God made me to be part of his family. So begins my study into the second purpose of my life. God, who already had perfect relationships within the Godhead, desired a family to bring Him glory. The only way to be part of God’s family is to be born again as a child of God. God has extended a universal call for all people to join His family (see my articles on Calvinism and Arminianism for more information about general and particular calls).
There are many benefits to being part of God’s family. Among them are: the family name, the family likeness, family privileges, family intimate access and the family inheritance. Everything God has now belongs to us!
Warren now turns to a discussion of baptism and to how it is a symbol of our identity with God’s family. Baptism signifies that I am part of God’s family. As such, it should not be delayed or put off. The Bible tells us to be baptized as soon as we believe. It is out first act of obedience after becoming Christians.
That we are part of God’s family is an incredible honor and privilege. Nothing in all the world can compare to this.
Warren quotes the Bible twenty three times using four translations and paraphrases. He quotes the New Living Translation’s version of Ephesians 1:5 which reads, “His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure.” This loses much of the meaning of the verse. There is great beauty and comfort in that verse that is lost in the translation. Compare to the NASB which reads, “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.” Of course as a Calvinist a literal translation of this verse is very important! James 1:18 is quoted in the Living Bible paraphrase which, again, loses much of the meaning of the verse. There are several more poor choices of translation in this chapter, but for sake of time I will not mention them all.
Question To Consider
Today’s question to consider is “How can I start treating other believers like members of my own family?” I have been blessed to be part of an incredible group of believers through my church. My Home Church (similar to a Bible study group or a cell group) is the most amazing group I have ever been part of. Through that small group of Christians I have learned so much about Christian community. I have learned about the value of bearing one another’s burdens; of the need sometimes to confess to each other; of the need to have friends who will love unconditionally and of the need to have a relationship where we really are family. I can’t imagine having to live my life without a group like that. What is difficult for us at times is to extend that family. We are so close-knit that it can be difficult to desire to extend the group to more people. However, we have recently been learning the importance of treating all members of the Christian family equally. As we have come to this realization, we have seen the family grow and have rejoiced at the new relationships. God is good.
Tomorrow’s topic is What Matters Most