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    GOD THE FATHER(Question 26)

    26. What do you believe when you say "I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth"?
    1. That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who made heaven and earth is my Father also.
    2. I trust that He will provide me with all things I need for my body and soul.
    3. Whatever evil He allows to happen to me He will turn to good because He is Almighty and Faithful.

    In this first article of the Creed we learn three important things about God the Father: first, that He is my Father because of Christ adopting me; secondly that He is Almighty and able to provide for all my needs; and finally third, that He is the Maker of heaven and earth and in control of everything that happens to me. Let's look at each one individually and see how each particular aspect of God's revealed character relate to one another.

    God The Father

    Did you know the Bible talks more about God being our Father than us being His children? Why do you think that is? If you remember the earlier lessons, we learned how God is not the Father of everyone in the world, but only those He has chosen and adopted. For all the other people He is their Creator, but not their Father. We must remember that Jesus is God's only begotten Son, and we Christians are only allowed in the family because God adopts us. Notice the first part of the Answer for Question 26. It says God is the eternal Father of Jesus Christ, not us His earthly children. Jesus has always been God's Son, we haven't. We were once rebels and haters of God, until He raised us from the spiritual dead and adopted us into family by Christ. Look at this verse again to remind you of what Jesus told the Pharisees about God the Father:

    Jesus said to them, "If God were your father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God, nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do."

    (John 8:42-44, NKJV)

    Only we who are Christians can say we believe in "God the Father". If we are not Christians our father is the dust of the earth or the devil himself. But it certainly is not God. If everyone in the world was God's children as it is commonly said, then everyone would be at least trying to obey their heavenly Father.

    God Almighty

    The second thing told about God the Father is that He is Almighty. This means He has great power and wisdom. He uses His great power to accomplish what He plans for the world. For instance, when God wanted to bring Jesus into the world, He used His great power to do something that had never been done before-He allowed a virgin to give birth to a child. When Jesus was in the grave God used His great power to raise Him from the dead.

    Think about this for a second-why does the Creed say that God is a Father first, and then Almighty? Can you figure it out? Look at it this way-what if God was just as powerful as He is now, but not a loving, giving Father? What kind of things could He do to us? He could torture us for no reason and kill us whenver He wanted to. Not because He was being fair but because He was being a bully. That would be a different kind of God wouldn't it? So it is very important that God is a Father first and Almighty secondly.

    Maker of heaven and earth

    The final thing we learn about God in the Creed is that He is the Maker of heaven and earth. There is a funny story about a boy in Sunday school who is asked by the teacher, "Johhny, do you know who created the world?" And being the type of kid who was always in trouble, Johnny answered, "Honest teacher, it wasn't me!"

    Sometimes the world seems out of control. There are wars, murders, earthquakes and lots of other terrible things happening everyday. Do you ever wonder where God is in all this? Did He just create the world and then leave it to us to screw up? Well, again, it is important that we look at how God is described in the Creed. If God is a Father and He loves us, He wouldn't leave us alone. If God is Almighty, then He has enough power to control what happens.

    There is a fancy word that describes how God is in control of everything. This word is called providence. We will learn more about this in next week's lesson, but basically providence means that God is in control of everything that happens in the world-the good and the bad. And even though He allows bad things to happen, God is so powerful and smart that He uses those bad things to make us better people. Look up these three verses to describe how God does this:

    Romans 8:28
    James 1:2

    It's hard to accept that God knows what He is doing when we see bad things happening to people we know and love. But one thing we must always remember is that God is not a man like we are. He is much, much smarter than we are. We are like an ant compared to Him. He is also much much more stronger and powerful than we are. There's an old saying, "Your arms are too short to box with God". In other words, who are we to try to take on God? It is because of Him that we breathe our next breath, that our heart beats one more beat. If He decided to take us home to heaven what could we do to stop Him? So we must trust in Him as our Father. Just as we sometimes don't understand what our earthly fathers are doing, we must also trust that our heavenly Father will only do what is best for us. If He chose us, sent Jesus to die for us and is preparing a place for us in heaven, why should we think He is doing anything bad to us now? Let's close with this verse:

    He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

    (Romans 8:32, NKJV)

    1. Who is God's only begotten Son?
    2. What three things does the Creed teach us about God?
    3. Why is it important that God is a Father first, and then Almighty?

    1998 Pomona Youth Chapel/Pastor Tim Shultz