Joining the Family of God

Family is important. Those who have grown up with a good family know how precious it can be. Many who have not often feel they are lacking something. Humans have a natural desire to marry, have children, and play with their grandkids.

It usually takes extreme situations and bad examples in life to make someone not want these things. And yet, even then the desire to have a family is an impulse that cannot be removed—ever hear of someone talk about their “grand-dogs”? There’s a reason this impulse is so powerful. It is integral to what it means to be human.

We read in the early verses of Genesis that God made man and woman in the image of God and commanded them to multiply (Gen. 1:26–28). It is a God-given natural impulse to desire a spouse and a family. No one can rid themselves of this desire through education or social laws or customs. Even when we attempt to get rid of this instinct, “Life finds a way,” to quote Jurassic Park.

God himself uses the family to describe his relationship to us as our heavenly Father. The first man, Adam, is even described as the son of God (Luke 3:38).

With the fall of Adam into sin, his sonship and family connection to God was severed, and he and his posterity became outcasts from the household of God. Yet, the Lord slowly brought his people back to himself through many promises fulfilled in Jesus Christ, the true and faithful son that Adam failed to be (Gen. 3:15; Heb. 1:2).

We are the new children of God because of Christ. The apostles Paul and Peter refer to the church as this new “household of God” (1 Tim. 3:15; 1 Pet. 4:17). There is one Father over the household, and the Son of God, Jesus, who has become our elder brother. He represents us as the heir of the whole estate. As the faithful Son, he dispenses his benefits and blessings to all believers as his coheirs (Rom. 8:17; Gal. 3:29; 1 Pet. 3:7).

We have been brought into a family that far surpasses what we have ever experienced or could imagine. We have been united to Christ, who is the very “image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15). We have been adopted as God’s children (Rom. 8:23; Gal. 4:5) and are therefore being transformed into the likeness of Christ’s image.

Those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of the Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Rom. 8:29)

Through Jesus, the second Adam, we have gained a glory in this new family of God that can never be lost.

Photo of Timothy W. Massaro

Timothy W. Massaro

Timothy Massaro has written for Core Christianity, Modern Reformation, and other publications. He oversees the Christian Education ministry at Resurrection PCA in San Diego and serves as a hospice chaplain. He has an affinity for all things J.R.R. Tolkien (except the movies) and has interests in the intersections of philosophy and theology. His biggest prayer is that the gospel in all its beauty might re-kindle a wonder and joy of God’s goodness in our hearts and that our lives might adorn the gospel. Connect with Timothy on Twitter @word_water_wine.​

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