Remembering the Father in Fatherhood: Biblical Foundations and Practical Implications of the Doctrine of the Fatherhood of God -- By: Gregory C. Cochran
Journal: Journal of Discipleship and Family Ministry
Volume: JDFM 01:2 (Spring 2011)
Article: Remembering the Father in Fatherhood: Biblical Foundations and Practical Implications of the Doctrine of the Fatherhood of God
Author: Gregory C. Cochran
JFM 1:2 (Spring 2011) p. 14
Remembering the Father in Fatherhood:
Biblical Foundations and Practical Implications
of the Doctrine of the Fatherhood of God
Gregory C. Cochran (Ph.D.,The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the Senior Pastor of Cedar Grove Baptist Church in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, and also serves as an adjunct professor at Southern Seminary. Greg and his wife vicky have five biological children and are expecting two children by adoption from Ethiopia later this year. Greg is the owner of Coffee Connections Roasting Co, which produces and markets Kerusso Coffee.
We are privileged to have direct commands from God concerning fatherhood in Scripture. We are commanded to train and instruct our children in the ways of God without making them bitter (Eph 6:4). We are commanded (negatively) against provoking our children to the point of discouragement. Scripture teaches us to saturate our homes with the Word of God (Deut 6:7-8) and make sure proper discipline is meted out in order to lead our children away from dangerous folly and into the peaceful fruit of righteousness (Heb 12:7-11). Beyond these instructions, we have the Proverbs, compiled by a father whose heart burned to impart wisdom from above into the heart of his son (Prov 1:4-9). We have a great deal of instruction from the Lord concerning fatherhood, but, frankly, we need more than instruction. After all, even instruction manuals are typically illustrated. While we are indeed thankful for any directions we receive concerning child rearing, we could use more help. We need a model of fatherhood. We need to see fatherhood in action. Reading instructions is always made easier by seeing a living example. How much better would it be to have a living example of fatherhood? Thanks be to God, we have such an example. We have the perfect example to learn from now that we have become children of God. Now that the Sprit has helped us, we can cry out, “Abba, Father,” to the only perfect father knowable on the earth. We call the living God our Father.
The thought of calling God “Father” is almost unthinkable to many people, including Muslims. Born into the upper class of the Muslim society in Pakistan, Bilquis Sheikh later converted to Christ. In her testimony concerning her conversion, Bilquis Sheikh remembers how shocking it was when a certain Dr. Santiago first suggested that she address God as Father: “Talk to him as if he were my Father! The thought shook my soul in the peculiar way truth has of being at once startling and comforting.”1 You can read the remainder of Bilquis’s testimony in the book ...
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