We need to look at who our spiritual father is. We all have earthly fathers; we also have one of two spiritual fathers. We are not able to choose who will be our earthly father, but we do have a choice of which one will be our spiritual father.
One rules this world now: Satan. The other is the one who will rule the world for eternity. I would like to look at whether God is your father.
In John 8:1-47, we see Jesus saying who the true descendants of Abraham are. In verse 42, he says, “If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.”
In verse 44, Jesus says, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts (desires) of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
Much is taught these days about the fatherhood of God. It is a most precious truth, but according to the declaration of the son of God, only those who love him have any evidence at all that God is their father. God was in Christ and is revealed to us in him. To deny the son is to deny the father.
We become the children of God by faith; 1 John 5:1 reads, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.”
Jesus said, “If God were your father, you would love me” (John 8:42). Loving the son of God is evidence that we are under the fatherhood of God.
How does this love show itself?
By trusting him. We cannot say that we love him if we have not in our hearts believed in him (Jesus), the one who came from God to lay down his life for us.
By receiving his word. The truth has been told to us by him; “and because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not” (verse 45).
Where there is love, there will be a joyful reception of his words into our hearts. If God is our father, we will never have a shadow of doubt concerning the sayings of his son. “He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God” (verse 47).
By delighting in his company. We cannot help drawing near to and keeping in company with those we sincerely love. Having the spirit of prayer is another proof that we are the children of God. If we have not love to draw nigh to God, we have no evidence that God is our father. He is the God of all, but he is father only to them that believe.
Romans 8:15-16 says: “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”
By speaking about him. Love finds some way of manifesting itself to the ones who love the Lord. You will take pleasure in speaking to others of him. We cannot speak the things that we have not seen or heard.
By suffering willingly for him. Suffering gladly for Christ’s sake is another token that God is our father, because it reveals our love to the son. Hebrews 12:8 reads, “But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.”
By longing to be like him. Every child desires to be like his noble, godly Father. It is an assurance of sonship that our souls yearn to be conformed into our heavenly father’s likeness.
By desiring to please him. 2 Timothy 2:15 reads, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
What is your desire when you stand before God; will he say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”?
Joseph Merriman is pastor of First Baptist Church of Greenfield. This weekly column is written by local clergy members.