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Summary: This is the 7th sermon in the "Discipleship" series. Once we are born again, we become a part of God’s family.

Sunday Evening October 21, 2001 Bel Aire Baptist Church

Series: Discipleship #7

THE CHURCH: A FAMILY

Ephesians 2:19-22

Introduction:

1. This morning we looked at the church as a body and that we must be unified and work together.

2. This evening, let’s look at the church as a family.

I. Birth Into The Family

A. Born Again

1. How do you get into this family?

2. You must be born again.

B. Adopted

1. The Bible tells us that God adopts us.

2. If you are familiar with adoption today than you are familiar with adoption of that day also. A father can disown a child but he cannot disown an adopted child.

C. Equal

1. We as God’s children become a part of God’s family.

2. God does not have favorites. He loves all of us and He wants all of His children to do well.

II. Breakdown Of The Family

Illustration:

In every family, there are people of different age, ability, and characteristics. As a family, we must be aware of these differences in order to know how to best help one another. The Christian family can also be broken down by age, ability, and characteristics.

A. Babies

1. They need someone to take care of them.

2. The must be hand fed.

3. They need milk.

4. They need to be changed.

5. They need to be clothed.

6. They need your attention.

7. When a baby does not get their way, what happens? They cry. How do you shut them up? You do one or several of those things I just mentioned.

B. Teenagers

1. They can be adult when necessary but they are also capable of being childish.

2. They can feed themselves, but often they don’t make good healthy choices.

3. They can clothe themselves, but often they don’t make great choices.

4. They don’t have to always have your attention, but if you neglect them very long, they will get into trouble.

5. They can be a lot of help or a lot of hurt.

C. Adults

1. An adult can simply do all of these things that I just mentioned without having to be helped.

2. They can clothe, feed, and take care of themselves.

3. Not that an adult is perfect, but when life gets tough, they can survive.

4. When things don’t go their way, they can still make it through.

5. They not only take care of themselves but they are usually responsible for teaching and helping those younger than them grow up.

6. They, many times, are the caregivers.

Illustration:

Now that I have shared all of that with you, let’s put it together in a spiritual context. This family of believers right here falls into one of these three groups. You can tell what your spiritual age is by seeing how these characteristics fit or don’t fit into your life. There is nothing bad about being in any of these age groups because we all start as a baby and must grow up, but the danger is when we stay in the same age group forever and ever. If this family is going to continue to grow, then there must be some adult Christians willing to help mature those baby, children, and teenage Christians. The teenage Christians need to be helping the children and the children need to be helping the babies. See my point? We should all be being discipled and we should all be discipling.

III. Benefits Of The Family

Illustration:

In every family, there are benefits to being a part of that family. As Christians there are definitely benefits of being a part of God’s family.

A. Each Other

1. We should be a benefit to being a member of this family.

2. We are to encourage one another.

3. We are to love one another.

4. We are to help one another grow up.

5. We are to take care of the young.

6. We are to be patient with one another.

B. Father

1. In this day and age, some people have a hard time with this concept because their earthly father was terrible, but I want to tell you that your Heavenly Father has no flaws.

2. He provides, protects, leads, corrects, and loves us.

3. He will go to any means to save you. In fact, He did when He sent His only Son Jesus Christ.

C. Heirs

1. When we became a part of God’s family through Jesus Christ, we become heirs to everything that God has to offer.

2. Just as the prodigal son, God stands with His arms wide open just waiting for us to come back to Him.

Conclusion:

1. We sometimes have difficulties in our church family because of these spiritual age differences, but if each one here will realize where they really are spiritually, then you can fulfill your roll in the family.

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