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The Purpose-Driven Life #2 - You Were Formed for God's Family

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The Purpose-Driven Life #2:

You Were Formed for God’s Family

Thesis: To note the blessings of and the requirements for fellowship/family.

Introduction:

(1)   In the beginning, God realized that it was not good for man to be alone.

(2)   The church (i.e., God’s family) was created to help remedy this problem.

Discussion:

I.                   Why should one become a member of God’s Family?

A.    #1 – You get the family name!

1.      You are a CHRISTIAN.

a.       The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch (Acts 11:26).

b.      2 other NT references: 1) Acts 26:28; and 2) 1 Pet. 4:16.

c.       Could this be the new name about which was prophesied                  (cf. Isa. 62:1-2)?

2.      Illustration: Tommy Lasardo would often remind his team that they played for the name on the front of their jerseys, not the name on the back.

B.     #2 – You gain family privileges!

1.      Prayer

2.      Holy Spirit

3.      Continual Cleansing

4.      Hope

C.     #3 – You are in line for the family inheritance!

1.      “God has reserved a priceless inheritance for his children. It is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay” (1 Pet. 1:14, NLT).

2.      This inheritance is: 1) Priceless; 2) Pure; and 3) Permanent.

II.                What is involved in becoming a member of God’s Family?

A.     One becomes a member of this family by means of a new birth (cf. John 3:3-5).

B.     Once becoming a member, one must learn how to function within his/her new family.

1.      This ‘functioning’ is also known as ‘fellowship.’

a.       ‘Fellowship’ comes from the Greek koinonia.

(1)   BDAG defines this word as “close association involving mutual interests and sharing.”

(2)   Thayer’s observes that this word carries the idea of “community, joint participation.”

(3)   TDNT notes that this word implies a 2-sided relation: 1) Giving and 2) Receiving.

b.      In the NT epistles, there are 37 ‘one another’ passages (NKJV).

2.      Nine characteristics necessary for proper ‘functioning:’

a.       Authenticity – Being able share your true feelings and be yourself

(1)   One should be able to let his/her hair down.

(2)   Also, one should be able to discuss/confess his/her sins.

Ø  “Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together and be healed” (James 5:16, MSG).

b.      Mutuality – Giving and Receiving

(1)   “Christ makes us one body … connected to each other” (Rom. 12:5, GWT).

(2)   “The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part” (1 Cor. 12:25, MSG).

c.       Sympathy – Supporting one another

(1)   “Share each other’s troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2; NLT).

(2)   We are to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep (Rom. 12:15).

d.      Mercy – Forgiving one another

(1)   “You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (Col. 3:13, NLT).

(2)   Note: Matthew 18:15 teaches us that we are to confront a person when he/she offends us and forgive if he/she repents.

e.       Honesty – Being truthful in all areas

(1)   “An honest answer is a sign of true friendship” (Prov. 24:26, TEV).

(2)   Listen: Speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15).

f.       Humility – Admitting our own weaknesses

Ø  “Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another” (1 Pet. 5:5b, NIV).

g.       Courtesy – Respecting differences

(1)   “God’s people should be bighearted and courteous” (Titus 3:2, MSG).

(2)   “Be devoted to each other like a loving family. Excel in showing respect for each other” (Rom. 12:10, GWT).

h.      Confidentiality – NO gossiping

(1)   In 2 Cor. 12:20, ‘gossip’ is among a list of sins that Paul feared he would confront when he returned to Corinth.

(2)   Illustration – Woman told to put a feather at the door of everyone about whom she gossiped.  Then, told to go and pick up the feathers.

i.        Frequency – Making fellowship a priority

(1)   “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb. 10:25, NIV).

(2)   Note: The early church meet daily (cf. Acts 2:46).

Conclusion:

(1)   It is wonderful to have a church family.

(2)   Also, we have the best Father ever!

(3)   If you are not yet a Christian, would you become a part of God’s family today?

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