Just about all our Faith Church emails start with that same line “Hi Family of Faith Church.” Are we really a family? Next week on the blog, we continue our five week topical series about relationships, next studying what God’s word has to say about the people who make up a local church. There are plenty of other metaphors that the Scripture uses for those groups of people. Paul Minear wrote the classic work on this, Images of the Church in the New Testament, and he counts between 80 and 100 ways the New Testament writers describe the people in a church, depending on how you translate the original language. In his book he covers 96 of those images. Each figurative image for the church has its own unique angle. Here are a few examples. Notice how different they are. The church is compared to:
- Living stones, a Building, a Temple, or a House
- A Kingdom of Priests
- The Bride of Christ
- The Body of Christ
- Citizens of Heaven
What we will focus on, because our series is about relationships, is the church as the family of God. As a bit of a preview, consider these passages.
- “‘I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me,’ says the Lord Almighty” (2 Cor. 6:18).
- “Stretching out his hand toward his disciples, Jesus said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother’” (Matt. 12:49-50).
- “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Eph. 2:19).
- “As we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10).
- “Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity” (1 Tim. 5:1).
Thinking about your church as a family, how are you doing as a family member of your church? How are your relationships in your church family? What does it take to be a loving church family member? I look forward to talking about it with you next week.