15th July 2012

Life together in God's family

The depth and quality of 'life together' in the early church was inspiring. The church is God's family – we are members of God's household, brothers and sisters in Christ, coming to our Father in heaven. It's not just 'me and God', but God has chosen us to be part of his family, the church, interacting with each other, getting to know God better and becoming more Christ-like together.

When a family is working well, it is a powerful unit where we experience love, acceptance, security, boundaries, discipline – learning right from wrong, and where we learn to care for others and learn about ourselves, with different generations together. Most families will also experience conflict, at times, and in his letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul gives some instructions to help us understand how we are to treat one another in church life.

For a family unit to function well, it requires high investment from all members. There might be different roles – with mum and dad carrying a lot of the responsibility for a season, while the children 'freeload' as they mature and are discipled into adulthood – but each has a part to play and a responsibility to keep the family in harmony.

Whereas we might come to a business as a consumer, to a government agency with a right to the service, to a club where it's about our enjoyment, or to a show where we are there to be entertained, none of these perspectives is right for family/church life.

Throughout the Bible, there is a high expectation as to how the members of God's family will treat each other. For example, a community that cares for and honours the elderly is one that honours God. Older men are to be exhorted respectfully; older women are to be esteemed; younger men are to be treated as brothers; younger women in absolute purity.

The way we act towards others should not be predominantly shaped by how they've acted towards us, but by how God has acted towards us! We reflect to others Christ's generosity to us.

Verses: 1 Timothy 4:11-5:10 (see also Colossians 3:12-14)

Food for thought:

  • How can we honour one another in church life?
  • What benefits and responsibilities do we have as members of God's family?
  • How can we bless those who are older than us and come alongside those who are younger?

Paul Mann

Posted by Paul Mann










Adrian Pursglove
Aled Cousins
Andrea Harwood
Andrew Bunt
Andrew Wilson
Anita Rose
Anna Wilson
Barbara Veness in Montpellier
Bekky Andrews
Caner Mutu
Chris Bunt
Clare Burford
Dan Harwood
David Holden
David Simpkins
Emma Hamberis
Hannah Beaney
Heather Benn
Ian & Claire Lockwood
Jeremy Simpkins
Joanna Mutu
John Groves
Kate Thurston
Kevin Rose
Liz Pursglove
Matt Beaney
Natalie Williams
Paul Edworthy
Paul Mann
Paul Mann and Emma Hamberis
Paul Mann and Natalie Williams
Santino Hamberis
Santino & Emma Hamberis
Sian Francis-Cox
Steve Young
Tamara Brunton
Terry Virgo
Tom Head
Tracy Masters

@kingshastings on twitter