Summary: In this sermon you will consider the phrase, "Everlasting Father," taken from Isaiah 9:6 in referring to Jesus

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The past two Sundays we have looked at Isaiah 9:6. We have examined two of the four titles given to Jesus in Isaiah 9:6. He is the “Wonderful Counselor.” He is the “Mighty God.” Today we look at the third. He is the “Everlasting Father.”

Before considering the phrase “Everlasting Father”, I want to state an important fact. There are no perfect fathers. No matter how good or bad your father may have been, he is/was not perfect. I say this because our image of our father will shape our image of God. This can be both good and bad. If you have pleasant images of your father you will tend to have pleasant images of God. If you have unpleasant images of your father you might have unpleasant images of God. It will help our thoughts if we admit, there are no perfect fathers. In recognizing that there are no perfect fathers we must admit that this metaphor does not do justice to Jesus. The truths I highlight will in no way give Jesus the credit He deserves. They will help you appreciate His wonderful character.

Here is my plan. I want to answer the question: what does a father give us? In so doing I want to highlight five gifts we receive from a father. Each of these gifts will help us appreciate the gifts that come from Jesus.

Gift one: A Father is the Source of Life. When a husband and wife conceive a child a miracle occurs. They are the beginning and source of a new life. The Bible is very explicit in identifying Jesus as the source of life. In Colossians 1 we learn that Jesus was the agent of the world’s creation. He was there participating with His Heavenly Father when the world began. Even so, Jesus is the agent through whom spiritual life is given. Jesus said “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” (John 14:6) In Romans Paul said “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (6:23) There is no life apart from Him.

Illustration: There has been much talk about illegal immigrants in our country. The illegal person is a person who has entered our country without the proper credentials. They are here without permission. When you have the proper credentials and proper permission you have nothing to fear. Without this permission and credentials you will live in uncertainty and fear. The same is true in your spiritual life. Apart from Jesus Christ you do not have the proper credentials. In the book of Ephesians Paul says that without Christ we are “aliens… and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” In Jesus we find acceptance with God. In Jesus we find permission to enter God’s presence. There is no other way.

People often try to find life outside of Jesus.

1. Some people say “I am a good person.” In that phrase they find their comfort. If that is true, “How good is good enough.”

2. Some people seek life in religion. “If religion gives life then what religion is the right religion and how much religion is enough?”

3. Some people seek life in religious rituals. “If religious rituals give life then how much is enough?”

Your goodness, religion and religious rituals will not give you life. Apart from Jesus there is no spiritual life.

Gift two: A Father is someone with whom you share a relationship. The word father is a relational word. You do not use the word father in describing just anyone. You use this word in describing a close acquaintance. It is someone with whom you have a relationship.

In a relationship you know a person’s name. In a relationship you share companionship. In a relationship your needs are met. In a relationship you share love. Jesus was God’s was of expressing His love to us. There has been an e-mail floating around that illustrates this truth.

The "W" in Christmas - Author Unknown

Each December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience. I had cut back on nonessential obligations -- extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending. Yet still, I found myself exhausted, unable to appreciate the precious family moments, and of course, the true meaning of Christmas.

My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six-year-old. For weeks, he’d been memorizing songs for his school’s "Winter Pageant."

I didn’t have the heart to tell him I’d be working the night of the production. Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher. She assured me there’d be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation. All parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise.

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