Thursday Morning Bible Study — “Our Spiritual Family”

Sports director Greg King led our morning Bible study today and continued with our daily theme, “Blessed:  Family.” Here is his outline, followed by an audio recording of his lesson:

 

Our Spiritual Family

Introduction

 “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” — Matthew 16:18

What a wonderful promise made by Jesus. This is a promise that is fulfilled and is lived throughout the world, even today. Christ would build His church. Christ would build His church upon, not any rock, but THIS rock. That rock is Christ. This is what the church is built upon.

What did Christ build? The easiest answer is to say, “the church.” Right? Now, what does that mean?

  1. The word church is used to describe saved people. Saved people make up the church, the kingdom, the body, the flock and other descriptive terms found in the Bible. This is how Jesus is using this word. Upon this rock, I will build the saved. Jesus is building people. Jesus is saving people.
  2. These people can worship together, praise and encourage each other. They can pray for one another. Sing together. Fellowshipped together. There is to be a sense of belonging and a spiritual connection among each other.
  3. He wants us together. He wants us connected. He wants us fellowshipping each other. He wants us to want each other. We need each other. We need each other for help, support, encouragement, and to hold us accountable

Ephesians 1:3

  1. Paul is praising God for His marvelous blessings to the church.
  2. God the Father hasn’t withheld one single blessing from the church.
  3. Where are the spiritual blessings found?
  4. You may have heard someone say after a baptism that we have a new brother or sister? How have they become our brother or sister? By being born into Christ.
  5. John 3:3-7“when we obey the word we are born of the Spirit; when we are baptized into Christ we are born of water. Becoming a child of God. God is our Father, we are received into His family.”

To share in the blessings of forgiveness & fellowship which lead to joy & peace that give us hope, we must occupy a spiritual place in Christ.

  1. “Even though we dwell on earth in physical bodies, we, because we are in Christ, are able to sit with Him in heaven”Philippians 3:20
  2. How important is it then to be in Christ? Because we can’t be in Christ unless we are in His body, the church, it is equally important that we be in His church.

In one long sentence spanning from vs. 4-13, Paul lists out seven major spiritual blessings given by God upon those who share a relationship with Christ.

  1. Today we will focus on the blessing of family. (not physical, but spiritual) – now we don’t want to overlook the importance of our physical family but want to emphasize the importance of our spiritual family.
  2. It is unfortunate but possible that our physical family is not a part of our spiritual family.
  3. V. 5 God predetermined that those who would enter into Christ (surrender to His leadership) would be God’s family (they would receive the adoption as sons).

What does family mean to you?

What are some benefits of family? (spiritual)

  1. Encouragement
  2. Support
  3. Strength

It doesn’t matter where you go:

  1. I remember the first time I came to Indiana and went to church with Stacy. I was instantly welcomed.
  2. I didn’t attend camp growing up. I didn’t know about it.
  3. When we moved to Benton.
  4. When she got sick, our spiritual family was there to pick us up.
  5. Some of you are here because of the benevolence of our spiritual family. When we saw the end of Stacy’s life coming near, we began to plan things. Stacy loved this camp. She was here every year as a camper and then helped with camp most of her adult life.
  6. She has left a mark on this place in so many ways. Instead of flowers when she passed, we opted for donations to be made to this camp.
  7. For the next ten or so years, the funds raised will go to help kids come to camp that otherwise wouldn’t be able to.
  8. Stacy knew the spiritual benefit of being with other Christians, even if it was for a week.
  9. She knew that some of you are were going to return to homes and towns and not have a spiritual support, but you would build relationships here that you could carry with you throughout your life that would hopefully help you get to heaven.

Jesus viewed Christians as a connected group of people

He viewed it as a “family” who would be doing the will of His Father in heaven

  1. Matthew 12:46-50 – Jesus uses the interruption of His mother & brothers to teach that there is a tie that exceeds family kinship and that is the bond between those of like precious faith.
  2. Jesus stresses the importance of obedient faith.
  3. Matthew 7:21“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.”

Both Jesus and His apostles often used the idea of “family” in speaking of the church

  1. Jesus would speak of…
    1. God as His Father – John 2:16: “and to those who were selling the doves He said, Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.”
    2. Taught His followers to view God as their “Father” – Matthew 6:9
  2. The apostles referred to the church…
    1. As a “brotherhood” – I Peter 2:17: “Honor all people, love the  brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.”
    2. As the “house (family) of God”
    3. I Timothy 3:15 – “but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.”
    4. II Corinthians 6:17,18“Therefore, Come out from their midst and be separate, says the Lord. And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you. And I will be a Father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me, Says the Lord Almighty.”

Christians are presented as being in “together” relationships

  1. One illustration is that of “fellowship” – Acts 2:42; I Corinthians 1:9; I John 1:3,7
    1. Christians are “fellows”
    2. “Fellow citizens” – Ephesians 2:11-22
    3. “Fellow heirs” – Ephesians 3:6
    4. “Fellow workers” – Philippians 4:3
    5. “Fellow servants” – Colossians 1:7
    6. “Fellow soldiers” – Philippians 2:25
  2. The Christian needs to have a “family” consciousness about other Christians
    1. One more illustration is that of “membership” – I Corinthians 12:27
    2. Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it
  3. Christians are “members of one another”Romans 12:5; Ephesians 4:25
    1. Romans 12:5“so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”
    2. Ephesians 4:25“Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of  you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.”

Conclusion:

  1. Those baptized into Christ become a part of God’s spiritual family – Galatians 3:26-29
  2. It’s obvious that we should take being a part of the Lord’s church very seriously!

 

“Our Spiritual Family” — Greg King