The Fatherhood of God

Written by: Tony Silveira | Posted on: | Category:

Galatians 4:4–7 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

There are many people today that believe in God. People believe that God exists or maybe exists. There is no problem in modern days to believe in some form of deity and have a monotheistic view of his existence. In Asia is common to believe in many gods but in western countries people that even have doubts have no problem in either accepting or debating the existence of one God.

What people have a hard time to understand is that God reveals himself to us in different ways but one form, “The Father”.

Knowing the Father

Here’s what Jesus had to say about God in His days,

John 16:2-3 2 They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. 3 And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me.

Jesus explained that it wasn’t enough to believe in God but he was teaching people to get to know Him and the Father. Reading the gospels we can detect that only four times does Jesus so much as mention the name of God, while He speaks of the Father at least forty times.

The revelation of God as the Father of men

The revelation of God as the Father of men was a practically new conception exposed in the teaching and in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ—not in His teaching alone. We should never have known God as Father by the message of Jesus Christ only; we should never have been able to conceive what Christ’s idea of God was if we had not seen that idea worked out in the very person of Jesus Christ Himself. It was not alone that He told us what God was. He said that when He walked before men, He was Himself one with the Father on Whom the eyes of men might gaze:

John 14:6-10 “I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye would have known my Father also; from henceforth ye have known Him and have seen Him. Philip saith unto Him, Lord show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus said unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and dost thou not know me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; how sayest thou, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I say unto you I speak not from myself: but the Father abiding in me doeth His works.”

When Christ told us that to see Him was to see the Father, we learned that fatherhood is something expressed in humility, obedience, service, purity, innocent suffering, honorable death, and victory over sin and the grave. Divine fatherhood, in other words, is love and power exercised on behalf of others. The bond between the Father and us is no longer merely what it was in the Old Testament era. The God of Israel has become our abba, an ancient Aramaic word for “Daddy” (Gal. 4:6).

The ”Father” in the Old Testament

The notion that God is a father, of course, is rooted in the Hebrew Scriptures (e.g., Exod. 4:22; Deut. 32:6; Isa. 43:6; 63:16; 64:8; Jer. 31:9, 20; Hos. 11:1; Mal. 2:10). What marks Christian doctrine off from Jewish doctrine (and even far more from pagan doctrine) in this regard is not the paternity of God, but the centrality and emphasis given it by Christ.

The fatherhood of God was constantly on the lips of Christ, from the time He was 12 and told Mary and Joseph He had to be about His Father’s business (Luke 2:49) until the very end of His earthly life, when, on the cross,

He prayed for His executioners and commended His spirit into His Father’s hands (Luke 23:34, 46). Between those two episodes stand many dozens of affirmations concerning the fatherhood of God. Nor is Christ alone in these affirmations for, as a converted Jew, Paul also affirmed his belief in the fatherhood of God (Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 8:6; 2 Cor. 1:3; 11: 31; Col. 1:3), as did all the apostles. For biblical and historic Christianity, the supreme name of God is “Father.”

God’s fatherhood

God’s fatherhood is perhaps the most fundamental thing about Him. That is why He is constantly making us — each of us — His children. That is why He is constantly desiring to make a family of us. He will not relent until He has succeeded. His paternity makes it so. When we echo the words of Christ and call God “Father,” when we recite the Creed, meant as it is for those who are born again, we are naming God as our Father and Christ as our Brother, a Brother with whom we are the joint heirs of the universe (Rom. 8:17; Heb. 1:2). As the adopted children of God, we claim membership in a family much more extensive, important, and enduring than the human family from which we sprang. To confess belief in God the Father, therefore, is to affirm belief in an ultimately benevolent universe.

ASCENSION - the right hand of the Father

John 20:17 “Mary, go and tell my disciples that I ascend unto my Father, and your Father, my God and your God”

The ascension is an image from the ancient world’s royal ceremonies. The new king would enter the throne room, the inner sanctum, in a spectacular procession. He began his session at the royal court by giving gifts and appointing governors over the realm.

The Ascension moves Christ’s work from one of humiliation to exaltation. Currently, the Lord Jesus is in heaven. The Scriptures frequently picture Him at the right hand of the Father-a position of honor and authority (Psalm 110:1; Ephesians 1:20; Hebrews 8:1).

The right hand of the Father

The right hand of God (Dextera Domini “right hand of the Lord” in Latin) or God’s right hand may refer to the Bible and common speech as a metaphor for the omnipotence of God and as a motif in art. In the Bible, to be at the right side “is to be identified as being in the special place of honor”. the “right hand” is used throughout the Scriptures as a symbol for both intimacy with, and the power and authority of, God. Thus in the Gospels, Jesus quotes from Psalm 110: “The Lord said to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet’” (Matthew 22:44).

The idea here is of God “the Father, Almighty, the maker of heaven and earth”, enthroned in the heavens, before whom all Creation bows down. And since the “one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son” is as fully and truly God as the Father is, he is enthroned alongside him, as his equal. In heaven no one seats at the left hand of the father since there is no room for lack of honour in the Throne room. Through Christ, we are (or at least have the potential to become) “heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). As such, then in our rightful home of heaven, we will dwell in the divine beatitude – that is to say, at the right hand of the Father, along with our fellow human being Jesus Christ.