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As sons and daughters of God, adopted into His family, we have assurance and purpose.

John 1:12–13 ESV
12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
2 Corinthians 6:18–7:1 ESV
18 and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” 1 Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
Main Idea:
The image of family to describe our relationship with God through Christ provides a place to belong, purpose to fulfill, and blessing to experience.
Point 1

Identity - Belonging

Who are you?
Your identity is important.
We identify ourselves by our ethnicity, nationality, of what state we live in.
We identify ourselves by our political views, social affiliations, or our religion.
We identify ourselves by our profession or hobbies.
All of the ways we identify ourselves usually centers on something we BELONG to. We want to belong—to something!
It is normal to experience the drive to belong—belong to somebody or something.
God created us in His image with the desire for fellowship.
Looking at the life of Jesus, His ministry centered on people—building relationships with His disciples and reaching out to the crowd.
To the diseased, often ignored or rejected, Jesus reaches out in love and with healing power.
To the sinful, He forgave.
To the poor, ostracized and social outcasts, He reached out, sharing a meal with them, giving hope and recognizing their personhood.
The love and compassion of Christ welcomes people to belong.
Luke 19:10 ESV
10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
And, in seeking and saving the lost, Jesus give a new identity.
John 1:12 ESV
12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
In our church, we reach out to abused and neglected children—providing a mentoring club throughout the year and a week-long camp (free of charge). These kids in the foster care program receive unconditional love and support. We give them an identity—they are not broken—they are loved and worthy of respect.
Our identity in Christ fulfills the longing of our hearts to belong to the one who loves us and gave Himself for us!
In Christ we are forgiven.
In Christ we belong to His family.
In Christ we have hope, peace, and joy.
In Church life, belonging must center on our relationship with Jesus Christ.
The church is made up of people who belong to Jesus (every other identification is secondary).
The problem is when we elevate secondary identifiers, diminish our identification in Jesus.
OR, we interpret our relationship with Christ, not through God’s Word, but through are other identifications (ethnicity, political party, or other interests). WE NEED TO BE CAREFUL—or, we can easily segregate ourselves from fellow followers of Christ—and hinder the cause of Christ in our life and in the lives of others.
Belonging to Jesus means that I belong to His family—knowing that my Father in Heaven loves me and will never leave or forsake me.
Belonging to Christ leads us toward recognizing our Purpose and Responsibility.
Point 2

Apprenticeship - Purpose and Responsibility

In Jesus’ day—and through most of human history—sons and daughters in the family learned from mom and dad (and extended family members) a profession. Usually this profession was something to do with agriculture.
Jesus was referred to as the son of the carpenter. Most likely Jesus learned the skills of wood-working. For Him, much of his life was serving as an apprentice.
Today, most young kids will seek out a profession, often different from their parents.
What do you do?
Often when we describe ourselves, we usually talk about what we do for work. “I’m an architect; I’m a nurse; I’m a truck driver...”
For the follower of Christ, I need to work hard not with what I do, but who I am (I am a follower of Jesus Christ).
But as a follower of Christ, I then begin to see what I am called to do—my purpose and responsibility.
Jesus said:
Matthew 11:28–30 ESV
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Jesus said: “Learn from me.” Our whole life (in Christ) is learning to live life through Christ’s examples and teachings.
John 13:15 ESV
15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.
We need to answer the question: What did Jesus do? How did he interact with people? What were his priorities? How did He handle adversity and opposition? What did he say? What did He command?
The answers to these questions will help us understand what we are called to do. Then we should do it!
In other words, as a Christ-follower, I am an apprentice—learning what it means FROM JESUS what I should do in life!
Point 3

Inheritance - Blessing

Where are you going?
There are benefits in being a member of a family. Support, encouragement, security, and other benefits.
As a member of God’s family, we have benefits of God presence and blessings.
Romans 8:14–17 ESV
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Being an heir signifies a position of privilege. The heir has rights of inheritance.
Through Christ, we become members of God’s family.
Through Christ, we are under the covering of God.
Through Christ, we have hope and assurance that our future is with God.
Sometimes we can get intimidated about this world.
We can feel under threat and very fearful.
But what did God declare in His Word?
Romans 8:31–35 ESV
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
The answer is no! Nothing!
The family of God answers three prevailing questions:
Who are you? I am a child of God.
What do you do? I am a follower of Christ—and I follow Christ!
Where are you going? Since I am a follower of Christ, I go where He goes!
God invites you to be a part of His family. Why don’t you accept His invitation!
Questions for Reflection and Group Discussion
How does belonging make you feel secure?
What may hinder someone from feeling that they belong in the context of Church life?
How can we, as Christians, help people know that through Christ they belong to the family of God.
What is more important: Who we are? or What we do? Why?
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