Delivered in Montrouis, Haiti in November 2016
Good morning. Thank you very much for the introduction, thank you pastor for allowing me to speak for a few minutes this morning, and thank you all for the opportunity to worship our great God together.
I bring you greetings this morning from Virginia, USA, from Liberty Spring Christian Church, from First Baptist Church and from a family back at home that loves this family of believers very much, Pastor Chris and Christina Surber.
I am told that today is Family Day here, so it is fitting that I bring greetings from my own family and from so many others who have fallen in love with Montrouis and with its beautiful people.
While I was thinking last night about what I might say, I received a photo on my cellphone from my wife back at home. It showed my family — my mother, my daughters and their husbands and my grandchildren — gathered around the dinner table to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in America.
A few minutes after I received that photo, I shared dinner with another sort of family — brothers in Christ who live here in Haiti. We had a wonderful evening of men’s fellowship, and I began to think about what it really means for us to call ourselves brothers.
Let’s look at what the Apostle Paul said about this in Galatians 3:26-29.
26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Our faith in Jesus Christ makes us children of God. Maybe you’ve heard someone say before, “Well, we’re all God’s children.” But this scripture is pretty clear that we’re NOT all God’s children. God LOVES us all — John 3:16 tells us he loved the WORLD so much that he sent his only begotten son, that whosever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
But it is that belief in Christ, through faith — and even the faith is a gift of God — that makes us God’s children. And Paul says here that those who, through faith, have put on Christ Jesus, are all one in Him.
So I stand here today, a sinner saved by the grace of God, a brother in Christ to those here who share my faith, a part of one body that makes the church, and a willing slave to the One who died for my sins. I stand here today proud to call you my family.