A common English idiom is “Blood is thicker than water,” meaning family relationships are stronger than marriage or friendship. Family ties are thicker, or more important, than other relationships. People in the same family are related by blood, while marriage and friendship are only chosen relationships. No matter what happens in a family, the blood bond is still there. When problems occur in a marriage, the parties may resort to their respective families and find allies there. Husbands often say, “I knew she would side with her family against me.” It has been said, “Friends may come and friends may go, but your family is always there for you.” Though families may bicker and quarrel from time to time, they will unite to fight even friends. It is a meaningful idiom for it reminds us of the affection and loyalty of family members.
We are improving this idiom to “Blood is thicker than blood,” which means that the blood of Jesus Christ ought to unite saints in His church closer than family ties or other loyalties, since they are only of this world. Because we are all adopted by the precious blood of Christ, we have a bond exceeding any other.
Compare the two bonds by duration, blood, nature, Father, consequences, basis, benefit, Scripture, etc.
We use this improved idiom to identify the brotherly unity we ought to have in our local body of Christ.
Our God has not just saved us and left us here to live isolated lives: He has made us part of two bodies.
What are our chief bonds? The blood of Christ; the Presence of the Spirit; God’s Word.
Jesus Christ purchased us as His brethren and regenerated us to be sons of God (Romans 8:29-37; Eph 2:13; Col 1:20; Heb 2:14; 9:12; 10:19-25; I Peter 1:18-21).
The Holy Spirit adds us to a church’s body and indwells our physical bodies (Eph 2:19-22; 4:3; I Cor 3:16-17; 6:19-20; 12:12-13; I Pet 2:4-10; Rev 1:20; 2:5; 3:1).
The Word of God is the manual of our faith and the terms of our covenant union (Jn 5:39; Gal 1:6-9; I Tim 6:3-5; II Tim 3:16-17; 4:1-4; II Pet 1:19-21; Jude 1:3).
In light of God’s sovereign providence, you had little more choice of your church than of your family; you may wisely conclude God made both for each other (I Cor 12:18).
Consider the Bible’s expressions describing our unity in Jesus Christ and this local body.
Our Lord prayed most intimately for our perpetual unity in Him (John 17:20-23).
We are clearly brothers and sisters, for we have the same Father (John 20:17).
The local church of the Corinthians was called the temple of God (I Cor 3:16-17).
The local church at Corinth was called the body of Christ (I Cor 12:12-13).
Believers collectively are described by Paul as the household of faith (Gal 6:10).
We are the fulness of Him Who filleth all in all – incredible (Ephesians 1:22-23).
Both are called the household of God, where He dwells with us (Eph 2:19-22).
Both are called the family of God, where we are named after Him (Eph 3:14-19).
The local body is described in wonderful terms of mutual growth (Eph 4:15-16).
There is a great mystery in our being united to Christ as His body (Eph 5:30-32).
We are all of one with Jesus Christ as brethren and children (Hebrews 2:11-13).
Glorious terms describe our kingdom relationship to heaven (Hebrews 12:22-24).
Marriage is called leading about a sister (I Cor 9:5). Are you related to your wife?
Our affection and care for one another is called brotherly (Rom 12:10; II Pet 1:7).
There are no class differences in Christ, only differences of office (Gal 3:26-29).
Communion is our common union together in Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 10:16).
Read how Paul recognized Onesimus and Epaphras as part of a body (Col 4:9,12).
Consider two important facts that make our idiom so very spiritually and practically true.
As a body, we have one blood type, for it is the blood of Jesus (Eph 2:11-13).
As a body, we have one Spirit, for it is the Holy Spirit (I Cor 12:13; Eph 2:22).
Christ’s churches should maximize the bonds that other organizations wish they had.
“Esprit de corps” is the military concept of the camaraderie of troops in an army.
“Clan” is an expression of a larger family unit that sticks together and fights.
“Fraternities” of various sorts are bodies of choice for fellowship and assistance.
Close families have clear goals and rules, and they are encouraged and enforced.
Where else do the benefits of society apply more than in the church (Eccl 4:9-12)?
But we are better than an organization, if we consider the difference in two terms.
Organization. An administrative and functional structure of association or society.
Organism. A complex structure of interdependent and subordinate elements whose relations and properties are largely determined by their function in the whole. An individual constituted to carry on the activities of life by means of organs separate in function but mutually dependent.
Naturally we hate one another (Titus 3:3), bite and devour one another, (Gal 5:15), provoke and envy one another (Gal 5:26), judge one another (Rom 14:13), and betray and hate one another (Matt 24:10), among other sins of our wickedly selfish flesh.
The average church today doesn’t look anything like a church of the New Testament.
Qualifying for membership, which kept Paul out, has been discarded (Acts 9:26).
The obligation of faithful attendance is dismissed as legalistic (Heb 10:23-25).
The SBC admits 33% of their members are lost and unknown as to whereabouts.
The duties of warning, exhorting, admonishing, and saving have been neglected.
The powerful authority of Matthew 18:15-18 is neither taught nor practiced.
Church discipline, for large or small sins, is no longer practiced in most churches.
The instant spirit of community of the early church has been lost (Act 2:42-47).
Due to this very great change in the nature of a local church, we look strange.
Therefore, we ask the questions we do to make sure membership is understood.
Close churches are loved in adversity; but they are resented in counsel or discipline.
Many “free spirits” do not want to be accountable to a church or get involved with others.
Selfishness, the great curse of our race, is totally contrary to Christ and His churches.
Let the dead bury the dead, by putting the church before your family (Luke 9:60; 14:26).
The church of Jesus Christ and the family of God should be your closest friends on earth.
This sermon is logically and chronologically followed by another called, “Am I My Brother’s Keeper?”
We have been chosen out of this world and separated into a holy and spiritual kingdom for our blessing.
May the Lord bless us to realize the importance of our church membership and never take it lightly.