This is part two in a five-part series. It’s a “getting to know God” Bible study. Here at His Dearly Loved Daughter Ministries, we think an intimate relationship with our Jehovah Rapha (the God who heals me) is really important, and so we have set out to learn all we can about Him. We started by learning to understand the Trinity: how He can be both three distinct Persons, and the One God. (click to cartch up) In these next three parts, we’ll be learning about each member of the Godhead starting today as we’re discovering God our Father.
There are many attributes shared by all three members of the Trinity like omniscience and omnipotence, but there are also qualities that set Father, Son, and Holy Spirit apart. So, let’s take a look at some of the characteristics that make God the Father who He is.
Attributes of God the Father
The Authority of God
Ephesians 4:6 – One God and Father of all, who is over all, in all, and living through all.
Lord Acton famously said, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts, absolutely…” But there is only One who has ever had absolute power, and there is nothing corrupt about Him! God the Father has ultimate authority over every created thing, and even over the other two persons of the Godhead.
Rulers throughout history have made the mistake of thinking their power was unstoppable, like King Nebuchadnezzar. Yet, not one will stand at the end. Not one will hold onto power or accomplish ultimate dominance. In time, they all will fall and answer to the Great God of Heaven. Nebuchadnezzar learned this lesson the hard way, but after being tormented by insanity he did finally acknowledge the power and authority of God before he died. (Daniel 4:34-38)
The Bible tells us the Father’s authority is supreme over:
- All people – past, present and future: 2 Chronicles 20:6, 1 Thessalonians 3:13, Psalm 103:19.
- Satan, the angels and all authorities in the unseen world: Job 2:1-7, Matthew 26:53-54.
- The Son and the Holy Spirit: John 14:26, John 16:13, John 5:19, John 14:10, John 17:15.
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The Sovereignty of God
The Father’s authority is so great that it extends even beyond living beings to include things like time, seasons, weather, the universe, and the events of heaven and earth. Nothing falls outside of His reach. We name this absolute and ultimate authority “sovereignty”, and it just means He is in charge of, or “over” every single thing.
Though life often feels like it’s spiraling out of control, the Bible promises us our Heavenly Father IS in control. He has a purpose and a plan in every single event starting from the moment He created light, through the final judgment, and on through eternity.
He will accomplish everything He intended to accomplish, and nothing will ever escape His ultimate purpose.
Our Sovereign God’s Plan
Isaiah 14:24-27 – The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has sworn this oath: “It will all happen as I have planned. It will be as I have decided… I have a plan for the whole earth, a hand of judgment upon all the nations. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has spoken – who can change his plans?
Mark 13:32 – However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son Himself. Only the Father knows.
The Bible tells us the Father’s plan is sovereign over creation and includes all the intricate workings of nature as well as every exploit of the kingdoms of the world. It’s all under His control. He brings the rain and the seasons, He sets up kings and rulers, He determines every detail of history. (Isaiah 64:8, Jeremiah 14:22, Job 12:13-16, Daniel 2:20-22, Isaiah 14:24-27, Isaiah 41:4, Mark 13:32)
It also tells us His plan encompasses every intimate detail of our own lives! Those of us who are saved were chosen by Him before we even existed and He laid out every moment of every day of our lives.
Even our eternity is secure with Him, and He is always working. He is refining us and aligning us to His perfect will. One day He will finish that work in us and we will be perfect, able to dwell in His presence for all of eternity. (Ephesians 1:4, Psalm 139:16, Proverbs 16:9, Philippians 2:13, John 6:44, Ephesians 2:8-10, Romans 8:27-30, Philippians 1:6, Hebrews 9:27, John 6:37-38.)
Discovering God Our Father in the Biblical Doctrine of Adoption
Do you know that you are chosen by God? That is, if you are a Christian. You’ve been chosen, and purchased, and set free! You can learn all about that part of your identity in this post I wrote as part of the Identified Series. (Click to read)
How special does it make you feel to know God the Father, the highest, greatest, most powerful being that has ever existed and will ever exist chose YOU, and called you to Himself as a special and precious part of His sovereign plan?
But His plan didn’t stop there. When we responded to His call, and our freedom was purchased through the blood of Jesus, God our Father adopted us into His family!
Adopted into the Royal Family of God, Our Abba Father
Part of getting to God, and discovering God our Father is fully understanding that He sent Jesus into the world to buy our freedom so that He could adopt us as His very own children. He gave us the Holy Spirit so we can have an intimate, personal relationship with Him. He made us His own and became our perfect Heavenly Father. (Galatians 4:5-7)
He wants us to crawl up into His lap and call Him Daddy! He wants to be for us everything a good father is. Why?
Because He delights in us, and making us his very own brings Him great pleasure.
Ephesians 1:5 – God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.
The adoption story the Father has written throughout time is long and complicated. It’s filled with His tender love for His children, their rejection of Him, and His unyielding pursuit of those who are His.
From the nation of Israel (Romans 9:4, Jeremiah 3:19) through the New Testament Church (Galatians 3:28-29, John 1:12-13, Ephesians 1:13-14), the Bible is filled with the narrative of the Heavenly Father gathering His children unto Himself.
Characteristics of God the Father
Discovering God Our Father in The Discipline of God
Hebrews 12:5-6 – And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as His children? He said, “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when He corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes each one He accepts as His child.”
We know a good father disciplines his children. Right?
I mean, we’ve all seen unruly children terrorizing those around them as the parents stood by doing nothing. We likely shook our heads and blamed poor parenting. In contrast, we’ve likely also observed well-behaved children acting with respect and noted the attentive yet gentle correction of the parents. We know, deep down, that loving discipline breeds healthy offspring.
So why are we so often discouraged when we find ourselves under the discipline of our Heavenly Father?
If we respect our earthly fathers when they discipline us, shouldn’t we value even more the discipline of God? After all, His understanding and reach is far beyond that of our earthly fathers who disciplined us from a place of fallen brokenness and finite knowledge. God’s discipline is coupled to absolute perfection and total sovereignty. So it is always good for us, and always meant to refine us into the image of Jesus.
It’s not fun. Discipline is never enjoyable while it is happening. It hurts! But we will find in time its sanctifying work produces wonderful results in our lives. (Hebrews 12:7-11, Deuteronomy 8:5, Revelation 3:19, Job 5:17-18, Proverbs 3:11-12)
The Father as God Our Comforter
Of course, the discipline of a good father is paired with comfort. We all appreciate when a strong man draws a firm line for the good of his toddler. But our hearts are warmed when we see that same father gather his weeping tot into his arms and shower him with words of tender comfort.
Do we doubt for a second that God as our Heavenly Father will do any less for His own precious children?
2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 – All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others…
May we never reject the Lord’s discipline, and may we be quick to learn from it. But as we’re discovering God our Father, may we also never forget that even as we’re enduring His discipline, our Good Father is there with open arms ready and willing to offer comfort.
Praying to God the Father
Matthew 7: 7-11 – Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
You parents – if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not!
So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him.
God, as our Heavenly Father longs for us to come to Him with our needs so He can provide for us. Part of discovering God our Father is realizing He wants us to tell Him about our troubles so He can help us navigate them.
He actually wants us to prattle on to Him about our hopes and dreams so He can give us the desires of our hearts! Don’t we want the same things from our own children? Doesn’t it bring us pleasure to provide for them? How much more, our perfect Father! (Psalms 145:18-19, Hebrews 4:16, Philippians 4:6-7, 2 Chronicles 7:14, John 16:23)
Learning to Pray Like Jesus to His Father
Jesus, the only begotten Son of the Father, taught us so much about prayer during His time here on earth. He taught us by example because He talked to His Father regularly: Before major decisions, before He ate, when life was difficult, when He was concerned for others, before He did a major work in His ministry, after He did a major work in His ministry… basically, all the time! (Luke 6:12-13, Mark 14:36, John 17:20-24, Matthew 6:5-13)
Let’s be like Jesus! Let’s pray about everything!
As we’re discovering God our Father, let’s be quick to ask Him for what we need, knowing we will receive. Let’s seek Him always, knowing we will find. May we knock at His door every day, every moment, knowing He will always answer, open the door, and invite us into His presence. Let us always be quick to thank Him for what He has done. And may we be careful that our prayers are genuine, intimate conversations with our Daddy, not platitudes on which we hope to earn the admiration of others.
Friends, let’s come boldly before His throne, and seek His will above all else as we look up into the eyes of our mighty Father in reverent awe as He faithfully bends down to listen!
The Love of God the Father
John 3:16 – For this is how much God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
Everything we’ve learned about God the Father can really be summed up in this one statement: God is love! There are so many things to learn and understand about Him, but without an understanding of His love, they all become incomplete.
Discovering God our Father means KNOWING that His love is all-encompassing.
- His authority over everything is perfected because of His love.
- His purpose and His plan are right and just because of His love.
- He adopted us into His family because of His love.
- He disciplines us and comforts us because of His love.
- We can pray to Him, and commune with Him because of His love.
Responding to the Love of God the Father
Such unimaginable love demands a response. People who are unconditionally loved will have the security and the confidence to love others.
1 John 4:7-11 – Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love – not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.
Oh friends, let’s praise God the Father today for who He is! Let’s rejoice that He is in control, and thank Him for bringing us into His family. May we faithfully respond to His discipline and surrender to His comfort. Let us call out to Him in prayer every single day. But most of all, let’s bask in His unfailing love! May each of us sink into His arms and snuggle in close. And may we be diligent to seek out those who are hurting and offer them the comfort we have found in our Father’s embrace. Let’s be the full expression of our Father’s love in this lost and dying world. May we live a life that shines with the hope we have because we know our Daddy sits on the throne of heaven and we are His dearly loved daughters (and sons).
*How about you? What’s your favorite thing about God the Father?
Find the Rest of the “Getting to Know God Bible Study” Below: