Summary: Last week I asked the question, 'what's so great about being a Christian'. I focused on the fact that a Christian is a child of God. And because I am a child of God, another thing that is so great about being a Christian is that Jesus is now my brother and my friend.
WHAT'S SO GREAT ABOUT BEING A CHRISTIAN? (part two)
Last week I asked the question, 'what's so great about being a Christian'. I focused on the fact that a Christian is a child of God. I mentioned we become a child of God through faith in Christ. Everyone is a creation of God but in order to become a child of God we need to put our faith in Christ for salvation. Then we are spiritually adopted into the family of God.
And we are privileged to be God's child. God loves everyone but as a child we receive special blessings and privileges. God gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit. Having the Holy Spirit means God has given us wisdom and power. And we can see things more clearly now and we are able to understand things on a deeper level.
We have the ability to carry out the will of God. The Spirit gifts us in certain areas so we can accomplish his plans. As a child of God we are able to be close to God and have a right relationship with him. We have true love, peace and joy. And we now have the capacity to love one another as we have been loved by God. We have a new mind that enables us to know and understand spiritual things. One that enables me to have wisdom and discernment. And we have a new heart; one that is selfless and forgiving. One that enables me to be free from bitterness, anger and jealousy.
And I realize that as a child of God I have a responsibility to act in accordance with being a child of the king. I need to grow and serve. I have work to do to try to change lives and build up the kingdom of God. And being a child of God means I can look forward to my heavenly inheritance. We have much to be thankful for as a child of God. And because I am a child of God, another thing that is so great about being a Christian is that Jesus is now my brother and my friend.
1) Jesus is my brother.
We are adopted into the family of God and with that comes a new brother-Jesus. We don't have to look into our ancestry to see if we're related to Jesus because the bible tells us he is. When Jesus resurrected and Mary clung to him he said, "go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me". The disciples weren't Jesus' biological brothers, but his spiritual brothers. And the same goes for us. Through faith we are adopted into the family of God. Therefore, we become Jesus' spiritual brothers and sisters.
Matt. 12:46-50, "While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
On the surface, it looks like Jesus is disrespecting his family. But he is using this as a teachable moment. At the time, Jesus' biological family were trying to pull him away from his mission. There was contention between Jesus and the religious leaders. His family was concerned for his safety. But Jesus made it clear that doing God's will was more important.
Our biological families are very important to us. But what if they tried to get in the way of your devotion to God? I'm not saying we should neglect our family but when it comes to doing what we know God wants us to do then no one, including our biological family, should be allowed to get in the way. If Jesus didn't allow it then we shouldn't either.
But he calls his disciples his family. He's saying, 'whoever does God's will is my family'. Some people don't have their biological family in their lives. That can be very depressing; especially around the holidays. But many people have found solace in the fact that they have a spiritual family in the church.
What are the aspects of a family that are inviting? Family accepts you as you are and you can be yourself around them. You know them well and they know you well. You can talk to them about anything. You know they are there for you when you need them. The church family is no different. We start connecting with our spiritual brothers and sisters and we develop meaningful relationships.
But think about what it's like to have Jesus as our spiritual brother. If you had a big brother growing up you may have been able to go to him for advice or protection. If someone was teasing you, you went and got your older brother to take care of him. If you needed advice about dating or help with schoolwork you could talk to your older brother because he has been there.