Ephesians 3:14-15 (NKJV) 14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
The story of the Old Testament is about a God and the nation he established. It is more than that but that is the main theme that comes through. The New Testament is the story of a Father and his family. If we do not understand that we cannot understand Christianity. In Ephesians 3, Paul points to this truth. He starts by praying to “the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” and continues by saying that the whole family of man, both alive and dead get their name from him. Paul wants us to know that we are God’s family and we get our identity from the Father.
God has many important characteristics that we study in theology. He is all knowing, all mighty, everywhere at the same time and unchanging. It is important to know these characteristics but as important as they are, none of them are the most important characteristic of God. The most important characteristic of God is that he is a Father. He lost access to his children in the Garden of Eden, but they remained his children. Everything has ever done has come from the father motivation. He sent Jesus because of the father motivation. Everything he does in your life is from the father motivation. If we do not understand that truth, we cannot understand God.
In the Old Testament, the division caused by sin kept man from seeing God as their Father. He was their God. Jesus changed all that with his life and ministry. He made the Father relationship available to all of us. Paul agrees. The whole human family gets its name and therefore identity from God.
I pray I have been a good father. My children tend to say I have been. However, I have been far from perfect. In the natural, there are many kinds of fathers. Perfect is not one of them. There are good fathers and bad fathers. There are indifferent fathers and absent fathers. There are attentive fathers and those who ignore their children. All of the possible types of natural fathers we may have had color our perception of God as a Father.
No natural father is perfect but God is a perfect Father. As I was preparing this message, I believe God said it to me this way. Whether we had good fathers, bad fathers or just fathers who were less than perfect we need to begin to judge fatherhood by our Father God not our Father God by our experience with natural fathers. As a pastor for 39 years, I can attest to the fact that it is easier to say that than to do it. Nevertheless, we must do it.
Let’s begin to look at what kind of Father the bible says God is. The beginning is a good place to start.
Genesis 1:26 (NKJV) 26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
God said, “Let us make man in our own image.” That is what being a father is all about. The word “Father is nowhere in this verse, but the idea of making a person in our image is why we become fathers. The process of making a person in our image is what makes us fathers.
All my children look like me and/or my wife. They are made in our image. They look like us. They are all musical to one degree or another. It is in their DNA. They all have ministry calls of some kind. They can all preach the Word and they all have an anointing to leadership. It is in their DNA. They are made in my image as well as my wife’s.
Human DNA did not evolve from something else. We got it from our Father. He made us in his image. Then he told us to “be fruitful and multiply.” The DNA we got from our Father has spread to the whole world. What does that mean? It means we are genetically programed to “look like our Father.” We have his nature, his power in us. We are a spirit being just like he is and we will live forever, just like our Father. God is an infinite being. We are finite beings. That difference limits how our Father’s DNA can be expressed through us. Nevertheless, it is there.
When man fell in the garden two things happened to the Father child relationship. First, man became estranged from his father. An evil step father took our true Father’s place (Ephesians 2:3.) Second, a flaw was injected into our DNA.
In the natural, hereditary diseases are a product of a flaw in natural DNA. Many scientists believe that aging itself is such a flaw. Every cell in the body regenerates every seven years. With each regeneration, there is a flaw that grows. That flaw is what causes us to age. In the spirit, the flaw in our DNA is sin (Romans 4:23.)
In 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, Paul addresses both of these conditions.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21 (NKJV) 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
When we became new creatures, he cured the DNA flaw in our spirit. The cure will not manifest in our body until Jesus returns but it is done in the spirit when we are born again. He tells us that our message is one of reconciliation. Jesus made it possible for the Father and his family to be reconciled. We are no longer children of the devil in any way. We have been made right with God and restored to full sonship.
One more thing we need to know about the Father from Genesis 1:26 is that he wanted us. “Let us make man in our image.” The creation of man was not an accident. God wanted a family. God created on purpose. He did not just want two children. He only created two in the first creation so that they would know the joy of being partners in creation. He wanted them to know what he felt as a Father. Nevertheless, every child that has been born to Adam’s race has a special place in the heart of God.
God did not create you for the world. He created the world for you. He wanted you when you were conceived and he wants you now. John 1:12-13 tells us that we were not born again by the will of men but by the will of God. You may not think your earthly parents wanted you. You may think they do not believe you can be anything of value in life. You may be right. As important as their opinion is, it is the opinion of your Father God that is more important and he wanted you, he loves you, and he accepts you. He will not leave you as he finds you. He will change you for the better. He knows who you really were made to be. Even so, he will never love you more than he does now.
That is the kind of Father God is.