I as men need to not only take our profession of faith seriously; we need to apply it in the area of possession. In other words, we need to take the words that come out of our mouths about our faith and implement them into the daily stuff of life. This is the hard work of sanctification. The work of the gospel starts with you and protrudes out into your home.
We can labor for the gospel in our homes in the following ways:
We die to sin so that Christ may be honored by our ongoing repentance.
We not only say, “I love you” to our wives during the day but demonstrate that we love her with our words and actions.
We take our sin as seriously as we expect others to do and cast ourselves upon the grace of God like we expect others to do so.
Finally, we labor for godliness because of Christ. God expects us to lovingly lead our wives and our homes because we say we believe in Christ.
May the words of our mouths be matched by the actions in our daily lives. Then God will receive great glory and we will be well on the way to laboring for godliness as Spurgeon calls it in our own homes. Thus, our home will be a mini-church where the gospel is resounding to the glory of God.
Dave Jenkins is the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, and the Host of the Equipping You in Grace Podcast. He and his wife, Sarah, are members of Ustick Baptist Church in Boise, Idaho, where they serve in a variety of ministries. Dave received his MAR and M.Div. through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. You can follow him on twitter @DaveJJenkins. Find him on Facebook or read more of his work at Servants of Grace.