The Approachability of God
October 6, 2019 Speaker: Dr. Rick Gregory Series:
Topic: Fathers Verse: Luke 11:2–11:2
The Disciple’s Prayer
“The Approachability of God”
Luke 11: 2b
Theme: Addressing God as “Father” demonstrates that we are welcome as part of the family of God.
Introduction: Nicknames & Terms of Endearment
I. The Indication of Intimacy
A. The Significance of the Title
- In response to the disciple’s request that Jesus teach them to pray, Jesus “… said to them, ‘When you pray, say: “Father” …’”
- This was a startling instruction to them as the notion of God as “Father” was something occasionally referenced in the Old Testament but was always in the context of the corporate Israel and never on a personal basis – cp. Deuteronomy 32:6; Isaiah 63:16.
- When Jesus referred to God as “My Father,” the religious establishment went berserk – immediately accusing Him of blasphemy as He claimed an intimacy with God that no man could possibly know – cp. Luke 10:22; John 6:40; John 8:54; John 5:17-18
- The original form of this prayer was likely either Hebrew of Aramaic – and the term for “Father” would likely have been the familiar phrase “Abba,” which literally means “Daddy.”
- Jesus Christ is the Son of God – and thus He is able to identify
- His unity with the Godhead as the 2nd Person of the Trinity and refer to God as “My Father.”
- Those who objected understood properly the implications of Jesus claim, but rejected its legitimacy, claiming rather that He was blaspheming.
- Of course, Jesus diagnosis of this is that those who objected did not know the Father – John 8:42-43; John 15:23.
- Hence, the ability to address God as “Father” is an indication that one has been brought personally into the family of God by faith in Christ Jesus – Galatians 4:4-6.
- As such, we are able to approach God as a loving “Father” who cares for His children – Matthew 7:9-11.
- Jesus’ instruction that we address the Almighty God, Ruler of heaven and earth as “Father” is an instruction designed to honor Jesus’ accomplishment of reconciling us to God and enabling us to be included in the family of God.
B. The Securing of the Title
- This relationship with God as our “Father” is available only through the Lord Jesus Christ - John 14:6, 21, 23
- Faith in Christ Jesus becomes the means by which we are able to enter into a relationship with God the Father – John 1:11-13; Galatians 3:26; Hebrews 2:11.
- As children of God, we are given the nature of our “Father” – 2 Peter 1:4.
- The sustained grace of God enabling us to walk in obedience to God our “Father” is what proves that we are indeed the children of God – cp. 2 Corinthians 6:17-18; 1 John 3:1-2.
- As a result, God is called “our Father” repeatedly – cp. Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:2; Philippians 1:2; Colossians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:1; Philemon 3.
- Again, every time we address God as “Father,” we are honoring Christ Jesus’ work on our behalf – elevating Him in having satisfied the wrath of God and surrendering His righteousness to God so that He might impute it to us.
- It is by means of this that we are brought into the family of God through faith.
- What does Jesus’ instruction to address God as Father mean about your personal relationship with God?
- How is Jesus’ stature elevated when you address God as Father?
- How can we know from Jesus that God is our Father?
II. The Implications of Intimacy
A. The Safety with the Father
- Approaching the Creator, the Almighty God, the thrice Holy God, the Judge of all men is unthinkable for a sinner – whose only sentiment is to run away from the presence of the One who dwells in inapproachable light.
- Being able to approach Him as “Father” indicates that the cause for dread has been removed and we are approaching someone who loves us – John 3:16; 2 Thessalonians 2:16.
- His sentiments toward His children are described as follows:
- Blessing – Ephesians 1:3.
- Grace – Philemon 3.
- Mercy – Luke 6:36.
- Tender-Hearted – Ephesians 4:32.
- Forgiving – Matthew 6:14.
- Our ability to approach God is to come to One who has compassion on us – cp. Psalm 103:13.
B. The Submission to the Father
- When we approach God as our “Father,” we come as a child to a Father to Whom we are accountable.
- Children are commanded to “obey their parents” – and since God is our Father, we are expected to obey Him and when we do not, He will correct us – cp. Proverbs 3:12; Hebrews 12:7; Matthew 7:21.
- Our identity as children of God is seen in our willingness to obey God – Matthew 7:21; 12:50.
C. The Supplications to the Father
- The final implication of approaching God as “Father” is the ability to ask of Him freely.
- As Luke continues in this chapter, he demonstrates the freedom that a son has to approach his Father and receive an answer – cp. Luke 11:9-13.
- We are not approaching someone upon whom we are presuming, but a “Father” who is expecting to meet the needs of His children – Jeremiah 33:3; Philippians 4:19.
- How does approaching God as Father affect prayer’s “fear factor?”
- What impact does rebellion against God have in your ability to approach God?
- Do you feel comfortable asking God for “things?” Why or why not?