The Family Traits


For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26


Whenever a person is brought into the Kingdom of God, and becomes a child of God, the new lifestyle follows. While God works in and through the personalities we already have (strictly speaking, we do not instantly receive a “new nature”), He begins to mark those personalities with certain broad similarities. There are characteristic qualities of life shared by all of God’s children; there is a family likeness which is always present. We expect this in a family.

In our own families the children have many similar features, yet at the same time possess quite distinct and different personalities. It is the same in the family of God. There are many obvious differences in God’s children — “sameness” is not something that appeals to God! Yet, at the same time, there are characteristics common to all members of the family, because they have received them from their Father in Heaven, and learned them from their great Elder Brother.

According to the New Testament our lifestyle is influenced both by the new life which has been given to us (we have been born of God) and by our adoption into the family of God. We receive new dispositions and a new environment. The wonderful thing about the gospel is that these two things are done together. Unlike human adoption, God is able to give us the disposition of a member of His family. Yet, like natural adoption, we have come from another family, and God needs to keep on saying to us; since you belong to MY family now I want to see you behaving like one of MY children.

* * *
Sinclair Ferguson, “Children of the Living God”

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