Summary: This outline was assembled from Scripture references in lessons 15 through 18 in Purpose Driven Life

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NEED: There is a very great need in our church and community life to reevaluate our expectations on membership in the family of God.

America is no longer a predominantly spiritual society. Rather, our culture has become primarily secular in its thinking. Because of the secular influence on our churches we have taken a secular rather than spiritual (biblical) approach toward many endeavors.

We won’t make any significance progress this morning, unless we personalize this truth. The xxxxxxxx community, even we at xxxxxxxxxxx Church, have exchanged the spiritual nature of membership for a secular definition.

Membership at xxxxxxxxxx places you in our organization. We even identify you by programs or sub organizations within our corporation. Folks, that is very efficient but it is secular thinking. The truth we are reminded of today, is God has much more for members of His family.

TEXT: Ephesians 2:19-21 “Now therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” NKJV

DIVISON 1: Family Benefits

Explain: There are special benefits for those born of the Holy Spirit.

1. Name - family pride Matt 28:19 “Go and make disciples, baptizing them…” On Earth our family pride comes from the identity we obtain from “blood relationships”. The success or mischief of other blood relatives becomes part of our ego as we grow up. Blood relations are temporary and can be fragile. But the family pride of Christians comes from a permanent bond that no one can break. That is why it hurts so much more when members of our church families break relationships or distance themselves from us. No family can exist without a few mishaps, but our family pride enables us to quickly confess, repent and remain reconciled with each other.

ILLUSTRATION: Family pride is one of the strongest motivators in our culture. We had a family of 4 brothers that rode our school bus. They fought with each other constantly. They would fought over who got on the bus first, where they sat on the bus, and who got off the bus first . They would even fight over who got fight first! But everyone knew not fight with any of them. Because if you fought with one of them you had to fight all of them … that’s when they all got real good at sharing, but they still didn’t take turns.

2. Likeness - Family Resemblance. The neat thing about being born into our family is that you favor Jesus now. The process of sanctification that gets you ready to live in God’s presence starts the day you accept Jesus. God sees His Son when He looks at you, not your sin, your baggage. That is all hidden behind the Savior when you place your faith in Him.

3. Privileges:

A. Access - The greatest privilege you have is your access to the Father. No one on earth out ranks you. You don’t have to wait in line, wait your turn or watch someone else get the attention you think you deserve. It is all yours in our family.

B. Inheritance -

(1) On Earth = Gal 4:7 “Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Check out this list of things the bible says you get. These are what Eph 1:7 calls the riches of His grace:

* mercy - Eph 2:4 God is rich in mercy, it is available to you, In Rom 9:23 it is directed toward you

* power Eph 3:16 Paul prays we will be strengthened w/ dunamis

* kindness * patience Rom 2:4 “… riches of His goodness”

* wisdom Rom 11:33 “Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!

(2) After Earth = 1 Peter 1:4 promises riches that cannot be damaged by the world. Think of it this way: Plan for retirement.

(1) Make sure you have enough perishable goods stored up to make it to your promotion party. It is also a good idea to have more than you needed so you can leave the rest to those who have stayed back.

(2) But, But! That don’t let that be the only plans you make for the future. Live for eternity. Col 3:23-24 says very clearly we to do all we do as to Lord because of the inheritance we will receive from Him. If you live right you won’t have to take it with you, because you Father will meet you with more than you can possibly imagine. Jesus has prepared a place for me, and He will come back and take me there.

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