Summary: We are the family of God. But what exactly does or should that look like?
“We Are Family”
How many of you remember the song “We are Family”?
The question is what does a real model family look like?
Today’s society, dysfunctional families are the norm, not the exception.
There are families with absent parents, single parents, step-parents.
There are even “families” with 2 dads or 2 moms.
Is it any wonder our society is in such deep trouble when the family unit is breaking down at such a rapid pace?
Loneliness is so prevalent today that people are paying just for others to sit and listen to them!
30% of Americans say that they have experienced long periods of painful loneliness.
70% of Americans don’t know their neighbors.
Internet chat rooms are booming.
Bars are filled with lonely people looking for someone to listen.
But where is the family in all of this? Where is the togetherness?
Today, I’d like to show you the model family.
I’d like to talk to you about a different sort of family, a family that stays together, that shares together, that fellowships together.
It’s what a true family should be. It’s the Family of God.
And this family is the cure for loneliness.
The truth is, we are family. SVBC is a family. The Church of Christ is a family.
All throughout the NT, we see family words like “brothers” (over 130x in NT–Gospels)
So what does this Biblical family look like? Or rather, what should it look like?
There are lots of churches out there that are anything but a Biblical family.
Passage that best describes what a Biblical family should look like.
Ironically, this ideal model Church family is also the first Church family.
Turn to Acts 2:42-47.
Acts is an amazing book that’s full of incredible accounts of the powerful and miraculous working of God.
It’s a Book that describes the birth and infancy of the NT Church.
It’s also a transitional book that shifts from Judaism proper to Christianity.
It’s also a historical book that describes the beginnings of the church.
Because the NT church is now established, some of the things that were prescribed in Acts are not applicable today (cf. other epistles).
Even so, this account in Acts 2 gives us a great model for our “family”.
You recall that Acts 1 Jesus ascends and the disciples wait for the Holy Spirit.
In Acts 2, at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit comes powerfully open them, they speak in other languages and Peter stands up to preach and 3,000 people get saved!! (v. 41)
It literally was the birth of the Church!
And now, we get a glimpse of how that infant church became a family.
42THEY DEVOTED THEMSELVES TO THE APOSTLES’ TEACHING AND TO THE FELLOWSHIP, TO THE BREAKING OF BREAD AND TO PRAYER. 43EVERYONE WAS FILLED WITH AWE, AND MANY WONDERS AND MIRACULOUS SIGNS WERE DONE BY THE APOSTLES. 44ALL THE BELIEVERS WERE TOGETHER AND HAD EVERYTHING IN COMMON. 45SELLING THEIR POSSESSIONS AND GOODS, THEY GAVE TO ANYONE AS HE HAD NEED. 46EVERY DAY THEY CONTINUED TO MEET TOGETHER IN THE TEMPLE COURTS. THEY BROKE BREAD IN THEIR HOMES AND ATE TOGETHER WITH GLAD AND SINCERE HEARTS, 47PRAISING GOD AND ENJOYING THE FAVOR OF ALL THE PEOPLE. AND THE LORD ADDED TO THEIR NUMBER DAILY THOSE WHO WERE BEING SAVED.
This account is packed full of truths for us today.
It shows us what God’s Family should look like and what we should be doing.
We’re going to see six descriptions/characteristics of God’s Family.
In addition, we’re going to discover the five primary purposes of the Church.
Finally, we’re going to see eleven benefits of belonging to God’s Family.
I. God’s Family is serious about spiritual growth. v. 42
42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
It literally means “standing ready in constant attendance”.
They were earnest, diligent, persistent, devoted.
(Amplified Bible) steadfastly persevered, devoting themselves constantly.
It was deliberate and constant devotion.
They continually devoted themselves to two things; discipleship and fellowship.
The first and second purposes of the Church – discipleship and fellowship.
Not in any particular order of importance.
They were devoted to discipleship.
They didn’t have NT back then. Just eyewitnesses of Christ (?better).
The apostle’s teaching was an extension of Christ’s teaching.
These believers had a hunger for God’s Word.
One benefit of belonging to God’s family is spiritual growth.
They were also devoted to fellowship.
koinonia; partnership, participation, togetherness, family.
“to have in common”, “to share”, “to participate for a common cause”.
Notice it says “the fellowship”.
It wasn’t just a club that hung out together.