Family Resemblance

“Whoever does the will of God is my brother and my sister and mother” (Mark 3:35)

In times when being a Christian does not attract persecution there is no risk to a person who makes the declaration that they are a Christian. In Australia at present we live in that kind of religious climate. The result has been that many claim to be Christian when in fact they are not. It isn’t that they are being deceptive or untruthful but that they do not know how to become a Christian or what it means to be a Christian as the Bible defines the name. As Jesus has said (Matthew 7:22) there are going to be some extremely disappointed people.

The Gospel is clear that salvation is the result of faith in the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ but it is just as clear that when one has done so there will be a change of life from within. James addresses this in his letter. Jesus calls it “born from above” and Paul and Peter as a new creation.

In another place where people call Jesus “Lord, Lord” (Luke 6:46) these people mark themselves as not being Christians because they do not do the will of God. This is in contrast to the words of Jesus quoted above where those who are Christians do the will of God. A person who is not a Christian can not do the will of God and neither can they until they are born from above. It isn’t that doing the will of God makes someone a Christian but it is a means by which they reveal that they are a Christian and can discern for themselves that they are genuine.

Surely this is a matter in which we do not want to be deceived or get it wrong. Our eternal destiny hangs in the balance. If we have no desire to do the will of God or we attempt to do so for personal or commercial gain then we can be sure we are not born of God. On the other hand, if it is our desire and delight to please God by doing His will, whatever the personal cost to us, then we have assurance that we are children of God.

Even though Jesus’ siblings and mother were present He affirmed that spiritual kinship is more intimate than bodily relationship.

Jesus always did the will of the Father and those who are in His family will display a family resemblance by also doing the will of the Father. Anyone can say they are a Christian but the one who truly is will show a definite resemblance to the Lord Jesus Christ and one of those characteristics is doing the will of God.

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