One of the greatest treasures of the Christian life is not only that the Creator God can be known, but that we get to call him Father. Only, this treasure is often dimmed, because on this side of heaven we have imperfect fathers. However, because the Bible is the primary way through which God has revealed himself, our vision of his fatherhood is restored when we consider the Bible’s testimony.
The fatherhood of God begins with our adoption as sons (Ephesians 1:5; 3:20; Romans 9:26). The Westminster Shorter Catechism describes adoption as “an act of God’s free grace (1 John 3:1), whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges of the sons of God (John 1:12; Romans 8:17).” One of these privileges is having God as our Father (Galatians 4:6-7).
It is a great privilege to have God as our Father.
Before knowing Christ, God may seem far-removed. And we often experience him in his judgement, because of living in rebellion. But once we know Christ, we no longer live in this condemnation (Romans 8:1). Rather through faith in Christ, by the Spirit’s working, we are brought into a personal and loving relationship with this great and holy God. This is when we get to call him “Abba Father.”
Below I will offer three comforting implications of God’s Fatherhood.
1. God’s Fatherhood Gives Us A Secure Identity
The world trains us to find our sense of identity and worth from either within or outside of us. However, looking within can never bring ultimate worth, because we are imperfect people. Looking for identity in money, education, or status doesn’t satisfy our deep human longings either. The reality of having God as Father means that we have all the affirmation we need as children of God. As our Father, he provides us with ultimate identity and worth.
2. As A Father, God Cares For His Children
The Bible uses the analogy of our earthly fathers to contrast how God truly knows and meets our needs (Matthew 7:11). Our earthly fathers are imperfect, fallen, and selfish. Yet, Jesus says, they know how to give their children good gifts. However Jesus continues, contrasting these gifts with the ultimate gift we enjoy as God’s children: “How much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” (Luke 11:13). We are cared for, because God has given us the ultimate gift as our Father: his presence.
God has given us the ultimate gift as our Father: his presence.
3. Our Heavenly Father Holds The Future
The above pointers lead to this final conclusion: we need not fear the future. Because God’s fatherhood is eternal, we can rest in his leading into the unknown future. We don’t only know the one who holds our future; he is God our Father. What a great treasure it is to know God as our Father.