Let’s celebrate being a father. Don’t run from it. Don’t deny it. Don’t give up on it. Don’t do it half-way. Don’t forget it. Don’t take it for granted. Be a father. Work at it. Pray about it. Learn from it. Grow in it. Rejoice in it. Laugh at it. Cry over it. Praise God for it. Hear God on it.
Genesis 18:19 “For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.”
Exodus 34:6-7 “And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation.”
This is what Paul taught the church in Ephesus (Ephesians 2:19-22). As Christians, we are “members of the household of God”. The term “household” means family (cf. 1 Timothy 3:4-5, 15; 5:8). These verses tell us two things: 1) Family matters, and 2) We are a family. Jesus was the first to teach this when He spoke of the greater family of God (Matthew 12:46-50). It is a greater family in at least three ways:
We are a family in the Lord.
It is a spiritual family (Galatians 3:26-29). God is our Father and we are His children. That makes us brothers and sisters in Christ. We are united by the same faith and the same baptism by which we were united to Christ. We have the same Savior and the same Lord, Jesus. We are all one in Christ (cf. Ephesians 4:1-6). What matters is “if you are Christ’s”.
From the beginning God saw that it was not good for man to be alone and made a helper comparable to him (Genesis 2:18). He brought the woman to the man and said, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:21-24). This was God’s idea of marriage.
There are those who have other ideas about marriage. Some refuse marriage, while others forbid marriage. Some want sexual relations without marriage. Some want sexual relations outside of their marriage. Some want a polygamous marriage. Some want a same sex marriage. Some want a divorce from their marriage partner. Some want to marry another.
There has been a great deal of controversy in America over the question of when life begins ever since the Roe v Wade decision by the Supreme Court which legalized abortion in the U.S. For some it doesn’t matter when life begins at all, they just want the freedom to abort if they so choose. Others seek to protect the unborn from the point of conception.
We are not here to argue party politics or government policy, but we are interested in what God has revealed to us in the Bible. What does He say? Why does it matter?
When does life begin?
To answer the question, “Does it matter when life begins?”, we must first know when life begins. The Bible answer is that life begins at conception, in the womb of the mother before the child is ever born.
It is a sensitive subject that has touched most all our families, and we need to bring God to it!
Marriage was His idea from the beginning (Genesis 2:18-24). It is the very foundation of our society. God calls us to stay with our mates for as long as we live (Romans 7:2-3). To find a way to make it work, and not look for a way out. He does allow divorce and remarriage for those whose mates are sexually unfaithful to them. All others who have divorced or been divorced must be reconciled to their spouses or remain unmarried. Another marriage by such persons is adultery and those involved in such marriages are adulterers (Matthew 19:1-9; Mark 10:11-12; Romans 7:2-3; 1 Corinthians 7:10-11). No matter the circumstances, divorce is always painful. No wonder God hates it (Malachi 2:16), because He cares for us so (1 Peter 5:7).
One of the most wonderful aspects of the church is that it is a family (Ephesians 2:19-22; 1 Timothy 3:15). God created Adam and Eve, and since then everyone else was born into the physical family. We have been born again into the spiritual family of God, the church (John 3:1-8; Galatians 3:26-29; 1 Peter 1:20-25).
God is our Father (Matthew 7:7-11; Ephesians 4:6). Jesus Christ is our elder brother, Lord and Savior (Titus 1:4; Hebrews 2:14-18). The Holy Spirit is our comforter and helper (John 14:26; 15:26). We have spiritual fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters in God’s family, too (Matthew 12:46-50; 1 Corinthians 4:14-17; Galatians 4:19; 1 Timothy 5:1-2; Philemon 10). All over the world there are those to whom we are bound by a common love for God and faith in Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 1:14; 2 Timothy 1:13).
Robert Dodson is the Preaching Minister for the Northwest Church of Christ.
6059 Azle Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76135