Everlasting Father (Isa 9:6)

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–          VIDEO: BROWN CHILDREN’S NAME

When I became a father for the first time I felt a sense of awesome responsibility. We had been married for 6 years and that was humbling in itself. Then when our first child came things had changed even more in that we were now responsible for the care and growth of another life. As a parent I have grown to appreciate my own parents all the more and in addition have come to learn in amazement about my heavenly Father. This message will examine God as Everlasting Father.

EXAMINE             Isaiah 9:1-7

–          Jesus as Wonderful Counselor

–          Jesus as Mighty God

–          Jesus as Prince of Peace

–          Jesus as Everlasting Father

The previous 3 names all show God as infinite away and wholly other. Yet, the name of Father shows a God incarnate, One whom is accessible. A loving Father sends His Child to us. This tells the miracle of the Christmas story that God would take on flesh to be known and even more provocative to be killed on a cross for the sins of the world.

The Old Testament shows God as One trying to be a father to a rebellious child. Israel, the rebellious child, rejects God for their father and king and they seek Father-King substitutes. In the books of Samuel, Kings & Chronicles we see kings raised up yet none of them fully completing the role God desired for them. Each king would serve his reign only to “sleep” and die. Only God’s royal throne is eternal. God is an Everlasting King, and he shows this through the line of this Child.

Isaiah says,
“you, O Lord, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name” (63:16b).

“But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand” (64:8).

Jesus says,

“Whoever has seen me has seen the Father…Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me…Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.” John 14:9-11

Before we can make application of God as our Father we must understand a certain distinct identity of God’s fatherhood. Christians believe that God is Triune – 3 persons in 1 essence.

Scripture teaches there is only one God and that we are not to have any others. Yet, each of these persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – are understood to be uniquely God.[1]

Isaiah 45:21 “And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me”[2]

  • Trinity is not 3 Gods – polytheism.
  • Trinity is not 3 forms/modes – modalism (denies personhood).
  • Trinity is not 3+ levels of Godhood – subordinationism/Jesus not fully divine (Jehovah Witness, Mormons, etc.)

Nicene Creed

“We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father, the only begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten not made, being of one substance (homoousion) with the Father; by whom all things were made; who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried; and the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; and he shall come again with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spake by the Prophets.

And one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen”

Illustrations: 

  • Family – Husband & Wife & Children (one flesh union)
  • Pretzel
  • Universe     Matter = mass + energy + motion     Space = length + height + breadth     Time = past + present + future

 

APPLY/THINK

The world needs The Everlasting Father

We live in a generation that has been deeply disturbed by poor fatherhood.

1)      Children who live absent their biological fathers are, on average, at least 2-3 times more likely to use drugs, experience educational, health and behavioral problems, be victims of child abuse, engage in criminal behavior than their peers who live with married, biological (or adoptive) parents.[3]

2)      Fatherless boys and girls are: twice as likely to drop out of high school; twice as likely to end up in jail; four times more likely to need help for emotional or behavioral problems. [US D.H.H.S. news release, March 26, 1999]

Jesus is Everlasting.

In understanding the doctrine of the Trinity it is essential to know that Jesus is not a lesser God but that He existed before the foundations of the world. This Child is not simply born but rather given (Isa 9:6) to signify his eternality. His reign will have no end (9:7).

Ephesians 1:4-5 “[God] chose us in him [Jesus] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for the adoption as sons through Jesus Christ”

Colossians 1:15-17 “He is the image of the invisible God… He is the beginning…For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell”

Hebrews 1:3 “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature”

Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty”

Further, to say that he is everlasting gives us application that he does not change. In other words, we can count and depend on him. He is trustworthy. He is always available, never abandoning or abusive. He is constant holy love.

Jesus as a Father

Again, this does not mean that there is no distinction of personhood between the God the Father and the Son. It is referring to the fatherly characteristics of Jesus’ identity. In fact, the phrase can be used in a variety of senses as not just a literal father but also as a founder, an ancestor or ruler.

You can either have Adam as your father.

“sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin and so death spread to all men because all sinned” Rom 5:12

You can have Jesus as your father.

“Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:18-19

 

[1] See Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology, pp.226-261 for a full discussion of the doctrine of the Trinity. He offers 3 summary statements: 1) God is three persons. 2) Each person is fully God. 3) There is one God.

[2] See also Isaiah 45:5-6, 21-22, 44:6-8.

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