For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named. (Ephesians 3:14-15)
We Are Family
When God created man and put him in the garden, He knew that he could not be alone. Woman was created to be a help-meet and bring companionship to the world establishing the family. Every generation has replicated the need of family as the basis of society and survival of man. The church was planned before time and in carrying out the work of the church the family became the core element of its existence. On Pentecost the eternal plan of God came to fruition but more importantly the first Christians became a body of believers sharing their possessions and bonding with one another as the first family of the church. Two thousand years removed the church remains an eternal family that is held together by the glory of one Father. Paul’s prayer to the saints at Ephesus declares the familial relationship of every Christian on earth regardless of nationality, color of skin, language or economic status. The body of Christ is a melting pot of all nations blending into the harmony of the blood of Jesus.
We are family at the local level. Congregations of God’s people fill the earth and each local church is made up of different personalities, backgrounds and social economic positions. In all of this we are family. What this means is we have the same Father and our elder brother is Jesus Christ. It is easy to think of ourselves as separated from others because of the difference in our lives. The character of the church created by God is that all men would come together under the same spiritual roof showing love to one another and preference for one another. Rich and poor would lift their voices together in harmony as one. The color of skin would be erased in the eyes of those who share the same heavenly Father. There would be no distinctions of education in the family of God as we share in the same knowledge of God’s truth. Young and old would blend their lives together helping one another and exhorting one another. Family. That is what the church is all about.
As a family we have the same care for one another. If one member hurts, we hurt and when there is joy in the hearts of my brethren we celebrate. Prayer is the bond that holds us together and our prayers are spent in asking our common Father to bless the family. When we see one of our brethren in need we seek to help. In every congregation there will be those who are weak in faith that faces challenges that seem to overwhelm them. As a family we reach out to them and encourage them to be faithful. One indicator of spiritual weakness is when a brother or sister fails to assemble with the church on a regular basis. Family is the meaning of our relationship with all the members and our duty to the wayward soul is to reach out to restore our brother or sister. Imagine in the real family if one of our brothers or sisters did not come home for six weeks. It is unimaginable to think we would not notice or have concern. Why in the family of God can our fellow brother or sister leave the family of God unnoticed? Being part of a family requires our love for all those in the family.
Pain comes to the family of God. The family of God is a group of people that weep when others weep and rejoice when others rejoice. This also means that when a brother or sister stumbles that I help them up. A brother or sister can be overtaken in sin and we are to help them regain their faith by encouraging them in the faithfulness of God’s word. All of God’s children sin and need the grace and mercy of forgiveness. No one is without sin and the family of God is a society of forgiven sinners needing His grace. The joy of family is that we forgive and we help and we pray for one another as we struggle against the wiles of the devil. We be brethren and that means we are family. Thank you God for allowing us to be in Your family and for You to give Your Son to die for us so that we can love one another. Family.