Summary: First of a series on the characteristics of God as our father. This message deals with likeness and the passing on of His DNA to believers.
Since Father’s Day is coming up in four weeks I thought we would take a short break from 1 John to further explore the wonder of God as our father. Fathers play a vital role in any society.
Since we explored the passage in 1 John about being children of God and having God as our father, I have given some thought to the perfect father which, by the way, NONE of us had.
• He is a rich source of genetic heritage as well as a positive model for life on this earth.
• He demonstrates unconditional love and acceptance and personal interest in me.
• His protection provides a deep sense of security.
• His presence inspires confidence and deepens relationship.
• He is a reliable source of wisdom, council and direction.
• He provides discipline and training toward growth and development.
• He continually encourages and affirms me as son or daughter.
• He offers resources and empowers to achieve goals and face obstacles.
• He secures an inheritance for the future.
• He can be counted on; dependable; faithful.
None of us had a dad that possessed all of these attributes. Some had dads who possessed some.
Others had dads who demonstrated none and actually were responsible for deep scars and difficulties carried to this very day. We do have such a Father in God. The Old Testament hinted at the concept of God as our father but Jesus most clearly presented God not only as His loving father, but ours as well. Even the prayer He taught the disciples to pray addressed God as “Our Father in heaven.” This would have been a radical departure from the accepted practice.
John clearly intended us to think about our intimate relationship with God as a Father and child. The image runs all through his gospel and especially his letter. We will explore these ten factors over the next several weeks.
1. Likeness factor
2. Unconditional love and acceptance factor
3. Protection and security factor
4. Wisdom / Council/ Direction factor
5. Encouragement / Affirmation factor
6. Discipline and training factor
7. Presence / Fellowship / Relationship factor
8. Resource / Empowering / Provision factor
9. Inheritance factor
10. Faithfulness factor
I. The Likeness Factor
A. The fact of likeness
Adam and Eve were created in God’s image.
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." Genesis 1:26
And He answered and said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, Matthew 19:4
Adam and Eve bore certain factors of likeness with the Trinity. Scripture does not attribute such fundamental likeness to anything else in God’s creation. Every human still bear a certain likeness of God. All humans are image bearers. Sin however resulted in a mutation of God’s image; a marring; a perpetual birth defect; defective genes; polluted DNA coding passed down to all born from Adam.
Jesus entered history through supernatural birth to a virgin conceived by the Holy Spirit. Jesus posses unpolluted divine DNA. He was the model image bearer; the only begotten son!
He so reflected God’s DNA that He adamantly declared:
Jesus said* to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ’Show us the Father’? John 14:9
He is called the first among many brethren to perfectly bear the image of God.
For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; Romans 8:29
God set His heart on creating a community of like-minded, like-hearted beings to live eternally in perfect harmony and fellowship. Jesus is called the second Adam; the beginning of a new community. It would take every bit as much supernatural power to restore the image as to create it in the first place. The same word used for the original creation is used to describe the “new” creation. Paul described the sequence in Romans 8:28-30.
John 3:1-2 spoke of being called children of God.
See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God 3:1-2
Becoming a Kingdom Kid is an event, a process and a destiny.
Scripture uses familiar images to try to explain what God does to make us His children.
The image of creation, new birth, and adoption communicate the wonder of the event.