God is Family
“When you leave the subject of family you have left the Kingdom. Our Father… Your Kingdom…”
The Bible tells us that God is in an eternal relationship with Himself: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
The very essence of God is family. He has always been Father. He has always been Son.
We were Created in the image of the Family God
When God created humanity He created image bearers who were made of His substance. We are created by the Father and Son and through the Holy Spirit who were in deep intimate connection.
Family = connectedness
Adam and Eve lived in the garden in this naked state.
It depicted their living fully seen and unashamed. The fruit of this connection was that through their ultimate union with one another would happen out of the overflow of their intertwined lives where their souls would merge together and they would connect in an act of physical union which would result in their spirits becoming one. This merging of their entire beings with one another would produce new life.
The Consequence of the Fall
The most devastating aspect of the Fall was humanity’s disconnection. This internet connection with the maker was shattered and Adam’s first act after the Fall was to run and hide from the Presence of is Father.
Adam and Eve’s relationship was thrown into chaos. Each desperately trying connect but in a way that they took from one anther.
The disconnection from God and each other brought a living hell to earth.
C.S. Lewis said,
“Hell is a place that whenever people disagree they simply moved away from another.”
In other words Hell is a place where we loose our connection to one another. Hell is often depicted by painters as this fiery place of torture. The reality is that the ultimate torture of the human soul is to be disconnected.
The Mission of Jesus to Restore Family
Why Jesus came
People often point out the reasons Jesus came to earth:
- He came to atone for people’s sins
- He came to forge a New Covenant
- He came to set the captives free
- He came to heal the sick
- He came to show us truth
- All these are sub-points to the main reason that Jesus came. He came to restore family.
- Jesus came to reveal the Father to an orphan planet.
The Gospel writer John tells us that towards the end of Jesus’ time on the earth Jesus reports back on His mission.
I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do…
“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world.
John 17:4, 6
Everything Jesus did was to reveal the Father, His atoning for their sins, forging of a New Covenant, setting the captives free..
The word father is used 613 times in the Old Testament and only 4 times in reference to God. In the New Testament the word father though is used 311 times, 249 times it is in reference to God.
Jesus tells invites His followers to do something radical in His day, to relate to God as their Father.
The starting place of all family are fathers.
This is not to down play the importance of mothers. Mother’s are supremely necessary in family but family and Fathers are intricately intwined.
The importance of fathers on the wellbeing and health of their children has been well charted.
America’s John Hopkins Medical School, one of the leading medical research schools in the world, commissioned a study by 2 doctors which took place over 30 years looking to see if there were any common cause factors in childhood that were responsible for 5 common diseases: Mental illness, hypertension, malignant tumours, corany heart disease and suicide. There was one common factor that they identified – the closeness of your relationship with your parents especially your father.
What the researchers showed was that all five of these diseases were related to stress. And children that are brought up in a loving home especially where they have a good relationship with the father they are much better at handling stress.
Children who grow up without a father are more likely to use drugs and alcohol and smoke cigarettes than those who grow up in a two-parent household.”
63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (US Dept. Of Health/Census) – 5 times the average.
80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes. [Criminal Justice & Behaviour, Vol 14, pp. 403-26, 1978]
71% of pregnant teenagers lack a father. [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services press release, Friday, March 26, 1999]
The former king of pop, Michael Jackson, a few years ago was giving a talk at Cambridge University about his foundation for children he formed. Part way through the speech Michael Jackson broke down uncontrollably sobbing. After a number of minutes he was able to recollect himself and said these words “I just wanted my dad to love me.”
Apparently when he was 5 years old at his first rehearsal for TV something went wrong and Michael called out “Daddy.” He sad snapped back at him, “I’m not your daddy, I am your manager.” And we wonder why he is Wacko.
God the Father of all families
If earthly fathers are so instrumental in the wholeness of people then how much more the connection to our Heavenly Father.
The Bible tells us that God is the Father of all fathers.
Earthly fathers are a shadow of Father God.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. (Ephesians 3:14)
The absence of earthy fathers or the difficulty of your relationship with your earthly father not only effects your natural life, it effects your spiritual life.
Your connection with God and your connection with your earthly father are intricately connected. The two go hand in hand.
How you see your earthly father effects how you see your heavenly father. If you had a good father you have a greater capacity to see God as good. If you had a bad father your
This is why Malachi says that God was sending the prophet Elijah to restore the hearts of the Fathers to the Children ad the Children’s heart to their fathers. The failure of this is the curse on steroids.
“See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”
We intuitively see our Heavenly Father through the lens of our earthly father.
Healing father wounds
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
The Heart is the seed bed of Faith.
Judgements and bitterness pollutes our hearts.
If someone curses their father or mother, their lamp will be snuffed out in pitch darkness.
The human spirit is the lamp of the Lord that sheds light on one’s inmost being.
Anger causes a darling of our spirits.
Forgiveness breaks the bondages and cleanses
For the Christian wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the Christian husband brings holiness to his marriage. Otherwise, your children would not be holy, but now they are holy.
1 Corinthians 7:14
Our actions of forgiveness bring a cleaning of our hearts and a freedom to others.
The fishing wire vision.
How to forgive:
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold[h]was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins.[i] He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’
30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
Verse 35 says we need to “forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
Forgiveness is a decision of will.
- Acknowledge the debt against you
- Name it. Describe it.
- Describe how it has affected you
- Release the person from the sin.
Other Sermons In This Series
January 28, 2019
January 24, 2019