Living in the Family of GodBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 04/12/2020
Foundations of My Faith
Living in the Family of God
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named. Ephesians 3:14-15 KJV
Then came to him his mother and his brethren, and could not come at him for the press. 20 And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee. 21 And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it. Luke 8:19-21 KJV
1. Jesus is the Head of the Church.
a. Jesus is the Head of the Church—the Body of Christ.
b. He is the Firstborn from the dead.
c. Colossians 1:18 AMPC — He also is the Head of [His] body, the church; seeing He is the Beginning, the Firstborn from among the dead, so that He alone in everything and in every respect might occupy the chief place [stand first and be preeminent].
d. Individually, we are part of the Body of Christ, and together, we are The Church.
e. Hebrews 12:23 AMPC — And to the church (assembly) of the Firstborn who are registered [as citizens] in heaven, and to the God Who is Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous (the redeemed in heaven) who have been made perfect.
f. We are part of one Church, one assembly, one Body—both those of us down here (who are registered as citizens in heaven) and also those who have gone before us into His presence.
2. We are Adopted into His Family.
a. Ephesians 1:3-7
b. He has chosen us, redeemed us, forgiven us, accepted us, adopted us, and blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ, according to the riches of his grace—so that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.
3. We are all One family, with No distinctions.
a. God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).
b. Galatians 6:15 AMPC — For neither is circumcision [now] of any importance, nor uncircumcision, but [only] a new creation [the result of a new birth and a new nature in Christ Jesus, the Messiah].
c. EVERONE must come to God, to be saved—on the basis of FAITH—not works or pedigree or nationality (Romans 1:16-17).
d. There is no difference between Jew or Greek (gentile); Male or Female; Master or Servant; Free Man or Slave—we have all become one in Christ (Romans 10:12-13; Galatians 3:27-29; Colossians 3:11).
4. One Body—Dependent on One Another.
a. There are many parts of the body, but only one Body—by the power of the Holy Spirit, we are unified into ONE Body (1 Corinthians 12:12-14).
b. Romans 12:5 AMPC — So we, numerous as we are, are one body in Christ (the Messiah) and individually we are parts one of another [mutually dependent on one another].
c. Faithfully and regularly meet together, teach, correct and encourage one another.
d. Hebrews 10:24-25 AMPC — And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities, 25 Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching.
e. Be on fire for God.
f. Romans 12:11 AMPC — Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord.
5. Love is What Unites Us into One.
a. Brotherly affection.
b. Romans 12:9-10 AMPC — [Let your] love be sincere (a real thing)…10 Love one another with brotherly affection [as members of one family], giving precedence and showing honor to one another.
c. Love one another sincerely and fervently.
d. 1 Peter 1:22 AMPC — Since by your obedience to the Truth through the [Holy ] Spirit you have purified your hearts for the sincere affection of the brethren, [see that you] love one another fervently from a pure heart.
e. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
f. LOVE: endures long and is patient and kind; rejoices when right and truth prevail; bears up under anything and everything that comes; is ever ready to believe the best of every person; doesn’t insist on its own rights or its own way; doesn’t take account of the evil done to it or pay attention to a suffered wrong; doesn’t rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness; (its) hopes are fadeless under all circumstances; endures everything, without weakening; never fails.
g. LOVE IS NOT: envious; jealous; boastful; vainglorious; haughty, conceited; arrogant; prideful; rude; unmannerly; self-seeking; touchy or fretful or resentful.
6. Serving Each Other.
a. Galatians 5:13 AMPC — For you, brethren, were [indeed] called to freedom; only [do not let your] freedom be an incentive to your flesh and an opportunity or excuse [for selfishness], but through love you should serve one another.
b. Humility produces harmony.
c. Romans 12:16 AMPC — Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty (snobbish, high-minded, exclusive), but readily adjust yourself to [people, things] and give yourselves to humble tasks. Never overestimate yourself or be wise in your own conceits.
d. No divisions—caring for one another.
e. 1 Corinthians 12:25-26 AMPC — So that there should be no division or discord or lack of adaptation [of the parts of the body to each other], but the members all alike should have a mutual interest in and care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the parts [share] the suffering; if one member is honored, all the members [share in] the enjoyment of it.
f. Humbly bear one another’s burdens.
g. Galatians 6:2-3 NKJV — Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
h. Show sincere compassion.
i. Romans 12:15 AMPC — Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others’ joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others’ grief].
j. Practice hospitality toward one another.
k. Romans 12:13 AMPC — Contribute to the needs of God’s people [sharing in the necessities of the saints]; pursue the practice of hospitality.