Building up believers and the New Testament church


Family Session 1

Session 1: Overview—God’s Purpose


  • To impart an overall vision of God’s purpose and plan

    • That God may be all in all (I Cor. 15:24-28)

    • That we may be one with Him for eternity (John 17: 20-23)

    • To worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24)

  • To see how the local assembly as the family of God fits into that plan

    • Household of God, family of God (Eph. 2:19)

      • The family is central to God’s thoughts (Adam & Eve, Church as Bride of Christ, God as our Father, Jesus as the Son of God, Household of God, Brothers and Sisters, Christ as “first-born”

      • New Jerusalem as “Lamb’s wife” (Rev 19:7, 21:9)

    • Church as Body of Christ (Eph. 1:23)

    • Fellow Citizens, Holy nation (Eph. 2:19, I Peter 2:9, Phil. 3:20)

    • Temple of God (Eph. 2:21), Holy Priesthood (I Peter 2:5)

  • To see how the natural family fits into God’s plan

  • To see principles of the family which can help guide us


  • God wants a large family of mature sons (Heb. 2:10) Many sons to glory

  • The local assembly is an expression of His family (Eph. 2:19, I Tim. 3:15, Gal 6:10)

  • The natural family takes it pattern from the spiritual family (Eph. 5:22-33)

  • The main purpose of the family is the maturing of the children (Heb. 12:7-11)

  • The relationship with God our Father is a personal individual relationship

  • A relationship with God as our Father establishes our relationship with each other

  • The relationship with Jesus as His body and bride is a corporate relationship


Family Session 2

Session 2: The foundation: All things for God & His purpose

The End Purpose of God:

  • That He may have a large family of mature sons for eternity

  • Man (Adam and Eve) were created for God and His purpose

  • The natural family is for God and a source of “Godly Seed” for His family

  • The spiritual family is to prepare children for His eternal family

 God’s purpose is realized in Jesus Christ:

  • He became the “first born” of God’s eternal family (Heb. 1:5-6, Rom 8:29)

  • Jesus is our example of a perfect son and how a son should relate to his father

    • He did not consider Himself (Phil. 2:5-11)

    • He did the will of His Father (Heb. 10:5-10

    • The end result was glory and a full eternal inheritance

  • Jesus also perfectly revealed the character of His Father (John 14:8-11)

We become part of God’s family in Christ:

  • We enter into God’s family by union with Christ in the Spirit

  • Jesus is our example in all things (our elder brother)

    • Faith only considers God, who we are in Him, and who He is in us (Rom 4:16-25)

    • We are called to do God’s will, not our own will (Matt. 21:28-32)

    • If we focus on our fulfillment in either family we will be disappointed

    • A life lived for self will reproduce in our children (vision, example, choices)

  • Our fulfillment is found in doing His will, gaining His approval (Luke 17:6-10)

  • Our final reward is with Christ at His coming (with Him for all eternity)


Family Session 3

Session 3: Relationships as God has Designed

Oneness is in the heart of God and His design

  • God is one

    • God defined “oneness” in Himself  (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)

    • Man made in “our image”, “our likeness” (Gen 1:26)

  • His plan in His family is that we would be One as He is (John 17:20-23)

    • We are members of Christ, of His flesh and bones (Eph. 5:30)

  • His design in the family is for the husband and wife to be one (Eph. 5:31)

    • God sees husband and wife as “one” (life, relationship, purpose)

There is order in creation

  • Order in the Godhead

  • Order in the Family of God, the Body of Christ, the Church (I Cor. 12)

  • Order in the natural family (I Cor. 11:3)

The natural family:

  • Husband is responsible as head (leadership) under Christ

    • Loving as Christ does the church (Eph. 5:25)

    • Laying down his life (not living for self)

    • Lifting his wife up as one with him

    • Modeling our heavenly Father (example)

  • Wives are responsible as a “helper” (a grace that is essential, Gen 2:18)

    • Taken from the side of the man (heart)

    • In submission as church is to Christ (Eph. 5:24)

    • Lifting her husband up by honor and respect (Eph. 5:33)

  • Children are in training

    • In submission to parents (Eph. 6:1-3)

    • Honoring the parents

    • What if there are no children?

  • The bond of unity in the family is love


Family Session 4

Session 4: Authority in Spiritual and Natural Family

The origin of conflict in authority

  • Satan tried to rise up above God (He grasped at the throne) (Isaiah 14:12-15)

  • He was thrown out of heaven along with those who sided with him

  • He is in the world today seeking to “get back at God” in any way he can

  • His temptation to Adam (through Eve) was to question God’s authority (Gen. 3:1-4)

The foundation of spiritual authority

  • All authority has been given to Christ Jesus (Matt 28:18-20)

  • He exercises that authority through the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-18)

  • The manifestation of that authority is often through men (I Peter 4:11, 2 Cor. 6)

  • Spiritual authority is recognized by those who are under God’s authority (John 7:16)

The spiritual Family:

  • The government in His family is a “theocracy” (God is the authority)

  • God has made Christ the Head of the Body (Eph. 1:22,23)

  • The Holy Spirit exercises the authority of Christ in and through men

The natural family

  • The husband (father) as “head” in the family is the channel of authority (under God)

    • Authority is loving, not lording

    • Example is the foundation of spoken word

    • Husband must be moving under His Head (the Lord Jesus)

    • Considers his wife as “his own body” (nourish and cherish, Eph. 5:29)

  • The wife (mother) in oneness with her head carries out the will of the husband

    • To achieve unity and progress there can only be one “head”, one mind

    • Accepts her place in God’s order in creation (is not a “second class” person)

    • Lets her quiet and meek spirit command

    • Wins her husband without a word (I Peter 3:1-6)

  • The children should receive the same direction through both parents


Family Session 5

Session 5:  Training of Children (Ages 2-12)

Building with Purpose

  • Train up a child in the way he should go (Prov. 22:6, Eph. 6:4)

  • The goal: Prepared for God (Malachi 2:15)

  • The focus is Character (Luke 2:52)


    Younger children (0-2)

  • Can be taught much more than we think

  • Some basic goals (nourishment, stimulation, submission to our will)


    The way of Training

  • Example the foundation of all effective training (I Cor. 11:1, I Thess. 1:5,6)

  • Effective building takes place through obedience (Matt. 7:24-27)

  • Commanding, the way of teaching  (Gen. 18:19)

  • Training, building towards a goal

    • Establishing the goal

    • Giving instruction

    • Showing by example

    • Specific commands under supervision

    • Commands that are checked after completion

    • General commands that are monitored periodically

  • Consistency, the price of success

  • Training, preparation for God’s working

Some Common Mistakes

  • Obedience with a poor attitude

  • Obedience after discussion

  • Gaining obedience by reward

Our ability, His life

Family Session 6

Session 6:  Training of Children (Ages 12-20)

Preparation for adulthood

  • Able to think (in God)

  • Able to take on responsibility

  • Willing accountability to others

  • Strengthening of relationships outside the immediate family

  • Response to Jesus as Lord the ultimate goal

Some important elements

  • Unhindered relationships with Father and Mother

  • Open Communication on all subjects (Godly care and concern)

  • Give increased responsibility according to ability

  • Provide increasing opportunities for children to make their own decisions

  • If freedom is not handled properly, withdraw the freedom

  • Leave a place for children to make mistakes and learn from them

  • Move on a steady path towards maturity


  • Provide opportunities to earn money at different jobs

  • Require increased financial responsibility (contribute to food, clothes)

  • Identify particular skills and look to encourage in the right direction

Relationships with the opposite sex

  • Give focused attention to this subject

  • Open communication on sensitive areas at an early age

  • No “trial” relationships

  • Provide atmosphere for social involvement on group basis

  • Help young people to “understand themselves”

  • Detect special interest towards another early on and help them think properly


Family Session 7

Session 7:  Ministry of Men as a Brother and Father

Maturing as a son of God in His family

  • A child by birth in the family of God (union with God in the Spirit)

  • Living God’s life by His grace through faith (Gal. 2:20)

  • Maturing as a son under the authority of our Heavenly Father (Heb. 12)

The responsibility of men in God’s household

  • Alive unto God (an intimate relationship)

  • As a disciple of Jesus Christ (word becomes flesh through obedience)

  • As an example to others (demonstrate the character of God)

  • Walk in truth and love (called to be lovers of truth)

  • Functioning in the grace of God (God has given a measure of grace to every man)

  • Responsible to bring God into the assembly (He dwells within us)

  • Care for the testimony of God (pillar and ground of the truth)

  • As a leader according to the grace (responsibility / “known in the gates”)

  • Older brothers (Elders) are called to oversee the family of God under His authority

The responsibility of men as leader in his family

  • Overseer of his own household under Christ as Head

  • Qualities of leadership are seen in the management of a man’s own home. (I Tim 3:1-7)

  • Desire, Blameless, Husband of one wife, Temperate, Sober-minded, Good behavior, Hospitable, Able to teach, Not given to wine, Not violent, Not greedy for money, Gentle, Not quarrelsome, Not covetous, Rules his own household well, Children in submission, Not a novice, The danger of pride

  • Accept full responsibility for the household (including discipline of children)

  • Allow God to use the responsibility as an environment to bring us to maturity

Family Session 8

Session 8:  The Ministry of Women as a Sister and Mother

  • As a child of God

  • As a sister in the Family of God (function)

  • As a wife and mother, “suitable” for her husband

As a child of God

  • Created by God (taken from Adam)

  • Has her own relationship with God (no male or female, Gal 3:28)

  • Has a unique place in God’s creation but not “second class” (I Cor. 11:3)

  • Is different from a man in her makeup (disposition)

As a sister in the Family of God

  • Is part of the Body of Christ with a God-given function in the Body (I Cor. 12)

  • An adornment that glorifies God (I Peter 3:3-6)

  • Reveals the quiet and meek spirit which is precious in the sight of God (I Peter 3:4)

  • A unique place of worship before God, “in like manner” (I Tim. 2:9-12)

  • A ministry of prayer (Matt. 6:6)

  • To adorn the gospel with good works (I Tim. 5:9-10)

  • Older sisters have a unique ministry to young sisters (Titus 2:3-5)

  • A ministry of power in weakness (John 13:14-15, 1 Cor. 1:27, 2 Cor. 12:9)

As a wife and mother

  • One with her husband (union, Eph. 5:31)

  • Submissive to her husband, even if he is an unbeliever (I Peter 3:1-3)

  • As a helper to her husband (to move with him in his vision and calling, Prov. 31)

  • A household in which the life of God is seen (I Tim. 5:14)

  • To teach the children (Prov. 1:8-9, 6:20-21)

  • To teach in their households (Priscilla, Acts 18:26)