God created and ordained the first family. He was the one who determined that it “was not good for the man to be alone”. Jesus referred to the story (his-story or history) when asked about divorce. Matthew 19:4-6 He pointed to God’s original plan when he said, “From the beginning it was not so”. Matthew 19:8 God’s original plan was for well-ordered families, consisting of a man, his wife, and children. According to Jesus, this is God’s plan. He ordained that the man join to his wife, become one flesh (glued together) and not separate. Matthew 19:6 The world; and it seems “the church” as well; is quickly moving away from this ideal revealed in the God’s plan. Please review the story (his-story) below.
- Then the Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him." Gen 2:18 (NASB)
- So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. 22 The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." 24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. Gen 2:21-24 (NASB)
BIBLICAL FAMILY PLAN
God’s plan for the family can also be seen in his dealings with Abraham. One of the things God particularly noticed Abraham’s dedication to his children and his family. To use a colloquial term, “God was impressed with how Abraham related to his family
God’s family plan can also be seen in the first and great commandment.
- For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. Gen 18:19 (KJV)
God’s family plan can also be seen in his special commandment to children’s children:
- "Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 "These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 "You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 "You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9 "You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (NASB)
Paul the apostle referred to that as “the first commandment with a promise”, when referring to the commandment to honor our parents. Ephesians 6:2 Jesus emphasized this commandment also. Matthew 15:4 The model of Christ and the Church mimics the husband and wife model presented in Genesis. Ephesians 5:23 We would do well to recognize the investment God has in his “family plan”. The Apostle Paul picked up on this model in his letters to the churches in the New Testament.
- Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. Exodus 20:12 (KJV)
- For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, Ephesians 3:14-15 (KJV)
The disciples noticed that John the Baptist taught his disciples how to pray. “Teach us to pray,” they asked Jesus. Luke 11:1-2 Notice how Jesus immediately brought up our family relationship with God. “When you pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven,” he said. When God’s plan becomes our plan we begin to see and accept the fatherhood of God, the sonship of Jesus, as well as our own family relationship with the Father. To cry out, “Abba! Father!” is a very tender way of addressing God. Addressing God as “my Father” was Jesus’ favorite way of referring to God.
- For through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household. Ephesians 2:18-19 (NASB)
The purpose of this article is to view the rich tapestry of God’s plan for his creation. To view it, not as a hodge-podge of hits and misses, but to see it as organized in God’s mind. To explore how He revealed this truth to his family. Isaiah understood this truth when he said:
- For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" Romans 8:14-15 (NASB)
- But now, O Lord, Thou art our Father, We are the clay, and Thou our potter; And all of us are the work of Thy hand. Isaiah 64:8 (NASB77)
JESUS OUR BROTHER
These are two references to OT scriptures. Psalms 22:22 and Isaiah 8:18. The purpose is to see how Jesus and his followers are a part of God’s Family Plan. Notice how he made this point as he refers to “my Father and your Father”; and to “my brethren”:
- For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. 13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. Hebrews 2:11-13 (KJV)
Luke picked up on this relationship in the book of Acts. He referred to “brethren” some 55 times in the KJV referring to those who are a part of the family of God. David made a point in Psalms which I think needs emphasis at this point. We are God’s people. We are the sheep of his pasture. God made us. The premise to the theory of evolution is that we in some way made ourselves what we are. We did not make ourselves. Evolution teaches us that through natural selection, we made ourselves what we are, over a period of millions of years. The more we see ourselves as God’s creation; as a part of his family plan; the more settled we can be as his children and the more we can realize who we are and what we are doing here.
- Jesus said to her, "Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren, and say to them, 'I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.'" John 20:17 (NASB77)
- Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Psalms 100:3 (KJV)
As “sheep of his pasture” we can focus on him who John the Baptist called the “Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world”. (John 1:29) We can also contemplate the ramifications of being a part of the “little flock” which Jesus said his Father’s pleasure will be to give the kingdom. Luke 12:32 I bring this out so as to further emphasize God’s family plan. Particular notice should be given to God’s plan as revealed to the Lamb; who then revealed that plan to John in Revelation for the edification of the churches. Revelation 1:1
This reference helps us to understand how Jesus could pray for his glorification planned by God “before the world was”. That glorification was in God’s plan before the foundation of the world.
- “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Rev 13:8 (KJV)
- "Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. John 17:5 (NASB)
That’s the glory Jesus referenced when he spoke of:
- "Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. John 17:24 (NASB)
- “When he shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels”; Matthew 16:27
- “When the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory”; Matt 19:28 (NRSV)
- “When they will see 'the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven' with power and great glory”; Matt 24:30 (NRSV)
- “When he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels”; Luke 9:26 (KJV)
- And that Isaiah saw when “He saw His glory, and he spoke of Him”; John 12:41 (NASB)
- The glory we should by “perseverance in doing good seek for”. Romans 2:7 (NASB)
- The glory we hope to be revealed in “When Christ, who is our life, is revealed”. Colossians 3:4 (NASB)
- The glory which we are “called through the gospel to gain”. 2 Thessalonians 2:14 (NASB)
- The glory we hope to receive “When the Chief Shepherd appears.” 1 Peter 5:4 (NASB)
- The eternal glory the God of all grace has called us unto. I Peter 5:10
All of this is contained in the rich tapestry of God’s plan for his children. The plan revealed to us through God’s Word. The plan revealed to Abraham when God promised him the land wherein he was a stranger: but not to him only. The promised included his family. He is the Father of many nations.
- Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be." Romans 4:18
- He believed in the promised seed which was Jesus. Galatians 3:16
- He believed in the resurrection of the dead. Hebrews 11:19
- He believed he would inherit land, which he had not received when he died. Acts 7:5
- He looked for a city whose architect and builder is God. Hebrews 11:10
- He believed that what God promised he would perform. Romans 4:21
- He believed that God would provide a sacrifice. Genesis 22:8
- He believed God would make of him a great nation. Genesis 12:2
Paul wrote to the Ephesians about God the Father’s Family Plan. God’s intention before the foundation of the world included his only begotten son. He called it a spiritual blessing. A blessing ordained of the Father before the foundation of the world with the intention of his family being holy and blameless before him in love. The adoption of his children is destined to happen because of their brother, Jesus. This plan pleases the Father; it is His will. He has willed it to be. His glorious grace (grace which is full of God’s glory) is freely bestowed on his children through his “Beloved” son. Matthew 3:17 and 17:5. The voice from heaven called him “my beloved son”. God was saying, “I love him”, which is no doubt what that means. The voice also said, “Listen to him”.
To the Galatians Paul wrote of the time-table established by him who “Knows all his works from the beginning of the world”. Acts 15:18 In that time-frame, when the clock ticked to the proper hour, God sent forth his Son made of a woman so he could bring redemption to God’s family. That redemption goes much deeper than mere semantics. God sends forth the Spirit of his only begotten Son; his beloved Son; into our hearts crying the tender term, “Abba!” Such brings us into a family relationship.
- Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. 5 He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:3-6 (NRSV)
- But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. Galatians 4:4-7 (NASB)