Summary: Every Christian has at least 3 fathers...their biological/legal father, the Father and church fathers. Thsi sermon explores what it means to be loved by the Father, how to relate to our earthly fathers and what it means to be a Godly father.
Someone once said
Any fool can be a Father,
but it takes a real man to be a Daddy!!
Another person says
A father carries pictures where his money used to be.
Mark Twain said
When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.
God gives an awesome responsibility to any male who is a father.
When I first held my children in my hands,
I didn’t just see how amazing God was with creation,
I also saw someone who God had trusted me with to be part of their future.
A future that need encouraging, guiding and God.
And God had entrusted me to be a major representative for Him in that persons life.
At times this responsibility can be daunting, at times frustrating and often enjoyable.
It also has helped me see that I am always learning.
And so being a male actually means
Men as Learners and Elders.
And as I read scripture and think about my life I realise that I too benefit from the fathers God has put in my life.
In fact I have had at least three fathers and some people have more.
One is my biological father, who also reared me.
For some they have one person as their biological father and another as their legal caring father.
The other is God the Father.
And the third is the fathers of the church,
Or fathers of faith.
These are people in the church who have taken seriously the responsibility that they don’t just come to church for themselves,
they are concerned about the future,
about guiding and encouraging younger adults and children into an active and living relationship with God and with others.
In fact our biological father and the fathers of the church are gifts to us from God.
Now the truth is only one of these father’s is perfect
And that is God the Father.
Unfortunately many people don’t understand what it means for God to be their father.
They treat God as if he is their principal or their police officer.
Someone to be scared of, to revere, but not have too close a relationship with.
That is ignoring scripture.
God as our Father is far more common in the New Testament than the Old Testament.
In the Old Testament there is only a few references to God as our Father, and when it is used it is associated with God being our creator, rock and saviour
like in Psalm 89:26
‘You are my Father,
my God, the Rock my Savior.’
And Isaiah 64:8
8 Yet, O LORD, you are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
The New Testament however has a far stronger emphasis of God being our Father.
In the New Testament there are two words for God the Father,
One is Pater
It can mean both someone’s biological father and someone’s legal father.
It means father, forefather, elder.
It has a conation of someone who is senior, wise and important.
It involves guiding, encouraging and disciplining.
It is an understanding of father that flows from the Old Testament.
It is used not just for God the father, but also other fathers.
The other is Abba.
Which infact is an Aramaic word,
That is only ever used for God
And used in a way that says He wants
a deep close intimate and caring relationship.
You will only find Abba used in three places.
Mark 14:36 when Jesus is in deep prayer with God, and says
36 “Abba, a Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
And in Romans 8 verse 15 which says
15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. g And by him we cry, “Abba, h Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
And in Galatians 4:6
God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, a Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.
Jesus informs us that our relationship with God is not a formal, impersonal relationship
but one where God knows us intimately
and wants to have a close relationship with him.
How do you think Jessica, Nicholas and Marcus Rudd relate to their father Kevin?
Do you think he would be happy with them addressing him as dear Prime Minister?