We are to be a Family...

Here is a beautiful truth. As Christians, we believe that through faith in Jesus Christ, we become part of God's family. This concept of being adopted into God's family is at the heart of the gospel message, and it is a truth that brings great comfort and hope to believers and to a dying world.

(Ephesians 1:5) says, "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, ." This means that God chose us to be part of his family even before we were born. It was His pleasure and will to adopt us, and he did so through the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ.

One of the most powerful images of our adoption into the family of God is found in (Romans 8:15-17). It says, "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."

This passage tells us that through the Holy Spirit, we can call God "Abba, Father," a term of intimacy and affection. We are no longer slaves to fear, but we are free to approach God as our loving Father. And as his children, we are heirs of all that he has to give. We share in Christ's sufferings, but we also share in his glory.

This idea of being part of God's family is not just a comforting thought or a theological concept. It has real-life implications for how we live. To be a part of God's family, means we are called to love and care for one another as brothers and sisters.

In (John 13:34-35), Jesus says, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." This command to love one another is not just a suggestion or a good idea. It is a defining characteristic of those who belong to God's family.

We see this idea of loving one another played out in the early church in (Acts 2:42-47). It says, "And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."

This is a picture of a community of believers who were devoted to one another and to God. They shared their possessions, their meals, and their lives with one another. They were united by their faith in Jesus Christ and their love for one another. And as a result, they were a powerful witness to the world around them.

Being part of God's family also means that we have a responsibility to share the gospel with others. Just as we have been adopted into God's family, we are called to invite others to be part of it as well.

"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 always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20)

These last words of Jesus remind us of what He wants us to do till He returns. As we seek to draw nearer to one another, come worship with your family - your brothers and sisters in Christ. And welcome someone to come to church with you. God wants them to be part of His family, too.


Credit: Ron Kelley

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