God is a Family Now
John 3:15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
What kind of relationship is being described here? FAMILY
God is Family now and He is working towards growing that Family
God is not a Trinity
The holy spirit is not God
Nowhere in the Bible does it state that the Father, the Son and the holy spirit are all God. Nowhere does it state that the holy spirit is a divine being. God’s spirit is presented as something, not someone
The spirit is not a person, it describes the Nature of God
John 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
We are flesh, doesn’t make flesh a person
2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the spirit; and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
The spirit naturally comes from both of Them
Jesus Christ had no one-on-one relationship with holy spirit – He prayed ONLY to the Father
The holy spirit comes from the Father
Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The holy spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.
- Highest implies no equality among the three
- Ephesians 4:6 one God and Father of all,who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
- John 10:29 My Father, who has given them to Me,is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.
- Not the son of the holy spirit but of God
- (if it were a person then it would be the son of the holy spirit)
The glaring omission is that Paul NEVER addresses the holy spirit. What a slap in the face if in fact the holy spirit was a co-equal with the Father and Son
The same is true of his other greetings in his other epistles (2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus and Philemon)
What we need to understand is:
God has had a Plan for Mankind from the Beginning
David asked: What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? (Psalm 8:4)
Answers the question here:
Hebrews 2:5 For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. [who then?].
Hebrews 2:6 But one testified in a certain place, saying: “WHAT IS MAN THAT YOU ARE MINDFUL OF HIM, OR THE SON OF MAN THAT YOU TAKE CARE OF HIM? [The author knows the vastness between the God-plane and the condition of Man; knowing this why do You care so much about us?].
Hebrews 2:7 YOU HAVE MADE HIM A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS; YOU HAVE CROWNED HIM WITH GLORY AND HONOR, AND SET HIM OVER THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS. [not the angels]
Hebrews 1:4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
Hebrews 1:5 For to which of the angels did He ever say: “YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU”? And again: “I WILL BE TO HIM A FATHER, AND HE SHALL BE TO ME A SON”?
Hebrews 2:8 YOU HAVE PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET.” For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.
Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
Hebrews 2:10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Hebrews 2:11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one [what? FAMILY], for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, [brothers] [because we are in the SAME Family]
(CEV) Jesus and the people he makes holy all belong to the same family. That is why he isn’t ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters.
The Missing Component
How do we then get from A to B; from where we are to where we want to be – in the Family of God
The issue at hand that we may readily recognize is the incredible gulf between the spiritual and physical. How was God going to bring us from a physical being to spiritual. God is spirit and we are a by-product of dust
We have to realize that:
Man was Made Incomplete
the natural state of man was lacking:
Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
Romans 8:8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
There was a critical component missing – one necessary to…
How is it then that this chasm between mortal physical carnal MAN and immortal spiritual righteous God be bridged?
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written: “EYE HAS NOT SEEN, NOR EAR HEARD, NOR HAVE ENTERED INTO THE HEART OF MAN THE THINGS WHICH GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”
1 Corinthians 2:10 But God has revealed them to us through His spirit. For the spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
1 Corinthians 2:11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
1 Corinthians 2:13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the holy spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1 Corinthians 2:15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.
1 Corinthians 2:16 For “WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD THAT HE MAY INSTRUCT HIM?” But we have the mind of Christ.
It is through the power of God, His spirit. It is who and what He is, a part of Him, it is through His holy spirit that we can begin to bridge the gap.
Receiving God’s holy spirit
Calling, Repentance, Faith and Belief, Baptism and the laying on of hands. This is what God has outlined as necessities for receiving the holy spirit. There are crucial steps in the overall process of becoming a part of the God Family.
We Become Children of God
Upon receiving the holy spirit – we become a Christian, we are of Christ when He dwells in us.
Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the spirit, if indeed the spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the spirit of Christ, he is not His. [must have the holy spirit to be a child of God and to have the holy spirit we must go through the baptismal requirements].
John 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
How do we worship IN SPIRIT?
Romans 8:10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is life because of righteousness.
Romans 8:11 But if the spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His spirit who dwells in you.
Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the spirit of God, these are sons of God.
The intimation here is that this is being done continually.
This further defines: Who is a true Christian – those currently being led
This is not a one-time event, where you accept the Lord and then that is it. We must continually act in the manner that we were describing in the previous verse. If we do then we can be considered a Christian and a Son of God because we have that earnest of the spirit working in us.
We see this further in:
1 John 3:1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
1 John 3:3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
The previous chapters shows how to do this by removing sin and keeping the commandments
We are Children of God in Gestational Form
The best way to understand and visualize this is by the fact that we are not yet fully born-again
Nicodemus: John 3 must born again to see and enter the Kingdom of God
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 3:4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water [baptism] and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
At this point in time we are simply begotten. Just as we say that the being in the womb of the wife is our child, our son or daughter, we too are in that gestational period where we are growing (church=wife which is a significant part of the growth). The initial receiving of the holy spirit is analogous to conception. There is a period of gestation or growth that follows. The embryo starts a maturation PROCESS that eventuates in birth.
In much the same way we have begun a Conversion from a begotten child of God towards being a fully born-again son of God
As we continue to walk in a path of righteousness we will continue to grow as His spiritual children.
2 Corinthians 5:5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the spirit as a guarantee.
A guarantee of what?:
Ephesians 1:13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the holy spirit of promise,
Ephesians 1:14 who [which] is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
A, earnest, down payment, pledge, or deposit of the holy spirit which is the guarantee of the full payment that comes when we are born of spirit.
John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
The Transformative Nature of the Holy Spirit Within Us
Just like the embryonic child there is an expectation of growth and change. We start as this unrecognizable egg and transform into a child ready to live outside of the womb.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
“ if anyone is in Christ” or has “received Him” they are “a new creation” NOW with “the right to become children of God”
Becoming the Image of Christ
This is what we would expect as a now begotten child of God, that when we come to full term and are born-again that we would be like our elder brother and God who Fathered us.
The New Testament confirms that we were made similar to God:
James 3:9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.
But Christ was and is the Image of God:
Hebrews 1:3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person….
The word for express image comes from the Greek word CHARAKTER means to exactly represent another image. Christ has the exact image or character of God the one that we are to be emulating. We want to Engrave or stamp into us who and what God is. We want it to be and need it to be precise reproduction in every respect, exactly as God the Son is of the Father … he is His express image.
When God said, “Let Us make man in Our image…” this was His ultimate goal!
We are to be the image, the character of Christ who is the Character of God. This was the purpose from the beginning, this is what was intimated in Genesis 1:
It starts with Kind after kind until it gets to man:
Genesis 1:24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so.
Genesis 1:25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Colossians 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
Colossians 1:16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
Colossians 1:17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.
Colossians 1:18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
Colossians 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,
[omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, eternal, etc. All that God is].
As Paul goes on to say in chapter 3, we are to do the same:
Colossians 3:10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him [man],
Is the picture becoming clearer. We are to become the image of God. We are to become a family member of the God-kind. We are to become part of the Family of God.
Hebrews 12:10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us [as a Father would which is the context of this chapter] as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.
We are being helped along the way so that we can become holy like God
1 Corinthians 15:48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly.
1 Corinthians 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust [Adam], we shall also bear [be born in] the image of the heavenly Man [Christ].
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
Philippians 2:6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
We are to become holy as God is holy
As we put this all together we see that
2 Corinthians 6:17 Therefore “COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM AND BE SEPARATE, SAYS THE LORD. DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN, AND I WILL RECEIVE YOU.”
2 Corinthians 6:18 “I WILL BE A FATHER TO YOU, AND YOU SHALL BE MY SONS AND DAUGHTERS, SAYS THE LORD ALMIGHTY.”
Quoted from the Old Testament Isaiah 52:11; Jeremiah 31:9
Those who have God’s spirit and come out of the world are truly His children.
2 Peter 1:3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
2 Peter 1:4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
What is that divine Nature? It is everything that God is. What is God? That is what we have the opportunity to partake of. By doing this we “escape the corruption that is in the world” – in other words, our personal actions must reflect the charakter of God
This is the image that Adam failed to put on when he chose the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil instead of the choosing the holy spirit from the Tree of Life.
The image of God the Father and the Son is the one that we are to continue to strive for and put on.
IF we do, then this is what we can expect:
Jesus Christ’s Glorified Body
John 17:1 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,
John 17:2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.
John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
John 17:4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.
John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
What was that Glory that He had before coming to this Earth, before there ever was an Earth? He was a Divine spiritual Being, like the Father. Christ is the same as the Father. He is of the God-kind.
As part of our continuing transformation
Philippians 3:20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
Philippians 3:21 who will transform our lowly body [physical one that is subject to the ravages of time and sickness] that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
1 Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Because we will be immortal
2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the spirit of the Lord.
That is what we are promised to be like!
1 Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood [must be a change] cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.
1 Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—
1 Corinthians 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1 Corinthians 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
1 Corinthians 15:54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY.”
1 Corinthians 15:55 “O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING? O HADES, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY?”
In Ephesian 3 we see another step in being brought into the God family, one that stands to reason
But Christ will not be an only Son!
Romans 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren [our elder brother].
We are to be a part of the same exact family and have a part in the SAME EXACT inheritance
Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the spirit of adoption [sonship] by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
We are placed into the Family with Abba, Father – very affectionate term of endearment that was used by Jesus Christ
But rather it is a spirit that leads to “sonship”
G5206 υἱοθεσία uihothesia hwee-oth-es-ee’-ah
G5207 υἱός uihos hwee-os’ Apparently a primary word; a “son”
G5087 τίθημι tithēmi tith’-ay-mee A prolonged form of a primary word θέω theō
It is defined as the placing as a son with all the rights and privileges that go with it.
We too can have this same type of very close relationship that our Elder Brother had…we will be sons of the same family of God
Romans 8:16 The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
Romans 8:17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ [who will inherit what? All things Heb 1:2], if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
This verse testifies to the following facts:
- that we are children of God,
- heirs of God (we are to inherit what God has) and
- we are to do it with Jesus Christ our elder brother of the same family.
Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Romans 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
By resurrection to immortality, as a child of God.
Romans 8:23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the spirit [us today], even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the [sonship], the redemption of our body.
Now we can more plainly see what Ephesians 3 is speaking to
Named with the Same Name of God
Ephesians 3:14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Ephesians 3:15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
Ephesians 3:16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His spirit in the inner man,
Ephesians 3:17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Ephesians 3:18 may be able to comprehend [do we understand this?] with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—
Ephesians 3:19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. [the ultimate goal]
You Are Gods!
John 10:34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I SAID, “YOU ARE GODS” ‘?
John 10:35 If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),
John 10:36 do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?
Psalms 82:6 I said, “You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High.
Psalms 82:1 A Psalm of Asaph. God [elohim] stands in the congregation of the mighty [el] [to whom the word of God came ]; He judges among the gods [elohim].
There it is in black and white and in the pages of your Bible the awe inspiring truth of what God has been diligently working on from before the creation of time AND it is the real and true potential that we now have – which is to become a member of the Family of God.