Summary: In this passage we learn what we have in common that makes us brothers and sisters in Christ.
When I went back to the United States in March I was privileged to see all 4 of my brothers and sisters
As brothers and sisters we have a common history and heritage, that shared experience creates an uncommon bond between us, we are family. We share something special. Only at my family gatherings can the phrase "kick your own shoe" elicit howls of laughter. You wouldn’t understand even if I explained it to you, It’s a Caley family thing. We understand because we have a history together
Proposition: As members of God’s family we also share a very special bond.
Interrogative: So what exactly is it that binds us together? What do we have in common as sons and daughters of God?
Transition: There are three important things that Paul notes about our common heritage in our text today. The first is the most obvious thing that brothers and sisters always share. We have the same...
1. We are sons and daughters of God
3:26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus,
It has been popular for sometime to talk about the universal brotherhood of man and the universal fatherhood of God, The problem is that this concept isn’t biblical. According to this verse (and others) we become the children of God through our faith in Christ.
Our faith in Jesus makes us recipients of God’s grace and causes us to be adopted by our heavenly Father.
If you have put your trust in Christ for salvation you are my brother or sister, If you haven’t, then you can be.
A natural result of being adopted by our loving father is that...
2. We love our "Daddy"
4:6 Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father."
ILLUSTRATION: A minister was speaking to the Sunday school about the things money can’t buy. "It can’t buy laughter and it can’t buy love" he told them. Driving his point home he said, "What would you do if I offered you $1,000 not to love your mother and father?" Stunned silence ensued. Finally a small voice queried, "How much would you give me not to love my big sister?"
The point the preacher meant to make was that loving our parents is a natural thing. So natural in fact that with earthly parents who don’t deserve that love children are incapable of not loving them.
Paul says that the Spirit of Christ or the Spirit of adoption cries out Abba, Father. Abba is the Hebrew for "my father" roughly equivalent to "Daddy." It’s natural to feel an affectionate bond toward our Father.
We should expect to feel that way and we should express it both in worship and in service, living our lives to reflect the image of our Father.
So the first thing we share as Brothers and sisters is a Parent the second is...
3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Notice I didn’t say equality, I said Parity--I know what your thinking, "because it starts with a ’P.’" Well, not so this time, Parity is the right word. Equality would imply sameness, and I don’t think that’s what the Scripture is saying, what it’s saying is that we have the same status as children of God. We’re not all the same, we have different needs, challenges and abilities, but none of us is more a son or daughter than another.
1. Regardless of Ethnicity (Jew nor Greek)
Clearly there are applications for us here. Regardless of skin color or language we are God’s children if we have trusted in Christ. There is no superior race or nationality in the kingdom of God.
Further, this is speaking to those in the community of faith who were born and raised within the camp, about their relationship to those who join us from outside the camp, by trusting in Christ for salvation. 10th generation Christians don’t have a superior place in the kingdom, than brand new converts from the bars and the racetracks, nor should we in the church reserve the places of special honor for those from the "holy families" (yes of course new believers need to mature into their faith to be useful in places of leadership--but I’ve seen many a new believer take the fast track to spiritual maturity while the longtime pew-sitter is still stewing in pride and trying to get everyone to be impressed with how spiritual they are).
2. Regardless of social status (slave nor free)
This speaks to us pretty clearly also, we could say there is no private or general in Christ, and that would be right, we could say there is no blue collar or white collar, and that would also be true. But we need to have a broad understanding here... no immigrant or native citizen, no rich or poor, no doctor or ditch-digger.