Robert Morris — Belong to Family
This week, we're going to talk about belong to family, that God created us to belong. He created us to belong to Him, and to belong to family. He created Adam and Eve. They were to belong to Him, and to each other. All of us want to belong. And probably most of us did some things growing up, because we wanted to belong, that we shouldn't have done. Don't look at me with that holier than thou, look. Or smarter than thou look either, cause I, you know, like for one year in high school, I joined the rodeo club. That was a mistake. I, and I chose to ride bulls. It was a huge mistake. And ended up with a trip to the emergency room and some broken bones and things like that. I don't know if you notice this, but most trips to the emergency room for teenage boys are preceded by the statement, "Hey guys, watch this".
So we do some things because we're born with a desire to belong. I want to show you where that came from, and how sin entered the world and took and perverted that desire, right. Genesis 3 look at verse 7, this is after Adam and Eve sinned. "Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. And then the Lord God called to Adam, and said to him, 'Where are you?' So he said, 'I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.'"
Okay I just want you to think about this. He said, "I heard your voice and I hid myself because I was afraid". What was he afraid of? Now, again, we just think about it. He was afraid that he didn't belong. They thought, "We don't belong anymore". And God says, "Where are you"? Now of course God knew where they were. But Adam didn't know where he was. Because sin entered, and when sin enters, immediately we have a problem. And that problem is that we're separated from God. So this is a good news, bad news message. Okay, you know, you've heard that, I've got some good news and bad news, what do you want first? Okay. I'm going to give you the bad news first, alright? And so, there are only two points. The first one's bad news, the second one's good news, alright?
Here's number one. We were born rejected. The reason we do so many stupid things to be accepted is because we were born rejected. Isaiah 59:2 days, "Your inequities have separated you from your God". Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". There's a couple of things I want you to notice about that. All have sinned, past tense. Now, watch this, and fall short of the glory of God, present tense. See, it doesn't say all have sinned, and you have the word have in there, then the next should say and have fallen short. Now, I pick up those things because I like grammar, but you can't correct the Bible. The Bible is correct. So, God is saying exactly what he wants to say. In other words, yes you've sinned in the past, but even if you say, "Yeah, but I don't do as much sinning as I used to do, you still fall short. You're still short of the glory of God".
And this word sin, by the way, is a Greek word hamartano. Now I've shared this with you before, but just to give you context again, many, many Greek words that are used in the New Testament have either a military root or a sporting root. And we can go back then and get a little more understanding of the word, then, like it says, "Let the peace of God rule in your hearts". Okay, that word rule has a sporting root, which means umpire. So "let God's peace umpire" your heart. Tell you where the lines are, and if you're safe or out. Okay. Then it says also, "and the peace of God will guard your heart". That word has a military, guard has a military root, and it means a garrison. Let God's peace provide a garrison of soldiers around your heart.
Okay, you see what I'm saying? So, this word hamartano has a sporting root to it. And it means to miss the mark. And it actually comes from archery. And it means to miss not just the mark but the bullseye. The very center of the target. Now here's what I want you to know is, it doesn't mean to miss the target. If you've ever seen a target, you've got the real small bullseye in the middle, and then another circle, another circle, another circle, okay. So like me, I mean, I miss the whole target, you know. I know that. Debbie didn't miss the target, but she still missed the bullseye. See, we're in the same camp. So she can't act better than I am, you know. We're still sinners. Everybody misses the bullseye. That's what it means. Everyone.
So you need to understand that's the way we were born rejected. We were born separated from God because of sin, because God's a holy God. So how can a holy God have a relationship with a sinful person? Not only that you're rejected by God, that you're born rejected by God. You're already born separated from God because of sin. Here's the worst news. You have to be perfect to be accepted. Now, I know your mind goes all sorts of places when I say things like this. But I like to give you a shocking statement, because if I don't shock you out of wherever you are, then I can't move you to understand how amazing the truth is that I want to show you, okay. So, here's what you might have thought when I said you have to be perfect to be accepted. You might have thought, "That's impossible". Okay. That's exactly right. That's exactly right.
It's the same thing, in essence, same concept when the rich man came and Jesus said, "Sell everything". And then Jesus turned to the disciples, and says, "How hard it is for rich people to go to heaven". He said, "it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle". Do you remember what they said? "That's impossible". Jesus was talking about an actual camel and a needle. And here's what he's trying to say, it's impossible for you to save yourself. It's impossible. The reason is you have to be perfect. Hear me, a perfect God only accepts perfection. I'll show you. Leviticus 22:21, "And Whoever offers a sacrifice of peace offerings to the Lord to fulfill his vow, or a freewill offering from the cattle or the sheep," watch carefully, "it must be perfect to be accepted". It must be perfect to be accepted.
Okay, so I told you I had bad news, and worse news. I haven't got a point two, and that's good news, but let me just give you a little good news here. Jesus is the perfect offering. He's the perfect one. And that's the only way I'm going to get in, is the perfect one came and was the perfect offering. Because it has to be perfect to be accepted. He was perfect. And, again, you want a little shocking statement? He made me perfect.
Now listen to me. Not in my performance, just ask Debbie. Not in my performance. Not even in my progress. But in my position. And my position has made me perfect so I can have a relationship with God. In other words, it's simple. You've heard this, but it shocks us kind of the way I'm saying it. I know that. But he took away all my sin. He had to. He couldn't leave one of them, because that would disqualify me. Let me tell you, he cleansed me completely.
Let me show you scripture on this being perfect. Hebrews, in our position, Hebrews 10:14, "For by one offering," we can say a perfect offering, "By one perfect offering, he has perfected forever those who are being sanctified". Those who are being sanctified means I still got some work to do. But as far as my position with God, perfect forever, he perfected me. Now this next verse I want to show you has lots of types of the church in it, symbols of the church. But I've got to show you that so I can get you to the last part, alright. Hebrews 12:22-23, "But you have come to Mount Zion," that's the type of the church, that's where you gather to worship, "to the city of the living God, to the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church," it's all at the church, "of the first born who are registered in heaven to God the Judge of all," now watch this, "to the spirits of just men made perfect".
Are y'all following me? Is this, is it dawning on ya? Cause this gets me really excited. Cause I know how bad I am. I know how bad I've been. I know how I still blow it. And yet it says, "The spirits of just men, or justified men, made perfect". The perfect offering made me perfect in my position with the perfect Father. See, the only way I could be perfect was, is by grace. That the perfect one perfects me. it's the only way, okay. And this will explain the scripture that Jesus said this in his Sermon on the Mount, and a whole bunch of preachers have messed this one up. Big time messed this one up. A lot of people have messed it up and thought that it means something totally different. But there's only one meaning it could have, and that's when you look at it through the eyes of grace.
Let me read you this. Maybe it will help you understand the scripture you've never understood. Matthew 5:48, Jesus said "Therefore, you shall be perfect just as your Father in Heaven is perfect". Okay. In other words, you're gonna have to be perfect in your behavior? No. Here's what he's actually saying. Listen. The key is, you shall be. In other words, when I take care of it, when I'm the perfect offering. When I'm the perfect sacrifice. When I pay for all your sins, you shall be. I'm gonna make you perfect. So you can have a relationship with the perfect one in heaven. Otherwise, there's no way you can do this verse, especially because he adds, he says, "You shall be perfect," listen to this. "Just as your Father in Heaven is perfect".
Okay. Not only shall you be perfect, but you got to be as perfect as God is. We couldn't do that without grace. It's only by grace that He has made us perfect. I'm just telling you, we belong. We belong. We were born, that's the bad news, we were born rejected. Here's point number two, though. Here's the good news. We were born again accepted. I've been accepted on Jesus' performance, not my own performance.
Ephesians 1:6, "To the praise of the glory of His grace by which He made us accepted in the Beloved". Made us accepted in the Beloved. And then this next verse, it's talking about doing an act of benevolence, but there's a phrase in there that I just love. You have to catch this. Mark 9:41, "Whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in my name," now watch this, "because you belong to Christ, as surely I say you he will by no means lose his reward". I just think we could read over that phrase. Because you belong to Christ. I belong to God now. I mean, that's good news.
See, you could read that verse, and you can get caught up in the doing. Giving the cup of water. That's the doing. But you might miss the being. You belong to me. We belong to Jesus. He purchased us. And we belong. And because we belong to God, then we belong to God's family. And if you belong to God's family, you belong to God, see. If it's really God's family, and you really belong to God. When you belong to God, you belong to His family. And I want to say to you, if Gateway Church is where God's called you, then jump in. Don't just attend. There are benefits to really being part of the family, and not just showing up at Thanksgiving and Christmas. But belonging to the family.
I'd like to encourage you, because I hear this a lot from people. They'll say, you know, we attended for you know, several years before we went through "Catch the Vision". Okay, no, I don't want you to feel any condemnation. No problem. But if you haven't gone through "Catch the Vision" and become a member yet, do it. You belong here. That's why God brought you here. Get involved in a group. Belong. Meet some of your family. Get to know your family, you belong. Psalm 68:6, here's a scripture I love, "God sets the solitary in families". God sets the solitary in families.
Now, I want to explain to you why God has accepted us, and again, there's some shocking statements here, but just stay with me, alright? The reason that we have been accepted by God is because God rejected Jesus in our place. Theologically, this is called substitutionary atonement. But what it means is, is that Jesus is our substitute, he took our place. And you might be thinking, I don't, I'm not quite following you on this that God rejected Jesus. Jesus became a sin offering for us, and was rejected, so that we could be accepted. And by the way, I say, you not only belong to God, you belong to God's family, He was also rejected by God's family. He wasn't just rejected by God. He was rejected by God's family.
Let me show you a few verses here. Isaiah 53:3, "He was despised and rejected by man". He knows what it feels like to be rejected. Mark 8:31, "And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again". Psalm 118:22, "The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone". And here's the New Testament version of that, Acts 4:11, "This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone".
Okay, so I showed you how he was rejected by people, but I'll who you how he was rejected by his Father. Maybe you've never put this together. But it's a pretty famous verse. Mark 15:34, Jesus said, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me"? Let me tell you what this word means, forsaken. It means to completely abandon, to leave totally, to reject. "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me"? Why have you rejected me? Now, let me help you, because a lot of people, this is a confusing verse. And they say, "Well Jesus knew that he was going to be this offering and become a sin offering. He knew that he would have to be separated from the Father so we could be reunited. So why did he say this"? Okay. This is just my personal opinion. We'll have to ask Jesus when we get to Heaven. I think he knew but I don't think he knew how it would feel until it happened. And he was rejected so we could be accepted.
Now, you need to understand something. If you're a believer, God is never going to reject you. The reason is, He rejected Jesus for you. Let me say it another way. He's never going to forsake you, because He already forsook Jesus for you. As a matter of fact, it's in scripture. Hebrews 13:5, "For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'" Okay, so how do I know God will never forsake me? Because he forsook Jesus for me. This is how I know I'm accepted. I belong. This is how I know I belong.
This is what happened when sin came in the world. The first thing Adam and Eve felt, they felt shame, they felt fear, they felt like they didn't belong. This is why you've struggled with it. This is why I've struggled with it. I struggled with rejection for years. Why? Because for almost 20 years, say when I was 19, I was almost 20 years old when I finally got saved, the reason was, I was rejected. But for years, I could not figure out why Debbie loved me. She said, "I just do". I know, but why? And we had this conversation a lot in our early years of marriage. And so I can remember one time, it was late at night. I was so trying to figure it out, because I could give her lots of reasons why not to love me, you know. And so, it was late. She was tired. And I said, "Now why do you love me"? She said, "I do". "Why though? Why? Give me some reasons. I want to know why". So she said, "Well, you're a kind person".
Okay, this is how screwed up my wiring is, okay. So I said to her, "Okay, well what if I wasn't kind? Then you wouldn't love me"? She said, "No, no. You're asking for reasons. I'm trying to give you a reason". I said, "Okay, but what if I weren't kind? Why do you love me? There's no reason. There's no reason". Okay. Can I just help you a little bit here? There's no reason for God to love you. It's going to shock you. I know it's going to shock you. It's unreasonable. It's not unexplainable. I'm going to explain it to you, but it's unreasonable. I mean, just, couple verses here, kind of blow you away here.
Romans 5:8, "But God demonstrates His love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us". Let me say this anther way. God demonstrates His love toward us in that there was no reason to love us. Even when there wasn't a reason, He still loved us. Are y'all following me? 1 John 4:19, "We love Him because He first loved us". Okay, so, the root of obviously my things was that God could love me either. And so I kept saying, "Well, why do you love me"? She said, "Well, okay, because you're a good father". "Well, what if I weren't a good father"? So finally I said, "Come on, why, why, why, why? Tell me why do you love me? Why do you love me"? She said, "Well because you love me". I said, "Well what if I didn't love you"? So here's what she said. Remember it's late night. She said, "Because I do. Shut up and go to sleep. Just shut up and go to sleep".
So she goes on to sleep. So I'm, I can't go to sleep. I'm thinking she's going to reject me. I don't know if any of you have ever dealt with stuff like this, but I just, I was really mixed up. And I just said, "Lord, I don't understand. I don't understand. I don't understand". I was telling the Lord. You know, He's the only one awake now, so I'm near the Lord. "I don't understand. I don't understand, Lord. Why, why, why does Debbie love me"? You know what the Lord said to me? He said, "I know why she loves you". I said, "You do"? He said, "Of course I do, I know everything". I thought, "You do. You do know everything. I preach that. Omniscient. Alright, you do, you know everything. Why does Debbie love me"? Here's what He said, "The same reason I love you". "Okay, so why do you love me"? This is what He said. "Because you're mine. Because you belong to me".
He said, "Do you love your kids"? "Yeah". "Why"? Then it hit me. Because they're mine. They're my kids. He said, "Debbie loves you because you're hers. You're hers. That's why she loves you. And that's the reason I love you, because you're mine". Listen to me. You belong to Christ. If you believe, you belong to Christ. And you belong to Christ body. You belong. And I want you, if God's called you here to Gateway Church, I want you to belong to family. I want you to know, we got the same Father. Listen, you can pick your friends but you're stuck with your relatives. I'm going to live right beside some of you in Heaven, whether you like me or not. I'm your brother. And I love you. And you love me. God created us to belong. I want you to know you belong. You belong to God, and you belong to God's family.
God loves you. He loves you because you're His. You're His son. You're His daughter. That's why God loves us. He loves us because we're His kids, and He wants us to belong to a family. You know, the Bible says that God puts the solitary in families. And I want to encourage you, I'm glad that people come to Gateway Church, but I know many of you that watch this program, you live somewhere else. I want to encourage you to find a local church. Now it won't be perfect, but we all need to belong to a family. God wants to plug you into a group of people where your gifts can be used and utilized to build His kingdom. Hey, I'm gonna continue this series "Created to Be". See you next time.