"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)
2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)
The Christian Family: The Family of God
Ephesians 3:14-19 (KJV)
14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Matthew 12:46-50 (KJV)---From Text
46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.
47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
This text shows us not that we should dishonor or disrespect our family, but sometimes there are priorities such as the Kingdom’s work, which take precedence over sister, mother, brother, father. Sometimes our own families can be distracting to our calling and purpose.
Deuteronomy 7:6-11 (KJV)
6 For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
7 The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:
8 But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
9 Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;
10 And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.
11 Thou shalt therefore keep the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them.
We know that this is the old covenant and we are under the blood covenant of Christ, but this gives us insight into what God desires from us. I am glad we don’t have to sacrifice animals anymore, stay outside the gates because we are unclean or be shunned because we have developed sickness. Thank God for some people that not being circumcised doesn’t keep you from going to heaven.
We see here that this covenant with Abraham was based on the covenant promise to him and his descendants from the chosen son. God had told Abraham in Genesis 7:14, “As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.” Regarding his offspring and descendants God told him In Genesis 22:17, “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies---God wasn’t playing around saying He would give him just a family, God was giving him nations!
We just read what Deuteronomy 7:9 tells us that, “Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; God always keeps his promises. We now know that God truly did keep His promise with Abraham. Even though the Holocaust decimated the millions and future generations of Jews that it did, we can still find Jews scattered throughout the world today. Many of us have a Jew or Jewish lineage in our family somewhere.
As the family of God, we should always keep His commandments, especially that which tells us to love one another.
Deuteronomy 7:12-16 (KJV)
Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the Lord thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers:
13 And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee.
14 Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle.
15 And the Lord will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee.
16 And thou shalt consume all the people which the Lord thy God shall deliver thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them: neither shalt thou serve their gods; for that will be a snare unto thee.
These are pretty strong words of encouragement for those who love God and they strike fear in those are not part of His family and despise Him. This is why the gospel is so offensive to many in the world. Your faith represents one of their biggest fears. Those who despise God and his people believe the lies because it is easier in their mind than letting God have control and being adopted into His family.
1 Peter 2:9-10 (KJV)
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;
10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
Notice the emphasis on “had not obtained mercy” or better yet, “had not received mercy”.
I remember when I was a “have not,” I remember when the Lord set me free, I remember the Lord never letting go of me despite my failures. That I might “shew forth the praises of him who hath called me out of darkness into his marvellous light” I am a “royal priesthood, a holy nation.”
Ephesians 6:12 (KJV)
"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
The Western World has forsaken the family of God. America, Britain, Spain, France, nearly every modern nation has forsaken the family of God today. We have lost sight of the family of God, we have also lost sight of God Himself. We no longer feel we need God.
We legalize murder through abortion. Here, nearly 4 out of 10 unintended babies are aborted. There are 3,000 abortions performed per day in America. That number makes gun violence at 13,000 per year look like a drop in the bucket compared to the over one million abortions performed every year. 45-50 million abortions are performed worldwide. This is all according to the World Health Organization… I didn’t make this up.
We as Christian under the covenant of faith and Baptism of Christ are a family structure because a family is harder to defeat than a loner.
1 Peter 5:8 tells us, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
The whole philosophy of family is tied into our faith because to win a marriage to win that spouse, similarly you have to win for Jesus you have to have the faith to persevere. You have to have the faith that you are fighting for something better, winning for the kingdom. Winning for Christ
However, we are all materialistic, only wanting prosperity gospel. What is good? What’s in it for me? What can God do for me? It’s not about what God can do for you, but about what you can do for God by serving your family in Christ.
This selfish mentality is why we have fathers and mothers walking out on their families daily.
It’s even in the church! Selfish behavior in the church is reflected in our needs to be constantly babied, have our hands held, or consistently have urgent needs such as: special prayer every service, wanting the sermon to be custom to your wants and desires, wanting to be fed and never wanting to serve. These attitudes are selfish and are not reflected in the Word of God.
We have been hooking up with prosperity so long we are now hooking up with each other and treating Jesus the same way. Where is the love and passion for Christ that we once had?
All we want from Jesus is to hook up occasionally for an hour and go home.
We no longer live in the days that believers would go to churches in tents and listen to sermons on wood chairs in the middle of July. People do not have respect and reverence for the Lord any longer because they believe He is irrelevant. However, there will come a day soon when every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!
So How Do You Get Adopted In The Family?
Profess faith in Christ by words and heart
John 3:16 (KJV) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Romans 10:9-10 (KJV) “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
You Persue God as He Pursues You
Deuteronomy 4:29 (KJV) “But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.”
Proverbs 8:17 (KJV) “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.”
Matthew 5:6 (KJV) “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Acts 17:27 (KJV) “That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:”
Fellowship With Him and Your Family In Christ
Hebrews 10:25 (KJV) “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
James 4:8 (KJV) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11 (KJV) “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.”
Matthew 18:20 (KJV) “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
Proverbs 27:17 (KJV) “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”
Love Each Other As Your Family
Mark 12:30-31 (KJV)" And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”
Galatians 6:2 (KJV) “Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”
Hebrews 10:24 (KJV) “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works”
Matthew 18:20 (KJV) “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
Like the cells of a body (we are the body aren’t we?) we must continually duplicate or multiply.
When the duplication of cells ends, the body begins to age and die. When our bodies age, it is because the cells no longer duplicate like they once did. When we develop wrinkles in our skin, it’s because our skin cells no longer reproduce and repair like before.
Matthew 16:18 KJV
“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
To fulfill this, we must continue to grow just as the physical body grows. God will always maintain at least a remnant until His return.
Just as the organs of our bodies need others to keep going, the body of Christ needs you to do your part in the family. For the heart cannot pump blood without the nutrients that the stomach gets from food and neither does the body of Christ grow without the faithful servants to disciple that Christ has called out. Do your part, sow your seed. Be obedient to Christ and His body will help sustain you.
We must remember that as we go out in the world and profess to be a follower of Christ, people are watching us. Are we really part of a family of God as we say we are or are we a miserable person who is just afraid of going to hell? If you are a follower of the Christ that I follow, you will have some joy. There might not always be days of happiness and everything might not be alright every day, but joy overcomes in the end.
We are lift each other up in prayer and positive words, we should step in to help where the family of God needs a hand, we should due or part to up-build the Kingdom of the Lord. Don’t ever leave a soldier behind! Jesus didn’t leave you behind! When a brother or sister falls, help lift them up!
Bill Johnson in California has said something that really has impacted my view of family. He said, “When King David restored all of King Saul’s son Jonathan’s wealth over to Mephibosheth, David gave him enough to do whatever he needed to do in order to have all the best cooks himself and eat at his own palace. However, Mephibosheth was lame and could not walk. He was dropped by a servant early on and was then lame the rest of his life. However, this story is significant because David wanted Mephibosheth to sit with him. This is because when Mephibosheth come to sit at the table of David’s family, the table of the Lord, his lameness was covered.” Isn’t it awesome how being in the presence of the family covers our lameness, our weakness, our weariness? Embrace your family today church, cling to your spiritual family and never forsake the assembling of God’s people no matter the hurt you go through. Find a brother, sister, family in Christ and go through these trials with them. Let the Lord cover you with his love through His family!
I pray that you have the covering of cross this morning in your life. If not, today would be a fine time to make that decision. Don’t delay as there might not be another opportunity for you. Become adopted today in the family of God!