The Church – The Church as the Family of God

The Church – The Church as the Family of God

The church of Jesus Christ is much more than a diverse group of people from every conceivable background. They are unified together as a family.

While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.Matthew 12:46-50

Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;Ephesians 2:11-19

Strife and division have plagued humanity since the Fall. There is strife between families, ethnic groups, nations, etc. There really is nothing that human beings have not divided over. Jesus Christ has come to bring peace to these warring factions by creating a new family, the Family of God. This family is the Church.

God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.Psalm 68:6

Families often fall apart. Adam blamed Eve, and Cain killed Abel. Couples divorce. Children rebel. Fathers abandon their children. The Church is a family of people who have many times come from broken homes.

Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity. Honour widows that are widows indeed. But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God. Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day. But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless. But 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.1 Timothy 5:1-8

The church is supposed to treat each other like family. This is why we call each other “brother” and “sister.” This also means that we meet the needs of our members who do not have earthly families to care for them. This is the main reason for the office of deacon.

Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 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.Acts 2:41-47

And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.Acts 4:32-35

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.Galatians 6:10

The early church is a tremendous example of what it looks like to be a part of the family of God. Families share, gather together, and rejoice together. They are there for each other when they are in need.

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,Ephesians 3:14-15

In heaven there is no marriage or “traditional” family; there is only the family of God. Earthly families will fail, but the Family of God is forever.

But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.Matthew 23:8-12

Because the church is a family this will drastically affect the way we view each other and make decisions. The church is not an organization with a flow chart; we are all brothers and sisters. As such, we must seek to serve each other and not seek a domineering attitude or position.

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