Monday, 08 January 2018 14:11

The Importance of Lineage

Written by  Bob Crittendon
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During my Advent series, 25: A Christ-mas Adventure,we walked through Scriptures that focused on reasons why we can worship Jesus.  One area concentrated on some of the prophecies written about the coming of Jesus.  The Bible says that He would be born of virgin, in the city of Bethlehem, from the tribe of Judah.


We get a clear picture of the lineage of Jesus from the Old Testament. It has been said that Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophecies written about Him. We can have certainty that He is our Messiah and, as Scripture foretold his first coming, so we can trust the Bible’s reliability on His second.


Our lineage can tell us a lot about ourselves.  We can gain some insight into why we are like we are, how we came to be where we are, and even realize some aspects of our behavior that we can be proud of or not so proud of.  We can learn from our ancestry, and appreciate who God has made us to be and why we are here, how we are wired by Him for His glory.  And, when we encounter negative elements about our ancestors, we can seek to go in a different direction.  There is definitely a lot to be said about our lineage.


Quite a bit about lineage is important in Great Britain, and it is even heightened these days with the prospect of a royal wedding.  We know that ancestry plays a major role in the sustenance of the monarchy there.  Prince Harry, the son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, the grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, has announced his engagement to Meghan Markle, who is American, and, according to People magazine, her “mother is African-American and her father is Caucasian.”


People also reported on her religious heritage.  An article states:



Although she attended a Catholic high school, she was not raised Catholic: Her father is an Episcopalian — which is essentially the Church of England in the United States — and her mother is a Protestant. Jason Knauf, Prince Harry’s Communications Secretary, confirmed that Meghan will be “baptized and confirmed” into the Church of England ahead of her wedding.



As perhaps you know, the Queen is recognized as the head of the Church of England.  Certainly, there is fascination about Markle’s background - she is American, she has been married before, and her parents are of different races, which, according to People, has exposed her to racism and discrimination.  There is evidence that she may be the product of a mixed religious background.


I think we do have to be careful to recognize that the Biblical picture of baptism shows us that sacrament is an outward demonstration of the inward act of accepting Christ as Savior.  Not surprisingly, the People article does not relate this act to the practice of Biblical Christianity.


In the British system, lineage is important.  Those who wish to marry into the royal family face a unique amount of scrutiny, scrutiny that will not let up once they are wed.  There are certain, iron-clad immutable principles in the practice of the palace.


In the plan of God, lineage is important, too. God has established His throne on certain iron-clad principles and has appointed Jesus, His Son, born on earth in a certain way in a certain place of a certain tribe, to sacrifice for our sins and to sit at His right hand.


In the U.K., position is determined by birth.  In the Christian faith, position is determined by our identification with Jesus.  While our natural ancestry is important and can help to shape our personality and even our ideals, we also recognize we can have a new spiritual ancestry.  While faith can be modeled by parents and relatives, ultimately, we have to decide for ourselves whether or not we will follow Christ in salvation.


The ancestry of Jesus was pre-determined by God - it came to pass.  We can trust God to manifest a new spiritual ancestry in our hearts.  We have come to be part of His family; we have been redeemed by His blood and adopted as children of God.  We know we can be born again if we meet the qualifications of believing in Him and confessing His Lordship, according to Romans 10.


It’s more than a symbolic ritual or an attempt to embrace an outward demonstration of religious practice; no, we can have a new nature in Him and allow His characteristics to flow through our lives.  It’s not a matter of what we can do to change or to “be better” somehow - it’s based on our humility before Him, admitting we are sinners and cannot save ourselves.  We were born into sin, but we can be raised to new life by being born again.


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