July 1


"For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers" (Romans 8:29, NIV).

The title, "Firstborn," is applied to Christ at least six times in the New Testament. Only two of these references apply to His virgin birth (see Matthew 1:25; Luke 2:7). All other usages describe Christ's position, status, and character rather than His origin.

The technical term, "firstborn among many brothers," applies to Christ's new role in the incarnation. By this divine act, Christ became the elder brother in the family of the redeemed. He became the model as well as Lord over all who are redeemed by His precious blood. As the "Firstborn among many brothers," Jesus has eternal priority; yet He is not ashamed to call us, who follow Him, His brothers and sisters (see Hebrews 2:11). Think on this amazing truth: "They [the redeemed] have even a more sacred relationship to God than have the angels who have never fallen."--Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 740.

Jesus makes us His brothers and sisters by the miracle of the new creation (see 2 Corinthians 5:17). What a precious heritage it is to be honored as brothers and sisters of Christ, our elder brother forever! It will certainly be a moment of high drama when the Father welcomes home the redeemed for the grand family reunion with our elder brother. Best of all, "we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2, NIV). Ellen G. White adds this gem: "He who is one with the Father has lined Himself with the children of men by ties that are never to be broken."--The Bible Training School, Dec. 1, 1908.

My Prayer Today: Loving Father, I rejoice because the "firstborn among many brothers" is not ashamed to call me His brother or sister. Amen.