Our Father

“When Jesus Christ was physically here walking upon this earth, one of his missions was to make God known as a very accessible heavenly Father. In the process of revealing the Father, Jesus was concurrently fulfilling the Old Testament Law and redeeming humanity. Hearing about this new concept that God was to become their heavenly Father was an exciting revelation set levels above what man ever imagined in relation to the God of Creation. Many people in both the Old Testament and Gospel times referred to God as I AM THAT I AM (Exodus 3:14), or the UNKNOWN GOD (Acts 17:23), so the contrast of perceiving God Almighty, the actual Creator of the Heavens and Earth, as an actual Father was a completely foreign concept and was astounding to them in every conceivable detail. During the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus references the heavenly Father no less than seventeen times, and each mention is an enlightening explanation of the Father’s desired relationship with man. Today when we hear phrases in reference to God being a Father, or the heavenly Father, or our Father, these sayings do not surprise us at all because we have become comfortable with these terms for God. The terminology of God the Father has been taught in seminaries, churches, and Sunday schools around the world for centuries. However, back in the first century, the conceptual suggestion of referring to the God of Abraham as their Father was an incredible mind-blower. Jesus was, as we say these days, pushing the envelope with new teachings opposed to the standards of philosophical or spiritual thought of that day.” ~LMJ~

Looking for God?

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I recall one night when I was laying down on a grassy meadow that behind me was a forest of trees swaying in a summer’s night breeze and in front of me was a lake. The stars above were twinkling, and other than the wind there was a peaceful silence as I was grasping for the meaning of life. I was thinking and wondering why was I here, why was I breathing air, what is really the meaning of life (especially mine); was there a purpose or reason that I was even able to think these thoughts?!

I had no idea nor did any divine inspiration come to mind, and truly I was discouraged; I remember having similar thoughts for years without ever grasping any real understanding.

This may seem like a silly story but it is what put me on a course that eventually led me to my Savior and my God. When I was originally introduced to God in my early twenties I was literally shocked to see that His Word was actually His Word!

When anyone finds Jesus Christ in the Scriptures, simultaneously they will find God as their heavenly Father rather than as simply “the (unknown) man upstairs.” The quest for God and spirituality is a large part of the human experience that most people come to at one time or another. Some will seek Him in nature, others will look in other places, yet He only becomes personally induced to the searching heart as one comes directly face to face with His Word and truly finds Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth, and the lifeline to Him.

Acts 17:23 – {The Apostle Paul is addressing a crowd.} For as I passed by {on his way up to Mars Hill in Athens} and beheld your devotions {statues and other objects they worshiped}, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him {God} declare I unto you.

Then Paul begins to preach the Word of God to them. The reason that they had a statue addressed to the unknown God was just in case they accidentally missed one, because they tried to the best of their ability to worship everything under the sun. However, if they accidentally missed one, then they had an extra one to cover.

Today this may seem a little ridiculous, yet they were simply covering all the bases. Paul finding this one statue gave him an in to start helping them find the true God, it’s a great story to read sometime.

Let’s go to the conclusion of Paul’s teaching:

Acts 17:30-34a:
-30:  And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent:
-31:  Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man {Jesus Christ} whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance {pistis} unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
-32:  And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.
-33:  So Paul departed from among them.
-34a:  Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: . . .

The word “assurance” is the Greek word pistis and means the believing faith of Jesus Christ, for with his believing faith (Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, Hebrews 12:2), we are enabled to perceive the spiritual realities of God. Christ’s faith is given to every believer at the moment of salvation.

Ephesians 2:8 records, “For ye are saved through faith.” This is not our faith but the saving faith of our Savior Jesus Christ, and with his faith he literally becomes our spiritual eyes, helping us perceive God in the genuine light that His Word shines into our conscious lives. Rather than God being unknown to us, or just out of our grasp, or trying to find Him Who dwells in eternity, we can learn the true joys in obtaining the realities of Him through knowing Jesus Christ.