Fully known and fully loved

The 5 Life Languages ® | The Need To BELONG – Part 2

Research has found that the most satisfied individuals in life are those who have a place to belong. In other words, our deepest satisfaction comes not from achieving personal autonomy but through acceptance into unconditional love and in unbreakable belonging to a people.

A Biblical View Of Belonging

Belonging has deep roots in the biblical story and Christian theology. Belonging takes several forms in Scripture, but it’s not a complicated theme. There are three levels.

  1. First, most of the references to belonging refer to one’s ownership of possessions.
  2. Second, people are often said to belong to a fixed social group—priests to the Levite division (Luke 1:5), Joseph to the house and lineage of David (Luke 2:4), and the early Christians to the church (Acts 9:2; 12:1).
  3. But there is a third and most profound sense of belonging described in the Scriptures. We belong to God and his family—a truth that itself gets expressed three ways in the New Testament.

We belong to God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

  • Little children belong to Jesus and his kingdom (Matthew 19:14).
  • Those who serve the poor and marginalized in Jesus’ name belong to him (Mark 9:41).
  • The church is the bride that belongs to Jesus, the bridegroom (John 3:29).
  • Whoever belongs to God hears and obeys his voice (John 8:47).
  • All those who belong to the Son belong also to the Father (John 16:15).
  • Both Jewish and Gentile Christians belong to Christ (Romans 1:6).
  • Christ died that we might no longer belong to ourselves but belong to Christ and bear fruit for God (Romans 7:4).
  • Without the Holy Spirit, no one belongs to God (Romans 8:9).
  • Whether we live or die, we belong to God (Romans 14:8).
  • When Christ returns, all who belong to him will be resurrected (1 Corinthians 15:23).

We no longer belong to ourselves or to the world.

  • Those who reject Jesus belong to the Devil and the kingdom of the world (John 8:44).
  • Jesus own disciples belong to him, not to the world (John 15:19).
  • We no longer submit to the rules of the world because we no longer belong to it (Colossians 2:20).
  • We no longer belong to the darkness; we belong to the light (1 Thessalonians 5:5:8).

We belong to one another in the church.

Belonging to God is our deepest need, and yet God himself calls creation and life without human companionship and community “not good” (Genesis 2:18). To belong to God is to belong to others.

  • The children of God belong to his family forever (John 8:35).
  • In Christ, we form one body and every member belongs to all the others (Romans 12:5).
  • We can’t stop belonging to the body (1 Corinthians 12:15–16).
  • We do good to all people, especially those who belong to the family of believers (Galatians :10).
  • At the end of days, we’ll be among the multitude in the ultimate, eternal place of belonging (Revelation 21–22).

We belong to God, not to ourselves or to the world. Belonging to him means belonging to his people, his family. It means belonging to the church.

Good News of Belonging

When we belong to God, not ourselves, we can then and only then fully belong to others. Indeed, only belonging to God—and through him, to one another in the church—can offer this secure position. When we’re secure in Christ, we’ll be established and rooted in how he has made us, and we will belong to him and, in a sense, to ourselves. We can become who we were meant to be—fully adopted and secure children of God. When we’re secure in Christ, we’ll be established and rooted in how he has made us, and we will belong to him and—in a sense—to ourselves. We can become who we were meant to be—fully adopted and secure children of God. We “come home” to ourselves in this significant sense. The layers of protection that have surrounded us like shells can begin to fall away, and true spiritual transformation can begin.

In Christ, we can find true belonging, for true belonging is being simultaneously fully known and fully loved


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