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Who Is Your Father?

Who Is Your Father?

      Often when children are addressed by a stranger they are asked: “Who’s your daddy?” The child can usually respond in pride that they are the son or daughter of their male parent, and provide the name.   Fathers are being honored on this day as our country, and many others have set aside the day for so doing.   It is a shame that many have forgotten the Heavenly Father.
     I find it interesting that in all of the Old Testament, the term “our father” is only applied to Jehovah God four times. These are 1Chronicles 29:10 as David prayed; Isaiah 63:16 (2 times); and Isaiah 64:8. In both cases, Isaiah was also praying.   The Lord Jesus also reminded Israel of the manner in which to pray in Matthew 6:9 and Luke 11:12 and that all prayers are to be directed to God, our Father. In fact, in John 16:23 Jesus told His apostles elect this very thing about the “church age” which would come after His death. He said: “And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.” There are also multiple references from Romans 1:7 through Philemon verse 3 where Jehovah is identified as “our Father”.  
       Equally interesting is the fact that in the entirety of the Old Testament, from Genesis to Malachi, there is not one mention of “my Father” in reference to God.   There is a plethora of occurrences of “my father” through the Old Testament, but in every case is applied to the one who “brought forth” the one using the term.   It therefore should not be a surprise when Jesus in Matthew 7:21 mentions that Jehovah (in Heaven) is His Father.   There are four occasions in the book of John in which Jesus is called the “only begotten” of God. After the church was established, Christ is also called the “only begotten Son” in Hebrews 11:17 and 1John 4:9.  
     This brings up some interesting questions.   Who is our Father? How did He become our Father?   When did He become our Father?
     I’m not asking this in regard to our earthly male parent as it is obvious that not all are the product of the same union. We have varied ancestors, blood-lines, and such. Because we have differing earthly fathers, the question with which we started this article would have a multiplicity of answers if answered in that vein.   How did our “male parent” become our father?   He begat us. When did he become our father? When we were brought forth in the process of fertilization, gestation and culminating with our delivery. In short, we were born to our parents.  
     But let us consider our “spiritual” Father a moment.   Most will gladly and quickly affirm that God is their spiritual Father. What other option is there spiritually? In Jesus day (and in ours), there is another possibility. In John 8, the Jews of Jesus’ day were quick to point out that Abraham was their father. They were speaking of their earthly ancestor.   In John 8:31 when Christ told them that they did the deeds of their father, they changed their tune. What did they now say? What most all men try to affirm. They said: “We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
     The Lord then, in the 1st part of John 8:42 told them the truth. He said: “If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God;”. Then in John 8:44a we see the source of their actions. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. They were the “spawn” of the devil spiritually because they followed him in rejection of God, the Son of God and the Word of God.   This is very apparent after reading Romans 6:16.   Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?   They had yielded themselves servants of Satan.   Therefore, he had become their spiritual father.  
     How then can Jehovah God become our spiritual Father?   Fatherhood has always come about as a result of birth.   This is true in the physical; so it is in the spiritual realm.   In John 1:12-13 we see this to be the case. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. So, one must be “born of God” before God is his/her Father. But how? Jesus explained this to Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews in John 3:5-6 before the church was purchased by the blood of Christ on the cross. He said: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” So, He was speaking of a “spiritual” birth.  
     When does Jehovah God become one’s Heavenly Father? Not until you are “born to Him”.   How does this happen? 1Peter 1:23 provides the answer you seek. Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.   One is conceived when God’s Word penetrates the heart (mind) and if/when the seed (the Word) germinates, and if the possessor of that mind obeys, they will be “born of water” (in baptism), in accordance with the Word (brought by the Spirit).
     Will you not be “born of God” today?   Will you not become His child as you obey His Commandments so you can be born again? He will then be your “Heavenly Father”. If not, Who is your spiritual father? You have a choice!

Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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