Summary: A look at the family aspects of church
THE FAMILY OF GOD
1. One of the most important parts of the church is its family-like aspect
1 Tim. 3:15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
A. Family is possibly the most attractive simile describing the church.
B. Being a part of the family of God is a great blessing.
2. We all realize how important a family is.
A. We marry, have children, rear them, & cry when they leave.
Why, because of the importance of family.
3. What are some of the elements of the family that make the family really work?
I. IN A FAMILY WE FIND EXPECTATIONS.
A. Jesus has given different talents to different people, & He expects those talents to be used.
Matthew 25:21 His lord said to him, ’Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
1. He wants us to grow.
2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
2. He wants us to mature.
Col. 1:28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
B. God wants us to realize our potential.
1. He expects us to do our best.
II. IN A FAMILY WE HAVE FORGIVENESS.
A. Jesus is willing to forgive everyone in the family who repents (turns away from what they were doing).
Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?"  Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
B. Jesus expects us to forgive one another.
1. If we harbour unforgiveness then God can not and will not forgive us.
Matthew 6:14-15 "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
III. IN A FAMILY THERE IS ENCOURAGEMENT.
A. Jesus wants us to encourage one another.
1 Thes. 5:11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
1. How can we encourage one another?
a. By properly spoken words.
Ephes. 4:29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,  not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
c. Cooperation [working together].
1 Cor. 3:9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.
d. Manifested love.
John 13:35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
1 John 2:9-11 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.  He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.  But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
IV. IN A FAMILY THERE IS DISCIPLINE.
A. God’s family must be a disciplined family.
Hebrews 12:7-8 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?  But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.
1. If we are not disciplined, we are not God’s children.
2. Discipline helps us to become Christ-like people equipped for kingdom works
2 Tim. 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,  that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
B. God expects us to live a certain way in His family.
1. The way we live will bring either glory or dishonour upon God.
Romans 13:7-10 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honour to whom honour.  Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.  For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbour as yourself."  Love does no harm to a neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilment of the law.