I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

Every Man, Woman and Child

"IN THE FAMILY" OR "NOT IN THE FAMILY" OF GOD




Today I plugged into Ephesians chapter 2.  A little background, the church in Ephesus was lead by Timothy. Paul exhorts Timothy later in his life to correct false teachers (1 Timothy) within the church, mainly legalism which is an “Addition to” scripture. The Pharisee’s were best for this, removing God alone (Grace) and imputing exterior formality (Works). Jesus writes to this church in Revelation. We see many great works within this church such as their hard work, perseverance, not tolerating wicked men, tested and challenged those who “say” they are apostles but are not, and exposing falsehood! Yet Jesus had one thing against this church… Revelation 2:4 “I hold this against you; you have forsaken your first love.” What is our first love? The Gospel and all its implications, results and limitless grace. Titus 2:11-12 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self – controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.”

I come to my purpose for writing today… In Ephesians 2:11-13 the conclusion Paul builds is how we are one in Christ. This verse paints the picture of the two phrases we hear in our Christian circles, “In the family” and “Not in the family” of God. I heard a pastor say, “If they are not regenerated through the cross they are not in the family, God’s not thinking of them.” This struck a chord with me theologically, never mind personally due to the harshness. I recalled verses such as “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous,” Jeremiah 5:24 “They do not say to themselves, 'Let us fear the LORD our God, who gives autumn and spring rains in season, who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.” But when we look at both the verses I shared it has nothing to do with salvation, instead it shows God’s unconditional provision and mercy towards his image bearers. 

  •          Satan will use all his limited power toward the believer in Christ to suppress, redirect, distract, and excuse away the seriousness of rejecting Jesus as Lord. The practical result is naive denied realities and unbelief, toward those we love who reject Jesus. Satan will not stop until the time of mercy to receive God’s grace is expired.  

We see salvation at play in Ephesians:
11 Therefore, remember that formerly (Before Salvation) you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)
12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship (Outside the family of God) in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.  
13 But now in Christ (Personal identifiable believe in death, burial resurrection) Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near (In the family of God) by the blood of Christ.


God, I pray a sense of urgency in our lives today, in Jesus name, AMEN!

Grace and peace friends…