||2016-03-29 21:52:06, 조회 : 939, 추천 : 145
Adopted by God
Knowing God Our Heavenly Father
Last week we learned how knowing God is fundamental of our Christian life. Knowing Him, will help us understand the need for regeneration, The Trinity and regeneration, the fruit of regeneration, adoption and regeneration. Today, we will learn the benefits of knowing God as our heavenly Father. We know Him as we address God as Father, rely on His provisions and receive His discipline.
Due to our adoption, we have a close and intimate relationship with God the Father. As believers we are allowed and entitled to address God as Father, as shown through His Son Jesus Christ. In Mark 14:36, it states "Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will." It is amazing how we as former children of Satan can come to know God as our Father and address Him with such name. In Galatians 4:6 confirms this, when it states "Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, Abba, Father." Even the Holy Spirit calls addresses God as "Father" as he is the Spirit of the Father's son. Not only does the Spirit address God as Father for us, but it also enables us to do so. In Romans 8:15, Apostle Paul teaches us this as he states "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, Abba, Father." God the Father replaced our bondage of fear into a new freedom which is called "the Spirit of sonship." The Spirit of sonship does two things for us. First, he assures us and gives us comfort of our adoption (Romans 8:16). Secondly, it is by the Spirit that we can cry "Abba, Father". Due to our adoption, there are two ramifications of these truths:
• Intimacy with the Father: Through Jesus Christ, and being enabled by the Spirit, we can call out to God as "Abba, Father." This should convey our intimacy with God and give us comfort in our times of distress.
• Crying to the Father for help: Earlier, I shared when Jesus cried out to God the Father when he was in pain and duress. While we would normally call out to God only in our pains, it is important to remember we can cry out to Him whenever.
Another benefit in knowing God, is the provisions that we can rely on. Jesus emphasizes e reliance on God's provision when he speaks in Matthew 6:25-34:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
From these verses we can see how Jesus calls God as his disciples "heavenly Father" (verse 26,32). The reason why Jesus does this, is for us to know that the heavenly Father takes care of His children and therefore does not need to worry about daily necessities. Jesus gives four reasons to why the disciples should rely on Him. First, the Father provides them with life and bodies, therefore they can rely on him to provide them with less essential things. Secondly, Jesus reveals how God even feeds insignificant creatures such as birds and reminds us that we are far more significant than that. Peterson reminds us "Every time we see a bird fly or hear one sing, it reminds us of our good Father's care for us." Thirdly, Jesus reminds us that worrying in general is an unproductive attitude to have. He states "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" (verse 27). Lastly, these verses tells us to be reminiscent of the fact that we shouldn't live a life that's controlled by materialism. He states "For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them" (verse 32). Instead of worrying, we should actually seek God's kingdom and righteousness (verse 33). Additionally, we should be more concerned with doing our Father's will today and leave the things that we have no control over.
The last benefit we receive knowing God, is receiving His discipline. While many people would not regard "discipline" as a benefit, with God as our Father, it does. Hebrews 12:4-11, talks about this matter in great depth:
4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
From these scripture verses, we can see why our Father disciplines us. Firstly, God disciplines us because he loves us. Many people believe that Hebrews 12, actually explains how God disciplines due to disobedience. However, the discipline is because of the enduring of suffering for God's sake. Verse 7 states "Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons." The discipline is actually a perseverance in difficulties. God does this, in order for Him to show His love for us. Secondly, God discipline us because he wants to assure us of our adoption. Hebrews 12:5-6 explicitly says "The Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." A person that is adopted into God's family, must be disciplined as this is only natural for a relationship between a Father and son. It says specifically in verse 8 "For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined, then you are illegitimate children and not true sons." Lastly, God disciplines us in order for us to produce fruits in our lives. Hebrews 12:10 states "God disciplines us for our good". Even when we think about our fathers here on earth, we are often thankful to them for their disciplines. Moreover, it is far more important for our Heavenly Father to discipline us for results in eternal life. While our earthly fathers disciplines us based on what they think is best or what they believe is for our own good, God the Father is all knowing and knows exactly what is good for us.
Every single Christian has a Father in heaven. We have taken this for granted frequently and we forget the abundance of benefits that lie in our reach. If we understand the true fatherhood of God and our sonship, we will surely become more like our Father.
1) Why are we allowed to call God "Abba, Father?"
2) What are some benefits of knowing God?
3) What does Matthew 6:25-34 teach us?
4) How is discipline a benefit for us?