God the Father – Is He Knowable?
God wishes to be known as our loving Father. In this excerpt from the vaults, Boyd Nicholson explores the theme of God the Father.
Desiring to Know God the Father.
God desires to be known now as a Father, a seeking Father, a Father seeking children who will be worshippers first of all to bring joy and gladness to His great great heart of love. If we desire to know God in any way as a Father, we will find at once that there are some severe difficulties in the way.
There are three great truths relative to the nature of the Father that present these difficulties and they came from the lips of the Son of God Himself. The first is that the Father is invisible to the natural eye. John 6:46 “ No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. ” The second is that the Father is inscrutable to the natural mind Matt.11:27 “ no one knows the Father except the Son.” So He cannot be known by the processes of the natural mind. The third from the lips of the Lord Jesus is that the Father is inaccessible by natural means Jn.14:6 “No one comes to the Father except through me.” How then in the face of these difficulties can we ever get to know God as a Father? The answer is of course through the Son of God Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ.
We Can Know the Father Through Jesus
Is the Father invisible? The Lord Jesus said, “ Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” Jn 14;9 So then He may be seen by the eye of faith by His manifestation in the Son.
Is the Father inscrutable to the natural mind? Then He may be known in the revelation of the Son of God, in Matt.11:27 we read again the words of the Lord Jesus “ No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” So then He may be known as the Son of God reveals Him to us.
Is the Father inaccessible by natural means? Then again the approach to Him must always and only be by the mediation of the Son. . .and I might say by no other. The Bible makes that mercilessly clear in Jn14:6 Jesus says “ I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me ”. Again we read in 1 Tim.2:5, “ For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.” Keeping in mind that the only reason that He can be the go‑between is because He is both God and man as the Bible declares, in many Scriptures, one of which reads, “Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit,
was seen by angels, was preached among the nations,
was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.” 1 Tim.3:16
Jesus Reveals the Character of the Father
Not only does the Son of God the Lord Jesus make it possible for us to know the Father, come to the Father and see Him by faith, but He has also revealed something of the character of the Father. When He was praying, as it is recorded for us in Jn 17, He addresses the Father as “Righteous Father” so we learn through the Lord Jesus that the Father is righteous. That is right in all He says and does. Righteousness is holiness carried over into words and deeds. So it goes without saying that if we are ever going to have any fellowship; with God as a Father, then we cannot be engaged in any unrighteousness in our lives . So we can see that righteousness is indispensable to fellowship with God the Father.
Our Lack of Righteousness
This presents some problem to us. Because we do not possess it by nature. The Bible so declares this fact in Rom 3:10, “ There is no one righteous, not even one.” so if ever we are going to have righteousness it will have to be a gift from the righteous Father. It is so called in Romans 5:17 “the gift of righteousness.” How then can we receive this gift? Rom.3:22 tells us, “ This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe .” This righteousness of God is offered to all, but all do not want it. Many would rather live sinfully and alienated from God to please themselves and gratify their own desires. In Romans 4:24 we discover that this righteousness is counted as ours the moment “ for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.”
So by this study we discover that it is this gift of righteousness that makes fellowship with God the Father possible, and it is the practice of righteousness that makes fellowship with the Father presently enjoyable.
Also in John 17 and in verse11 the Lord Jesus addresses the Father again. This time He calls Him, “Holy Father”. So by this we learn that the Father is holy. In Jn 16:27 we discover, from the words of the Lord Jesus, that the Father is Loving. The Bible makes it clear that it is not sufficient to call God “Father”, there must be a birth into His family, and the evidence of His life in us.
We must make sure that we really are children of God the Father. This happens through the new birth. That is, to be spiritually born from above by the work of God the Holy Spirit when we believe in God and receive His Son as Saviour. The Lord Jesus said to a theological professor one day “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again ” Jn.3:3
Many other revelations of the Father are given to us by the ascriptions by which He is known in the Bible. He is called the Father of Lights, the Father of Glory, the Father of Mercy and many other lovely Names. Can you say as did John so long ago, as he recorded in his first letter, “truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ”.
First make sure you are in His family, then obey His words and like the great men and women of the past it will be your joy and holy privilege to walk with God and to please Him and be a blessing to multitudes who know Him not.
From the Vault
This post was originally from the Family Bible Hour Program, recorded in the early 1980’s) The author was Boyd Nicholson, a full time Christian worker, from St. Catharines, ON
You Might Enjoy These Posts
You May Also Enjoy These Podcasts:
“Michelangelo touch” – PublicDomainPictures
Trees – stux
Pensive Man – Alamamjar