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Summary: This message deals with the fact that God the Father disciplines those who are true children of God.

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A Picture of God at Home

Hebrews 12:5-13

Introduction:

Today we will be studying the beautiful picture that God has given us of Himself, our earthly Father. Dads, you should be very aware of the fact that you are the first picture of God that your children will see.

This Father’s Day we will spend a few moments of reflection about just who God is and how He relates to us. For some, God seems to be a distant deity with whom it is impossible to have a close relationship. Today we will see that as you look at Dad, you have a picture of God right at home.

I. Fathers teach us about our unique relationship with God

A. Before salvation

1. We had an abusive father

John 8:44 - Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

2. We were separated from God by our sin and guilt

Romans 3:10,23 - 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

3. Jesus offered a way out

Romans 5:8-10 - 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

a. Jesus paid our sin debt

b. Jesus saves us from God’s wrath

c. Jesus changes our status with God

B. After salvation

Romans 8:15-17 - 15 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. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

John 1:12 - But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

1. Our relationship to God is changed from Judge to Father

2. We change from being a condemned sinner to a favored son

C. We have a unique standing

1. Abba = Daddy

2. Only four people in the entire world can call me Daddy

3. Only adopted people can call God Daddy

II. Fathers teach us about God’s protection

A. Safe in the Father’s hand

John 10:27-30 - 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and my Father are one.

B. Don’t mess with God’s children

Matthew 18:6 - But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

1. Offend = cause to stumble

2. Drowning death better than facing a Father’s wrath

III. Fathers teach us about God’s generosity

Matthew 7:7-11 - 7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

A. An open invitation to ask

B. Even sinful father do not give bad things when children ask for good things

C. How much more does your Heavenly Father wish to give you good gifts!

IV. Fathers teach us about God’s discipline

Hebrews 12:5-13 - 5 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: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

A. A sign of love – vs 5-6

B. Assurance of your relationship as a child of God – vs 7-8

C. A tool to change our behavior – vs 9-11

D. A tool for Heaven – vs 12-13

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