Journey 1 Knowing God
Day 6: God the Family
The first chapter of the Bible contains a particularly confusing statement:
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness’” (Genesis 1:26).
Us? Our? Who is God talking to in this verse? In the very next sentence, we read that God “created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (verse 27).
This is perplexing. First God is talking to someone who shares His image, who also has the ability to create life—and in the very next verse, we see a singular God creating the human race. Every indication seems to suggest that God was talking to … another God?
But that’s impossible. How often in the Bible does God remind us, “There is no other God besides Me” (Isaiah 45:21)? There must be another explanation. And yet, as we dig deeper into Scripture, we’ll discover the incredible truth: There is no other explanation. God was, quite literally, talking to another being whom He also called God.
God, it turns out, is a family—and, most importantly, a family you have the opportunity to call your own.
In his Gospel account, John provides some clarification for the first chapter of Genesis. He writes, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:1-3).
Now we’re getting somewhere. The Word that John writes about existed with God while also being God. That’s a confusing sentence to wrap our heads around, but it’ll start to make more sense as we move forward. We’re told later on that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14), revealing that this Word—this being who was with God and who was God—came to the earth as Jesus Christ.
In time, Christ’s disciples came to understand that truth, acknowledging, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Jesus replied, “Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven” (verse 17).
Slowly, a picture begins to emerge. The Bible reveals two beings, both of them God. One of them carries the title of Father; the other carries the title of Son. Collectively, They form the God family—and the deeper we dig, the more we discover about that family.
Paul tells us that he bows his knees “to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (Ephesians 3:14-15). Paul’s remark about the “whole” family hints at one of the greatest truths of the entire Bible:
The family of God is growing.
It’s why you’re here. It’s why all of us are here. God is building a family, and He wants to make you part of it.
John tells us, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! … Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:1-3, emphasis added).
Those who faithfully follow and obey God are going to be like Him. That’s incredible. That’s unbelievable. That defies imagination!
But what does it mean exactly?
The God family is a tightly knit group, and not just because there are only two members at the moment. Christ told us, “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30) and later prayed to God on behalf of all those who would one day come to believe in Him, “that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one” (John 17:22-23).
Those verses tell us that the God family is united in purpose and thought and action. They are on the same page, no matter the issue. Those verses also tell us that becoming part of the God family requires the same thing from us, which doesn’t come naturally at all. After all, “the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).
But that’s the thing: We don’t have to remain “natural men.” God gives us the opportunity to change. To grow. To receive His Spirit and begin the process of becoming something so much more than we could ever be on our own. The apostle Paul described the end of that process to his fellow believers, writing, “We shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. … For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:51-53).
There’s so much more to talk about here—and we will talk about it in our third Journey, “The Plan of God”—but for now, the important truth to focus on is that God, the immortal, unlimited, all-powerful, self-existing One, is in fact a family.
A family that is growing.
A family that you can be part of.
At the head of that family is God the Father—the very God we’ve been learning about for the past six days. At His right hand is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who has existed alongside the Father for all eternity as the Word.
What’s more, because Jesus and the Father are so in sync with each other, Jesus explains, “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him” (John 14:7). Knowing one member of the God family means we know all its members—because They both operate with the same mind, the same character.
But there’s still one last trait we need to explore before this Journey comes to end—the most misunderstood (and most important) trait of all:
Tomorrow, we’re going to talk about God, the loving.