Summary: An introductory sermon on the Father heart of God series. borrows heavily from Floyd Mcclung’s book and others. Preached well.
We enter the Christian faith from a variety of angles.
Just as the space shuttle must enter into the universe at just the correct angle to effect a proper entry into earths atmosphere – so it is that we must enter into the family of God at just the right angle to reach the friendly atmosphere of the Kingdom of God.
For example a person who has been deeply wounded and blames themse3lves may in fact end up in self condemnation.
Such a person may have little problem in believing in personal sin – but will have difficulty in accepting that God could ever forgive and accept them.
Conversely a proud or arrogant person will have difficulty identifying any real sense of personal sin – That person will say stuff like:-
“I am a really good person and have not done anyone any harm.”
Whilst they may acknowledge their need for
Christ and the cross they will remain proud and superior and not be prepared to really bow their knees before the living God.
They will be a bit like the person who thinks that God has landed a great catch by getting them.
But the scriptures say:-
PHP 2:9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
PHP 2:10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
PHP 2:11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
The entry point here is again at the wrong angle.
How then can we get it right???
I believe much of the answer to that question is all tied up in the identity of God as our Father.
Over the next few weeks I want to open up the subject with you of the Father heart of God.
If we can understand what God is really like then we will understand better who we are.
If we understand better who we are in relation to God then we will be in a much better position to discover who we are in Christ.
The first passage I would like us to look at is the passage that reveals how God would have us pray –
It is called the Lord’s prayer and it begins with two precious words.
" `Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
MT 6:10 your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
MT 6:11 Give us today our daily bread.
MT 6:12 Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
MT 6:13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one. ’
This is how Jesus taught us to address God.
In those two short words – Jesus profoundly describes your position before God.
Our – God is corporately the possesion of all who will want to accept Christand follow him.
You can’t reduce God to your own back yard –
Many individuals and sects have tried to do that.
The exclusive Bretheren for all their fine features and they have many – have failed at the point of thinking that they are more correct – more accurate in their theology than everyone else.
In almost every branch of the church we have witnessed a kind of exclusivity and fencing others out that simply is not biblical.
Even the liberals who want to include everyone which involves flying in the face of the biblical evidence get it wrong.
By their non bilbical inclusiveness they make one bad fatal error – they exclude those who take the scriptures very seriously.
The bible says:-
Romans chapter 10 verse 10
12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
So we establish then that the word our puts us alongside many different variaties of Christians.
And it is in this context of corporate faith that God reveals himself as our Father.
Jesus teaches us to pray – “Our Father.”
Sometimes we would rather we had God to ourselves – and we do in a sense – but there is also a sense in which we have to realise that God is this or that Person’s Father as well as mine.
Bill Cosby – in his funny but insightful book entitled simply Fatherhood shares this anecdote:-
There is one sound from my own children that I cannot bear: the sound of them crying. And the most piteous crying comes not from an injury to your daughters body but to her feelings. It starts low and then heartbreakingly builds, with fluid flowing from a variety of outlets; her eyes, her mouth, and her nose. Desperately you try to calm her while wiping her face and seeking the name of the person who reduced her to this state. But your plans to kill that person are changed when you learn that the person is another daughter of yours.