God has many titles in the Bible, and each emphasizes a different aspect of His functioning. While each title of God is singularly significant and meaningful, one of the titles with the most relevance and impact on us in the Administration of Grace, and forever, is the title “Father.” Dr. Victor Paul Wierwille stated the following in Order My Steps in Thy Word, Volume V of Studies in Abundant Living, chapter two:
The interrelationship of the Father with His family is the very core of Christianity. Christianity is the way of a Father with His family. God is our Father; we are His children. We are members of His family and of His household. And He has already prepared a tremendous home where throughout all eternity we, God’s family, can be together.
We will focus on this title as it relates to us today in the Grace Administration. The term “father” denotes having children and a family. “Father” in the New Testament is the Greek word patēr. As a title of God, this word expresses a relationship that is sustained by Him. This is a spiritual relationship. When patēr is used of God, it denotes His relationship to His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, and to the spiritual children He is able to beget by way of Jesus Christ.
The Scriptures do indicate close, intimate relationships between God and certain individuals. For example, in James 2:23 Abraham is called the “Friend of God.” Exodus 33:11 states that the Lord spoke with Moses “face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.” In Acts 13:22 God refers to David as “a man after mine own heart.” As magnificent as these Old Testament believers were in their believing and their relationships with God, they could not enjoy a father-son relationship with Him as we do today because it was not yet available.
It is not until the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John that we see God beginning to make Himself known as a father, and this is by way of the life and ministry of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
I John 5:20:
And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him [God] that is true….
Our heavenly Father has given us an understanding of Himself by way of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ—by his accomplishments, by his teaching, and by what the Word says about him. God marked out Jesus Christ as the only way to gain access to the Father.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
God inspired, directed, and authorized Jesus Christ to make this bold statement, and God gave him access to function as the Messiah and to make known the Father. God appointed Jesus Christ to be the only way to gain access to Himself.
Chronologically, the first occurrence of “Father” in the Gospels in reference to God is in Luke.
And it came to pass, that after three days they found him [Jesus] in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.
In the Aramaic manuscripts, “about my Father’s business” is literally rendered “in my Father’s house.” With his first recorded words, Jesus Christ stated that he was to be about his Father’s business in his Father’s house. Joseph and Mary did not understand the meaning and impact of his words. Yet Jesus, at only twelve years of age, had a clear inner vision of who he was as the only begotten Son of God, and he was already preparing to accomplish his mission as mankind’s redeemer.
About eighteen years later, while giving his life for us, he said, “It is finished” concerning the work that his Father had authorized him to accomplish. God the Father made Himself known and gave us complete access to Himself by way of the finished business of Jesus Christ.
By his walk with the Father and by his teaching, Jesus Christ demonstrated a level of close familiarity and intimacy with his heavenly Father that is not previously seen in God’s Word. We can see from Jesus Christ’s own words in the Gospels how intimate and personal his relationship was with his Father. Here are just a few of many examples in the Gospels.
All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.
The Greek word abba that appears in the King James Version is a transliteration of the Aramaic word aba. Jesus Christ used the word aba to talk directly to God. A Judean son could address his parent as “Father” solely on the basis of sonship. But the most intimate fellowship available between a father and his son is expressed by the use of the word aba. Today, we could translate aba as “Daddy” or “Papa” in our vernacular….
This is an excerpt from the May/June 2015 issue of The Way Magazine.
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