Last week, we learned about the Godhead. In this episode, Pastor Ted Wilson focuses on God the Father.
Jesus addresses the Father on several occasions. For instance, He mentions Him in His prayer in Matthew 6:9, 10: "Our Father Which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven."
With this, the third Seventh-day Adventist Fundamental Belief states, "God the eternal Father is the Creator, Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation. He is just and holy, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. The qualities and powers exhibited in the Son and the Holy Spirit are also those of the Father" (adventist.org/beliefs).
It is the same God in both the Old and New Testaments Who acts for the salvation of His people. For instance, in Hebrews 1:1, 2, we read, "God, Who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, Whom He has appointed heir of all things, through Whom also He made the worlds."
The Old Testament describes the Father in several ways. In Deuteronomy 32:6, Moses referred to Him as their Father, Who redeemed them. Also, God revealed through Jeremiah that He is "a Father to Israel" (Jeremiah 31:9). And in Isaiah 64:8, the prophet cried, "O Lord, You are our Father."
In addition, Psalm 103:13 gives us a compassionate picture of God. The verse goes, "As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him." In Malachi 1:6, God states, "I am the Father." And in chapter 2, verse 10, Malachi asks, "Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us?"
Throughout the Old Testament, God is acknowledged as a gracious and merciful God. David sings, "Our God is merciful," and affirms that "His mercy is everlasting" (Psalm 116:5; 100:5). His mercy cannot be earned. It doesn't blindly pardon but executes by the principles of justice and holiness. Those who reject it will reap His punishment.
In addition, we see a God Who longs to be with His people. Exodus 25:8 mentions, "Let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them." Also, He is a redeeming God Who miraculously led a nation of slaves to freedom.
Psalms 46:1 says, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Chapter 86 verse 15 adds that He is a "God full of compassion," and He is "gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in mercy and truth."
Moreover, He is a God of forgiveness. In Micah 7:18-19, the prophet describes Him as a God Who pardons iniquity and passes over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage. He "does not retain His anger forever because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us and will subdue our iniquities." And He will "cast all our sins into the depths of the sea."
He is a God of goodness, faithfulness, salvation, and vengeance. "Say to those who are fearful-hearted, 'Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance; with the recompense of God; He will come and save you'" (Isaiah 35:4).
In the New Testament, Paul distinguishes the Father from the Son. "There is only one God, the Father, of Whom are all things…" He continues, "and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through Whom are all things and through Whom we live" (1 Cor. 8:6).
Also, the apostle worships the Father when he writes, "I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from Whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named" (Ephesians 3:14, 15).
The complete revelation of the Father is given to us through His Son, Who came in flesh. "No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son…has declared Him" (John 1:18). Jesus Himself also said, "He Who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9).
As one of the most well-known verses says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
Indeed, God is a God Who gives and loves. He gave us His Son to die so we might reconcile with Him and enjoy eternity. He waits for us to return to Him, longing to place His robe of righteousness around us and welcome us home.