* This study seeks to introduce (again) to us our Heavenly Father.
In the beginning, the creation of man is entirely God’s idea (Purpose: to have fellowship with man, created in His image and likeness) – (Genesis 1:26-27). Therefore God is the author of this relationship. It is instructing that the Lord Jesus commanded “After this manner therefore pray ye – “Our Father, which art in heaven…. ” (Matthew 6:9) and the Lord Jesus referred to God as “Father” throughout His earthly ministry.
As we proceed in this study, we pray that our hearts are visited by the Lord Himself, to reveal and deepen our understanding of which He is, as “the Father”, and how we can relate to Him as beloved children. Amen.
Thoughts for the individual heart:
i. What is the first picture (of God) that comes to my heart when I think of God?
ii. At present, how do I define the relationship between God and me?
iii. Why do I want to study about the Father’s Love?
“I will be a Father UNTO YOU and you will be my Sons and Daughters” (2 Corinthians 6:18)
1. How did God reveal His Fatherhood to man (in the Old Testament)?
God is generally described– by all —as Father because He is the Creator, Life Giver, Lawgiver and Protector. The nation of Israel especially acknowledged that God had a special covenant relationship with them because he delivered them from slavery and established His law and oath with them as a chosen people (Hosea 11:1; Isaiah 63:16). However, in the Old Testament, “Father” was only one of the many Titles (rather than a personal name and relationship) by which the nation of Israel speaks of God.
Even though a covenant relationship existed, this was not the peak of where God wanted to be with man (as in Genesis 1:26). Therefore, throughout the Scriptures, we see God longing for a more intimate (Father-Son) relationship with the apex of His creation – man. (Jeremiah 3:19, Jeremiah 31:3).
2. How has God revealed Himself as Fatherhood to man (through our Lord Jesus Christ)?
God has revealed Himself as Father through our Lord Jesus Christ (the only begotten Son of God) who died for us-to remove the barrier of sin (through man’s disobedience in Eden) between us and God.
* Galatians 4:4– When the fullness if time came, God revealed Himself to us, through the Lord Jesus.
* John 1:14—And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
* John 14:9 – Jesus said to him, “Have I with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
* John 8:58 – Jesus said to them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you – before Abraham was, I am”.
* John 10:30 – Jesus said: “I and the Father are one”/
* John 10 :31-33 – (note that the Jews picked up stones to stone him, not for any miracle he had done, but for daring to call Himself the Son of God, claiming to be God. They knew the implications!!!)
3. How do we come to have a personal experience of becoming His children?
a. Scriptures (John 3:16; John 14:6; 1 John 4: 14-15; Romans 10:8-10;)
Note: Our experience of the Father is not to be based on what He does, but first on Who He Is! LOVE !!
4. Discussions: What privileges do we obtain when we become the children of God- through Jesus?
i. Reconciliation with God/Forgiveness of Sins/A New Creature
(2 Corinthians 5:17, 19)
If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature – Old things have passed away, all things are become new. That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them.
ii. Adoption as Sons/Redemption: (Galatians 4:4-7)
But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into hearts crying out, “Abba, Father!’’ Therefore you are no longer a servant but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
iii. Continuous access into Gods presence through Jesus: (Hebrews 10:19-20)
iv. Inheritors of God’s Possessions through Jesus: (John16:15; John 17:10, 21; Galatians 4:7).
v. God’s continued presence: (Matthew 28:20b)
vi. Promises of answered Prayers: (Matthew 7:7; Matthew 21:22)
vii. Fatherly Discipline: (Hebrews 12:5-9– Disciplining us as a Father who loves us)
viii. We shall be like Him!: (Hebrews 2:10-11, 1 John 3:1-3)
* “I will be a Father to you and you will be my sons and daughters” (2 Corinthians 6:18)
* And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts crying out, “Abba Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ (Galatians 4:7)
* Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God (1 John 3:1a)
Further Reading: The Gospels (Mathew, Mark, Luke and John)