THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

Program Air Date - 2-17-02

LESSON TITLE: EXAMINING GOD: "GOD THE FATHER"

WELCOME

Good morning! Thank you for joining us today for The Living Word. I hope everyone had a great week. And I hope you are ready to begin this new week with a day of service and offering to your God.

As always, it is our commitment through this program to proclaim the simple truth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - which is confirmed for us in the Bible. I hope you all have your Bible's handy and I hope you are ready to worship God together as we sing praises to His name and study from His wondrous word. Now let's begin by talking to our Father in prayer!
(Prayer)

We want to begin our songs of praise this morning by singing a hymn which reminds us of which way we should go as we walk in Christ Jesus our Lord. How wonderful it is to know that Jesus has left us the footprints and the path to follow, as we do those things acceptable in His sight. So, at this time won't you join in with the congregation as we together sing, "Higher Ground."
(SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

Most of us have brothers or sisters! If not, at least we have lived in households while growing up, where a family learns to live together and share the things they have. At times, all of us have just thought, "I wish I could have my own room, or my own bathroom, or maybe even my own apartment or house. This sounds great on the surface, but sometimes we don't always think through the things we ask for. Why do I say this? Because no one likes to be alone! When was the last time you felt alone or were lonely? Nobody likes to be alone, at least all of the time. How many of us like to go out to a restaurant and eat alone? How many of us want to go to the game and sit alone with no one to talk to or to visit with? How many of us really believe we would be happy and content to just be by ourselves all of the time?

Imagine being stranded on a desert island. You may have been asked before what would be the one thing you would want if you were stranded alone? Some might say cable television, some might say a radio, but most, with serious thought would say - companionship! Why? Because no one likes to be alone! God realized this from the very beginning of His creation. In Gen. 2:18, after creating man, God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him." Because of this, verse 19 says that God made a woman out of a rib from the man. Even our creator realized that mankind needs companionship.

We must also realize where we can find the greatest companionship - that is in Jesus Christ. In Matt. 28:20, Jesus said "Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Here we see that God is with us forever, without end. How encouraging it is to realize that not only is Jesus with us, but he will always be there for us - forever. The word always helps us to realize this point of our discussion. God is always with us, at every moment. How long? Forever. What other companion of ours promises this?

We have a detailed explanation of God's companionship in Joshua 1:9. There Joshua said, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Now we add the ideas that God is with us everywhere we go. Because of this Joshua said we should not be afraid or dismayed, but we should be strong and courageous. I hope we are starting to realize what the Lord's companionship means to us.

In Psalm 139, King David put it this way, "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence...? Here we see that David eloquently helps us to understand that God is with us all the time. He further helps us to realize that while God is with us He is caring for us. That's why we are told to cast our cares on Him, because He truly cares for us. That is how He can help us so much, because he is always with us.

This morning we have a guest speaker with us who is the minister for the Bona Church of Christ. We are happy to have brother Jim Poland with us today as we continue our series of study which is helping us to know more about the God we serve. Our specific topic of study today will be, "God The Father," as we continue to consider the series on "Examining God." So, please continue with us this morning, and after our next song together brother Poland will return with this study from God's Word. The name of our next hymn, "I'm Not Ashamed To Own My Lord!"
(SONG # 2)

LESSON

Speaker: Jim Poland

Good morning. Thank you, Ray. And I appreciate you all for tuning in.

Of the many concepts that have been put forth in designating who God is, God the Father is probably one of the most endearing terms. Yet, one of the most authoritative terms also. There are many things that fathers do for their children, and God the Father is a great example in all of that.

Several things that I want us to look at this morning. One is that a father plans and provides for his children. God the Father has done that. He first of all is the father of all. In a very real sense as the Holy Spirit through the apostle said to the church, to the people in the Areopagus in Acts chapter 17 that "they should seek the Lord and hope that they might grow for Him and find Him though He is not far from each one of us, for in Him we live and move and have our being." As also some of the old poets have said, "We are also His offspring. Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we are not to think of the divine nature as gold, silver or stone or something shaped by art of man's devising." Therefore, in a sense God is the father of all because He is the creator of all, even of pagan idol worshippers. But He is not the father in that very real sense in which He had planned and provided and wants to be. He calls all of us to come to a repentance, a turning of life in Christ Jesus, His son, who will judge all men one day. The Father has a much more blessed and glorious future in mind for His people, for His offspring, for His children than the philosophies of man will ever offer.

So what He has really had in mind is that the Father has planned something before even the creation for His people. Ephesians chapter 1 for example, He said in verses 2 through 7, "Grace to you and peace from God our Father in the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing and heavenly places in Christ just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself according to the good pleasure of His will to the praise of the glory of His grace by which He has made us accepted in the beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace." The Father of all has made a plan in which He has provided that we may be with Him holy and blameless. He loved us and He wants us to love Him. This was predetermined to give us His grace which is only found in His son, Jesus Christ. It is here that He has chosen us to be our Father in a very special and real sense. It is here that we have this father-child relationship with God and no other way. It is a gift of redemption from our sins and this is paid for by the very blood of His son.

Another thing about God the Father is that the Father will conceive us through His seed. In order to have this special father-son relationship, He has provided this through His seed. John chapter 1 of the gospel accounts said, "In the beginning was the word and the word was with God, the word was God. He was in the beginning with God and all things were made through Him and without Him, nothing was made that was made. In Him was life and the life was the light of man." You follow on down into that chapter to verse 14, you'll find that "but as many as receive Him...", in verse 12, "to them He gave the right to become children of God. To those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor the will of the flesh, nor the will of man, but of God, and the word became flesh to dwell among us and we beheld His glory. Glory as of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth." Verse 18 of this same chapter said, "No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten son who was in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him." So although the Father's seed, the word, was in the creation, was the creator, and is part of the godhead also, He came to bring us to the point where we need to receive Him, we need to respond to Him in order to have this father-son relationship through Him.

This seed to the Father is easily traced through history of God's revelation in the Bible. It all comes down to the focal point as you'll find in the New Testament book of Galatians chapter 3 and verse 16. "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made." It does not say to seeds of many, but as of one, and your seed who is Christ.

You follow on down in Galatians chapter 3 and we learn that "we are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus for as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." Into the next chapter of Galatians, he says, "But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His son, born of a woman, born under the law." He said, "Also because you are sons, God has sent forth His spirit of His son into your hearts crying, 'Abba, Father.'"

Not only that, God the Father loves, disciplines and chastens those who are His children, those that belong to Him. Hebrews chapter 12 and verse 9 for example, "Furthermore, we have had human fathers who have corrected us and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? I'm afraid many today have not learned to respect their fathers as they should. Some think they can even change the term "father" in the Bible to "mother" or "it". They have gone about to change the gender that has been revealed in the original language of the Holy scriptures. All of this, I am afraid has come about through the philosophies in the rebellion of man. The point is that every pronoun and every noun and every reference to God in the Bible has always been masculine. The Father is not an it. He is a living being, a feeling being, a caring being. The scriptures have not changed and they can not be changed. People have been warned not to add to or subtract from the scriptures all through the ages. As the scriptures were given to the children of Israel in the Old Testament, before they went into the promised land. In Deuteronomy chapter 4 and verse 2, they were told, "You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take anything from it that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you." Even unto the Kings which is in Proverbs 30 and verse 6. "Do not add to His word lest He rebuke you and you be found a liar."

Under the New Testament by the Holy Spirit's inspiration, the apostle wrote to the church at Corinth and said, "You may learn in us not to think beyond what is written that none of you may be puffed up or on behalf of one against the other."

The last book of Revelation from God, the last chapter and almost the last verses had this warning. In Revelation 22, "For I testify to everyone who hears the words, the prophecy of this book, if anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are in this book and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the book of life and from the Holy city and from the things that are written in this book."

God the Father is a very sacred concept. God also provides for His children by giving them an inheritance. This is what good fathers do.

Romans chapter 8 verses 13 and following. "For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are lead by the spirit of God, these are the sons of God, for you do not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you receive the spirit of adoption by which we cry out, 'Abba Father.'"

The spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. And if children, then heirs. Heirs of God. Joint heirs with Christ. If indeed we suffer with Him, then we may also be glorified together.

So for those who have become children of God, the Father, through faith and baptism into His seed, Jesus Christ, there is a glorious inheritance been provided by the father. This inheritance is shared with the Father's seed, Jesus Christ. A condition is there. We must suffer with Him. We, too, must become part of His life, His death, His resurrection. How do we do this? The Roman letter in chapter 6 gives us this example and this teaching or do you not know that "as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, but just as Christ was raised up from the dead through the glory of the Father, even so we should also walk in newness of life. For if we've been united together in the likeness of His death, we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection. Knowing this that the old man was crucified with Him that the body of sin might be done away with, that he should no longer be slaves to sin."

So you see we need to be baptized into Christ in order to bury the old sinful person. In order to come into this relationship with the Lord as our Father in heaven. Our nation has been taught many times to disrespect father, find their own self within themselves. At the same time, we will reject God as the Father who created fatherhood. A nation who loses respect for the fathers can not respect God the Father in the way that it needs to be done, or perceive Him for who He is, or receive His inheritance.

Finally, God the Father will take His children to His bosom. He will take them to His eternal abode. John chapter 14, Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house, I have many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you and if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself that where I am, you may be also, and where I go you know and the way you know."

In verse 6 of that chapter, Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me." So the only way to have God the Father and go to God the Father is by the way of His son, Jesus. There's a glorious preparation made for His children. This was all part of the provision that He had planned before the foundation of the world. God the Father wants His children to be with Him as any Father would.

In 1 Thessalonians 3:13 it says, "So that He may establish your hearts blameless and holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and His saints." When does this happen? 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 and verses 13 and following. "But I do not want you to be ignorant brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep lest you sorrow as others who have no hope, for if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout and with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be called up together in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air." Thus, we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore, comfort one another with these words.

It's so comforting to know that we are a child of God. We know that Jesus will come again. The Bible doesn't say that He will ever set foot on this earth again, but we will meet Him in the air. So at this great resurrection, the children of the Father will be given to Him in an eternal abode. In the great resurrection chapter of the Bible, 1 Corinthians chapter 15, it says in verse 20, "But now Christ is risen from the dead and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep." It says in verse 24, "Then comes the end when He delivers the kingdom of God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule, all authority and all power."

Some have chosen a different father, I'm afraid, that does not have their eternal glory and their eternal inheritance at heart. Only God the Father has that. Some have chosen those like Jesus spoke of the religious leaders of His day who thought they knew God, but they did not have Him as their Father. In John chapter 8, He spoke to them and it says, "If God were your Father, you would have loved me, for I proceed forth from God and have not come of myself, but He sent me. Why do you not understand my speech? Because you are not able to listen to my words. You are of your father, the devil. And the desires of your father, you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth because there is no truth in him. He speaks a lie of his own resources. He's the father of it. So let us honor God as our Father. Let us understand that when Jesus gave the Great Commission, He wanted us to be baptized in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Thank you for tuning in today. (SONG # 3 - "I Am Resolved!")

CLOSING COMMENTS

What a wondrous time we have had together in participating in the things of God. I hope we all have been encouraged through our time spent together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.

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How blessed we all are to have a God in Heaven, who has shown Himself worthy to be called our Father - the true giver or all!

(Program closing)