We Are the Family of God (1 of 4) by Jonathan McLeod

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We Are the Family of God (1 of 4)
Series: We Are the Church
Jonathan McLeod
Ephesians 2:18-22, 4:11-16, 5:25-27

‘‘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).


In the NT, there are several metaphors for the church. A metaphor is ‘‘a word or phrase for one thing that is used to refer to another thing in order to show or suggest that they are similar’’ (e.g., ‘‘The exam was a piece of cake.’’) In this series, we’re going to examine four metaphors for the church. The church is (1) the family of God, (2) the temple of the Holy Spirit, (3) the bride of Christ, and (4) the body of Christ. In the apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, all four of these church metaphors are found.

[Read Ephesians 2:18-22; 4:11-16; 5:25-27.]


We often say, ‘‘I’m going to the church,’’ but the church is not a place; it’s a group of people. In the NT, the Greek word that’s translated ‘‘church’’ is ekklesia, which literally means ‘‘assembly,’’ or ‘‘gathering.’’ A church building is where a church meets.

When we think of the church as a building, there is the danger that Christianity becomes compart-mentalized. When Christianity is compartmentalized, we ‘‘look at Sunday as the totality of the Church experience.’’ But wherever we go, we are the church. Wherever we go, we are to take the love of Christ with us.


Paul writes that the Ephesian believers (i.e., the church at Ephesus) are ‘‘members of the household of God’’ (2:19). Why is the church called the family of God?

God is our FATHER, and we are BROTHERS and SISTERS.

We find the family metaphor throughout Ephesians:

- God ‘‘predestined us for adoption as sons [and daughters] through Jesus Christ’’ (1:5).
- ‘‘Through [Jesus] we both [Jews and Gentiles] have access in one Spirit to the Father’’ (2:18).
- We are united because we all have ‘‘one God an ...

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