Summary: Members of the household (family) of God display the characteristics of being built on a foundation of Scripture and Jesus Christ, being built with the design of fitting together and growing into a holy temple in the Lord, and built for the purpose of bei

1. The family of God is built on a foundation

2. The family of God is built with a design

3. The family of God is built for a purpose


One time a pastor had a group of children up in front of the church to give them a children’s sermon. He was trying to make the point that money can’t buy everything. He was trying to drive home his point when he asked them, “What would you do if I said I would give you $1000 to quit loving your Mom and Dad?” Everybody was quiet. Finally one little boy in the back raised his hand. He said, “Preacher, how much do you think I could get to quit loving my sister?” That little boy’s question brought out a good point about families. Families are funny. Lots of times, families bicker and fuss. But don’t let anybody else mess with them. Don’t let anyone from outside the family say anything. When somebody from outside the family says anything, most of the time a family will come together and present a united front. They say that nothing unites like a common enemy. That may be true, but that kind of unity only lasts till the battle is over. True unity is family unity. You see, a healthy family is a united family. A family that works together toward a common purpose. And a family that works together for a common purpose shares certain characteristics. In the passage we’re looking at this morning, Paul starts with the word “therefore.” We’ve talked about this before, but anytime you see the word “therefore”, it’s a good idea to find out what it’s there for. He puts it there to say that because of all the things he’s just talked about, the things coming up are possible. As we’ve looked at over the past few weeks, Paul has constantly reminded the Ephesian Christians who they were before Jesus saved them. They were lost without hope. They were dead in their trespasses and sins. They were separated from God and His covenantal promises. And then Jesus saved them. He brought them to new life in Him. Not because of anything they had done. But solely because of His grace. Now, because of God’s grace, Paul is telling them they are part of the household of God. In verse 19, he tells them they are “fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God.” They are of the household of God—part of His house. God has brought them into His family—this wonderful new family of God called the church. Now is where the therefore comes in. Because Christ has saved them. Because God has brought them together in His family, the church. Because of that, they are to show certain characteristics of being in His family. That’s what’s neat about being part of a family. When you’re a part of a family, you share certain characteristics. Whether those characteristics are genetic or not, you can’t get away from them. There’s a family resemblance. Every time my kids do something rotten, my wife says they’re just like me. When they do something sweet and wonderful, of course they’re being like her. The point is, do we have a family resemblance? Do we show the characteristics of being in the family of God? I want each of us here this morning to leave this place showing the world that we are part of God’s family. In order to do that we’re going to look in our passage at three characteristics of being in the family of God. The first characteristic is that the family of God is built on a foundation.


When we are part of the family of God, we are built on a foundation. Remember back to the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus told a story about two builders. One built his house on a foundation of rock. The other on a foundation of sand. Of course, when the storms of life came along, the house with the rock foundation stood. The one built on sand came crashing down—the Bible says, “And great was its fall.” Now, why did Jesus tell that story? Was it to let the people know about proper building techniques? No—He used it to illustrate a point. If you just hear His Word and don’t do anything with it, you’re building your life on a sandy foundation. When the storms and trials of life come along, you’re heading for a big crash. And great will be your fall. But on the other hand, if you hear His Word and let it change you—let it mold you and make you into the very image of Christ—if you do that, you’re building your life on a rock-solid foundation. That’s what Paul is talking about here in Ephesians 2:20. He says that when we’re in the family of God, we build our lives on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. Last Wednesday in our study on the Foundations of the Faith, we talked about how the Holy Spirit inspired the writing of Scripture. He inspired the apostles and the prophets and guarded them against error as they wrote this Bible. That’s what Paul is talking about here when he says our foundation is the apostles and prophets. They are the ones who wrote Scripture. And they wrote Scripture with one purpose in mind—to point the way to Jesus Christ. Hebrews 1:1-2 says, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.” Jesus Christ is the focus of the Bible from cover to cover. I heard a preacher named Alistair Begg explain it this way: In the Old Testament, we have Jesus predicted. In the Gospels, we have Jesus revealed. In Acts, we have Jesus preached. In the Epistles, we have Jesus explained. In the Revelation, we have Jesus expected. The apostles and prophets wrote the Bible. And they wrote it to tell us about the chief cornerstone—Jesus Christ. This Bible is the rock-solid foundation we are to build our lives on. Can people look at the foundation you build your life on and tell you’re a child of the King? That’s the first characteristic of a person who is in the family of God. If you’re in the family of God, you will be built on the foundation of the Word of God. The second characteristic is that the family of God is built with a design.

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