July 29, 2019. Ephesians 2:19-20. The Church, One in Christ part 7: Family.

Ephesians 2:19-20. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,

What’s the one thing that God has always wanted but had never had? A family.

Why did God create Adam and Eve and place them in a Garden paradise? He wanted a family.

Why did God create the universe, the earth, and every good thing in it? For his family.

Why did God give mankind the authority to rule and subdue and multiply and fill? So his family would grow and be fulfilled.

Why did God cover over the sin of Adam and Eve and move them away from the Tree of Life? To save his family?

Why did God choose one family out of many and make a covenant with them? Why did he rescue that family from Egypt 500 years later? Why did he give them the law in the wilderness so they could be a light to the world? Why did he ask for a tent to live in among them? Why did he place them back in their own “Garden” of Canaan and give them a holy empire? Why did he make the kings of this family his sons? Why did make his temple among them and fill it with his presence? Why did he discipline them like his children when they rebelled against him?

You know the answer.

The whole story of the Bible is the story of God’s family. He made a family. He lost his family. He pursued his family. He rescued his family. He re-made his family.

How?

Through Jesus Christ. His death on the cross for all of mankind. Now any and all can join the family of God. God has regained the human family that he created in the Garden. He has joined Jew and Gentile into the family he has always wanted but never had.

The church is God’s family.

What is a family meant to provide for us? Identity? Security? Love? Acceptance? Yes of course. But the thing that family provides us before any of these is life itself. Existence. Parents give birth. They create. And then they shape and fill that little life up with all kinds of love and grace (ideally).

This is what union with Christ has done for us. It’s not just a declaration that we are now in the family of God. It’s not only a legal adoption. It’s a new birth. A new creation. A whole new life replacing the old. A DNA swap. The Jews and the Gentiles in the church at Ephesus shared spiritual genes. Just like all who are in Christ do too (1 John 3:9).

God has his kids and they all look like him. We’ve got his eyes. His mouth. His ears. His hands. His feet. His heart.

Our shared divine DNA is the foundation of all Christian unity in the local church and beyond. We are all God’s children, brothers and sisters in Christ. We share the same life. Although all of our backgrounds are quite different, they are actually all the same. We all were lost, enslaved, dying, redeemed, and rescued. We all died with Christ and were raised with him. We all share the same “family tree” of faith – the apostles and prophets. And our destinies are all the same. We are all headed to the same inheritance. We will all live together forever in a house prepared for us on an earth restored for us. We all long for the same return of our same Savior and Brother. We will all sit on the same lap of our eternal abba, father.

“To live is Christ” is to be in God’s great big family. To fulfill his greatest desire. To give him the one thing he’s been pursuing for all of history, the one thing he lacks – his family. Now we are joined with all of God’s children in an eternal past and an eternal future that will culminate in the overwhelming glory of living within the love of the Trinity forever. God our father. Christ our brother. Amen.

God our father Christ our brother all who live in love are thine.

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