Summary: The Will of God & the Rebellion of Man
God's Plan: A Family of Love
God's desire from the very beginning was to share his love. Eternally there existed love between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God's desire was to have children - a family with sons and daughters made in His image, who could intimately relate with God in a way that would be satisfying to Him. Children who would be like him, who would love Him from the heart because they wanted to is what the Father God wants. This was God's purpose in creation - to have a family to whom he could express His love and from whom receive love (Eph. 3:14,15; Eph. 1:2-5).
The Father and His Family
Both Old and New Testament reveals that God is a Father. Psalm 89:26 says, “He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.’ “. Psalm 68:5 declares that God is a Father to the fatherless and a defender of widows. God asks where His honour as Father is (Mal. 1:6) in the way His people were treating Him. God reveals Himself as Father in all these passages.
In the New Testament, Jesus Christ gave us a fuller revelation of the Fatherhood of God (John 14:9). He taught His disciples to pray, “Our Father, which is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:9). Paul bows his knees in prayer “to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.” (Ephesians 3:14,15).
God’s Fatherhood reveals that He is the author and initiator of life, that He is warm, loving, generous, good and strong. God’s intention was that we be in His image, just as Jesus Christ was and is (Gen. 1:27; Col. 1:15). We have seen other aspects of God’s Father heart in lesson 2. Love is the motivation of God’s heart (1 John 4:8).
The Father’s family begins with the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God. God the Father loved Jesus before the foundation of the world (John 17:24). Jesus often called God His Father (John 10:29), and yet He says in the next verse, “I and my Father are One.” (John 10:30). Jesus Christ could say this because He Himself is Uncreated. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:1,14). All things were made through Jesus and for Jesus, including the material universe as well as spiritual beings and authorities (John 1:3; Col. 1:15). The word “first-born” in Col. 1:15 means “pre-eminent”, “heir”, and “first in authority”. It does not mean that Jesus was born at a point in the distant past. We have seen in from the verses above that this cannot be - a fundamental doctrine of the Bible is that Jesus is fully God.
John the Baptist testified of Jesus that “this is the Son of God.” (John 1:34). Jesus was declared by God Himself to be the Son of God with power, by the resurrection from the dead. (Rom. 1:4).
God’s intention has always been to have a large family, both in heaven and on earth. The angels are called “sons of God” (Gen. 6:24; Job 1:6). The creation of the first man, Adam, was part of God’s purpose to have sons. Luke 3:38 calls Adam, “the Son of God”. As we will see, Adam lost his sonship relationship to God the Father through wilful rebellion, when he chose to ignore God’s Word in relation to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But God’s plan to have true sons on the earth was not totally frustrated at this point. In fact, through the victory of Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection, we can all become sons of God once again through faith in Jesus Christ (Gal 3:26). For this purpose to unfold even creation eagerly waits (Rom. 8:19).
“But as many as received him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13).
We see that becoming a child of God involves a new birth, a definite trust and receiving of Jesus and the power of His name. The greek word for "name" - ‘onema’ also means ‘authority’ and ‘cause’. We must believe in Jesus’ Lordship, His authority and His cause - the salvation of mankind - in order to become children of God. Thus not all men and women are children of God. By nature and natural birth we are “children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3). Jesus said to the religious Jews of His day, “You are of your father the devil” (John 8:44).