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God, Our Heavenly Father - Part 1

(God, Our Heavenly Father - Part 1 | Part 2)

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The idea is too complex for our infinite minds, but as hard to understand as it sounds, the Bible presents God as three distinct Personalities - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Jesus is known to most Christians as our Savior and all that implies, and the Holy Spirit* as encouraging and self-effacing.  However, too many see the Father as someone judgmental and demanding, Someone ready to "bop" us the minute we step out of line. Unfortunately, this is a totally inaccurate picture. In our study we will try to correct this wrong idea by showing what the Bible has to say about the Father.

The Trinity! One God in three - three Persons in One

One thing most of us know about God is that He is a creator.

The Scripture: Genesis 1:1, 26

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our likeness.'"

1. Who created the earth?

We know that all three members of the Trinity participated in that creation because of the use of the plural pronoun, us.

One of Jesus' purposes in coming to earth was to reveal God, so we will use Him as our main reference, although we will use other scriptural references as well.  Let's see what Old Testament writers had to say about God.

The Scripture: Psalm 68:4-6 and Psalm 103:13

"Sing to God, sing praise to his name.  A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows.  God sets the lonely in families; he leads forth the prisoners with singing.  As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him."

2.   How does the psalmist describes God?

3.   How is God described in Psalm 103?

In this case, the word translated "fear" comes from the Hebrew word for "reverence."

*See the Aglow Bible Study The Holy Spirit

The Scripture: Isaiah 40:28-31

“The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

4.   How is the Lord described?

5.   What does He do?

6.   What will happen to those who hope in the Lord?

As we said previously, one of Jesus' purposes was to reveal God, His Father.  We now turn to the New Testament and let Jesus be our witness.

The Scripture: Matthew 11:27

"No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."

7.   What does Jesus say about His relationship with the Father?

God was so sacred to the Jews that they did not even pronounce His name.  Then in the New Testament, we see Jesus showing the relationship with His Father as intimate and personal.

The Scripture: Mark 14:36

"Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you."

8.   What did Jesus call the Father?

Abba was the equivalent to our "Daddy", the first name a child calls his father.  Paul reiterates this in the Book of Romans.

The Scripture: Romans 8:15, 16

"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. The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children."

9.   What is the Christian's relationship to God?

If you have trouble seeing the Father as loving, kind and gentle, here is more of what Jesus had to say.

The Scripture: John 14:9

"Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father."

10.   If anyone has seen Jesus, who else has he seen?

In the following scripture, Jesus goes a step further.

The Scripture: John 10:30

"I and the Father are one."

11.   Who does Jesus identify Himself with?

The Scripture: James 1:17

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

12.   How is the Father described in this verse?

13.  Where does every good and perfect gift come from?

The Scripture: John 17:25, Luke 6:36, II Corinthians 1:3

"Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you"

"Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful"

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort."

14.  What characteristics are given in these verses?

The Scripture: Hebrews 12:9

"We have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best, but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.  lt (discipline) produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."

15.   Why does God discipline us?

16.   What does the discipline do?

17.   In what do we share?

What else does the Father do?   Both Jesus and the Old Testament provide many beautiful pictures.

The Scripture: Isaiah 40:11

"He tends his flock like a shepherd.  He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; He gently leads those that have young."

18.   To what is God compared to in this verse?

What a beautiful picture of the Lord, expressing His gentle and loving nature.

The Scripture: Isaiah 64:8

"0 Lord, You are our father.  We are the clay, You are the potter; we are all the work of your hand."

19.  What is the father in this analogy?

20.   What are we?

The Scripture: John 15:1.2

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit while every branch that does not bear fruit he prunes, so that it will be even more fruitful."

21.  To what is the Father compared in these verses?

22.   What is one important job the gardener does?

23.   For what purpose?

In the next part of this study, we will continue our search for a picture of the fatherhood of God.

(God, Our Heavenly Father - Part 1 | Part 2)

The Answers

  1. God
  2. As a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows.  He sets the lonely in families and frees prisoners.
  3. As a compassionate Father
  4. As everlasting
  5. Gives strength to the weary, power to the weak
  6. Their strength will be renewed; they will soar like eagles, run and not grow weary, walk and not be faint.
  7. That only the Son knows the Father and only the Father knows the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him
  8. Abba
  9. He is our Father.
  10. The Father
  11. The Father
  12. As changeless
  13. From above, from the Father
  14. Righteousness, mercy, compassion
  15. For our own good
  16. Produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
  17. God's holiness
  18. A shepherd
  19. A potter
  20. The clay, the work of His hand
  21. A gardener
  22. Prunes us
  23. So we will bear more fruit

All scripture quotations in this publication are from The Holy Bible, New international Version,
© Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 New International Bible Society
© Copyright 2007 by JoAnne Sekowsky