Lesson # 1

We are the Family of God

Lesson #1
We are the Family
Copyright © 2002
D. S. Briggs, BA., ThM., D.Min

Romans 11:36 – 12:5
Background Scripture: Ephesians 3:14 – 21
Memory verse: Amos 3:3

The family unit has been attacked! It now lies in a critical state, just barely hanging on for life. Once defined as the bedrock of Christian stability and a shelter from the time of storm. The family was a safe haven and a strong tower. Yes, that was the family. Don’t you remember the good days? When the family was the place for unconditional acceptance, and unconditional love for all its members. It was biblically defined and operated as the structure through which the Lord intended to bless all of his creation. It was through the family that God intended to reveal the order of his creation. But we may be too late. Look closer.

However the family unit as we know it now lies in intensive care. Look carefully and observe the tubes protruding from all over, monitors flashing, buzzers ringing. Listen. There goes another one. What does it mean? Wounded from the attacks of the adversary. Wounded by friendly fire. Infected by the religious dogma of secular humanism and through media manipulation. All signs point to its demise. The doctor has gathered the remaining family members to tell them that all hope is gone. That there is nothing more that can be done. How did this happen? Why didn’t we catch this earlier? Perhaps we could have taken preventive measures… if not to stave off death, to at least delay its finality, so we could at least get things in order and say goodbye.

Beloved, we can not say that this a strictly a new millennium occurrence. According to Dr. James Dobson, founder of the group “Focus on the Family”, this current attack on the family first became physically evident in the early 1970’s and was highlighted by a British psychotherapist. This psychotherapist, Dr. David Cooper, argued for the need to abolish the traditional family unit as we know it and to substitute new forms of human relationships. In 1971 new age guru Shirley Maclaine mocked the traditional monogamous family unit, and argued for its dissolution and restructuring into what could only be called polygamous serial relationships. In 1992 Time magazine predicted that in the new millennium, the nuclear family as we know it would soon die.

Through years of social engineering, we have in effect sanctioned the multiplicity of partners, thereby increasing the amount of children born out of wedlock. As a society in general we have dramatically reduced the need for parents to stay together to raise their children, relying on the government to step in and be the parent.

This attack is the result of three things that must be dealt with by the power of Almighty God:

1.) Sin…………………………………………………Psalm 51:3; Galatians 6:7-8
2.) Self………………………………………………...Proverbs 14:12; Acts 5:1-10
3.) Satan………...………………………………………………………I Peter 5:8-9

Because we have turned away from God as the head of our lives, we have placed our lives under the control of Satan. When we bow to such doctrine as moral relativism and secular humanism, we in effect become our own “god.” This was the charge that the Triune Godhead made of man and woman in the garden. (cf: Genesis 3:22) We choose to sin and live in sin because it is easier than doing the right thing or living the right way.

Until we get these areas completely under the blood of Jesus Christ, the family unit will never come back together as it should. The family will never operate as the organism of blessing that God intended. We will continue to struggle and live far beneath our privileges.

It is time to fix the Family!!!

Lets go to the text.

Ø Vs#36…For of Him, and through him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen.
Ø Vs#1..I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Ø Vs#2…And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Ø Vs#3..For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Ø Vs#4…For as we have many members in one body and all members have not the same office:
Ø Vs#5…so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

I.) The Divine Right of Ownership
a.) All things exist because of God…………………………………He is the Creator
b.) All things remain because of God………………..……….…He is the Conductor
c.) All things are for the glory of God……………….……………He is the Controller

II.) The Disciple’s Responsibility to the Owner
A.) Paul implores the brethren
1.) Live a Saved life
2.) Live a Submitted life
3.) Live a Sacrificial Life

***a life that is truly, thoroughly, and totally submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ will never be submitted to anyone, or anything else.***

B.) Paul instructs the brethren
1.) We must present our bodies for service
- Holy…We must lay down our lives on the altar of god to be consumed by him
- Acceptable…he alone gives us approval of our sacrificial service
- Reasonable…Jesus dies for you, shouldn’t you be living for him?
2.) We must conform our lives to Christ, not to society
- Not just our soul and our spirit
- Through our study of God’s word, our mind can be transformed
- Renew your mind, by thinking what and how God would want you to think
3.) We must live a life of humility before God and men.
- Arrogant thinking and attitudes have no place in the house of God
- Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God and he will exalt you in due time

4.) We must recognize the value of all of God’s children to the whole
- Unity demands respect first, last and always
- There is a difference between adhesive and cohesive unity
- God demands that the family unit have cohesive unity

Concluding thoughts:

As we keep on through this particular chapter of Romans we see both the characteristics of the Christian family towards each other, as well as the characteristics of the Christian family towards the world. When we employ these principles, the family will revive!!!

There were a group of 16 soldiers in the mid 1940’s who had no knowledge of each other. There were just trying their best to serve their country. One by one they were summoned to their commanding officer’s office and given orders to go to Great Lakes, Illinois. When the arrived at the Illinois Naval Facility, these 16 soldiers were told that they were being considered for Officer Training School.

This was still a time of great racial tension in America. Politicians, civil rights groups, and others trying to placate the troubled racial waters during Word War II gave them a grudging chance to see what they could do. Although the Navy had about 100,000 sailors at that time, there were no black officers.

There is no doubt that many in America were expecting them to fail. They were subjected to harsher screening procedures, background checks by the F.B.I. that no white candidate had ever faced. The Navy had projected that they would have a 25% attrition rate, so they pulled in 16 sailors for 12 openings.

None failed. According to George C. Cooper, one of the last living survivors of the group dubbed “The Golden Thirteen”…

“…We made up our mind…early in the game that we were either going to sink or swim together…”

None failed. Sixteen Black men succeeded and passed the test at the same time for twelve slots. No stabbing each other in the back, no undermining each other, no leaving your brother behind while only caring about oneself. Whatever happened they were going to stick to each other and do it together. Succeed together, fail together; it made no difference as long as they stayed together.

That is what family is supposed to do.

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