The Whole Family—In Heaven and on EarthBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 04/05/2020
Foundation of My Faith
The Whole Family—In Heaven and on Earth
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
1. Two Families.
a. For the believer, there are two kinds of family: The Natural family—the one you are born into in the flesh—and the Spiritual—the one you are born into in the Spirit.
b. The Natural—with a father and a mother.
c. At Creation, God instituted the first family—Adam and Eve—a man and a woman—two becoming one (Genesis 1:27-28).
d. We all had our beginning with the union of a male and a female, coming together in intimacy, producing life.
e. This was, and still is, God’s plan.
f. The Spiritual—the New Birth—becoming sons and daughters of the Father.
g. John 3:3 NKJV — Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
h. 1 Peter 1:23 AMPC — You have been regenerated (born again), not from a mortal origin (seed, sperm), but from one that is immortal by the ever living and lasting Word of God.
i. 2 Corinthians 5:17 AMPC — Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!
2. Understanding Covenant.
a. Covenant is two parties coming together to make a solemn compact or binding agreement: literally, a “cutting” or shedding of blood.
b. It is an unbreakable promise or commitment; with blessings if kept, and curses if broken.
c. It is a quality commitment, not based on feelings or circumstances, but on a conscious decision.
d. Romans 5:8 AMPC — But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.
e. We are in an unbreakable covenant with God through the blood of Jesus Christ.
f. Marriage is a covenant, between a man and a woman; made before the living God.
g. Believers partake of this covenant with God and each other by walking in love toward one another.
h. The number one reason for the breakdown of relationships is that people have no understanding of covenant.
3. God, Our Father.
a. Under the Old Covenant, the Israelites knew Him as Almighty God.
b. The unsaved world can only know Him as God, but Jesus introduced Him to us as Father.
c. Matthew 23:9 KJV — And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
d. Only New Covenant believers can know Him as that loving, Heavenly Father.
e. The Father, through Jesus, brings us into a personal relationship with Him.
f. Galatians 4:4-7 KJV — But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
g. We have been adopted into His family.
4. The Family of God.
a. The Lord promised Abraham that, through his Seed (Jesus), all the families of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:3; Genesis 28:14).
b. Galatians 3:29 KJV — And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
c. When you are born again, you become a child of God and part of the family of God.
d. We have a Covenant—a Love (Agape) Covenant—with the Father, through Jesus.
e. Agape is unconditional, charitable, selfless, and altruistic (unselfishly concerned for or devoted to the welfare of others).
f. It is not an impulse from the feelings, neither does it always run with the natural inclinations.
g. Agape seeks the welfare of all, will never do harm to another, and sees others as valuable and precious.
h. This agape love of God binds each of us together, with cords that cannot be broken.
i. A covenant based on anything other than agape—self-sacrificial and unselfish love—cannot stand.
j. Affections fail, friendships fail, romance fails, physical love fails, attraction fails—but the agape love of God never fails!
k. Relationships will always succeed and prosper if we each learn to walk in the agape love of God.
5. Walk in His Love.
a. 1 John 4:7-11 NKJV — Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
b. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a NKJV — Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails.
c. God is Love—Love never fails, because God never fails!