The name of God that we talked about in our last chapel meeting was Father. In the Old Testament God was only referred to as a father figuratively. We read in the book of Exodus of God referring to Israel as His firstborn son.
Then you shall say to Pharaoh,
‘Thus says the LORD, “Israel is My son, My firstborn.
In the book of Deuteronomy we read…
Do you thus repay the LORD, O foolish and unwise people?
Is not He your Father who has bought you?
He has made you and established you.
In the Psalms we read…
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
and in the book of Malachi we read…
Do we not all have one father? Has not one God created us?
Why do we deal treacherously each against his brother
so as to profane the covenant of our fathers?
God is a father to us all in the fact that He is the Creator God. It is He that has made us. He alone knit each of us in our mother’s womb and breathed life into us and sustains our days. He is, as a father, to us all.
God used the example of a father in the Old Testament to describe His relationship toward those who obeyed Him and served Him, but not one of those who served the Holy One of Israel in the Old Testament ever addressed Him with the intimate, personal, name of Father.
No one that is, until a carpenter from Nazareth walked into town.
When Jesus Christ came on the scene He called God, Father. The first ever to address Him with such a personal name. He alone had the right to call God this name.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us,
and we saw His glory,
glory as of the only begotten from the Father,
full of grace and truth.
John 1:1, 14
When Christ came, He showed us that not everyone can call God Father, simply because they are a being created by Him. There is a big difference in creating something and giving birth to something.
When I gave birth to my daughters they were birthed with parts of me forever with them. They received my freckles, my blue eyes, my same birthmarks, many of my quirks and characteristics transferred from me to them… because I birthed them. My husband I begot them, and anyone who sees them can clearly see the proof that they belong to us.
Jesus made this truth clear to the Pharisees and He has made it clear to us.
I speak the things which I have seen with My Father;
therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.
They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.”
Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham.
But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth,
which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do.
You are doing the deeds of your father.”
They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication;
we have one Father: God.”
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me,
for I proceeded forth and have come from God,
for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me.
Why do you not understand what I am saying?
It is because you cannot hear My word.
You are of your father the devil,
and you want to do the desires of your father.
Jesus made it pretty clear that not everyone can call God Father, because everyone is not His child. To be His child you must be birthed by Him and adopted by His Spirit.
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.
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again,
but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons
by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,
So we see now that being able to call God Father is something very special. We have seen that no one ever called God Father until the first coming of Christ. Let us stop for a moment and think about this…
Let’s go back to the day that a twelve year old boy looked at His foster father and said “Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49)
Let’s go to the day that crowds formed and the disciples followed. Let’s go to the day that they watched this man who lived a life so pure and so compassionate and spoke with such authority. Let’s go to the day that a nation had gone over 400 years without hearing from their God, without even having a prophet in the land… and now this man called the One whose name was too holy to be spoken or written, Father.
How can we know that Jesus made an impression on His disciples with the intimate relationship that He appeared to have with the Creator of the Universe?
We know this by the questions they asked Him… especially one in particular.
“It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place,
after He had finished, one of the disciples said to Him,
“Lord, teach us to pray…”
The disciples had seen Jesus heal the sick. They had seen Him raise the dead. They had seen Him make blind men see. They had seen Him make the deaf hear and they had seen Him cast out demons… but they didn’t ask Him to teach them how to do these things. They asked Him to teach them how to pray.
Jesus, teach us how to talk to God like You do.
We want to know Him like You know Him.
How can You call Him Father?
How can you speak with Him so casually?
You do not pray like the Pharisees pray…
Jesus, teach us to pray…
And Jesus then taught them to pray… and He taught them to address God as Father… but to remember that hallowed be His name. So yes, in and by and through Christ we can call God Father, but we must never forget that in this personal and intimate relationship His name is still to be hallowed, respected, reverenced, feared.
And if we call Him Father… we should show that we are His, that He has birthed us…
because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
If you address as Father
the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work,
conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth…
1 Peter 1:16-17
Let us never forget how special it is to be able to call God, Father. Let us live our lives in such a way that others will see our relationship with our God,
and look at us and want what we have…
and ask us to teach them to pray…