If one were to move away from the misconception that God is so distant in His status and truly understand, as Christ so often pointed out, that God is wanting a relationship with His people, then I venture to say that many would finally understand the heart and nature of our God. Yet it is, though, that so many see God simply as the abuser, the precursor to a profane phrase, and the downer to all they consider grand. To look at God as Father can be a hard accomplishment for many based on a relationship shared with their own earthly fathers. For Jesus, though, His over 200 references point to not only the works of God, but the character of God.
Addressing first the attributes of God, Jesus speaks of His being of Spirit in John 4:24. As such, Jesus also notes when speaking to the woman at the well that He must be worshiped in spirit and in truth. Jesus also points out that God is omnipotent and that He is not limited like man in His being able to accomplish the impossible (Mt 19:26). God is all knowing, and Jesus again points out this fact when speaking in Matthew 10:29 of how the sparrow does not fall without God’s knowing. God Himself speaks of His holiness in Leviticus 11:44-45, as He challenges the people of Israel to be holy as He is holy. Yet His holiness was even confirmed by Jesus on many occasions. And finally Jesus spoke of His Father’s love in John 3:16, where He notes that it is this love for the people that gave the world Jesus as a way of salvation.
One key factor to remember when looking at the Doctrine of God the Father is simply that, He is a Father. Not only is He Jesus’ Father, but He is our heavenly Father as well. In looking first at God as Jesus’ Father, we read of Jesus in John 20:21 commissioning His disciples, sending them out as He Himself was sent out by His Father. We read also in John’s writings of the honor the Father gave His Son (Jn 8:54), of the love the Father has for the Son (Jn 10:17), and of the glory the Father gives His Son (Jn 17:1-5). Looking in John 8 again, verse 29, it is evident that the Father is satisfied with His Son, Jesus. Because of the love the Father has for His Son, it is understood that the Father exalts His Son (Phil 2:9-11) and made Jesus the head of the Church (Eph 1:22-23).
Lest we should think that is all, let us consider how God is the Father for all believers. I think it important to first point out God’s love for us, as for His own Son. For those who believe, 1 John 3:1 speaks of His love for us. In John’s Gospel, Jesus shares that there is blessing that comes over the disciple, and that this blessing comes from God their Father. Hebrews 12:5-10, while some may think it abusive, speaks of God’s correction for His children. But read in context and true understanding, this passage speaks that a father will only discipline his children, and that in love. To be disciplined by God is not abuse, but rather evidence of His great love for us.
In all this, God is a great Father. Where our earthly fathers may fail, God never will. Where our earthly fathers may be unloving, God is full of love for His children. Where our earthly father may deny, God blesses and raises up. 1 John 4:8 states, “God is love.” What an awesome attribute for our Father to possess.