Attributes of God: Father

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, September 25, 2015 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

One attribute of God that is often not thought of as an attribute is that God is a father. Yes, there is the Father, one of the persons of the Trinity, but I’m not addressing him in particular. What I will be addressing here is the role of a father as we find in God. First, how is this relationship established? We are not biological children. God is not a man. We started out as enemies of God because of our sin. And yet God sought to reconcile us to himself through the cross. But God did not settle for just delivering us from the penalty of sin. He dealt with the problem of sin and he did not stop there; he chose to make us his sons and daughters via the process of adoption.

Adoption, which Paul speaks of, is not quite the same as we understand it today. It is better. He spoke of the Roman adoption system. In Rome, a father had the right to disown a biological son. He could remove the son from his will and literally abandon him. But if a Roman father adopted a son, that bond was unbreakable. A father could not renounce an adopted son, remove him from his will, deny inheritance, etc. And one of the reasons why is because an adopted son is chosen. The father did not have to take that child in. He chose to.

This is what happens between us and God. God chooses to adopt us, despite the fact that we were in rebellion against him. Now we can get into the whole free will/predestination debate here but I’m not going to. The point here is that God has no obligation to adopt us. He’s not required to do that; he does it because he wants to. But he won’t force himself upon us. And once the process is complete, once we are born again, he will not renounce us and undo what he did.

So what does this mean for us? There is a photo of JFK with his young son at the Resolute Desk at the Oval Office. JFK Jr. had a very special privilege while his father was in office. He could go in and out of the Oval Office whenever he wanted. He could interrupt a meeting to be with his daddy. He could do what none of us could do. Why? Because he was the son of the President. And this is the same type of privilege we have with God. We have direct access to the throne of heaven. When we call, God will drop whatever he is doing to be with us and give us his undivided attention. Now that is not fully accurate because God does this with everyone who is his child all at the same time all while not losing his attention on what else is going on, but do you get the picture?

We get to call God Almighty our “daddy.” But there is more to the picture. Let’s say we are in the White House and as we are doing our thing, we break something very valuable. There is a major difference between how the situation will be dealt with and that difference depends on our relationship with the President. If we are an outsider, a mere guest, we would expect to be prosecuted, fined, or even arrested and put before a judge (depending on the case). If we, however, are a child of the President, while we would still be punished, it would be dealt with in house. The same is true with our relationship with God. We still sin, we still break God’s commands. But God deals with us in house. He doesn’t just throw us out into the streets and let us get manhandled by the system. He will discipline us and he will take us behind the shed for a good whooping from time to time, but he doesn’t disown us. If we run off, that’s our business. But seriously consider this: if we are not being disciplined by God, can we honestly say we are his children? None of us are perfect, so we all need that foolishness driven out of us. Are we going through that process? If not, then maybe we really are illegitimate children, living in the home but not legally. Let us examine ourselves and see if we are indeed in the family.

There is more that comes with being in God’s family. Most of us should know that if we live in any home, we are expected to follow the rules and directions of those who own the home. If you are the owner, you get to set the rules. But any child is expected to follow and listen to the instructions of the parents in the home. Any renter is expected to follow and listen to the instructions of the landlord. The same is true when we are adopted into God’s family. God expects us to follow and obey his expectations for how we should live. Now God is not a cruel dictator. Many will claim that is the case because he doesn’t want us just doing what we want. The child who will only do what he wants is in rebellion and in defiance of the authority placed over him. That is the sinful nature in a nutshell: the drive to rule one’s own life. But God’s rules and expectations are not cruel. They are not burdensome. All he expects of us is to lean upon him and depend upon him. He does not expect perfection, though he will work and discipline us towards that goal.

The transition of an adopted child from one home or lifestyle into another is never easy. There is always baggage from the previous home that the parents have to deal with. It’s a challenge for the kid as well. It takes time and incredible patience for an adopted child, especially one that is not a newborn, to adjust to the new home. It’s the same with us. We are so used to living in our sinful lifestyle, in accordance to the way of the world, that when we are born again and adopted into God’s family, we do not instantly live according to God’s principles. It take time and patience to learn it. And that is a process that will continue until the day we die and God takes us to our new home he is building for us. As the famous line goes: “Be patient with me, God’s not finished with me yet.”

Do you know if you are in God’s family? If not, please contact any of the Worldview Warriors blog writers. We would love to talk to you and introduce you to God so you can join the family. God is the King of Kings and the highest authority in the universe and beyond, and he delights in his children. I can say personally, it is beyond awesome to a child of God.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.