The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
Fatherhood of God
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”
+ Special Relationship +
The Fatherhood of God is one of the most dominant attributes of God mentioned in Scripture, especially in the New Testament. The title Father designates the first person of the Holy Trinity and reveals the nature and character of God. God is constantly referred to as “Our Father” in the Scriptures (Matthew 6:9, Ephesians 3:14, 4:6, 5:20, and Colossians 1:12). Please understand that the heart of God is revealed in this title. It shows our relationship with God as His dear children and shows a father’s role in the family. The father is representative of God to his children and if the children can see the love of their earthly father, they will see the love of their Heavenly Father also.
“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
This article will focus on three aspects of the Fatherhood of God: relationship, discipline, and love. The word father brings thoughts of joy, warmth, comfort, security, and protection. As we consider the Fatherhood of God, may our hearts be comforted in His everlasting love.
Fatherhood Speaks of Relationship
The word father speaks of a special relationship. God is the Father of all in the sense of creation (Psalm 68:5 and Acts 17:26) He is referred to as the Father of Israel in the Old Testament in that the nation owed its origin and continued existence to God’s special care as a Father (Exodus 4:22 and Deuteronomy 32:6). God is referred to as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ in a very unique way, that is by incarnation (II Corinthians 1:3 and John 20:17). Lastly, God is the Father of every believer by redemption (adoption).
In the Garden of Gethsemane our Lord cried out ABBA Father in His prayer the night before He went to the cross. The word ABBA expresses warm affections and tenderness. This reveals the beautiful relationship between the Father and the Son. In Romans 8:15, the word ABBA is used in reference to the believer, “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” This is the language of sonship, we are no longer a slave. The spirit of adoption helps us realize our relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ. We are God’s children by faith whether we be Jew or Gentile. We are now a part of the household of God with favor and blessings as sons and daughters of God.
The word father has the idea or meaning of protector, provider, nourisher or upholder. It is synonymous with ancestor, originator, or founder (Genesis 4:20-21 and John 8:56). For example, Abraham was the father of the nation of Israel. A father is the head of a household. He has rule over the family but also has a responsibility to his family. Our relationship as a father to our family is very important. We are to imitate our Heavenly Father. As God desires our hearts, we are to desire the hearts of our children. A father is to tie heartstrings with his children (Malachi 4:6 and Luke 1:17). It is God the Father that is the promoter and protector of the relationship between himself and his children. Even so, earthly fathers must be the same with their children.
Fatherhood Speaks of Discipline
The context of Hebrews 12:5-14 speaks of the chastening of the Lord and verse 5 says, “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him.” The word chasten means to teach, nurture, instruct, or discipline. Chastening speaks of relationship between a father and a child (Proverbs 3:11-12). In Revelation 3:19, God says, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.” We must not view discipline apart from God, for all that comes into our life God either brings or permits. One writer put this truth so well when he said, “If God never carried us into the wilderness, He would never hear from us.” As a parent, we are to discipline our children, Ephesians 6:4, “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” As our Heavenly Father desires obedience from his children, earthly fathers should desire the same from their children (Proverbs 13:24, 22:15, 23:14-15, 29:15). God lovingly disciplined His first children (Adam and Eve). After they sinned, He provided clothing for them in His love and placed them outside the garden in discipline. The nation of Israel’s origin and continued existence in the Old Testament centered entirely around the Heavenly Father’s love and chastisement, for He required obedience of His people.
Fatherhood Speaks of Love
The Scriptures speak of the Father’s love bestowed upon us as His children in I John 3:1, and in I John 4:8, God is called love. The very nature of God is love. Christianity is a religion of love in that it is the only religion that presents the Supreme Being of the universe as love. Other pagan religions usually present their gods as angry. The love of the Father is seen many times with His ancient people, Israel, in the Old Testament (Jeremiah 31:1-3, 31). In the New Testament, the Father’s love is illustrated in the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15.
As the Heavenly Father has shown His love to us as His children, we are to show our love to our family. The Lord Jesus Christ loved us sacrificially according to Ephesians 5:2, “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.” In Ephesians 5:25, husbands are commanded to love their wives sacrificially as Christ loved the church, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” Feminism has tried to remove the Biblical concept of God the Father and the father’s role in the home. It has left many women without a husband, without protection, and earning their own living. Pagan cultures devalue women, but genuine Christianity elevates the statue of women and gives them their due respect. If we do not understand the truth of the Fatherhood of God, we cannot have a proper understanding of Christianity.
In closing, the Cross is the greatest display of love (Romans 5:5-10). God loved us so much, that He sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins at Calvary.
“Nor height, nor depth,
nor any other creature,
shall be able to separate us
from the love of God,
which is in
Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523