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Page 24


Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

- Matthew 5:48

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name.

- Matthew 6-9


How is knowing God as our personal Father through adoption different from only knowing Him as our Creator? Why is it important to emphasize this distinction? Are you God's child only through creation or also by His gracious adoption? What fruits reveal themselves in the lives of God's truly adopted children?

God is a "Father" in the following three ways:

The Fatherhood of God

As Father of: Example Text:
1. His Son

And lo a voice from heaven saying, This is My beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.

- Matthew 3:17

2. His creation and all creatures

Have we not all one Father? hath not one God created us?

- Malachi 2: 1Oa

3. His saved, adopted children

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

- Romans 8:15

The name "father" speaks of tender and abiding love. "Fatherly love" is illustrated very touchingly in the following story:

    There was a shipwreck on Lake Pontchartrain, a considerable distance from shore. No lifeboats were on board and the ship was slowly sinking. A father and mother with six children were on board.

    The father told his children not to be afraid. He promised to return for them, as he jumped into the waves with his wife. After bringing her safely to shore, he plunged back into the rough waves and returned for his children. One by one he brought them safely to shore.

    Only one child remained. The loving father's strength was spent; he could not even stand on his feet and yet - he had promised his last son that he would return. He partly swam and partly floated back to the ship. He told his son to jump to him. As he grasped his boy in his arms, his spent strength totally collapsed and they both drowned in the waves.

    How can this touching story of a father's love picture the love of God for His children? How would the outcome be different from the sad ending to this story, however? A helpless, human father is very different from the almighty God!

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