Summary: Have you ever stopped and thought, “Why me? Why did God choose me to be his child?" It just pleased God to do so. It gave God pleasure to choose you to be his child. And when God does something he does it so he derives personal pleasure from it.
Today I want to talk to you about being part of God’s family. We’re all so proud of our parents– or at least we ought to be–like the little boy in school who was bragging about how tough his daddy was and he turned to a little girl and said, “You know, my daddy has a list of every father in this town he can beat up, and your dad’s name is on that list!” Well, she didn’t like that too much and she went home and told her dad. That afternoon, there was a pounding on the front door of the little boy’s house and his father opened the door to see this big huge man standing there with a scowl on his face who said, “Your son told my daughter you have a list of guys in this town you can beat up and my name’s on that list! I don’t think you can. What are you going to do about it?” And the father at the door said, “Well, I’ll just take you off my list!” Sometimes we think our dads can do everything–and they can’t–but we do know our heavenly father is able to do anything. Today I want you to just think about the joys of being in the family of God.
I wish I could say, as some Universalists and secular humanists say, “Everybody’s in the family of God; God is the father of everyone; we are all brothers and sisters on planet earth.” I really wish I could say that, but if I said it to you I would be misleading you because that is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible never teaches God is the father of every person on planet earth, that we are all brothers. It teaches something else. In fact, by way of introduction, I need you to understand the Bible doesn’t teach the universal brotherhood of man. Now people talk about it, but it’s not in the Bible. The Bible does teach the universal neighborhood of man. In other words, we are all God’s creatures (I didn’t say ‘children’), we are all God’s creation, and we are all in this global neighborhood together and we ought to love our neighbor as ourselves–that’s what Jesus said. But there are some people who are in the family of God and some people who aren’t, quite frankly. You say, “That sounds mighty narrow-minded to me…almost like a religious bigot!” Well that’s exactly what Jesus said. If you believe His words, then that’s what you’re going to believe. Look at John 8:42 and 44. Jesus said, “If God were your father you would love me, for I came from God and I now am here. In fact, you belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires.” Now, according to Jesus Christ, there is not one human family, there are two. There are those who are in the family of God, who have been born again into the family of God and adopted into that family (as we’re going to talk about), and then there are those who are still the sons and daughters of Adam. Children, Jesus says, of the devil. So you are in one of two families and it is my desire, hope and prayer that everyone in this room, if you are not already in God’s family you will make arrangements to become a part of his family today because it’s easy to be a part of God’s family.
In Roman’s Chapter 8, verse 12, Paul says, “Therefore brothers, we have an obligation, but it is not to the sinful nature to live according to it.” Now please recognize, as I’m preaching verse by verse through Romans, that I’ve said before, you never start reading with the word “therefore.” You always have to stop and look ahead or behind to see what the “therefore” is there for! And so, what is said in the verses before verse 12, four times the Bible says, “God lives in you.” “The Holy Spirit lives in you.” “We are indwelt by the Spirit.” Then verse 12 says, “Therefore brothers, we have an obligation, but it is not to the sinful nature to live according to it.” Verse 13 says, “For if you live according to the sinful nature you will die. But if by the spirit you put to death the mis-deeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the spirit of God are sons of God.” Now that’s a generic word that could mean sons and daughters–children. Verse 15 goes on, “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear but you received the spirit of son-ship.” Please notice the footnote says, “adoption,” and that’s a good translation. You receive the spirit of adoption. “By him we cry Abba (father). The spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children then we are heirs, heirs with God and co-heirs with Christ. If indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Now, I’m convinced the Christian life is meant to be enjoyed and not endured. There are so many people who are just ‘enduring’ religion and for them it is drudgery; something they have to make themselves do, and I’m here to tell you that’s not right–the Christian life is to be enjoyed.