Nutshell Theology: Paterology


Big Picture

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Everything we learned about God's Nature and Character so far is true of Father, Son and Spirit. But what's the difference? We'll try to take a look over the next few weeks at what roles each plays in the Godhead. "œ Godhead " is a word used to describe God as a trinity "“ Three distinct persons but having one essence.
It's easy to find theology books dedicated to the Son or to the Spirit but God the Father is "the most neglected member of the Trinity. 1 Though it is certainly not his desire to remain a mystery. The Father is not the Son, nor is He the Spirit; he is "“ to put it redundantly and simply: The Father. Inherent in that fact is the concept of relationship. One of the very first things we are taught as Christians is to pray to the Father (Matthew 6:9, John 16:23, John 16:26) Because we are designed to know him. Jesus and the New Testament writers often speak of God as "Abba" meaning "Daddy." Whereas "Father" today has something of an impersonal feeling to it, "Daddy" does not. We are meant to have a relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ his Son and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Say the word "Father" and our minds instantly evoke memories of the man who played the role of our earthly father. Even though none of us have (or is) a perfect father, we tend to innately understand what a good father should be. God is to us a perfect father with all of the implications that caries. Overall the Fatherhood of God speaks of him as our Creator, as our Caretaker, and our Master.

Within the Godhead there is an authority structure which is partially displayed in 1 Corinthians 11:3 "… God [the Father] is the head of Christ. " Within the framework of that authority structure The Father is head while the Son submits to the Father and the Holy Spirit submits to both the Father and the Son. In the Bible this is what we see:
The Father Sends the son (John 5:37) whom he loves (John 10:17 )
in order to Redeem us whom he loves (John 3:16). Though the Son is Equal to the Father (John 10:30, 38; John 14:9- 11) and has all authority (Mat 11:27, Luke 10:22, John 3:35, John 5:22, John 16:15) Jesus still humbles himself to submit to the Father and says the Father is greater than he is (John 14:28, 1 Corinthians 11:3).

Jesus does not act on his own, but obeys the Father: (John 5:19-20, John 8:28, John 10:32) the works of Jesus are therefore the works of the Father (John 12:49, John 12:50, John 14:10) and the works of Jesus glorifies the Father (John 14:13).

Some people erroneously believe that God the Father is stern and hard, while Jesus is the loving – gentle one. But Jesus does nothing without the Father's permission, and all that Jesus does is an extension of what the Father does. The Father is merciful (2Co 1:3) The Father gives wisdom (Eph 1:17) The Father qualifies us for heaven's rewards (Col 1:12) (through the blood of Jesus ). Every good thing comes from the Father (Jam 1:17). Therefore it is the Father who is to be praised in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:21-23). The Father in turn has set it up so that His son is worshiped (John 5:23, Heb 1:6).

The Father is only knowable through Jesus ( Mat 11:27, Luke 10:22 , John 1:18 , John 6:46). The Father gives sinners to Jesus (John 6:37, John 6:44, John 6:45, John 6:65) No one approaches the Father except through Jesus (John 14:6). When we come to Jesus The Father honors (John 12:26) and adopts us as his children (John 1:12-13, 1Jo 3:1)

Jesus returned to the Father at his Ascension (John 16:28) and asked the Father to send the Holy Spirit (John 14:16, John 14:26, Act 1:4) Jesus sends the Holy Spirit from the Father (John 15:26) The son and the Spirit bring us to the Father (Ephesians 2:18)

We await the Father to announce the return of Christ (Mat 24:36, Mar 13:32, Act 1:7) Jesus will come not only in his own glory but in the glory of the Father. (Luke 9:26).

So the Father is the head of the Trinity "“ not in superiority but in authority. He is the initiator of our Salvation, and it is Him we have been made to know. So how does all of this apply to daily life?

Daily Life

"When theological facts are not applied to life, they tend to poison the soul." 2 "Knowledge of the Father is not the exclusive possession of scholars and theologians. It is a gracious gift offered to all who come to Jesus Christ in Faith." 3 Knowing the Father is the equivalent of Eternal Life. (John 17:3).

Memory Verse

1 John 2:23
Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.

1 Koessler,John [amazon 0802440681 inline]. 1999 Moody press. Chicago. p15

2 ibid p12

3 ibid p13