1 Peter 2:9-10
A. The song: God’s Family
1. “We’re part of the family that’s been born again;
Part of the family who love knows no end;
For Jesus as saved us, and made us His own,
No we’re part of the family that’s on its way home.
When a brother meets sorrow we all feel his grief;
When he’s passed thru the valley we all feel relief;
Together in sunshine, together in rain,
Together in victory thru His precious name
And tho’ some go before us, we’ll meet again;
Just inside the city as we enter in;
There’ll be no more parting, with Jesus we’ll be
Together forever, God’s family.”
2. My wife’s favorite song
3. Loved especially because of its meaning
B. Family is important to us
1. We treasure family relationships, memories, gatherings, etc.
2. I suppose that why God choose the concept of “family,” when referring to His church
a. Ephesians 3:14-15
b. Paul speaks of the family in heaven and on earth
3. We often speak of our church family and how precious it is to us
4. Let us spend a little time discussing “God’s Family”
A. DESIGNATIONS USED TO DESCRIBE THIS “FAMILY”
1. “Brotherhood” (1 Peter 2:17) … Peter commands that we are to love the brotherhood
a. “Brother” (or brethren) is used some 319 times in the New Testament, where “sister(s)” is used 22 times.
b. By and large, these terms define a physical relationship
c. These words are sometimes applied in a spiritual sense
1) 3 John 10
2) 1 Timothy 5:2
d. Each of these passages stresses a relationship between Christians that places them as one concerning a standing in Christ
1) Galatians 3:28-29
2) By no means does this remove the distinctions between the genders or their unique, God-given responsibilities, but it strengthens our understanding of the close relationship that should exist between siblings in the spiritual family – we are a family
3) 1 Timothy 5:1-2 … here a family relationship is clearly described
2. “Child” (or children) is used some 168 times in the New Testament
a. About 80% of the time, the terms (child/children) are referring to a physical family
b. However, we are called “children of God” by Paul in Romans 8:16.
c. Therefore, when applied to Christians, the sense of the term reflects a paternal relationship with the Father.
3. “Household of God” (or house of God)
a. Ephesians 2:19-22
b. 1 Timothy 3:14-15
c. Hebrews 10:21
d. 1 Peter 4:17
4. God as “Father”
a. 1 Corinthians 8:5-6 – Since God is our Father, we are His children – a family relationship is seen
b. John 8:44 … there are two families – we are members of one or the other
5. Jesus as “Son” – thus our elder brother
a. Hebrews 3:3-6
b. Hebrews 7:25 – as our elder brother, Jesus intercedes ……
B. TO ENTER A FAMILY THERE MUST BE A BIRTH
1. It is also noteworthy that Jesus compares our entrance into salvation to a physical birth
2. John 3:5
3. As one is born physically into a physical family, so must we be a partaker of the spiritual birth to be a part of the family of God
C. THE FAMILY CONCEPT IS A PERFECT PARALLEL TO THE CHURCH
1. It denotes a sense of belonging
a. Isn’t it wonderful to know that we have a place in the Family of God?!
b. The family bond affords:
1) Comfort … Galatians 6:1-2
2) Strength … Ephesians 4:11-16
2. It signifies relationships
a. We have a unique relationship with the Father and with each other
b. 1 Timothy 5:1-2 … family relationships demand appropriate conduct.
c. John 16:23 … we can approach God, as our Father, in prayer
d. Colossians 1:12 … we have an inheritance from the Father
3. It draws a line
a. Everyone is not in the Family of God.
1) Our Father designated certain entry requirements, and if these criteria are not met, one is not a member of the family.
2) Merely running with the family does not make you a part of the family
b. Along this line it is important for to remember that Satan is subtle (Genesis 3:1) and his sole intention is to separate us from the Father.
1) One of his most effective attacks upon Christianity has been the blurring of lines concerning just who is and is not in the family.
2) If you were to ask various people in the community how one becomes a part of the family of God, you would get many different answers.
3) Again, notice how the Bible says we are born into the Family of God
a) 1 Peter 1:23
b) John 3:3-5
D. ALL OF GOD’S FAMILY IS IMPORTANT
1. In our physical family we all have different abilities, etc., but we all are important and loved
2. The same holds true in the family of God
3. 1 Corinthians 12:12-27
E. THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CHILDREN OF GOD’S FAMILY
1. 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 … must be separate from the world
2. Ephesians 5:1-2, 8 … as God’s children we must be like our Father and be children our Father would be proud of
3. John 13:35 … we love each other so that others will want to be a part of God’s family
4. Galatians 6:1-2 … a family bears one another’s burdens – they lean on each other
5. Matthew 28:18-20 … we must try to bring others into the family
A. THE FUTURE OF GOD’S FAMILY
1. Romans 8:16-17
2. 1 Peter 1:3-5
3. 1 John 3:2