What Does Your Family Tree Look Like? – Spiritual Genealogy
What does your family tree look like? What about your spiritual genealogy? Ron Hughes compares genealogies from both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Who led you to Christ? Tell us about your spiritual genealogy and family tree. Write a comment in the box below.
Children of God & your Family Tree
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. 1 John 3:1-3
With the rise of the internet, genealogical research has become a more popular hobby. It is easier than ever to trace family lines back many generations. Some I know personally can follow their roots back to the early 1700s. Others, I am sure can go back much farther.
There seems to be a natural interest in knowing where we come from, at least to some extent. Many of us are satisfied with knowing our parents and grandparents. Others are more curious and follow their ancestry back at least as far as some major embarrassment.
Genealogies in the Bible
Genealogies are important in the Bible. Several chapters are devoted to tracing the ancestral roots of significant people. In the case of Jesus, both his mother’s and his father’s lines are given with some detail. Lesser characters, like the kings of Judah and Israel are carefully placed in their family trees as proof of their legitimate claim to the throne. In some cases, even non‑royal family connections are provided.
Once we get into the history of the church, genealogical information disappears. We have no inspired accounts of the lineage of the apostles or others in the early church. Sometimes the names of relatives are mentioned, like John Mark being identified as the cousin of Barnabas and Timothy being the son of Eunice and grandson of Lois. But no real significance is attached to these.
At the same time, I can tell you that great emphasis is placed on the spiritual lineage of people in the New Testament. But the options are rather limited. People are characterized as either children of God or children of the devil. This simple direct dichotomy is offensive to our contemporary sensibilities which prompt us to lump everyone together in some grey area in the middle ‑ where everyone and everything is acceptable.
Sons of God or Children of the Devil
Jesus didn’t do that. When He looked at people He immediately discerned their family line. He spoke of people as children of God, as in Matthew 5:9 when He said: “Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.” Or children of the devil as in John 8:44: “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires.”
This strikes us as rather stark, but several New Testament writers elaborate on the theme. Paul challenges us to wear the armour of God to stand against the schemes of the devil. (Eph 6:11) James tells his readers to submit to God and resist the devil. (Jas 4:7) John associates sin with the children of the devil and righteousness with the children of God. (1Jo 3:8‑10)
Your Spiritual Family Tree
Regardless of the level of interest you have in your natural family tree, it is worth considering that when it comes to comparing our spiritual family tree, there’s a world of difference between one which springs from the “father of lies” and leads to death and one which comes from the “Son of God” and leads to life.
© September 2008
Ron Hughes is the President of FBH International He developed his interest in technology and mass communications during his highschool years in Peterborough, Ontario. He received a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree in Radio and Television Arts from Ryerson University where he graduated as the program’s “outstanding graduate.” He gained experience working in both commercial and cultural radio stations in Southern Ontario as well as engaging in freelance production.
In 1983, he and his wife, Debbie, moved to Ecuador where they served as missionaries for 10 years. There, Ron produced radio specials and numerous music albums as well as several videos. Some of these videos were the first ever produced in Ecuador’s major indigenous languages. In 1993, the Hughes family returned to Canada at the invitation of FBH International (then Family Bible Hour) and since then Ron has overseen the national and international aspects of the ministry. http://fbhinternational.com/
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