The Family of God, The True Church† †††††
The family of God is the one Holy Christian Church, makes up the body of Christ. This family is comprised of all believers who truly love Jesus more than anything else. The children of God come from all nations, races, and areas in the world. Christians, who through the grace of Jesus Christ have had all their sins forgiven, have had their souls made holy once more. Only the Heavenly Father knows who is in His family, knows in whose heart Jesus lives. We will only know who all of our brothers and sisters in Christ are when we go to Heaven. Only those who are in the family of God are the heirs of Heaven, are guaranteed eternal glory in Paradise with our Lord.†††Old Covenant physical obligations are over, they are needed no more. We no longer need leaders and priests to be our mediators, to approach God on our behalf.† Christís death and resurrection has ushered in the New Covenant of spirituality. We can now come directly to our Heavenly Father, our Savior Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit in all confidence to pray, talk, thank, praise, and worship our Great God. Through faith we become spiritually one with our God, spiritually one with all of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our heart is where our Heavenly Father, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus live. The Lordís house is no longer a physical building where one must go to meet and be with their God. The temple of our great God is our bodies. We each bring our Lord with us everywhere we go. We no longer have to be reverent in any one building, but show respect by trying to keep our thoughts, words and deeds acceptable to the Lord. For all believersí actions are done within Godís holy temple, which is our spirit and soul, our minds and bodies. We are not required to gather at any specific day or hour, nor any certain place or building. We should merely come together as a Christian family to have fellowship with our Lord as often as possible. Anytime or anywhere two are gathered in our Saviorís name, the family of God is coming together the true Church of God is gathering, Jesus is there to bless us. We should meet in the love of our God, coming together as a family, worshiping in an orderly fashion. †There are only three physical items that remain holy, holy to lead us and make us part of the Family of God. The first is the Holy Scriptures, the second is the word of God with water in baptism, and the third is our Saviorís words with bread and the fruit of the vine in the Lordís Supper. All other physical items in this world are merely to aid us in our worship, though sometimes they can hinder us by emphasizing physical assets instead of spiritual blessings. Look at all the fancy buildings, all the elaborate gathering halls, many with spires and stained glass windows, the blacktop parking, the maintenance to keep everything working and looking good. Showing the world, passersby, that this congregation has arrived, is real, has a position in the community. All the adornments inside, sometimes gold on the altars or crosses, the fine carpeting and flooring to walk on, comfortable seating, the state of the art heating and cooling systems, trying to make the one hour service with the Lord more comfortable and bearable. The fancy robes for the pastors and choirs, the exquisite organs, the newest sound, video, and computer systems make it easier for all to stay awake during the service. Congregations believe they are showing their great love for the Lord with all these great physical gifts. They feel blessed because the Lord has given them the money and ability to create them. But all these physical assets will pass away, will be destroyed when Jesus comes again. The only possessions we will take out of this world into our Heavenly home are the spiritual blessings we are given by our Lord. Spiritual blessings as we give our lives to Jesus, as we are even willing to face death instead of denying our Savior. Spiritual blessings as we love others as ourselves, as we help the needy, as we tell all about Jesus. Jesus never desired material treasures, never had a place to lay His head. Yet Jesus directed the disciples to give their money to the poor, the needy, and to help spread the good news of our Savior. For all physical treasures will pass away, but that child we help feed, that we tell about Jesus, that accepts the Lord, will be our brother, our sister in Heaven forever. Congregations and those who make them up will not be measured by the physical assets they have given the Lord, but by their love for Jesus, for others, by the fruit this love produces as Jesus rules over their lives. This does not mean we should not have physical structures that aid us in our worship, but we must keep them in balance with the needs of so many others. We should minimize our physical needs for worship and maximize the spreading of the good news of Christ to all. Giving help to all of our brothers and sisters anywhere the Gospel needs to be told, feeding any who are hungry, clothing any who need clothes, loving any who just need to be loved. This includes those around us that we have neglected to know better, those who are our neighbors down the street, those less fortunate in our nation, those who need help around the world.
Modern day business practices have filtered into congregations, diluting or overriding what our God is all about. The goal of making the congregation grow should be out of love, not out of ego, power, or the money that can be generated. Policies should focus on staying in Godís Word instead of placing the emphasis on the attendance number, how much money can be raised. For without truth no one will ever find the Spirit, there will just be more people running around in the dark without ever finding their Lord, yet believing they are Christians. The philosophy of divergence, accepting different meanings for Scriptural truths, should never be used to attract more members, to create a larger congregation. The congregation will be patting each other on the back for the great job they are doing, yet many will not know Jesus, are not in the family of God, the door to Heaven has not yet been opened to them. Our job is to spread the truth, let the Spirit use us to proclaim the good news of Jesus. The Lord alone knows who will love Him, who will become children of God.†††††††† There should be no elite groups, no one should be honored, because of worldly treasures, power, intellect, or popularity. It is the love from the depths of your heart the Lord desires, not the physical riches of the world one can offer. Jesus blesses the meek, those who love Him. Jesus told us that the widow who had given but a few mites had given more than anyone else. Though she was overlooked here on earth, most likely would not be considered highly in many congregations today, she already has received honor and blessings beyond imagination in Heaven above.†
Paul clearly tells us that we are not to be members of any manís doctrine, nor called or identified after human leaders or beliefs. We are Christians, members of the family of God, those who love and follow Christ. Congregational membership can often be considered necessary or beneficial to a Christian. Christians are sometimes required to pledge their loyalty to a congregation, to congregational doctrines to become a member. They must accept human and traditions which they may not completely understand, may not want to accept or be part of. Thus a Christian can love and believe in Jesus Christ, be a child of God, a member of the Holy Christian Church, yet be rejected as a member of a specific congregation. No one should put congregational obstacles in a believerís path, nor should a Christian ever consider a congregational membership that important. The most important thing in our lives is to be adopted into Godís holy family, and to remain a child of God for the rest of our lives. We should come together with other Christian brothers and sisters who believe in our Savior, to worship and praise our Lord.†† Glory alone belongs to our God, everything is accomplished solely by the awesome love our God has for us, and the works He does through us. The Lord must get pretty tired of hearing how the (pick any) congregation is saving many for God. How the ministry of (pick any) has saved thousands, millions. God is being put second, as congregations and ministries get top billing, trying to achieve the power, glory and money need to accomplish what congregations deem is the Lordís work. They justify what they are doing by the work they are able to accomplish. But our God is a jealous God, He does not recognize any congregational or human endeavors or works, we are only given blessings for that which we do out of love, out of faith for our Savior. There is no room for congregational pride, or ego in the family of God. God alone has brought us into His family, alone has given us salvation to once again come into His holy presence, alone sustains us with His incomprehensible love. God is everything, we are nothing!
Godís Word should be kept pure and simple as we come together to worship our God in spirit and truth. The Spirit opens our hearts, uses Scripture to teach us, introduce us to our Savior. Worship should always be in language and terms easily understood by those participating. When we gather together we should avoid using intellectual, Latin, or doctrinal terms, letting the Word of God talk to us, guide us, explain the Lordís meaning to us. We are in the family of God, we should worship like a family. In love greeting and visiting with each other, making the message spiritual, meaningful, and easy for all to understand, allowing all to be part of the worship. We should be a Christian family that is cautious about accepting distinguished theologians, leaders, or any other interpretations of Scripture, lest we be led astray. We should never become complacent, accepting incorrect explanations, instead take the time to look in Godís Word for the correct answers. We should continually let the Spirit guide us as we read and learn through the Bible. We now have computers that will find any word or passage in Scripture to cross reference anything we are studying (on homepage Ė Bible). Our human comprehension makes us unable to fathom all the truths of our God, we will never completely understand our Lord in this world. Christians will always disagree on certain aspects of Godís Word, and will meet in different groups because of these differences. We will also meet in different groups because we like to worship in different ways, with different styles of music, different ways of presenting our Lordís messages. But we should always love our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, always have a Scriptural dialogue with them, work together with them whenever possible. Godís Word will change our views as the Spirit enlightens us, as we grow in the truth. But we should never accept anything less than the truth of the Scriptures to guide us.††
The church should always function as a loving family in worshipping and carrying out the responsibilities our Lord has given us. Being kind and compassionate, helping each other as we worship and work together.† God has given the Christian husband the leadership responsibility of his own family and his extended Christian family. Christian fathers should use their talents to help lead the family of God under seasoned Christian men who have been chosen as elders. A Christian father, with the help of the Spirit, with proper understanding of Scripture, should feel comfortable and competent to lead a prayer, deliver a message, baptize someone who has come to Jesus, or give the Lordís Supper. Whenever and wherever the opportunity presents itself, whether a planned meeting, a small unplanned gathering, or simply telling a stranger about Jesus. I will stop here as we are now getting into the topic of church leadership which will be discussed in the next message.
We should always remember this. Our Heavenly Father has adopted us into His family by the grace of Jesus our eldest brother who died as atonement for our sins. Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven as will all who are children of God, for we are heirs of Heaven. Christians live, worship, work, rejoice, and are filled with joy in the great family unit in which we live, the family of God. Both here on earth and eternally in Heaven.†††††††
My wife asked me an interesting question the other day What purpose do church buildings in our worship play Are we not wasting many of the resources we seek When we put them in a place used only once a week
Many believe structures show how great our faith can be By having the best showplace for our great Deity So we build tremendous churches like idols to the skies While many are so needy and out of hunger die
Jesus here on earth did not have a place to lay His head But still had others give to all, allowing the poor to be fed For our Savior knew all physical things will surely pass away Except the many blessings to be given on Judgment Day
Jesus Christ in all His teaching did never bestow Great blessings for building physical treasures here below For it doesn't matter where, when or how we meet Only that we gather to humbly worship at our Savior's feet
Great churches where an intermediate for us did pray Are no longer needed for our spiritual blessings today Less we forget the old covenant has passed away For the new covenant of grace Jesus has put into play
Christ's grace means no need for a holy place or holy ground Only holiness in a contrite sinner's heart need be found For Jesus alone can intercede for us in Heaven above Not for what we can do or offer, but out of unfathomable love
For Christ's real church is not a physical shrine But the Savior's temple is in each believer's heart entwined Worship is anytime two or more believers are gathered in His name Coming as small individual coals to blow into a large flame
All human based worship no matter how contrived is but in vain No matter how great the content how much they try to entertain Buildings, symbolism, or social gatherings do not Christianity impart Conversion requires the Holy Spirit to open one's heart
Together believers worship Jesus to spiritually become one Putting away human ideals, egos and values to get His work done Working hard trying to keep all in Christ's love for sure By coming together as a Christian unit to faithfully endure
Where we are fed spiritual blessings so hope will always stay Where we are given living water that quenches our thirst away Where we are clothed in God's love that binds us in one accord We will gladly come to worship spiritually with our Lord
Copyright 2007 by Ron Borkey