The Fatherhood of God

It is in the mind of man to consider a being greater than himself that would affirm man’s belief of a supreme being who created all things. The Apostle’s Creed (our oldest and most cherished creed about the Godhead) opens with, "I believe in God the Father, Maker of heaven and earth". In the Lord’s Prayer Jesus said, “When you pray, pray like this, ‘Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name’." How can we call the God of the cosmos, of the heavens and earth, Father? By the intent of God to have a personal relationship with His creation, He adopted us into the family of God where we call God, "our Father". All who are of the Christian faith call Him, "our Father". It is in the concept

of redemption that we call Him Father. Today a sense of fatherhood is in our minds as we celebrate Father's Day. There is nothing more personal and affectionate for a relationship between God and His adopted family to be celebrated.

How do we honor God the Father but in the second line of the Apostles Creed, "Maker of heaven and earth". By Him all things were created and you were His finest of creations. The Apostle Paul stated in his address to the Athenians, "In him we live and move and have our being". Our own sense of being, created in the image of God our Father, is a cherished attribute of man. Let us then give praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Holy Spirit in You

The day of Pentecost, 50 days after the resurrection of Christ, signifies the birth of the Church. Pentecost is the culmination of what was waited for so that the Church wouldbe empowered for ministry throughout the world.

As in a perfect storm scenario, the attributes of Pentecost have three components, each one unique in its own right. First, the outpouring of God's Spirit like a mighty rushing violent wind suggests the omnipotent power of God. Secondly, tongues of fire that rest upon each one bring a sense of personal involvement and intimacy to the believer. It is

a theophany, a visible manifestation of the invisible God, evidence of a transcendent God of the universe now imminent, a personal Advocate for each believer for the work of the ministry to know God personally, representing the omnipresence of God. Thirdly, con-cluding in the phenomena of speaking in tongues (languages) heard among every creed, race, and nation so that we now can know God, representing the omniscience of God.

The outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the purpose of empowering the Church for its ministry throughout the world now establishes the Church in its beginning to be unstoppable and unconquerable. The day of Pentecost truly is the birth of the Church.

 

Spiritual Independency

Jesus centered His teaching on the Kingdom of God, His greatest gift given to man. “Seek first the kingdom of heaven and His righteousness and all these other things shall be added unto you.” To attain this, the work of Christ must be complete with the crucifixion, the resurrection, and now the greatest of events that brought forth the Kingdom of God, the Ascension of Christ. Jesus received back the glory that He once had with the Father from the beginning.

The great achievements of the Ascension began with His glory. Jesus prayed to the Father that He would receive back His glory that He relinquished upon stepping off the throne of God, and becoming Incarnate to the earth. With His earthly life complete, Pentecost would now be realized, that is upon His leaving this earth He would remain in the presence and person of the Holy Spirit. Thus, the empowerment for Christian ministry began for us, the Church of Jesus Christ.

Now the celebration and Coronation of Christ begins. We see even the gates of Heaven lifting up their heads so that the King of Glory might enter (Psa. 24:7-8). His return to the right hand of God the Father is the greatest of coronations the world or the cosmos would ever see. At His coro-nation, Jesus sat in the seat of authority, the session (a place of authority) at the right hand of the Father. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. The seat of Christ is the highest seat in the universe. Finally, the Ascension of Jesus gives us a high priest, the chief priest who performs intercessions for those who call Him Lord. Jesus prays for those whom God has given Him, and He stands with us to intercede on our behalf.

Do you have yearning and longings for the Kingdom of God? The Kingdom of God is the very reason Christ came – that we would be redeemed as His own, to reign and rule with Christ in heavenly places. Now return quickly Lord Jesus, that upon our resurrection we might enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Praise be to the King of Glory and His Kingdom!

To Serve and Not Be Served

When I was a young teenager at family outings, my cousin Dan and I would separate ourselves from the younger cousins to show how cool we were because we were older than them. We eventually let them get closer as we got older, but I remember our rudeness to them even as they looked up to us. The Gospel of Matthew tells us of a biblical mother named Salome, who like many of you moms, could easily identify with her as a devoted wife, mother, and close friend to Jesus and His family, and who also wanted entitlements for her sons. She faced no difficulty in persuading her sons, James and John, to accompany her in obedience to the Master’s side. Salome was ambitious for her sons, and ambition is commendable when it is in full agreement with the mind and purpose of God. Ambition, when divinely directed, can lead to the heights of honor, but when selfishly pursued, can come to great embarrassment. Salome knew that Christ was the Messiah. Feeling that the kingdom would soon be established, she requested that her sons be placed one on Christ’s right hand and the other on His left when He inaugurated His kingdom. Although such a demand arose from maternal pride, it did not arise from true faith because she didn’t know what she asked when she requested seats of honor for her sons. Here is Jesus’ answer. “First,” Jesus said, “You don’t understand what you are asking, for this position must first come in suffering and not glory.” Secondly, Jesus asked if her sons were prepared to drink the cup of martyrdom, and implied that James and John would share His throne of suffering. Salome came to learn that the only way to this place of honor she requested would be through sacrificial service. “Whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.”

Can you see the lesson here for your own life? Eventually, what Salome learned from walking with Jesus and her search for earthly crowns for her sons, was that losing their lives for Christ’s sake was the only way they gained greater honor in heaven. Jesus knew what was coming and that was the cup of God’s wrath for the sins of the world. “Can you drink My cup?”, He asked. They still thought they could and replied, “Yes, we can drink that cup”. Here Jesus is teaching us about the quality of our service. To serve and not be served. Not being too quick to seek entitlements or positions of authority, or visual placement for all to see. Jesus says, “I did not come to be served but to serve.”

No Compromise for the Truth

In the history of the Christian church the oldest creed that survived to summarize Christianity is the Apostles’ Creed. In the Apostles’ Creed, we find something a bit unusual—a reference to an historical person other than Jesus. That person is Pontius Pilate. We read the line, “suffered under Pontius Pilate”. Historians have often asked the question, why did the leaders of the Christian church in the first century want to make a statement about Pontius Pilate? The reason is the leaders considered Pontius Pilate to be an important person in terms of redemptive history—that he was used by God for a particular reason—namely, to bring about the death of Christ that was designed for our redemption.

Jesus gave a summary of the purpose of His life and His ministry when He said, “I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” He said, “For this reason have I come into this world, to bear witness to the truth.” To speak the truth, to do the truth, and to tell the truth. If ever the church needs to hear that afresh, it is today. We live in a time when the agenda of the church is focused on everything but the truth. Why? Because truth inevitably divides. Truth causes controversy. Martin Luther said, “There can never be the presence of the word of God in this world without there being an uproar in the midst of it.”

How important is truth to you? Are you a person of truth, or are you a person who compro-mises when faced with truth? As a church, New Covenant, we understand that the Truth is Jesus Christ. This understanding begins by confessing and realizing that Jesus is who He said He is, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me” (John 14:6).