One thing that has come up several times recently is whose family I am part of. My last name is Quinlan. I have a husband and sons with the same last name. For earthly purposes, this is my family. My maiden name was Patterson-Woody (which is, in itself, a long story). Here on earth, I have family members from the Patterson and Woody families. While I was in high school, my mom married into the Bradsher family. I now also have family by this name. I love my families and am thankful to God that He has given me such an abundance of family! Yet, I was thrilled as I listened to a Bible teacher talk about our heritage.
I’m going through a study on Abraham with some ladies at church. It’s a precept study which includes a weekly teaching video. The teacher for this one is David Lawson. In one of the first weeks (perhaps the first week), he began talking about our heritage. He spent a few minutes explaining that he uses the name Lawson, but that’s not his true family name. His true family name is Christian. David Lawson passed away and David Christian now resides.
I hung onto this because a few months ago while doing a different Bible study, the question was asked, “Are you clinging to a dead person?” The author was asking, are there hurts and sins that died at your salvation to which you’re still clinging? At the time the answer was yes. I knew this idea of the old nature versus the new nature — the old man versus the new, but I never applied it to the fullness of my life. I wouldn’t have said it, because I didn’t even realize that I believed it, but I the truth was that I thought all my past hurt and sin would be with me and in some sense “haunt” me forever. When she pointed out that according to the Word of God, that person was dead, blinders were lifted from my eyes. I had been holding onto the past. It wasn’t that the past had been holding me as I thought!
For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
2 Corinthians 5:14-17 (emphasis mine)
It was even more exciting and more fun as David Lawson talked about this idea. His point was that as believers in Christ, we have an incredible ancestry! My ancestors are now Noah, righteous in God’s sight; Abraham, friend of God; Moses, deliverer of God’s people; David, a man after God’s heart; and much more! The Hebrews 11 hall of faith describes my ancestors! I may not be Jewish, but those are my ancestors because according to Scripture all who are of faith are sons of Abraham.
Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.” So thenthose who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.
Galatians 3:6-9 (Emphasis mine)
As I stated, I love my earthly family. God has blessed me with caring, wonderful people with many gifts and talents. But I am SO excited that my eternal heritage is far greater! I am a daughter of Abraham and an heir with Christ!