Back to Course

Seeking the Family of God

  1. Am I In Christ?
    7 Digging Deeper
  2. What is the Kingdom of God?
    3 Digging Deeper
  3. What is the Church?
    5 Digging Deeper
  4. Why Are There So Many Different Christian Religions?
    6 Digging Deeper
  5. How Can I Know the Will of God?
    4 Digging Deeper
  6. How Do I Pray?
    5 Digging Deeper
  7. What is Worship?
    6 Digging Deeper
  8. What is the Significance of the Lord’s Supper?
    5 Digging Deeper
  9. How Do I Become Like Christ?
    6 Digging Deeper
  10. What if there is no New Testament Church Near Me?
    5 Digging Deeper
Lesson 3, Digging Deeper 2
In Progress

Why do you believe God desires Christians to come together as a family?

God saves us one by one and then adds us to his family called “the household of God.” The Apostle Paul wrote that through the death of Jesus on the cross that God brought the Jewish believers and the believers from the non-Jewish world (called “the Gentiles”) together into one “household” or “family.” He wrote, “For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.  So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:18-19, ESV, NIV, NKJV). The word “household” is translated as “family” in some versions (NLT, NCV, CEV, and others).

It is important that God’s family come together to fellowship with one another and to worship the Lord together. Just like human families need to talk with each other, listen to each other, share their joys and sorrows together, discuss their needs, concerns and problems together, help each other, and set priorities and goals together, so God’s family needs to do the same. Families that do not live together, eat together, communicate with each other, celebrate joys, share sorrows, work together, and solve family problems are dysfunctional and will deteriorate and dissolve. The same with God’s family, the church.

When the church assembles, it is a “family reunion” or “family gathering.” The church in Corinth came together (note the words “come together” five times in 1 Corinthians 11:17, 18, 20, 33, 34). When they came together they shared the Lord’s supper (the communion), prayed, sang, encouraged and built each other up and received teaching and instruction (14:3-5, 12, 13-15, 23, 26-27, 31). In the assembly, the members “spoke to one another is psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” (Ephesians 5:19) and “taught and admonished one another” (Colossians 3:16). In the family life of the church, they also handled church business and sometimes matters of discipline (5:4-5).

Most New Testament letters (sometimes called “epistles”) were written to congregations (as Colossians, Thessalonians, and Philippians) or groups of congregations (Galatians) or house churches (as Romans). These letters were read to the assembled congregations (as in Colossians 4:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:27). It was in the assembly that the members heard the word of God read, explained and applied. It was in the assembly that members drew together in worship, were encouraged to hold fast to God’s teachings, stirred one another up to love and good works and encouraged one another (Hebrews 10:22-25). It was here that responsible, spiritual shepherds taught, guided, disciplined and directed the congregation (Hebrews 13:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-15; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:5).