The Firstborn Among Many Brothers and Sisters – February 9, 2023

Thursday, February 9th

Devotional written by Pastor Brian Howard, Teaching Pastor




To read today: Romans 8:28-30


For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

Romans 8:29


When the New Testament describes the church, it gives us several metaphors to understand what we are, but none are more prominent than that of a family. When we are saved by God the Father, we are brought into the family of God through the blood of Jesus. And this text tells us that Jesus is the firstborn – the oldest child – in the family of God. The image of Jesus as our big brother is not meant to take away from his Lordship and glory but rather to continually remind us how His finished work brought us into the family of God.

The image of family is helpful for us when we think about how we treat other Christians. Many Christians interpret the command to “love one another” as a call to be friends with everyone in the church. They imagine that just as with their friends, you can choose whom they are based on similar interests and compatible personalities, and you can end the relationship at any time and for any reason. But that way of thinking misses the point of the family metaphor in the New Testament. We are not called to love one another like friends but rather like brothers and sisters. When it comes to siblings, you don’t get to choose them, and you may or may not share interests or compatible personalities. You cannot end your relationship with them even if you try because it is based on blood, not behavior.

The simple truth of us being brothers and sisters in Christ is that we have been brought together forever as the family of God. And while we will not always get along perfectly, we can rejoice in the love of the Father and in the saving mercy of Jesus!

Final Thought: Ask God for the patience to love the “brothers and sisters” you have in Christ!



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