Family Matters Part 4: Family Likeness
On Sunday 18th February at our morning service, we continued our series 'Family Matters' with the topic Family Likeness. In this blog you will find a summary of the talk and then some questions and reflections for you to think through on your own or to discuss in your small group.
To listen to this, click here.
Our mission here at EBC is “To love God, love people and grow together to become more like Jesus”. As a family and as individuals that’s what we say we are trying to do. But are we really like that? If so, what are the signs, what is the evidence that we are achieving this? Are we really growing more like Jesus? Really?
God made us in his image and if we follow Jesus we are adopted into his family. God expects there to be a family likeness – not physically but attitudinally and in our character. The apostle Paul offers some good practical advice in his letter to the Colossians, which is found in the second part of the bible called The New Testament. In the first part of the letter, Chapters 1 and 2 he reminds the church at Colossae, and Christians everywhere that Jesus is all that we need. He has done it all; by his death and resurrection he has done for us that which we could not do ourselves. In short, Jesus + Nothing = Everything.
In his letter, Paul then goes on in Chapter 3 verses 5 to 17, to give good practical advice on the signs that we should look for in ourselves, the family likeness, if we are growing more like Jesus, or indeed, less like Jesus. You can read these verses by clicking here.
However, to achieve this likeness we need help. Help from our church family certainly, but even more than that, we need the help of the Holy Spirit working in us. All of us need to pray daily for the Holy Spirit to fill us with the desire to become more like Jesus.
When you look in the mirror – when you reflect… do you see the family likeness? The likeness to Jesus? What is it that Jesus will recognize in you? Jesus said that not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord”, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of my Father. (Matthew chapter 7, verse 21). What will he say to you on that day? Will he say “well done good and faithful servant” (Matthew chapter 25, verse 23) or will he say “I never knew you”? (Matthew chapter 7, verse 23). What are the signs, what is the evidence?
We need to take this seriously. For all that Jesus reached out to the lost – and for all we do the same here at EBC – there is still a choice we have to make. We say here that we exist to love God, love people and grow together to become more like Jesus. We need to pray for help with this. We need the Holy Spirit for this – for him to change us from the inside out into people who look like Jesus; to become part of His family.
Questions and Reflections (for you to think about on your own or to discuss in your Life Group)
1. Read Paul’s letter to the Colossians from first to last (it only takes about 15 minutes). Given what he has written, what do you think he was like?
2. In Chapter 3 and verse 6 Paul refers to “The wrath of God”. What do you think he means by that?
3. What are the attitudes and characteristics that you need to improve to become more like Jesus?
4. How would re-write Chapter 3 verse 11 in today’s language, to fit today’s world?
5. What other positive likenesses to Jesus could you list in addition to Paul’s list in chapter 3 verses 12 to 14?
6. The EBC mission is “To love God, love people and grow together to become more like Jesus.” Do you take this seriously? What steps are you taking to ensure that you fulfil your part in this mission?