If you were to ask most people why Jesus died on the cross they would probably answer, to keep us from going to hell or to take us to heaven. And its certainly true that His cross accomplished both those things, and we will be eternally grateful. But those two truths arent really the primary reason Jesus died, theyre by-products, if you will, of the real reason. The real goal of our salvation is to bring us back into relationship with our heavenly Father (Heb 2:10; Lk 15:11-24; Jn 3:16, 17; 14:6). Our creation was His idea and so was our salvation. Jesus came to bring us back to Him. Thats not to say that Jesus doesnt love us equally or that well not be with Him forever as well. All thats part of the wonder of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three eternally existing Persons whom we call God. But the Father is called the Father for a reason, somehow Hes the Source and the Goal of everything (Heb 2:10).
Today we will step back and look at the big picture of what God has done for us: how Hes atoned for our sins, and empowered us to live free from our old natures and weakness. But the goal of our study will be to show us where this wonderful salvation has brought us: right into the arms of our heavenly Father, who immediately begins to care for us as a good father should. Well discuss some of the misconceptions about fathering, and then well celebrate the fact that we have now been enrolled in the Fathers School.
1. My Sins (the Son)
Hebrews assures us that God has prepared a high priest who can save forever people like us
a) His intercession is constant (7:25) permanently valid
b) His offering is complete (7:27) never to be repeated
c) His priesthood is eternal (7:28) never ceasing for eternity
Will He abandon me? No!
Will I commit a sin He wont forgive? No! (Ro 8:1)
Can I ever abandon Him? Yes! Thats why the letter to the Hebrews was written, to warn believers who were abandoning Christ.
2. My Weakness (the Spirit)
God did not give us a new set of rules. The new law (new covenant) this high priest brings to us is a Person, the Holy Spirit.
a) Hebrews 8:10
I will put My laws into their minds
b) (Ro 8:2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.
c) (Ro 8:4)
so that the requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
3. Defining Fatherhood
Many have a difficult time thinking of God as a Father because we have had poor models of fathering. However, we must not refuse to see God as our Father just because men failed us. The problem doesnt lie with the institution of fatherhood, because all true fatherhood is only an extension of Gods fatherhood.
(Eph 3:14, 15) For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name
The problem is that weve lived with (or without) men who werent fathers, they were sires who conceived us but not fathers who modeled our heavenly Father. No man is perfect, and all human fathers make mistakes, but some try much harder than others to love us, provide, protect, teach us about God, discipline us, and prepare us for life. The problem is weve had men, not fathers. But God is not a man! (Nu 23:19), yet He is a father.
4. My Will (the Father)
Because of the Son I am no longer separated from the Father and because of the Spirit I am no longer helpless to obey Him. My will is at last free to obey or disobey so now I am enrolled in the Fathers School (now, not just in heaven) where I am to be taught, trained, disciplined as His beloved child. He wants to father me until I willingly, joyfully and with understanding freely choose to:
a) Become the unique person I have been created to be
b) Fulfill the predestined plan He has for my life (Pr 16:9; 20:24; Jn 17:4)
c) Take my proper role in the family of God (joined to the Body)(1Co 12:12)
d) Prepare for my role in eternity (Mt 25:29)
Youre not old youre just beginning your preparation for an eternity of ministry
e) Become holy, just like Jesus (Heb 7:26)
So, in the Fathers School I am being prepared for:
Reflecting His likeness
Effective service in this life
Effective service in the age to come
Sharing His glory
I enter a process of:
Deepening revelation: For whoever has, to him shall more be given and he will have an abundance. (Mt 13:12)
- We are taught by the Holy Spirit things hidden to others.
Growing Faith: a greater ability to hear His voice, a greater willingness to step out and trust Him, a greater visitation of the power of God
Unfolding discernment and repentance
- Bold honesty with God and self
- Quick repentance, longing to remove un-Christlike things out of my life
Patiently enduring His discipline (Heb 12:4-11)
- Tough ministry assignments
- Loving stubborn people (1Co 13:8)
Growing hunger for His presence in worship
Longing to be face to face with Him in eternity (Heb 11:13-16)
a) Name something that your earthly father gave you that youre thankful for.
b) Describe a moment where you saw God fathering you.