A devotional thought from Joey Jernigan for “Our Unity”
Read John 1:9-13; Romans 8:14-16.
There is a common mistake that people make when they refer to God’s children. Maybe you have heard someone say that everyone is a child of God, which sounds good but is not a biblical teaching. The Bible teaches that only believers in Jesus are given the right to become children of God.
As a teenager, I remember wanting to be a part of my best friend’s family because they seemed fun and had much less stringent rules. There was only one problem: I had no right to claim them as my family!
However, when we are adopted into God’s family through faith in Jesus, we immediately gain brothers and sisters in Christ, and God becomes our Father. And as Tim Keller says in his book The Prodigal God, Jesus becomes our Elder Brother. I was the older brother in my family, but I was kind of wimpy. I dreamed of having a bigger brother who could dominate the enemies I encountered. In a very real way Jesus is a big brother who has dominated the enemies of death, hell, the grave, sin, and Satan, and we share in the victory of His accomplishments.
One of the biblical images of the church is the family of God. Nothing is more comforting and secure than being part of a loving family. It does not mean that you won’t go through difficult times, but you know you’ll never walk alone. Even more so, being a member of God’s family includes the comfort of God through His Spirit, the victory of God through His Son, and the loving community of our spiritual siblings through His church.
Pause and Reflect
• Why would God refer to our relationships with Him and other believers using family terminology?
• What family responsibilities do we have toward our brothers and sisters in Christ?