under a special agreement with
presents Explorers Series 2
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Lesson 4: I Am in the Family of God
Has anyone ever told you that, if you want to go to Heaven, you must be "born again"? This is true. The Lord Jesus Himself said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).
To understand what the Lord Jesus meant and why we must be "born again," we must know about two special men in the Bible. These two men are Adam and Christ. Adam is called God's "first man," and the Lord Jesus Christ is called God's "second Man."
Adam is called the "first man" because he was the first man. God created only one man and one woman. From that man, Adam, and his wife came the whole human family. Adam was created in the image of God. The Bible says, "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him, male and female created He them" (Genesis 1:27).
Why did God create man? God created man for His glory. God wanted people who would love Him, obey Him, and bring pleasure to His heart.
Did Adam obey God? No, he did not. Adam chose to rebel against God. He disobeyed Him. Adam was now a sinner. He had a sinful heart.
Adam's children had sinful hearts, just like Adam. Likewise, his grandchildren also had sin in their hearts. If you look at the picture here, you will see that all who have been born since Adam have sinful hearts like Adam.
Adam passed his sinful nature on to the whole human family. Adam produced a family of sinners, just like himself! The Bible says, "For as by one man's disobedience many [all] were made sinners…" (Romans 5:19).
God had wanted people who would glorify Him and bring pleasure to His heart. But God's first man, Adam, produced a family of sinners.
Now that all people were sinners, did God hate them? No, He did not. God loves people. God has always loved people.
What did God do? God gave us His "second Man." Who is God's "second Man"? He is God's Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says, "The first man [Adam] is of the earth, earthy [made of dust]: the second Man [Jesus Christ] is the Lord from Heaven" (1 Corinthians 15:47).
God now had a man on earth, the Lord Jesus, in whom He could find His perfect pleasure and delight. Everything Jesus said and did was pleasing to His Father. Twice God spoke from Heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17; 17:5).
At the end of His life, Jesus prayed to His Father,
"I have glorified You on the earth: I have finished the work which You gave Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me with Your own self with the glory which I had with You before the world was" (John 17:4-5).
The Father has answered that prayer. When Jesus returned to Heaven, God the Father gave Him the highest place in Heaven. He is seated at the Father's right hand. God has made Him "Lord of all" (Acts 10:36).
God has not only made His Son "Lord of all," but He has made Him the Head of His new family, called "the children of God."
There are now two families in the world. The head of one family is Adam. Adam's family is a sinful family.
The Head of the other family is God's second Man, the Lord Jesus Christ. His family is called "the children of God." Every person belongs to one or the other of these two families.
All of us, when we were born, were born into Adam's sinful family. Every person in Adam's family is separated from God and lost. This is why the Lord Jesus said, "You must be born again" (John 3:7).
How are we "born again" into God's new family? We are born again by believing on the Lord Jesus and receiving Him as our Savior. The Bible says, "As many as received Him [the Lord Jesus], to them gave He power to become the sons [children] of God, even to them that believe on His name" (John 1:12).
The moment I took the Lord Jesus as my Savior, I was born into God's new family. God took me out of Adam's sinful family and put me in His new family. I am now a child of God!
Have you trusted the Lord Jesus as your Savior? If so, you have been "born again" into God's new family. All your sins are forgiven. You are now a child of God forever! The Bible says, "For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:26).
Because we are now God's children, we can always come to Him about anything that concerns us. We are to pray to the Father in Jesus' name. He will hear our prayers and do what is best for us. Jesus said, "Until now you have asked nothing in My name: ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full" (John 16:24).
Dear friend, if you are not sure that you have been born again into God's new family, why not make sure right now. Find a quiet place where you can be alone with the Lord and tell Him,
"Lord Jesus, I truly believe that You are the Son of God and that You died on the cross for my sins. Right now, I take You as my Savior. Please come into my heart and make me a child of God forever."
1. God's first man, Adam, disobeyed God and brought sin and death into the world. Adam produced a family of people with sinful hearts. By nature we are all born into Adam's sinful family.
2. God's second Man, the Lord Jesus, obeyed God perfectly. He died for our sins and rose again to become the Head of God's new family, called "the children of God."
3. When I took the Lord Jesus as my Savior, God took me out of Adam's sinful family and put me into His new family. I was "born again." I became a child of God.
"Father, I love You so much! Thank you for giving Your Son Jesus to me to be my Savior. Thank You that I have been born into Your new family. It is so wonderful, knowing that You are my heavenly Father and that I can come to You at any time. In Jesus' name I pray."
A New Friend
The story so far…
Jared received a special bookmark from Beth. When he went to ask Carlos and Alex to forgive him for losing his temper, he found Carlos sick from smoking. Jared helped Carlos get home. Jared needed to finish an art project but Dan Foster kept distracting him.
On Wednesday, Dan was absent. Mr. Tomkins asked Jared if he would take Dan's leatherwork to him so he could finish by Friday. Jared agreed. Later in the day, Jared asked Carlos if he would go with him to Dan's house.
The boys met in the art room after school. Jared took Dan's leather project from its place on the shelf. He frowned as he looked through the pieces. "That's odd," he said. "There is a piece missing. Dan can't finish his wallet without it. Could you help me find it for him, Carlos? His name should be on it."
"Maybe he took it home with him," Carlos said with a shrug.
"I don't think so," Jared responded as he shook his head. "He needs all the pieces together to finish. Everyone knows that Dan will probably win first place if he finishes his wallet on time."
Jared and Carlos searched carefully through the leatherwork on the shelves. Suddenly Carlos gasped as he looked through Jared's work. The missing piece had been stuffed beneath it. "I think this is what you are looking for, Jared," Carlos said with an angry look. "Thief!" he said in a loud voice. Then he turned and began to walk out of the room.
"Carlos, I didn't do it," Jared said insistently. "Honest, I didn't take that piece of Dan's wallet."
"Then why was it with your stuff?" demanded Carlos.
"I didn't do it, Carlos!" Jared's voice was pleading. "Please believe me. I don't steal things. I just don't do things like that."
"Why not?" asked Carlos as he opened the classroom door. "You would have a good chance of winning first place in the art show if Big Dan doesn't finish his wallet. And you were the one who had clean-up duty at the end of class."
"Wait, Carlos!" Jared begged. Then he went on to say, "You know there are a lot of people in and out of the art room. There are a lot of people who could have done this."
"I don't know who to believe anymore, Jared. I am going home. You will have to go to Big Dan's by yourself," Carlos said looking down at the floor. Then he pulled the door closed behind him and walked down the school hall.
Jared leaned against the closed door. "Carlos doesn't believe me," he thought to himself. "I think I have lost my best friend." Jared gathered up the leather pieces for Dan's wallet and placed them in a small sack, making sure no pieces were missing.
When Jared reached Dan's house, he planned to hand the sack to whoever opened the door and go home as quickly as he could. When he knocked on the door, he heard a voice call from inside, "Come in." As Jared walked inside, he saw Dan lying on the couch. Jared remembered that Dan's mother and sister had died in an accident several years before. He and his father lived alone.
"Mr. Tomkins asked me to bring your art project so it could be in the art show on Friday," Jared said as he took the leather pieces from the sack. "How are you feeling, Dan?"
"Oh, not too bad," Dan said in a gruff voice. Then he added, "Thanks for bringing this for me, but I can't do it here. I don't have anything to hold it in place while I do the hard parts."
"Can't your dad hold it for you?" Jared asked with concern.
"No!" Dan answered bitterly. "He drinks and his hands shake. I really don't think he cares about what I do any more."
"I could stay and help for a while if you want me to, Dan," Jared said quickly, amazed at himself.
Dan's eyes looked at Jared with surprise. "You will?" he asked sitting up abruptly. Dan winced with pain and then explained, "I hurt my foot really bad." He lifted his leg and placed his foot on the small table in front of the couch.
Jared brought Dan the craft board standing in the corner. Dan put it over his knees and spread the leather pieces on it.
Jared held the leather in place and watched Dan's hands skillfully work the pieces. In a few moments Dan stopped. Jared looked at his pale face. "I have to stop a few minutes," Dan muttered in a disgusted tone.
"Rest awhile," Jared said. "I want to tell you about a special Friend of mine." Without waiting for an answer, Jared told Dan about the Sunday school class where he had learned about the Lord Jesus Christ. He told him about receiving Jesus as his Savior and that Jesus was his special Friend. "Jesus can be your Savior and special Friend too, if you want Him to be, Dan," Jared concluded.
"I have never had a special friend," Dan said with an unhappy face. "I think that is why I do mean things like tripping you the other day. Nobody likes me."
"Well, I like you, and I would like for us to be friends. But, Dan, Jesus Christ loves you," Jared told him. "The Lord Jesus wants you to love Him too. When I come tomorrow, I will bring my Bible and read to you about Jesus."
"Are you really coming back?" asked Dan. He was surprised that Jared would want to help him. "Then I could finish my project in time for Friday. You really are a friend, Jared. I'll see you tomorrow."
What will Jared do about Carlos?
Will Dan be able to finish his project on time?
Jared's adventures continue in the next exciting chapter!