The space provided does not allow any exhaustive explanation of the family of God, but I would like to make a few points on this subject. I won’t attempt to write down the most important things about the family of God, I only wish to make note of a few thoughts I’ve had recently on this subject.
It is interesting to consider what the family of God (the portion of it that lives on earth) was like during the early days of the church. In Acts 2:42, 44-47, we hear of the church immediately acting like the family that they became a part of. They were all of one mind: “they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” They were not steadfast in just one of these things, but the text says that they “continued steadfastly” in each one of these things. They were a family that had a drive to accomplish and fulfill certain things of importance. To them it was not about living their lives, it was about living together for Christ. These individuals left their old lives and replaced it with steadfast application of true doctrine. They left their old family and friends, and “continued daily with one accord” with their new family, members of God’s family.
Like any household, they shared, having “all things in common.” They were together in each other’s homes “daily,” according to the text. They ate together in these homes “daily.” It was a true to form huge household. The text states that “they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart.” To me, this fact is added to help us understand the true sense of the situation. They were comfortable being so close to each other. They were comfortable sharing their homes and food with each other. They were comfortable sharing their lives. There was no bitterness, or anyone taking advantage of another. If they were eating the food with gladness and simplicity (purity) of heart, then they were sharing it with gladness and pure hearts. Nothing was done because they felt they had to do it. Everything was done because they took joy in doing it. Everyone knew who their true family was, being those who would help them get to heaven, and had that same goal in mind for everyone.
Jesus illustrated these ideas in Mark 10:29-30, saying “there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.” His point is tremendous, and should be an evident part of every Christian’s life even today. There is much that one must leave behind in this world to become a Christian. But the reward for that is not only eternal life in the age to come, but as Jesus stated, whatever we left in our old lives we will receive a hundred times when we become a part of the family of God! Yes, a hundred times the houses that we could have possessed, being welcome in the homes of all our brethren. Yes, a hundred times the brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and children. When the church is what it ought to be, we have so many brothers and sisters in Christ. We have a hundred times the mothers and fathers, that is, the aged of the church in their caring and wise ways. And children, a hundred times the little rascals bringing joy to the whole family of God. Or further, in comparison to mothers and fathers, the children may also be the young people that are in Christ, who are full of energy and effort, filling themselves up with the wisdom of God’s word. Therefore, as Jesus taught, there is more to being a member of the household of God than the grand inheritance of eternal life. We have much joy together in each member of the great spiritual household, which sizes in at a hundred times any physical household can number.
In reflection to what we read about in the bible on this subject, I would like to ask us all if we fit such a description. Are we the people of God that we have been commanded to be? Can we describe ourselves as a household? A family? Some who have been called out of the world have yet to exactly leave the world behind. They have failed to “leave and cleave,” disrupting the unity, love, and power that is the family of God. “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19).
Article by Tanner Campbell.