by Rick Warren — August 21, 2023
From Essentials for Living
“You will all be joined together, and you will give glory to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ accepted you, so you should accept each other, which will bring glory to God.”
Romans 10:13 (NIV)
Most people think Christianity is a belief system. It’s true that Christianity includes beliefs—but it’s so much more than that. It’s about belonging and connection. When you’re a Christian, you belong to the family of God and are connected to the body of Christ.
There are only two ways to get into a family: You can be born into it or adopted into it. Both phrases are used in the Bible to explain what it means to be brought into the family of God. You are “born again” into the family of God, and you are “adopted” into the family of God.
Once you’re born, you can’t be unborn. Your relationship with your parents may be broken, but you are still their child. In the same way, once you are born again into the family of God, you can’t be unborn. You remain in the family of God!
God also says you’re adopted into his family. According to New Testament-era Roman law, people could disown children they birthed. But if they adopted children, they were forbidden to ever disown them. God says you are not only born again into his family, but he has adopted you—and there is no way he will ever disown you. That’s good news!
You may ask, “Really? No matter what I do, God won’t let me go?” Yes, no matter what you do!
When you become part of the family of God, you become part of his church. Church isn’t something you go to; it’s something you belong to. The Bible says, “I want you to know how people who are members of God’s family must live. God’s family is the church” (1 Timothy 3:15 GW).
And Romans 15:6-7 explains more about what the church—the family of God—looks like: “You will all be joined together, and you will give glory to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ accepted you, so you should accept each other, which will bring glory to God” (NCV).
Just like you are God’s child forever, you are part of his bigger family—the church—forever. That has been God’s plan all along—to make you part of his forever family!