Summary: You were created with the purpose of being part of God’s family!
Formed for God’s Family
Purpose Driven Life #15
November 22, 2003
You were made for God’s family. God wants a family and he created you to be part of it. This is God’s second purpose for your life, which he planned long before you were born. This is what God has been concerned with from before time began- understand that time began only when the earth was made and humanity was put on it.
Eph.1.5- this is what the biblical story is all about. God is building a family who will love him, honour him, and reign with him forever.
Family speaks to us of relationship. In a family, we are in relationships with those who are in the family. God has always been in a relationship. All about God is relational- he is not a statue sitting somewhere. Neither is he alone. The Trinity is God’s relationship to himself, and it is the perfect pattern for harmony in relationships. The Trinity is not particularly easy to understand. However, I believe that C.S. Lewis adds something to us in his book “Mere Christianity”. Let me read something to you that I read a bit over a week back which has enriched my understanding of this.
Let us not imagine that God created us because he ‘needs’ us. He doesn’t. He already has the perfect relationship and has had that for an eternity already. However, God, by nature, is one to share, and he has shared immeasurably with us.
James 1.18- this has given God incredible pleasure and happiness. Not everyone, though, is, yet, a child of God. God has created everyone, but not everyone is a child of God.
1 Pet.1.3- it takes something to be a child of God. What does it require? The Bible is clear, and the Bible brings us the simple requirement: Ga.3.26- faith in Jesus Christ.
What do you and I gain, then, by being in God’s family? Much! Do you remember when your children were born? Do you remember all the gifts that came to your child, and you, at that time? Well, the same thing happened to you, and me, the day of our spiritual birth. We were given some incredible birthday gifts, including the family name, the family likeness, family privileges, family intimate access, and the family inheritance. God declares that everything belongs to you.
Ga.4.7- ‘everything he has belongs to us’! Can you comprehend that? As God’s children, we get to share in the family fortune. You are far richer than you can imagine.
1 Pet.1.4- your eternal inheritance is priceless, pure, permanent, and protected. No one can take it from you; war, a poor economy, or natural disaster can’t destroy it. This is what you and I are to be looking forward to and what we’re to be working toward enjoying forever.
Col.3.23-24- this is far more worthwhile working toward than retirement, for instance. This is more important than our RRSPs are. You and I are to be living in light of eternity not in terms of something short-term.
God calls on us to identify with our family- with the family of God. We are to have family pride, and are not to be ashamed to be recognized as part of the family. Jesus, in leaving us with only two New Testament ceremonies, has given us the way to be identified with our spiritual family- by being baptized.
Baptism is not an optional ritual, to be delayed or postponed. Baptism signifies your inclusion in God’s family. It makes a public announcement to the world, “I am not ashamed to be part of God’s family.” If you have not been baptized, you need to be.
Notice what Jesus told us to do:
Matt.28.18-20- Baptism has the same prominence as evangelism and teaching. Why is this the case? Why is baptism so important? Because it signifies God’s second purpose for your life- participating in the fellowship of God’s eternal family.
Baptism is for people who have accepted Jesus as their Saviour. It is full of meaning. Baptism declares your faith, has you sharing in the burial and resurrection of Jesus, symbolizes your death to your old life, and announced your new life in Christ. It is a day of celebration of your being in God’s family. Baptism is a physical picture of a spiritual truth, and it represents what happens the moment God brought you into the family.
Baptism doesn’t make you a member of God’s family- only faith in Jesus Christ does that. Baptism shows you are part of God’s family.
Let’s think about weddings for a few moments. What makes a couple married? Is it the ring? No, the ring is a reminder of an inner commitment made in two people’s hearts. In fact, the commitment and the devotion of marriage must be in place before the wedding ceremony. However, the ceremony IS important and is Godly. It is obvious that God intends people to be married. As he outlined for ancient people how to divorce, he shows that there had to be some form of ceremony to begin the marriage. This is not optional for the Christian and should not be optional for anyone. Marriage is to begin with a public declaration of love, and with the affirmation of the community surrounding the couple that they are not alone as they go forward in their marriage. This is very important.