Family of God
Since this month is all about family, our blogs will focus on the unique yet awesome relationship we as Christians can have with our Savior. The best place to find that in the Bible? 1 John 3. John, the apostle that survived the longest after Jesus’ ascension, writes a very light-hearted yet very encouraging book. Please take the time to read it if you can.
We focus mainly on the third chapter. John begins by declaring how awesome it is to call God, “Father,” suggesting a level of intimacy beyond formality. Furthermore, we should take delight in being called children of God. The use of extensive, familial imagery indicates that while God is the Almighty, most powerful being in the universe, He is not distant. Unlike world leaders, constantly surrounded by security, you can walk right up to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4). Unlike the gods of other religions, God hears, and He answers. We are His children. Not employees or hired hands. We are called God’s children.
What does it mean to be in the family of God (where He is our father, and we are his children)? John explains that it means we love each other. Unconditionally. We do not have to approve of what each other does, but just as God never shunned anyone that came to Him, so too must we love our neighbor, as Jesus loved us.
What does it mean to be in the family of God? It means we sacrifice and support one another. 1 John 3:16-17 reveals how sacrifice is rooted in love. If our brother and sister (note the flat, horizontal relationship) is in need and we can do something to help, then we should! And the scary part of this message. When we do something like we do not just give the cold shoulder, but we erase God’s love. That means that as Christians we are stewards of God’s love. Being in a family means we support each other in times of need.
What does it mean to be in the family of God? It means we maintain zero tolerance for the devil’s advances (through the grace of God of course). 1 John 3:2-8 discusses the detrimental affect sin has on the family. It disrupts God’s order, and ruins the love that God wants us to show to others.
The family of God, rooted in love, requires that that we support each other and protect each other from the devil. Remember that our war is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers. There is strength in numbers, but we must not just stay together so someone does not get hurt from the outside. Let us love each other in our family so that no one will be hurt from the inside.