God The Father
The Catechism of the Council of Trent says this concerning God being our Father. “As God is called Father for more reasons than one, we must first determine the more appropriate sense which the word is used in the present time.”
I. God Is Called “Father” Because He Is Creator And Ruler.
II. The Name “Father” Also Discloses The Plurality Of Persons In God.
III. God Is called “Father Because He Adopts Christians Through Grace.
It is this last point that we want to discuss today in our lesson. But before we do, let us listen to the Apostles Creed.
When Jesus was leaving the world, on the night before He was crucified, He told his disciples, "I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you." (Jn. 14:18). That happened in the coming of the Holy Spirit, on the day of Pentecost.
What is an orphan? An orphan is one who has no father and mother. There is a lot of difference between a child, who has grown up in a home experiencing the love of a father and a mother, and a child who has had no father and mother. That means the father and mother died when the child was small so that child had to be brought up by stepmother or stepfather, or uncle or auntie, or grandparents or, sometimes, in an orphanage. Orphans tend to be insecure because they have not experienced love in their childhood, the love that only a father and mother can give, no uncle or aunt, or grandmother or an orphanage can ever give.
And when there is this type of insecurity due to the lack of love, orphans tend to be very defensive. They tend to feel that the world is against them, that people are against them, and that they must defend themselves. They can become introverted, depressed, discouraged, and jealous of others who have more than them. They can become very possessive in friendships because of insecurity. They want somebody to love only them and nobody else. We should not judge orphans who are like this. They can remain the same even when they are 40 or 50 years old, because, way back in childhood, they never experienced the love of a father or mother. Those of us, who have parents, sometimes don't appreciate the value of having them. That is unfortunate! Some of you children who are possibly listening may not appreciate the value of your parents sufficiently. You need to thank God for your father and mother, because there are many children in the world who do not have a father and mother.
I want to apply this to the phrase in the apostles Creed that says, “I believe in God the Father.”
What did Jesus mean when he said, “I will not leave you orphans?” Spiritually speaking, we can say that the world is full of orphans, because they don't have a Father; they don't have God as a Father. They don't know God as a Father or Mary as a Mother. So, all the characteristics that you find in ordinary physical orphans, you find in these spiritual orphans. The world is full of people who are insecure; who feel that others are against them. So they fight, they defend themselves, they are very possessive. It is like that because they are spiritually orphans. They love money because they are insecure. They have no heavenly Father. They are anxious. They are worried.
Jesus sought so much, during His earthly ministry, to impress upon His disciples the fact that God was a loving Father. He taught them to pray, "Our Father." No person in the Old Testament could ever pray like that. He said, 'When you pray, say, "Our Father,"' and after His resurrection, He said, 'My Father is your Father.' There is a beautiful verse in John 1:18 "No man hath seen God at any time: the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" In other words, Jesus, by His life and His teaching, has explained and showed to us what God is like.
You know, the world is full of people who have never seen God. None of us have seen God. That is what it says in that verse. When we have not seen God, it is like a man who has never seen an elephant. Supposing you were to go to some country where there is some child who has, maybe, seen pictures of lions and tigers, but has never seen an elephant or a picture of one. If you ask that child to draw a picture of an elephant, what do you think that elephant would look like? Do you think any child in the world will ever think of drawing a long nose, which we call a trunk? No, because there is no other animal that has it. They will draw something that looks like a lion or a dog, or like most animals with four legs, but nobody will be able to draw an elephant, if he has not seen an elephant or a picture of one. How can you imagine one?
If it is like that with some created animal which we cannot draw a correct picture of, can you draw a correct picture of God? No, your picture will definitely be wrong. We have so many people who have given their own opinions about God. And what is the result? Today we have so many religions, each with their own ideas of what God is like. It is like two hundred people who have never seen an elephant or a picture of one, trying to draw an elephant. Who is right? Every one of them is wrong. But the man who has seen an elephant, he will be able to draw a correct one. When Jesus came from heaven, He was the only person who could tell us what God is like.
Most people's idea of God is that of a very strict person, like a policeman, who is out to catch you for some small mistake you do. Like a traffic police who waits around a corner to see if you have made some traffic violation or broken some traffic law. They think God is like that; just waiting and hiding on the corner, to pounce on you as soon you make some mistake. So, most people live in the wrong type of fear of God. They are afraid that God will punish them or harm them. In every religion, there are preachers and teachers, and priests who capitalize on this fear that people have. They say that you have to please this god in some way or the other, otherwise he will punish you. In almost every religion, including the Christian religion, priests and preachers say that the way to please God is by giving Him money.
So, people give money. They go on long pilgrimages, here and there, and give hundreds of thousands of dollars. A lot of this money goes into the pockets of these priests and preachers and pastors. It is all to capitalize on the weakness of orphan-like people, knowing that they have some type of guilt feeling or fear, and making them give their money. It is a great deception. Jesus came to remove this concept of God from people all together. He said God is a loving Father. God is interested in you, and not in your money. He is interested in helping you.
Which father is always trying to get money out of his small children? A father is always trying to help his children; feed them, clothe them, educate them, spend so much money on them, and get nothing in return. Jesus revealed God as a Father. When you feel that God is like a manager, whom you rarely see, well, you have got the wrong concept of God. And you are an orphan. The result is that there is more then likely a lot of insecurity, anxiety, fear and tension in your life, which you need not have.
Jesus said look at the birds of the air, who feeds them? They don't have a barn, they don't have a storehouse, and yet how many dead birds due to hunger do you see on the road? You hardly can find one dead bird on the road. It is very rarely that you find a dead bird on the road. How is that? How is it they don't all starve to death? Are there lots of people throwing seeds for the birds every day? How many times have you done it? No, they find it; somehow our Heavenly Father feeds them. They are not worried. And Jesus said, 'Don't you think you are of more value than many sparrows.' Sparrows are among the cheapest of all birds.
There is a little poem about two little birds, sitting on a tree, and talking to one another. One bird was asking the other bird, 'Why do you think these human beings are so anxious and worried all the time? They always seem to be so tensed in their life.' The other bird replied, 'I think the reason is that they don't have a heavenly Father like we have. We are okay because our Heavenly Father provides us something.'
What do you think my friends, when you hear those two birds talking? Isn't it a shame when Christians are anxious and worried?
You know, when we are anxious and worried it makes us irritable. It makes us tense; it makes us hit back at people who we suspect are hitting at us. The person who is secure in God is never disturbed by whatever people say. Supposing you are walking down the road, and a dog keeps on barking from inside a locked gate, or even barking from the other side of the road, what are you going to do? Are you going to argue with that dog? Are you going fight with that dog asking, 'Why do you bark at me?' It is as foolish when you go and start arguing with somebody who is accusing you, calling you names, or telling false stories about you.
What should you do? What do you do when you see a barking dog on the other side of the road? Just leave him alone. But if you are insecure and you are like an orphan you won't be able to do that. You will be tense, you will be worried and you will just go and fight with that dog. That is how many people fight and argue with people who are calling them bad names. Somebody writes a bad post on social media to them, they write one back to them. This is all the result of insecurity. But how was it with Jesus, when people called Him the prince of devils? He just left them alone. They accused him. They said all types of stories about him, He just left them alone, it did not bother Him one bit.
So the most important thing for us is to know God as a Father. He is not a policeman. He loves you. He cares for you. He knows every detail of your life. If you have repented of your sins and have surrendered your life to Christ and followed Him in baptism for the washing away of your sins and to be raised out of the water a new creation, God has adopted you and become your Father. That choice is yours. Just open your heart and say, 'Lord Jesus, I understand that I am a sinner that deserves Hell because of my sin. I repent of my sin and I want to surrender my whole life to your will. I desire to be cleansed of my sins, to have the guilt of my sins be taken away, by following you in water baptism, as you have commanded us to do.' If you are a Christian already, ask God to give you that assurance that He is your Father who cares for you. It will make all the difference in your life.