The Recovery of the Church as the Family of God

Ephesians 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

Ephesians 2:20 Being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone;

Ephesians 2:21 In whom all the building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord;

Ephesians 2:22 In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.

Stanza 3 of hymn 1238 (in video above) says:

How delightful ’tis to know;
How subjective, real, and sweet
Is this inward joy of grace
We experience when we meet;
Life abundant Jesus gives
As my full reality;
Praise You, Lord, it’s really true,
I’m in Your own family.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

As Christians, we have to advance to see and experience the church as the family of God. John 1:13 says something absolutely precious about Christians, “…begotten not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”. We can see in the previous verse, John 1:12, that by believing in Christ, we receive Him as our life. This means that God is now our Father. He is not only our Father because He created us and because we are one of His many creatures, but He is now our Father in the most real way– because we have received His life!

We should also see that all the believers are our brothers and sisters. Having the same life of God makes all the Christians a new creation. We know this from 2 Corinthians 5:17 which says, “So then if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” With our family in the flesh we share the same human life. With our family in Christ we share God’s life and are a new creation. What we have in common with all the genuine Christians is the most precious thing in the universe! We hope that all of the regenerated children of God have an epiphany, an illuminating discovery and realization concerning the church as the family of God. 

Beginning also with the Brethren, the saints began to see that the church is God’s household, God’s family. This is clearly revealed in Ephesians 2:19 which says, “So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens of the saints and members of the household of God.” The very God is our Father and we all are His children. Being His children, we are the folks of God’s family. The Greek word for household refers both to the house, the dwelling place, and to the household, the family. You can translate the same word with these two meanings. The end of Ephesians 2 reveals the household as the habitation of God. Verse 19 mentions the household, while verse 22 says that we are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit. The household is the dwelling place, the habitation.

Today, physically speaking, the household can never be the dwelling place of a father. However, spiritually speaking, all of God’s children at the same time are both God’s family and also God’s dwelling place. God’s habitation is built with His children. Therefore, His children are both His family and His dwelling place. The family is the dwelling place. We can declare to the whole universe that we are both God’s family and God’s house. We are His children, and at the same time we are His dwelling place. The Brethren, in their teachings, have made this very clear. From the assembly, the gathering of God’s called ones, they went on to the family of God, the household, and to the habitation of God. (The One New Man, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)

If you have time, you can learn more about the recovery through John Nelson Darby and the Brethren at: http://www.johndarby.org/recovery/index.html

 

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