God’s Family is called to love God and others.
*Matthew 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Neighbour: according to Christ, any other man irrespective of nation or religion with whom we live or whom we chance to meet
1. WHO IS GODS FAMILY?
A. A Spiritual Family
46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.
47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
…….Though Jesus never intended to shame his immediate blood kin family, he put on display what he desires for his followers. When we are true to him in relationship, he takes it personal!
Jesus never let a learning moment go by without taking advantage of it. Think about how many situations we find ourselves in on a daily basis that teach us things Spiritually and carnally.
B. Children of the Promise
6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
……. The word of God will always have effect on what he has already promised.
…….What a reference scripture for warning! Just because we are in church and of the church doesn’t mean we are the church! The calculations must add up, we are know by the fruit we bare. If we bare fruits of bitterness, gossip and greif, we are of a bitter tree. If we bare fruits until Righteousness, we are of the righteous tree!
7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
…….Even though the majority of Israel neglected God, many Jews had received him. The rejection of the majority did not mean the promises of God had failed. Those who are truly Israel were those not so from natural descent but by a spiritual birth.
8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
…….The “children of the promise” transformed from those who were born into it, to those who were grafted into it.
2. GOD’S BLENDED FAMILY
A. Made One in Christ
11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
…….Uncircumcision: a condition in which the corrupt desires rooted in the flesh were not yet extinct.
In other words by using this term to label someone else’s life, the Jews apparently thought that they’re corrupt desires In the Flesh were extinct.
…….Paul here reveals the thoughts of the law circumcised Jews. They have always and many still do believe that all who are not under the old covenant law are unrighteous, inadequate and undeserving.
The truth is, by the time Jesus had come on the scene the Jews had made themselves religiously arrogant. They were dead Spiritually and in darkness just as the Gentiles, blinded and unwilling to accept Jesus as Christ.
12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth (rights of citizenship) of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
…….The message is this; though the Gentiles had always been looked down at and thought unworthy, Jesus made their path available by his sacrifice. For the first time in forever, they could now be made one and a part of the family of God.
B. Reconciled by Christ
14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
…….This is a great explanation of peace that can be made in between two different ethnic groups, simply by being with the body of Christ.
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
…….The main source of separation was the Condemnation of the Law. Abiding by the Law was thought to be Holiness and righteous. Anyone can learn to be good but still be evil on the inside. A drunk man can learn not to drink in public, but go home and indulge and abuse his family…….The law works the same way, just because we learn to abide in public never means that our heart longs to worship God while we are alone.
16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
…….There is no barrier that can prevent this supernatural bond that Salvation creates. The mission field has proven this time and time again.
Just like the Jews, people who become so bound by the law of commandments can find freedom from the flesh through His Spirit.
17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
……. Christ’s target was the outsider. He didn’t reach out to the ones who thought they had it figured out. His heart was the lost and hungry.
18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
…….Though his target was the outsider, his Spirit makes access to all mankind.
3. THE LEGACY OF GOD’S FAMILY
A. The Faith Received
1 Maschil (poem or song) of Asaph (chief Levite musician under David). Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
…….He encourages here to listen deeply. The Lord has always desired his people to pay close attention to his instruction. We should never take it lightly when the Lord is speaking either through preaching, testimony or song. Even if we don’t desire to hear it, we must not be a distraction to others.
2 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:
…….The psalmist is telling that he will use ways if speaking that only the attentive will be able to comprehend.
3 Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.
…….Our children must receive this knowledge and faith from us. They will learn more by seeing then what they will ever learn by hearing. They must see our praises and worship! They must hear our testimony of what God has done in our lives!
B. The Faith Transmitted
5 For he established a testimony in Jacob (father of the 12 patriarchs of the tribes of Israel), and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:
6 That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:
…….No child desires to grow in misery. The only way to convince any person to believe anything is for them to see that you are convinced in explaining. If our children see a positive outcome in our lives, they will desire to find the same source that brings our blessings.
7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:
…….The “impacting experiences” in a child’s life will never be forgotten.
Revivals and Holy Ghost services will last forever. How we react to these opportunities will always influence the ones who are watching our lives.
God’s people are a family: We are the people of the word. The great legacy of Faith described in Psalm 78 can apply to the church as a whole, and Powerful, life-changing ways. Within the Great Fellowship called The Church, there are mature Christians who have experienced the many “ups and downs” we all face through the course of our spiritual lives. There are also those new to the faith who need the instruction and mentoring of those who have lived out there Christianity with faithfulness over the years.
Where do you fit into this description of the church? If you are a season Christian, look for opportunities to invest yourself in those new to the faith. If you are relatively young in the faith, seek out a mentor who will teach you important truths through word and action. Together, we are called to function as the family of God.