SBS Sermon Notes

SBS     Sermon Notes     Note 08/01

Yahweh's Family

Reading: 1 John 3

When the Saviour walked this earth he taught his followers to call the Almighty "Father." It is a privilege few believers fully appreciate. Similar to the word "mother," the word "father" introduces the family concept, which is the subject of my sermon today. True believers all belong to a spiritual family. We are related to each other, distantly through Adam, closely through Jesus Christ. It is a thought which should over-ride any other consideration which may ruin our behaviour towards fellow Christians.

King Solomon
2 Samuel 7:14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men.

Isaiah 63:8 For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour
…16: Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.

Two names come to mind when thinking of Jehovah's wife. They are Israel and Zion. Primarily both are physical entities: one a body of people and the other a hill in Jerusalem. But Jehovah (Yahweh) is a spirit Being, and His wife is a spiritual body; a body prefigured by the literal nation of Israel which the Most High called out of Egypt several thousand years ago. In the same way the real Zion, is not just the hill where King David brought the ark of the covenant. The true Zion is a spiritual pinnacle and level of perfection where God's law is honoured and obeyed to His absolute satisfaction. Yahweh's 'wife, His spiritual spouse' is composed of true believers who will one day stand in spiritual Zion. (2 Samuel 5:7-10, 6: 12-18, 1 Kings 8:1-4, Psalm 2:6).

Isaiah 54:5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.
6: For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.
7: For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.
8: In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.

But alas, literal Israel, the Almighty's 'wife', proved unfaithful. Israel committed adultery over and over again. The book of Hosea dramatically portrays Israel's unfaithfulness to her husband. The prophecy goes on to tell of how Hosea bought back his wife and, after a while, reinstated her to a former position. The Almighty is doing just that for Israel. He has bought His erring wife back and is currently in the process of purifying and reinstating her to her former glory.

In spite of Israel's general unfaithfulness, there has always has been a small remnant of Yahweh's people who remained true to Him. Through this remnant came the truth we now have. To them was given a record of the creation of the world, the laws of the Most High and all the prophecies we find in the Holy Bible. And finally through this same faithful few came Yahweh's Son Yeshua the Messiah. He is Yahweh's only BEGOTTEN Son: not created - but BEGOTTEN! Remember this fact.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17: For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Jehovah doesn't have only one child (Yeshua). He now has many other children. And every one of them is conceived by Him at the moment His Holy Spirit takes over in the believing mind.
Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ…5: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2: Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Members of a physical family normally have common characteristics: black or blond hair, dark or fair skins, light or heavy build, brown or blue eyes etc. In Yahweh's spiritual family certain spiritual characteristics are also common. They are faith, love, joy, hope, kindness, mercy, meekness, patience, a forgiving nature, righteousness etc.

If these family traits are absent then most likely that person doesn't belong to Yahweh's spiritual family. In other words, members of Yahweh's family will be recognised by their behaviour not their appearance.

Mental Attitude
The believer's mental attitude will be very different from that of the unconverted person. One will be spiritual, the other carnal.
Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth…
5: Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

Righteous Behaviour
Ephesians 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
2: And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.
3: But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
4: Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
5: For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
6: Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
7: Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8: For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of the God.

Note: It is a sad fact that more wars are caused by religious intolerance than any other factor. You may be sure that persecutors never have truth on their side.

Many organisations and famous families have a motto. Many schools have a motto. My old school motto was - and still is - Excelsior. It means ever onward and upward. Do you have a personal or family motto, something that silently prompts, directs and motivates you to some worthwhile goal? Perhaps you do not have a motto; but you should have an aim in life; some goal towards which you constantly strive. I have several aims. One is to be in Yahweh's Kingdom with all my loved ones; to enjoy eternity with Him and His Son in the great hereafter. Another aim goes beyond my relatives and friends. It is to glorify Yahweh and spread His truth; to invite people from every country to accept salvation through His Son Yeshua (Jesus). Another is to teach His magnificent Law so that believers will obey it. Have you got an aim in life? If you haven't, it's time you settled on one: because if you do not know what you're aiming at, chances are you'll miss every worthwhile target. Listen to Jesus and Paul as they describes their aims and work. Note carefully their singleness of mind and how all their energies were directed towards the achievement of their high objectives.

The Saviour's main goal was to do his Father's will.
Luke 2:49 Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?
John 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
5: And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
6: I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
7: Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
8: For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

Philippians 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 4:6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
7: I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

It is totally impossible for me to describe the glory of the hereafter; so I'll not try. Suffice it to say that all the suffering of this present age cannot be compared with the soon-coming glory that awaits the children of God.
Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15: For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16: The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

18: For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19: For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20: For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21: Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22: For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23: And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

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Elder: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
December 1997 ... Reformatted October 1999