882 What did Jesus have to say about God the Father Pt.2

What Did Jesus Have To Say About...  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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VIDEO – Fatherless homes
- No heat, no judgement – I reckon those guys were sweating profusely
- Fatherless homes is an indictment upon our society & whether we like to hear it or not, radical feminism has contributed to this situation
- A father is necessary for the well being of a child – to deny that truth is to deny the social evidence
- A father has so much to contribute to the life of a child - as does the mother – however, they both bring different, but complimentary aspects that cannot be provided by one person alone
- Indeed, it cannot be provided by two parents of the same sex
- The masculine & feminine aspects is the natural balance that a child needs to fit in with the creative pattern of God’s world
- As the child grows up, one thing will be certain for the child – that the norm is that male & female produce children & by nature, parents are father & mother
- This can be socially suppressed, manipulated by government laws & reinforced by workplace procedures, but deep down, every child knows that there is the natural way of father & mother
- It’s not without meaning that when God created Adam & Eve that He called them Man
Genesis 1:27 NASB95
27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
- Man is a composition of both male & female
- A father & a grandfather brings so much into a child’s life
- God is revealed in both testaments as Father & it is an anathema that some ministers use either the generic pronoun, parent, or the feminine pronoun, she, when talking about God
- I kid you not – this is happening
- I was in a meeting with the leader of the God Squad back in the 1990’s & I remember him praying to God as “Our Parent”
- He was a sociologist first, then theologian – which is why it was “Parent”
- But all this is postmodern philosophy which says “there is no absolute truth” – all is relative
- With this philosophy, you end up adrift in an ocean of opinions which are not allowed to be established or denied by the truth
- Which means all that is left is brute power – the will to power
- However, our God is not a God that we have made up
- He is a God who has revealed Himself through acting in history
- He is not some mythical story that people interpret through their struggles in life
- No – He has not been invented but has revealed Himself through incredible acts in history - & the revelation is that He is God the Father
- He is especially revealed in & through the teaching of Jesus
- Jesus rose from the dead which means you better listen to what He says because what He says is the truth
Q. What does Jesus teach then, on God our Father?

1. He Is Loving and Kind

Q. What does it mean to love?
- We are living in times where the western world has never been more divided
- I was talking with my mum the other day on how the west has degraded since the Christian consensus has all but disappeared
- Christianity brought cohesion, morality, mercy & justice to the west
- In fact, that is what formed the western world’s values
- But we live in a postmodern culture & what is alive in this culture is the drive to deconstruct what has gone before
- That’s why statues are being torn down
- We are seeing rioting, looting in the States – fortunately, not here – but it is happening & it has its roots in what is called cancel culture
- Twitter, that social media, is alive with hate & vitriol
- These things are the children of postmodern philosophy
- A philosophy that is, at root, nihilistic – Nihilism means “nothingness”
- Nothingness means “no values”, “no conscience”, “nothing greater outside yourself” & therefore, “nothing to live for but yourself alone”
- Justice is, therefore, cast aside & the will to power in order to get your own way is all that is left
- This is apparently expressed well in the movie “Pulp Fiction”
- I never saw the movie because it is rated R – but my Bible College lecturer in Biblical Ethics said that it perfectly depicts the “nothingness” of Nihilism
- The problem we see so obviously depicted in America is the polarising of society for all that is left is a will to power
- Whatever you think of politics, when one side says they will stack the supreme court when they get the opportunity, then you know that the will to power is in play
- If you are going to play, play fair – but not anymore – the will to power means “move the gaal posts” if it means winning
- This reminds me of a line in the 3 stooges when one of them was cheating at playing cards – the comment from Moe was that if you’re going to cheat, cheat fair
- Of course, this shows a contradiction of what fairness means
- In this sort of age, people hate with intensity & its easy for Christians, who care so deeply about justice to get caught up in this hate
- We forget that we are all vulnerable to the waves & winds & shifting shadows of human thinking & emotion
- So let us look to our Father in heaven who truly shows us, by example, what it means to counter the hate
Matthew 5:43–48 NASB95
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 “If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
- Gentiles are good at loving those who love them & good at hating those who hate them
- If you are concerned about injustice; if you are concerned about a world that so does not reflect God – then you have a path to tread; you have an example to follow
- God urges those He calls sons to love as He loves and that includes one’s enemies
- He sends the sunshine & rain on those who hate Him & sustains their life
- Actually, there is the hope in this too that they will repent – they are given time & opportunity to respond in the right way to God
- To be perfect means to be perfect in love – to strive for that goal
- Perfect can also mean “complete” & I think that the biblical leaning is more on being completely aligned with God here
- Don’t let the notion of perfect throw you off as I’m sure you are well aware, as am I, of our less than perfect response to those who are our enemies
- So it’s about striving to be like our Father in heaven who is gracious to those who hate Him
- This is not to say that you are to be abused or that you are to cop it whatever injustice comes your way - God has provided the government to do good to those who do right & to punish the evildoer
- But we are to show love & tolerance to those who may disagree with us or who speak & act in harsh ways against us

2. He Is Compassionate and Merciful

- Similarly, we are urged to be merciful or compassionate
Luke 6:36 NASB95
36 “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
- In a parable, Jesus taught that God is merciful to the sinner who humbly looks to Him for mercy
Luke 18:13 NASB95
13 “But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’
- He received the mercy of God because he humbled himself before God & God took note & showed him compassion & mercy
- God was merciful & that man went to his home forgiven by God of his sin & put right with Him
- He received pity or compassion because he acknowledged before God his sin & need for mercy
- God is a compassionate & merciful God

3. He Is Just

- As I quoted before, “if you’re going to cheat, cheat fair”
- No, I’m not saying that – but there is a shared right & wrong that we all understand
- Children instinctively know when they are wronged – “that’s not fair”, they say
- What is this sense of fairness that we all crave for
- We desire to be treated with respect & reciprocity
- If we treat someone fairly, we expect the same in return
- Now I know this will not always happen & we still need to love our enemies, but that doesn’t change the fact that there is such a thing as justice or fairness
- There would be no need to say “be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” if, in fact, justice does not exist
- Being perfect has to do with putting up with injustices - which means that justice or fairness does exist
Luke 6:31 NASB95
31 “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.
Q. Isn’t this the basis for justice?
- Damo pointed me to an excellent little video on the teaching of C. S. Lewis
- It got me looking around for others & I found an interesting one on right & wrong
- C. S. Lewis points out that there is a “Law of Nature” that is build in to every human being
- That we all appeal to some kind of standard of behaviour so that we are all treated with equal fairness
- There have been some terrible atrocities in the world that speaks so dramatically to the subject of injustice
- We see such terrible things done & people have said, “you’ll get what’s coming to you”
- Remember what Abraham said to God – when God declared He would destroy Sodom & Gomorrah
- Abraham had family living there & was concerned about Lot & his family being swept away in the same level of judgement as the unrighteous
- He asks God – “will you sweep away the righteous with the unrighteous”; “Will not the judge of all the earth do right”
- It’s an interesting account of the justice of God & how He allowed Abraham to interact with Him on the matter
- But we see in that judgement that God did spare the righteous before He poured out His wrath on those cities
- For Christians who have been at the end of injustices, the question that is asked: “Will God bring justices to those Christians who have suffered because of their faith in Jesus”?
- The answer Jesus gives is a big YES
Matthew 10:26–33 NASB95
26 “Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 “What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops. 28 “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 “So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. 32 “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 “But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.
- God will bring about justice for His people so the encouragement is to not deny Jesus come what may

4. He Is Provider

- As a Father, God provides for His creation
- Jesus taught...
Matthew 6:26 NASB95
26 “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?
- We worry too much about matters of life
- We need a robust way of balancing the need to work & make a living with a trust in our heavenly Father that He will provide for our needs
I remember one counselling session with a couple who were concerned that God was not looking after them because they may have had to sell their house to make it financially
- Their question to me was “if God was going to provide for us, why are we struggling financially”?
- I raised the point with them that God provides for our needs
- Food & clothing is all that Jesus talks about here
- So I counselled them to scale down
- If, financially, they couldn’t maintain the repayments on their home, to downscale to a level that they could afford
- God provides for our need of food & clothing
- Perhaps, our expectations of provision are too high

5. He Loves Truth in the Heart

- Jesus teaches that our Father God dislikes hypocrisy
- Actors act out parts in a play or movie – but they are not necessarily the person you see in the scene, are they?
- Hypocrisy has to do with portraying a false persona of the real person for the purpose of receiving praise or some gain
- Or, to put it another way, it’s applying certain rules to others that you do not apply to yourself
- Matt. 7 “Judge not, least you be judged” is a warning from Jesus on evils of hypocrisy
- It’s not so much about making judgements as it is on hyper-judging others, when you know that you yourself do the same things
- So Jesus makes some points on how to avoid being an actor who is looking for the praise of men BUT instead how to act in such a way to gain the praise of our heavenly Father
Matthew 6:1–4 NASB95
1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. 2 “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 3 “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
Matthew 6:5–8 NASB95
5 “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 6 “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. 8 “So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

6. He Is a Seeking and Saving God

- God is a God who is seeking certain things
- We also seek certain things in life: prosperity, peace, enjoyment, we seek to live, love & to be loved
- God the Father also seeks certain things & as His children, we should be on the look out so those things the Father seeks are forthcoming to Him

​a) Seeking Worship

- My brother-in-law who is an inspector with Qld police bowed his head before addressing the judge & people are to stand when the judge enters the court – the words, “all rise” – why?
- Some human judge is such that we have to show him reverence
- In fact, I’ve heard them being called “your worship”
- That used to concern me that a mere human judge would be addressed as “your worship”
- Now if we need to show deference to & respect for the human institution of a human court, how much more the creator of the world?
Q. Is it wrong for God to seek worship?
- Worship means “to do reverence, to bow down” & even “to kiss” as you see in a movie where the king will present his hand & his subject kisses the ring on his finger as a sign of submission & loyalty
- That means that he bows to the sovereignty & right of the king to rule
- In this sense, when we worship God, we proclaim at least 2 things
1. His right to sovereignty over us
2. That we are not His equal & submit ourselves to His authority
- This gives us all a clear sense that when we worship God, we are accepting His rule over us & acknowledging that we are not His equal but are, in fact, to put it crudely – His property!
- To the woman at the well, Jesus says...
John 4:23–24 NASB95
23 “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

​b) Seeking the Lost

- The Father seeks our worship and He seeks those who are lost
- We have no greater example in the parable of the prodigal son
- This parable must be understood against it’s context
Luke 15:1–2 NASB95
1 Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him. 2 Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
- Notice the attitude of the religious leaders of Israel
- They have no love for anyone who is in trouble or struggling
- Their attitude is that since they have turned their back on the commands of God, they deserve to be damned
- But neither Jesus nor the Father have this attitude & this shows just how out of touch with God these leaders were
- They are, as Jesus says, children of he devil
- The parable of the prodigal son is preceded by 2 other parables of Jesus which show that God the Father is a seeking God
- He is seeking to save the lost as made clear in the mission of Jesus
Luke 4:42–43 NASB95
42 When day came, Jesus left and went to a secluded place; and the crowds were searching for Him, and came to Him and tried to keep Him from going away from them. 43 But He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.”
- In response to the repentance of the tax collector, Zaccheus’, Jesus said...
Luke 19:10 NASB95
10 “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
- So Jesus gives 3 parables to show the religious leaders of Israel God’s love & concern for the lost
- He starts with a parable of a 100 sheep & where 1 went missing or got lost & the shepherd left the 99 to search for the 1 that was missing
- Then the parable of the woman who had 10 silver coins & lost 1 of them
- She searches high & low & LEAVES NO STONE UNTURNED in her pursuit to find that 1 coin
- Here in the parable of the prodigal son, we see the same thing happening although in slightly different form
- The Father does not search for his son or demand that he return home & that he live in a certain way
- But the attitude of the Father is to welcome the son home after he has come to his senses or repents of his wayward lifestyle
- The point of the parable is a little more subtle than what is obvious
- It’s a message for the religious leaders
- For they are the older son in the parable who are all cut up about the Father’s generosity to the wayward son
- In their opinion, he should not have been welcomed home because of what he had done & how he was so foolish
Luke 15:25–28 NASB95
25 “Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 “And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. 27 “And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 “But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him.
Luke 15:29–32 NASB95
29 “But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; 30 but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’ 31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 ‘But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’ ”
- I don’t know about you, but it is easy to identify with the attitude of the religious leaders of Israel
- They were feeling ripped off
- That God could be so generous to the undeserving & welcome them back into the fold
- As much as we might find that difficult, we should also reflect on the fact that each one of us has been the prodigal son & are undeserving of the Father’s grace & love
- Of course, from the standpoint of the religious leaders, they were as lost as the prodigal son – but that is not the point Jesus is trying to make
- The only point is that our Father in heaven is on a seek & save mission for which we should all be truly grateful
- Our Father is a God who seeks the lost & we would do well to mimic His desires
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