Summary: We are "children of God."
1. Father – the first person of the Trinity. (Equal in nature, separate in Person, submissive in duty).
2. The name Father not emphasized in Old Testament, but seen by symbols and embryonic references.
3. Reflected in earthly. In our “spiritual family,” a kinship of all believers to family, and to the one another, heavenly Father.
4. The “Fatherhood of God,” called “Universalism,” claims everyone is God’s child. But it denies:
a. All are Sinners
b. Christ died to take away sin
c. Repentance and conversion. “You must be born again” (John 3:7).
5. How the New Testament uses the name Father. My Father (John 5:17); Heavenly Father (Luke 11:13); God the Father (John 6:27); One Father even God (John 6:27); Holy Father (John 17:11); Righteous Father (John 17:26); Abba Father (Rom. 8:15); Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 15:6); Father of Mercies (2 Cor. 1:3); One God and Father (Eph. 4:6); Father of Spirits (Heb. 12:9); Father of Lights (James 1:17).
6. The favorite name of Jesus for God. A key phrase in John occurs 156 times.
B. GOD AS FATHER
1. The Creator of light. By virtue of being Creator (James 1:17).
2. Used as a metaphor. “I am a Father to Israel, Ephraim is my firstborn” (Jer. 31:9). God is the (1) source, (2) teacher, (3) authority, and (4) judge.
3. The Father has a Son. “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee” (Ps. 2:7). (Eternal day) “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17).”My Father worketh hitherto and I work” (John 5:17). “Begotten Son” (John 1:18; 3:16).
4. Born into the Father’s family. All saved have a “new” relationship to God the Father. “Born of God” (John 1:13). “We cry Abba, Father” (Rom. 8:15).
5. We are “sons of God” (Rom. 8:14). We are “children of God.”
CHILDREN (John) SON (Paul)
1. New nature 1. New Relationships
2. Place 2. Positional
3. State 3. Standing
4. Earth 4. Heaven
C. THE NATURE/DUTIES OF A FATHER
1. A father gives life to his children. A child gets his physical and immaterial nature from the parents. When a person is born (again) or (above) into God’s family, he gets: (1) God’s nature, (2) God’s life, (3) a new standing, (4) new desires, (5) a member of the family.
2. A father provides for his children. “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father . . .?” (Luke 11:13)
3. A father protects his children. The natural desire of a father. “They shall never perish neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me is greater than all and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29).
4. A father will instruct his children. “Fathers provoke not . . . but bring them up in the nurture” (Eph. 6:4).
D. THE HEAVENLY FATHER AND THE BELIEVER
1. New relationship with the Father. “Our fellowship is with the Father” (1 John 1:3). “Our Father who art in heaven” (Matt. 6:9).
2. Known to the Father. “Your heavenly Father knows that ye have need of all these things” (Matt. 6:32).
3. Provision by the Father. The Father will (1) teach, (2) guide, (3) work, (4) provide Scripture for light.
4. Instructed by the Father. “To be conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29).
5. Future rewards of the Father. “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:17). “In my Father’s house are many mansions . . . I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2).
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, God heard you and saved you. I personally want to welcome you to the family of God and rejoice with you.
All PBC lessons are available online at trbc.org/pbc. Go to www.Hopenow.tv for the current program schedule.
Dr. Towns' email is ELTowns@liberty.edu
Dr. Towns’ web address is www.elmertowns.com