March 26th, 2023
In my previous two notes, I considered our confession of faith in the Triune God. We believe in one God, who is Father, Son, and Spirit. In this note, we turn our attention to God the Father. We believe in “God the Father, the Almighty.”
One of the central and most glorious truths of the Gospel is that we are made children of God and sons of God. Throughout John’s Gospel, God the Son frequently refers to his Father, but after the resurrection, he commissions Mary in the garden: “go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God’” (John 20:17). God the Son reveals the Father and gives his life to redeem us from sin and death and judgment, so that we who believe in him are no longer “children of wrath” and “sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2-3), but “dearly loved children” (Ephesians 5:1). The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is our God and Father. Thus, the Apostle Paul declares, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Romans 8:15).
We confess that God our Father is the Almighty. I like how the Heidelberg catechism elaborates this confession. In question 26, the catechism asks:
What do you believe when you say, “I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth”?
That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who out of nothing created heaven and earth and everything in them, who still upholds and rules them by his eternal counsel and providence, is my God and Father because of Christ the Son. I trust God so much that I do not doubt he will provide whatever I need for body and soul, and will turn to my good whatever adversity he sends upon me in this sad world. God is able to do this because he is almighty God and desires to do this because he is a faithful Father.
Our secular society and culture is in rebellion against God and this rebellion is manifest in a renunciation of fatherhood. Men renounce their calling and responsibility as fathers and the abandoned younger generation renounce their accountability to fathers.
But our lived experience contradicts the pervasive and persistent rhetoric of liberation from patriarchy. Few people can deny the profound pain of fatherlessness. As God’s dearly loved children, let us remember Hosea’s prophetic prayer, “In you the fatherless find compassion” (Hosea 14:3) and let us pray with renewed zeal, “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.”