Summary: There is a whole society of people looking for somewhere to belong. It should come as no surprise that satan seeks to attack the home and tear apart the church, destroying that one safe place. We must take up the challenge and restore the family of God to
Listen to some of these statistics from the US bureau on Statistics about the 1990’s. Every 30 seconds there was a divorce in America. Every 4th child in America was born to an unwed mother. STD’s have reached medically defined epidemic proportions. 47% of all children in America now live in homes bearing the scars of personal divorce.
The state of the family today is in complete disarray. Children are being taught today that there are many definitions for family, and due to the bad choices of millions of adults children find themselves living in strange family environments. Something that was created to symbolize strength and unity is often seen more as brokenness, mistrust, bitterness and divorce. It is quite obvious to me that the very concept of family has been attacked and destroyed. It should come as no surprise that in this broken culture God has put in place something to not only to combat, but overcome what has been shattered. Even though the Bible is thousands of years old the church was created to meet the needs of today’s culture. The bible refers to the church as “the Family of God” and we’re going to look at why that is so wonderful. If the glory of the church is going to return then we have to be the family that we have been called to be, because everyone is searching for family.
1) Planned for God’s family (vs.4-5)
I think everyone, at one point in time or another is searching for where exactly they belong. One of the most wonderful things about this scripture is that God long ago, even before you were born, had planned for you to belong to His family. No matter what you feel about yourself or what others have told you about yourself, God always wanted you. You are precious to Him and one of the beautiful things about seeing the church as a family is that you belong because God says you do. You don’t have to pretend to be someone else or be perfect; He desires your company because he carefully crafted you. His greatest pleasure is to have you come and be part of the church, which is His family. Becoming a part of this family is done through adoption, which means there was something prohibiting us being a part of this family. The word in Greek is:
(Hwuiothesia: GR) Sons of adoption: the nature and condition of the true disciples in Christ, who by receiving the Spirit of God into their souls become sons and daughters of God. Romans 8:15, Ephesians 1:5
Sin separated us from our Father in heaven, much like circumstances and distance separate families today. The difference is that no matter how much we would try, we could never bridge the gap between us and him. But Jesus changed that, He made a way for our sins to be forgiven and relationship could be restored with our Father. We were all made for this wonderful family; no one needs to be excluded, unless you chose separation.
2) Passing on God’s family values (Acts 2:44-47)
So if you could be a part of your dream family, what would be things that you would expect? What are some of the things that should characterize this wonderful family?
Have you ever noticed how many Hispanic last names end in -ez? Have you ever wondered why that is? In Old Spanish, -ez meant "son of." Therefore Gonzalo’s son would be called Gonzalez, Domingo’s son would be called Dominguez, etc. And almost every language has the same thing. The Polish people -ski. For the Irish, it’s the names that begin in O-; the Scots use Mc-. It’s easier to see in modern day English, with Johnson, Williamson and Robertson. The point is that for centuries men have identified a man by who his father was. If we, as Christians, are children of God then we should be recognizable because of who our father is. We get our identity and our worth from that relationship, and we should display His characteristics.
Familiarity – intimacy (Gal. 6:2)
Affirmation – encouragement (2 Cor. 13:11)
Meaning – knowing where you belong (Eph. 1:5)
Identity – knowing who you are; the real you (Psalm 139)
Love – unconditional, affection, correction (Rom. 12:9)
Yours – something no one can strip from you (Rom. 8:35)
3) Purchased through Jesus (vs.6-11)
Church family is not a club or a social group. It is the most powerful defense in this country against pain, hurt, corruption, depression, stress, hopelessness, discord, loneliness and the list goes on and on. One of the best things that we can offer to the world is a group of people, whose arms are open wide, actively showing the love that Jesus so plainly exemplified for us while He was here on earth. If you believe in faith that Jesus died for you and gave you the opportunity to enjoy relationship with our heavenly Father, then it means he did the same for everyone you know, no matter how wicked or vile. Jesus does love Osama Bin laden, not what He has done, but he is just a child who has made wrong choices.