Category: Trinity

The Father of Israel

This is the 16th in a series of articles on the Trinity, excerpted from “What Every Christian Should Know About the Trinity,” available by contacting the MBC or through Amazon and other booksellers.

In the previous column, we explored how Yahweh is the “God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The Scriptures depict the fatherhood of God in other ways, as well. In this article, we examine God as the Father of Israel, and in the next column we survey God as the Father of the Church.

The Israelites enjoy a unique relationship with Yahweh, who creates a nation for Himself out of the pagan tribes of the world. Then, He calls Himself the Father of Israel. This special relationship is anchored in God’s sovereign will and eternal plan to deliver the redemption of sinful mankind through a special people marked off as His own.

While the Israelites enjoy great benefits as the “firstborn” of Yahweh (Exod. 4:22), they may claim no merit of their own in this unique relationship. In fact, they often come under the chastening hand of their Father when they violate the terms of their covenant with Yahweh.

In a terse warning to the Israelites, Moses contrasts the faithfulness of God with the once and future corruption of His people: “Is this how you repay the LORD, you foolish and senseless people? Isn’t he your Father and Creator? Didn’t he make you and sustain you? Remember the days of old; consider the years of past generations. Ask your father, and he will tell you, your elders, and they will teach you. When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance and divided the human race, he set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the people of Israel. But the LORD’s portion is his people, Jacob, his own inheritance” (Deut. 32:6-9).
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The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ

This is the 15th in a series of articles on the Trinity, excerpted from “What Every Christian Should Know About the Trinity,” available by contacting the MBC or through Amazon and other booksellers.

While Jesus assures His followers that God is their Heavenly Father, He alone shares a unique relationship with the Father as the eternal Son of God. There is an intimacy in this union that only exists between two eternal, all-powerful, and all-knowing persons. We explore this relationship in more detail in future columns.

Still, it may prove helpful here to note a few New Testament passages where Paul and Peter use the phrase “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” How is it that Yahweh is both the God of Jesus, and His Father?

Let’s begin with the verses themselves, and then follow up with a few observations.

Romans 15:6 – “so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with one mind and one voice.”

2 Corinthians 1:3 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort.”

Ephesians 1:3 – “Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ.”

1 Peter 1:3 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus  Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
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The Fatherhood of God

This is the 14th in a series of articles on the Trinity, excerpted from “What Every Christian Should Know About the Trinity,” available by contacting the MBC or through Amazon and other booksellers.

In the previous column, we explored the Father’s deity. Now, let’s look at some ways the Bible describes the Fatherhood of God.

First, the Greek word theos is used of the Father. We see this in numerous passages, such as Galatians 1:1 and 1 Peter 1:2. While theos also is used of Satan (2 Cor. 4:4) and pagan idols (1 Cor. 8:5), the New Testament writers are clear that these entities are not God by nature (Gal. 4:8). In fact, Paul argues that the gods of the pagans actually are demons (1 Cor. 10:20).

In addition, the Greek kyrios (Lord) is found more than 700 times in the New Testament and is clearly applied to the Father in numerous passages (e.g., Matt. 4:7; Heb. 12:5-6).

Second, the Father’s divine attributes reveal His deity. The Father is eternal (Rom. 1:20; 1 Tim. 6:16); almighty (Rev. 19:6); immortal (1 Tim. 1:17); all-knowing (Matt. 6:32); perfect (Matt. 5:48); and true deity (John 17:3).

We should not overlook the significance of 1 John 1:3, where the apostle writes, “[W]hat we have seen and heard we also declare to you, so that you may also have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” The invitation to fellowship with the Father, as with the Son, demonstrates both His personhood and His deity.
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The Father is God

This is the 13th in a series of articles on the Trinity, excerpted from “What Every Christian Should Know About the Trinity,” available by contacting the MBC or through Amazon and other booksellers.

There is little dispute among professing Christians that our Heavenly Father is God. This is true even among the most prominent forms of counterfeit Christianity.

For example, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in the deity and personhood of Jehovah, whom they identify as the Father, even though they deny the doctrine of the Trinity and embrace unbiblical views about Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints profess belief in Heavenly Father, or Elohim, whom they worship as the god of this world, although he is one of a multitude of gods and potential gods.

These doctrinal distinctions highlight the importance of defending historic Christianity. If we fail to understand the Father correctly, and if we miss the clear teachings of Scripture with respect to His relationship with the other members of the Godhead, then the biblical doctrines of creation, redemption, and restoration suffer as well.

As Robert Morey writes, “The notion that all religions worship the Father just under different names is an idea totally foreign and antithetical to the Bible. Only the Trinitarian can truly worship God the Father because only the Trinitarian worships the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
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The persons of the Trinity: distinct, not separate

This is the 12th in a series of articles on the Trinity, excerpted from “What Every Christian Should Know About the Trinity,” available by contacting the MBC or through Amazon and other booksellers.

In the previous column, we examined the personhood of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. While the three persons of the Godhead are distinct, they cannot be separated. That is, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are co-equal and co-eternal. They exist simultaneously, not consecutively.

So, let’s summarize this essential truth, drawing from Scripture:

The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are present together at Jesus’ baptism (Matt. 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-23).

In the Great Commission, Jesus sends His followers to make disciples in “the name [singular] of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit …” (Matt. 28:19-20).

The three persons of the Godhead work together to grant spiritual gifts to followers of Jesus: “Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different ministries, but the same Lord [Jesus]. And there are different activities, but the same God [Father] produces each gift in each person. A manifestation of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good” (1 Cor. 12:4-7).
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