The Household of God
William Nicholson, 1862
"Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens — but fellow citizens with God's people and members of the household of God." Ephesians 2:19
The transformations of grace are wonderful!
A lost and rebellious sinner,
a captive of Satan,
an heir of wrath —
becomes the child of God, and joint-heir with Christ!
From the slavery of sin — he is introduced to the privileges and honors of God's family!
From the imperfections of earth — he is ultimately elevated to the ineffable splendors of the heavenly inheritance!
This chapter beautifully portrays these transformations. Read it, Christians, and you will see . . .
what you were by sin,
what you are now, and
what you expect to be by grace.
All believers in Christ are called the Household of God.
I. The Nature of This Household.
1. It is an adopted Household. Once you were "children of wrath, even as others." You were once "aliens," and "strangers," "far off by wicked works."
But they are now the "children of God by faith," by faith in the blood of Christ, which has pardoned their sins, etc. They are now the "sons and daughters of the Lord God Almighty." 1 John 3:1.
2. It is a holy Household. They are regenerated — renewed in the spirit of their minds. 2 Corinthians 5:16.
3. It is an obedient Household. They acknowledge God as the Head of the family, and revere his laws. 1 Peter 1:2, 22.
Note, their regeneration and obedience to the doctrine and precepts of Christ, make them a holy Household — a holy nation — a peculiar people.
4. It is a united Household. This is the design and the influence of the Gospel. The unity of this household is its beauty — its glory, Colossians 2:19; Ephesians 4:3; Psalm 133:1. Is there anything more lovely than a united household? Anything more powerful than a united army?
5. It is a useful Household. They are the most useful people in the world. "The heart of the wicked is but little worth." "The righteous is more excellent than his neighbor."
Look at the various efforts of this household to do good. Her ministers unfold the banner of the cross — they lift up the torch of truth. All her people seek the happiness of the world. Look at the various institutions which this Household has established.
6. It is a large Household, Ephesians 3:15. Believers in Christ, here on earth, and the spirits of just men made perfect, and all the holy angels — make but one family, of which Christ is the Head. It is small when compared with the number of the wicked; but it will be large when the aggregate body shall meet in Heaven.
II. The Privileges of This Household.
1. The love of an Almighty Father. How frequently is this declared in the Scriptures! "Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love! Therefore with loving-kindness I have drawn you!" Jeremiah 31:3
2. The special providence and care of an Almighty parent. He is at the Head of this family. "He cares for us." Matthew 6:25-30; Psalm 34:10; 84:11; Philippians 4:19.
3. Divine protection. He throws the shield of Omnipotence over his children, and declares, "I will never leave — or forsake you!" "He who touches you, touches the apple of my eye." Psalm 91.
4. Divine and Christian fellowship. With God and with his people. 1 John 1:3; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 John 1:7.
5. Divine Instruction. By . . .
6. Divine heirship. The prospect of a heavenly estate. "Now if we are children, then we are heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory!" Romans 8:17
III. The Duties of This Household.
1. Praise to God for connection or membership with it.
2. A dauntless avowal of that membership before the world. Be not "ashamed of Christ."
3. Faithful discharge of the duties devolving upon the Household. Worship — prayer — charity.
4. To labor after its purity and glory in the earth.
5. To promote its unity and harmony.
6. Brotherly love — sympathy — mutual help.
7. Constantly to seek its prosperity.
1. None but this Household will be safe in the day of trial.
2. Come into this Household.