Have you ever heard of or used the term “first family?” I’ve heard that term used to describe our Christian church family. The body of Christ – the household of God – is the Christian’s “first family.” Christians are brothers and sisters in the Lord. Sometimes when we take up our cross and follow Jesus, it results in some of our biological family members hating us (c.f. Lk 12:53, 14:26, etc.). But the bond we have with other Christians in Christ is stronger than the bond of a biological family. The Christian church is our new family, our first family. I appreciate how Shai Linne explained this in The New Reformation:
When we come to Christ in a saving way, we don’t come nearly as individuals with our privatized relationship with God. We are brought into a new community; more than that, a new family.
In the most profound way imaginable, the Christian who says “we” means something entirely different post-conversion than she did when she said it before coming to the Lord. The old “we” was limited to our family members, our nationality, our ethnicity, our sub-cultural group, our political party, our gender, our alma mater, our coworkers, our fellow sports fans, etc. But in Christ, there’s a new “we” that supersedes every previous group we once identified with. And this new “we” is diverse. Extraordinarily diverse. The new we is Black and White, male and female, youthful and elderly, Republican and Democrat, metropolitan and rural. It’s scholarly and it lacks formal education. It’s blue collar and it’s white collar. It’s upper class and it’s lower class. It’s intentional, it’s multilingual, it’s multicolored, it’s blood-bought, and it’s glorious. This is the new “we.”
Shai Linne, The New Reformation, p188-189.
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015