Thursday, September 23, 2010

2010 – September 23 – The Pedigree of Faith

Study from God’s Word Ezra 1: 1-6 [2Chron 26: 22-23], Ezra, Chapters 1 – 3, Ezra 4: 1-6 … Passage for Reflection: Ezra 2: 59 … NIV The following came up from the towns of Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Kerub, Addon, and Immer, but they could not show that their families were descended from Israel.

My Journal for Today: You know there are many today who call themselves “Christian” because their parents identified themselves as “Christian.” Family traditions can be very important to self identification, but nowhere near today are family religious ties as important as it was for the displaced Hebrew people at the time of the book of Ezra, from which today’s text arises.

The Jews who had been in captivity from Babylon, the Medes, and the Persians for over 70 years were now allowed in 538 BC to return to the City of David, … Jerusalem. This repatriation occurred by the edict of King Cyrus of Persia, an event which exactly fulfilled the prophesy of Jeremiah; and it released the captive Jews to return to their homeland to rebuild their Temple. Oh how important for the descendants of Abraham to be identified as a “Jew” in those days. However, there were many, as chronicled in today’s text, who could not prove their Jewish lineage, which would prove very problematic for these people. Hence we see the many genealogical lists in the Old Testament (i.e., Old Covenant) Scripture. For Jewish traditions, it was even important in the New Testament for God’s word to establish the genealogical record of Jesus, the Christ, Who was, being a descendant of Abraham’s, the very fulfillment of the Old Covenant.

Today, in the New Covenant, established by Jesus Christ, we don’t have to be able to trace our spiritual lineage back to be in the family of Abraham by genetic/physical genealogical records. Our way of proving that we are part of the Family of God, being Children of God, is by faith, not genealogy. All I have to do, which I have done, to be grafted into the Family of God is to repent of my sin, believing that Jesus is The Christ, Who died for my sin on Calvary and was raised again to allow me to be grafted into the Family of God through my faith in Him.

So, no one today should be claiming to be in God’s family, who is identifying himself/herself as a “Christian,” because their family were/are Christians. No, our family ties to God are established by our faith in the Son of God, who loved us enough to become the Lamb of God, dying on the cross so that all who believe on Him might be saved and become Children of God (see 1st John 5: 10-12 and Romans 10: 9 – 13); and if – in faith – any of us comply to God’s established way of giving us access to His eternal family tree, we are in the family of God; and the Angels have celebrated in Heaven over our being grafted into God’s family.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, I say “Hallelujah” that I am part of the family of God. Amen

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