The Father’s Faithful Nurture Of Sons -- By: Michael L. Andrakowicz
RAR 7:2 (Spring 1998) p. 47
The Father’s Faithful Nurture Of Sons
There seems to be no end to the books being written in our generation on the subject of parenting. From the scholarly tomes to the simple “how-to” handbooks, whether Christian or secular, liberal or conservative, everyone seems to have something to say on the matter of raising children. Yet, how often is it the case that one good example is better than many books. Especially when it comes to training and nurturing children, we have no better paradigm than that of the quintessential parent Himself, God the Father.
The subject of the fatherhood of God is appropriately divided into four distinct aspects: (1) Creative, (2) Trinitarian, (3) Christological and (4) Redemptive.1 However, it is within the context of God’s redemptive activity in Christ that His fatherly nature is most clearly depicted to us as His children.
Fundamental to the New Testament is the fact of the Father’s begetting of His children. John is careful to emphasize this in the opening lines of his Gospel (John 1:13). Furthermore, because Jesus is God’s Son, union with Him through faith results not only in a new existence through regeneration, but a new relationship to God as sons through adoption (Gal. 3:26). So central is this theme to the Father’s eternal plan, that Paul depicts our adoption as sons as the very goal of God’s electing grace (Eph. 1:5). So powerful is it that John states its present ethical implications
RAR 7:2 (Spring 1998) p. 48
in the starkest of terms, “No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin because he is born of God” (1 John 3:9). So permanent is it that the age to come will forever confirm our status before the whole universe, as sons of the Father (Rom. 8:19, 23).
Just as relevant to the theme of the fatherhood of God in redemption is His relationship to His children, not merely as begetter, but as nurturer. How important it is to a consistent theology of the fatherhood of God, to understand that He has not sired children and simply wandered away, leaving them to raise themselves. Our heavenly Father must not be perceived as the ungodly fathers of the world, who so often ignore their little ones once they have begotten them, often abandoning them altogether. Yet, the manner and method of God’s fatherly nurture of His children is not al...
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