God Has Always Been Father

In the beginning

John 1:1-8, 10-14
John 17:20-26
1 John 4:8

'In the beginning' God was in intimate relationship with the Son and the Holy Spirit. They were complete in themselves. God did not need creation as an object to love because in Himself love just happens - God is love! He does not represent love - it is who He is. It is His very nature. Whatever God does He does out of love, for love and through love.

John 17:24-26.
Jesus came to introduce us to this love.

Rebellion in Heaven

Is 14:7-15
Ez 28:1-19

Satan was expelled from Heaven, sent from the Father's presence - he feels the full wrath of God's righteous anger. Satan wanted God's position for himself. Satan does not want God to be loving - he calls God's heart into question. Is He a God of love or is He a God of control and manipulation?

The second 'in the beginning'

Man was created in the image of God, made in perfection to model His glory. Satan watched to see how we would be formed - would we be made to obey God without choice or would we be given the free choice to love God from our heart? Satan could not prove that God's heart was bad. Satan saw that God made us in love and for love and so he attacked the jewel of creation.

What would God do when man disobeyed Him and walked his own way? Would He destroy us completely? No, He held out a way for us to return. One day there would be a way back into relationship. Our period of suffering was limited.

An act of love

Gen 3:22-24

We were driven from the garden so we would not be able to eat from the tree of life and therefore live for ever. Man had entered into a state of separation from God, but in His love, death entered the human race so that we would not live in a state of sin forever - our suffering is finite.

The Father's cry

Deut 32:5-6
Psalm 68:5
Isaiah 1:2
Jeremiah 3:19

God is by nature a Father and He keeps revealing Himself to us. He wants a family. Our sin makes it impossible for us to be reconciled to Him. He found a way for our sin to be dealt with so we could be united to Him again.

The Father's answer

John 3:16

There is hope again for mankind.
Jesus came to reveal the Father and to show us the way back to Him.

God's nature

In the Old Testament God's nature is revealed by His many names.

Elohim - Supreme God - Gen1:1, Num 23:19, Ps 19:1
Yahweh - Lord God - Gen 2:4, Ex 6:2-3
El Elyon - God Most High - Gen 14:17, Ps 7:17, Is 14:13-14
El Roi - God who sees - Gen 16:13
El Shaddai - God Almighty - Gen 17:1, Ps 19:1
Yahweh Yoreh - God provides - Gen 22:13-14
Yahweh Nissi - God is my banner - Ex 17:15
Yahweh Shalom - God is peace - Jud 6:24
Yahweh Sabaoth - Lord of hosts - 1 Sam 1:3, Is 6:1-3
El Olam - Everlasting God - Is 40:28-31
Yahweh Shammah - The Lord is there - Ez 48:35

Jesus revealed the nature of God in one word - FATHER. The whole nature of God was summed up in this word. Jesus showed us, through his relationship with God, that He was a father. The names of God in the Old Testament were all summed up and fulfilled in that one word - FATHER. The nature of God was completely expressed through the life and example of Jesus.

John 1:12
John 1:14
John 5:19
John 5:30
Matt 11:27

Jesus taught us to pray 'our Father' - 'daddy'.

What is Father like?

Heb 1:3 Look at Jesus - He is the exact representation of the Father.
Ex 34:6-7 The nature of God: compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin!
1 Cor 13 Love is.... God is....
Gal 5
Gal 4:6-7 We are sons and heirs.

Jesus met people in their need. He knows what will satisfy our deepest needs. He appeals to our hearts. His yoke is not heavy and He will bring us into a place of rest. He does not deal with superficial issues, but in love, reveals the Father's heart of grace and mercy.

Finding Father

1 Cor 8:6 There is but one God the Father!
John 4:21-24 True worshippers worship the Father in spirit and in truth.

The revelation of Father's love goes beyond our understanding; it goes into our hearts and changes everything.

John 16:23 We have direct access to Father.
Heb 10: 19-25 We can enter the Holy place, the Father's presence.

We can come into intimate relationship with the Father. Our inheritance is available for us now. We can walk with Him as sons and daughters.

John 14:3-4
John 14:23

Pleasing Father

If we love Him - we will obey Him. Love comes first, obedience comes second! (John 14 - three times!) The gap between our desire and our ability has to be bridged. This can only happen through the Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit we know the love of the Father. We receive healing and cleansing and we learn to walk in freedom as His sons.

What does this mean?

We will know perfect love. Eph 3:16-19 "rooted and grounded in love".
We will be protected from the power of the evil one (John 17:11).
We will become one just as the Father and Son are one (John 17:20-21).
The world will know the Father (John 17:23).