Column: Who Is God the Father—Whose Father Is He?

Published 10:04 am Tuesday, January 30, 2024

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By Hank Walker | Pastor at Friendship Baptist Church

“We are all God’s children,” is a nearly universal assertion, but studies by the Barna Group, Arizona Christian University, Ligonier Ministries, and LifeWay Research demonstrate that few Americans understand what they are asserting. In light of this ignorance about “Christian Paterology” (doctrine of God as Father), consider the following:

First, God is NOT everyone’s Father. Yet, absent the light of Scripture, it seems reasonable to assume that the act of creation would make Him so. Unfortunately, this assumption ignores two key facts: (1) God is recorded as only having “created” two people—Adam and Eve; (2) God gave them the ability to “procreate” (Gen. 1:28). Man, was imbued with the genetic material and biological processes necessary for creating life, while God has providentially arranged the times, places, and circumstances so that children are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14) according to His plan. God empowers the creation of human life; He just does not actively create it. You may be asking, “Why is this necessary?” So, consider this: (1) man is born a sinner by nature (Rom. 5:12), having inherited Adam’s curse, and (2) God is incapable—according to His own holy character—of directly creating something sinful.

Second, God is Father to the Son. In His deity, Jesus is a co-equal and co-eternal Person in the Godhead; yet, according to the “incarnation” (putting on flesh/humanity), Jesus’ human life was created when the Holy Spirit came upon Mary to conceive of a child who would grow in stature and wisdom, experience hunger, become weary, need sleep, feel emotions, temptation (without sinning), pain, and death for the sins of all who would repent and believe. Hence, the “seed of woman” (Gen. 3:15) is God’s only “natural” Son.

Finally, it is only by “adoption” (Jn. 1:12-13; Gal. 4:4-5)) that any person can be described as a child of God. God is inaccessible to the natural man (as he is born in sin). To be acceptable to God, one must be “born from above” (Jn. 3) through repentance and faith in His true Son, Jesus (Gal. 3:26). There is no other way! No one enters God’s presence unless he has been adopted IN and THROUGH Jesus.

So, the most important question every person must settle is this: “Am I a child of God?”

Grace and peace, y’all! Soli Deo Gloria