After spending the better part of the past week preparing to preach about the Fatherhood of God, and the amazing doctrine of adoption, from Galatians 3.23-4.7, I am still pondering the richness and beauty of how the Heidelberg Catechism expresses it:
Q 26. What do you believe when you say: I believe in God the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth?
A. That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who out of nothing created heaven and earth and all that is in them, and who still upholds and governs them by his eternal counsel and providence, is, for the sake of Christ his Son, my God and my Father. In him I trust so completely as to have no doubt that he will provide me with all things necessary for body and soul, and will also turn to my good whatever adversity he sends me in this life of sorrow. He is able to do so as almighty God, and willing also as a faithful Father.
And this from the shortest chapter of the Westminster Confession, WCF 12:
All those who are justified God graciously guarantees to make partakers of the grace of adoption in and for his only Son, Jesus Christ. By this act they are taken into the number of God’s children and enjoy the liberties and privileges of that relationship; they are given his name; they receive the Spirit of adoption; they have access to the throne of grace with boldness; and they are enabled to cry, “Abba, Father.” Like a father, God has compassion on, protects, provides for, and chastens them; yet, they will never be cast off, but are sealed to the day of redemption, and will inherit the promises as heirs of everlasting salvation.
These are more than definitions. These are summaries of the the gospel that are worthy of contemplation. For I suspect most of our spiritual problems, and even our emotional troubles, are in one way or another due to our unbelief or lack of understanding of these great truths: first, God is the Father of all who believe, and who are therefore “in Christ:; second, we who believe, and who are therefore “in Christ”, are the beloved Children of God, who is the Creator and sustainer of the universe.