familia Dei | an eternal reality

Scripture provides four word pictures to describe the Christ-church relationship. The first three are true by analogy, while the fourth is true by corresponding to reality.

1) The Architectural (Christ:church::Cornerstone:a building)

“you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation…Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.” (Eph. 2:19-21; cf. 1 Pet. 2:4-5)

2) The Anatomical (Christ:church::Head:body)

“And [Christ] is the head of the body, the church” (Col. 1:18; cf. 1 Cor. 12)

3) The Agricultural (Christ:church::Vine:branches)

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

4. The Familial (Christ:church::Eldest Son:younger brothers and sisters)

“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:16-17, 29; Col. 1:15, 18; Heb. 2:11; or for the Groom-bride analogy: cf. Eph. 5:31-32; Rev 19:6-9)

The Family is the reality

While divinely revealed as key teaching tools of the Christ-church relationship, the other metaphors do not literally correspond to reality. Christ does not eternally exist as a stone, a head, or a vine. He does, however, eternally exist as a Son. This has to shape our churches.

When Scripture speaks about adoption, rebirth, and marriage into the familia Dei, it means we are folded into an eternally existant family of Father, Son, and Spirit. This is reality.

It is not Christ is like my brother; rather, Christ is my brother.

More than that, through Christ, the Father is my Father.

Even more, through Christ, everyone else who has Jesus as a brother is my brother or sister.

My hope is that such news would alter the dynamic of church. May we love each other in the bond of a perfect Spirit, praise our perfect Brother, and rest in our perfect Father. I love this family.

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2 Responses to familia Dei | an eternal reality

  1. Zach Walen says:


    Jordan, take a look at one of my roommates’ blog about the metaphor of a marriage. It’s good stuff. And you might be interested in the sermon in which he got most of the material. It can be found if you go to iTunes – Awaken DTS – Andy Bryd Day 1. He is a gifted speaker. Additionally, you should look into he podcast called – Andy Bryd – Relationships.

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