The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:15-17
God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. Ephesians 1:5
Family unites people like no other organization, association, or relationship ever could. There is something so special, so unique, and so uniting about family. It is no wonder that when we read the Bible, we encounter countless stories and images of family. We see over and over in Scripture the idea of God being our father. In his letter to the churches in Ephesus, the apostle Paul uses the picture of a family to help us understand one of the most profound and powerful truths: God adopted us into His own family.
From the very beginning of creation, God created us to live in an intimate relationship with Him. But, our sin broke this intimacy and the perfect connection we were created to experience. Our sin separated us from God to the point it left us fatherless, alone and in need of rescue. We were orphans.
Yet, because of His great love for us, God decided to pay the price required to bring us back to Himself, back into His family. The sacrifice was displayed on the cross. Through Jesus, we were reconciled and reunited with God. Salvation is a gift of God, extend by the hand of God, by the grace God, and received simply by faith.
The Gospel message at its core is an adoption story. God went to great lengths to make us part of His family and call us His sons and daughters. Because we were adopted by God, we belong to God. We now have a place to call home and a place where we belong. But there is a second implication of this amazing truth that God has adopted us into His family and its found throughout the New Testament. Because we belong to God, we belong to each other. Because we belong to the family of God, because we belong to the body of Christ, we then belong to each other. We are family.
None of us are perfect so we make life in the family of God awful messy at times. The only thing perfect about the family of God is God. Even though we may not be perfect, we have a purpose. Each one of us has a unique function, a part to play and brings something to the table.
We need to think of each other as family. Our call is to go against the grain of our individualistic culture and care for something much bigger than ourselves. We take time to reflect and ask ourselves: how can I help? What do I have to offer to the rest of the family? How can I get more connected into this local expression of God’s family here at Port City or where I call home?
As a family, we must learn to live life together as a family. And there is one thing true about every loving family: they show up for each other. When one member of our family is in need of help, we go and help. When someone in our family experiences a victory, we go and celebrate with them. When our brother or sister is hurting, we go hurt with them. When they mourn, we mourn. When they rejoice, we rejoice. Quite simply, family shows up for family.
What would it look like for you to show up for your family here at Port City Community Church or where you call home?
God, thank you for rescuing me and bringing me into Your family. When I doubt I am unlovable, remind me that I matter to You. Yet, when I think the world revolves around me, remind me that I’m part of something much bigger than myself. Since I belong to You, I belong to a larger family. Help me to love and serve my brothers and sisters in Christ. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.