Reading: Romans 8:12-17; John 14:19-24
In John 14, The Lord Jesus promises His disciples that, when He goes to heaven, He will send His Holy Spirit. He will not leave them behind as orphans. And then He says in John 14: 20: In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in Me, and I in you.
It is the work of the Holy Spirit to make us by faith one with Christ. And in Christ, we may have God as our Father. That is what Jesus Christ came, to achieve, on this earth. We don’t perish in our sins but may receive God’s grace. His grace is that we may call Him ‘our Father’.
That is what the Holy Spirit works in us now. Christ sent His Holy Spirit so that the church may be built up and may be united with Christ, as His body. The Holy Spirit works in us, so that we not only receive faith but that we also grow in faith and in love for God and for each other.
In Luke 11 and Matthew 6 the Lord Jesus teaches His disciples to pray ‘Our Father’. The Lord’s Prayer. We are familiar with this prayer. The beginning of this prayer, ‘Our Father’ is very special. We often don’t realize it when we say it. Christ teaches us to address God as Our Father. Our heavenly Father. And it is not only in prayer that He speaks about God as our Father. We can read it more often in the gospels that He speaks about Our Father in heaven.
In the Old Testament, we can read it only a few times, that God is called Father. But in the New Testament, we can read it more often. And that is because of the work of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Heidelberg Catechism says in LD 46, answer 120: ‘God has become our Father through Christ and will much less deny us what we ask of Him in faith than our fathers would refuse us earthly things.’
And that is it why Christ wants us, or, according to question 120 of the Catechism, even commands us to address God as Our Father. In Romans 8:15 Paul says that God gives us His Holy Spirit and that it is through the Spirit that we call God Father. Through the Spirit, we are going to live as God’s children. Not as slaves. Not in fear, like many other people of other religions. But as children of God, our heavenly father. By saying ‘Father’ to God and living as His children, depending on Him, we will honour God.