Series: The Holy Trinity
Sermon: God The Father
Sermon Summary
God has many attributes, and many characteristics. One of the characteristics and one of the ways we relate to God is as Father. In this message we're going to look at God as Father, but we're also going to look at some of the amazing attributes of God that set Him apart from all others! While the text, 1 Peter 1:1-5 says so many amazing things about God the Father, we will focus on four: The love of the Father, the knowledge of the Father, the mercy of the Father, and the power of the Father. Relating to God in each of these areas has eternal implications as well as impact on daily life here and now. I pray this message will help you see God more clearly and the relationship He desires to have with you as your Heavenly Father!!

Community Group Discussion Guide

1. What are some of the characteristics you believe constitute a good father? Give an example of someone who has displayed those characteristics, if you can.

2. Some people have not had a good example of what a father should be. However, God the Father is a perfect Father. He is a loving Father. He has the perfect balance between love and discipline. When God disciplines us, He never does it in anger. It is always done in love and for a higher purpose. According to Hebrews 12:10 what is that purpose? What is God the Father trying to achieve in our lives?
Heb 12:10  Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.

3. Have you ever thought about the agonizing decision God had to make in order to offer us His mercy and forgiveness. The only way to save us was for His only Son to be sacrificed. The Father didn’t turn His back on the Son, as we think of turning our back on someone, but He looked away in order for Jesus to bear our sin and pay our penalties. Discuss your thoughts on this as you read the following verses.
2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
John 3:16  "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:17  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

4. God the Father certainly lets us use our abilities and talents, but He also offers us all the help we need when we need it! In what ways has the knowledge of God and the power of God been there for you when you needed it?
Psa 46:1  For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth. A song. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Psa 46:2  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
Psa 46:3  though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Selah
Psa 46:4  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
Psa 46:5  God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
Psa 46:6  Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
Psa 46:7  The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah



Full Sermon Notes
God the Father

God has many attributes, and many characteristics. One of the characteristics and one of the ways we relate to God is as Father. This morning we're going to look at God as Father, but we're also going to look at some of the amazing attributes of God that set Him apart from all others!

Now I realize that some of you may not have had a good example in your earthly dad as to what a father should be, while on the other hand, some of you had dads who were a great example of what a father should be. Regardless, we all should look to God to understand the qualities of a good father. Why? He's the only perfect Father! Earthly dads are not perfect, all knowing, all wise. No matter how hard they try they won't always make the right decisions.

A few weeks ago we looked at the Parable of the Prodigal Son. The Dad in the lost son story was very benevolent, very loving, very merciful, very forgiving, and he was a good picture of God,  but he was not perfect. Like God, he gave both his sons a choice. He didn't force them to do the right thing. He had chosen to love them, but they had to choose to love back. He gave them opportunities, but the opportunities were their's to squander if they chose. In all those things the father in the story was like God. but the earthly father was not perfect. To allow the younger son to go was a smart thing. He was an adult, even if he wasn't a very mature one. But to go ahead and divide the inheritance? I don't know? We sometimes have to say no to our kids if what they ask is not good for them. Well that's another sermon for another day! Once again in our text for today we see evidence of The Holy Trinity, One God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

It is amazing how The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit, work in perfect unity as one, to provide for you and me the eternal salvation we so desperately need and the power we so desperately need to live victoriously in this world!
We will focus on God The Father and how we relate to God as our Heavenly Father. Let's read 1 Peter 1:1-5.  

1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,
2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the
sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade —kept in heaven for you,
5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

These verses say so much! Did you see how Peter talked about The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit? He also pointed out some pretty amazing attributes of God The Father. Peter lets us know God chose to love us! He talks about the foreknowledge of God the Father. He talks about the mercy of God the Father. He talks about the gift of new birth, spiritually, the Father has made available to us. He talks about the living hope the Father wants us to have. He talks about the inheritance that is stored up for us in heaven. He talks about the power of God the Father. So much we can learn from these five verses.
Let's get right to the first verse and the first attribute of The Father...

The Love of The Father!

1 Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,

God is the Creator God and so every person who has ever been created was created by God and loved by God. In fact everyone ever created was elected by God to be loved by God, but not everyone became one of His elect. What? Let me explain. Peter wrote the following words in his second letter...

2 Peter 2:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

God the Father doesn't want anyone to perish! He wants all to come to repentance, but not everyone will accept the mercy that God has offered them through His Son's sacrifice. So God has elected to love everyone, but not everyone accepts that love in order to become one of the elect! So when Peter writes to God's elect, he calls them strangers in this world, because the world, by in large, has rejected the election of God, and those who have accepted The Lord and seek to follow Him are looked upon as strange. But to God, we are His elect! His children and He is our loving Father!!

1 John 3:1a How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!

When you relate to God as Father God, you understand and know that you are a child of God and what that brings into your life is more valuable than anything the world could ever offer you. No matter how old you are, when life gets unbearable, you can still run and jump into the arms of God and He will pick you up and  take care of you! I can't tell you how many times I've had to do that!! Listen to what Paul said in the book of Romans...

Romans 8:15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

Abba, means daddy!! It is an Aramaic word of endearment that young children would use when addressing their earthly father! Paul goes on to say...

Romans 8:16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
Romans 8:17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs —heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

What love The Father has for us that we can call the Almighty God, Daddy! And did you notice in this passage once again evidence of The Holy Trinity? Father, Son and Holy Spirit!! But it's not only the love of God we find in the Father. Back to our text in 1 Peter...

The Knowledge of The Father!

God the Father is all knowing! The word theologians use for this is omniscient. Listen to our text...

1 Peter1:2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

When God created us in His image, and breathed into our nostrils the very breath of God and we became living souls, God knew what He was doing!! And the fact He gave us a mind, a will, and the responsibility to choose right from wrong, was not a mistake. It was in His plan. In fact He knew we would go astray, but He had already chosen to love us and offer us forgiveness! He already had a plan in place to make it possible for us to come home to Him. And what was this way? Look at the middle part of the verse we just read...

“…through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood...”

And when we make the choice to accept God's love and begin to see His amazing wisdom, His understanding, His brilliance in all things, that knowledge and wisdom become assessable to us on a daily basis!! Anybody here that would like to have access to that data base??

And we're not talking megabytes, gigabytes, terabytes, or even Petabytes. What's a Petabytes? "A Petabyte is approximately 1,000 Terabytes or one million Gigabytes.
1 Petabyte could hold approximately 20 million 4-door filing cabinets full of text.
It could hold 500 billion pages of standard printed text. It would take about 500 million floppy disks to store the same amount of data." Quote from: Whatsabyte.com

Let me just say this…They could never make a hard drive with enough capacity to store God's data base of knowledge and wisdom.
God's Word says this...

Romans 11:33 -36
36 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?”
36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

But here's what happens when you get to know God the Father: God allows you to log onto His website and you have instant access to download His knowledge, wisdom, and understanding!! By the way, His computer is far more complex than anything we have today. You don't need wiifii! He's accessible in the most remote places on this planet, or if you're an astronaut, His signal reaches to the furtherest galaxy and beyond. And you don't have to sign in with a keyboard. Just say your name! Your password is "Child of God!" And you're in!  And how is that possible? I'll give you a hint. In two weeks we're going to talk about "God The Holy Spirit!" Stay tuned. How do I know God will be so generous with His data base?


James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

And by the way, God has given us a written copy of His Word, but its wisdom has infinite applications. I've been studying it for  41 years and it still amazes me every time I pick it up!

Psalm 119:144-149
149 Your statutes are forever right; give me understanding that I may live.
145 I call with all my heart; answer me, O LORD, and I will obey your decrees.
146 I call out to you; save me and I will keep your statutes.
147 I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word.
148 My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises.
149 Hear my voice in accordance with your love; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your laws.

The Mercy of The Father!

1 Peter 1;3-4
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade —kept in heaven for you,

And you and I could never fully understand the depth of God's mercy for us. Let me put if to you in this way: If you are a loving parent and your child gets hurt, you would trade places with them in a heartbeat if you could, right? If someone came to me and said, it's either you and your child, take me!

Now I don't fully understand what I’m about to tell you, because it's another mystery of The Holy Trinity, but when God the Father allowed God the Son, His one and only, begotten Son, to die on the cross it was the greatest act of mercy humankind has ever witnessed. Why do I say that? First of all, we rebelled and made the decision to walk away from God and into a life of sin! It's our fault not God's, even though He often gets the blame!

Ephesians 2:1
1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions —it is by grace you have been saved.

The fact that God was willing to pay for our sins is amazing, but the fact He allowed His son to pay the price, well that was the most difficult thing God the Father ever did! Let me show you in this passage from Matthew's account of the crucifixion.

Matthew 27:45-46
45 From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.
46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Some people read this and think the Father turned His back on the Son at this time. I don't believe that. To turn your back on someone indicates anger and betrayal. The Father was certainly not angry with the Son or would He ever betray the Son. Two reasons I say this. First of all, Jesus was quoting the first verse from Psalm 22 which was an Old Testament prophecy concerning The Messiah who would come some day and suffer for the sins of the people. If you've never read that Psalm, it's fascinating.

Written hundreds of years before crucifixion was ever invented, it describes in detail Jesus' ordeal on the Cross! Absolutely amazing. So here's the first reason I don't believe God was turning His back on Jesus. Jesus was quoting this verse because He knew the Jewish people would know it. And if they would only remember the words of the prophecy they might repent and believe! So this was one last attempt to share the gospel with them. The good news was that the prophecy was being fulfilled. A Savior had been born and was now doing what it would take to save the people from their sins. And if they could only remember the prophecy, maybe, just maybe, they would turn back to God. And let me just give you a quick look at that prophecy Jesus was trying to remind them of. Remember, this was written around 600 years before Christ was born!

Psalm 22:12-18
12 Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13 Roaring lions tearing their prey open their mouths wide against me.
14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.
16 Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.

So God didn't turn His back on Jesus, but I believe He did turn His face and look the other way and it may have been at this precise moment that Jesus quoted this passage. Why would the Father look away?

2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

When this happened, the perfect unity that had always existed in The Holy Trinity, was broken for that moment in time. I think this is one of the reasons, Jesus cried out in such pain. This was more painful to Him than even the nails or crown of thorns. And how painful to the Father? As a father myself, I can't even imagine. It was at this time the Father could have said, "Enough, this must stop!" He could have then instructed the legions of angels to rush to the rescue of The Son, but the Father did not stop the sacrifice. He looked away, and I believe He looked down into the future, and saw you and me lost and drowning in our wickedness, and He had mercy and allowed God the Son to be the sacrifice that would make a way for us to be snatched out of the sea of lostness to become the children of God! And one last thing about God the Father. Not only do we have the Love of the Father, the Knowledge of the Father, and the mercy of the Father, but we have...

The Power of The Father!

Listen to the last verse of our text...

1 Peter 1:5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

We are shielded by God's power until the coming of the Salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. What does this mean? When you accept the love and mercy of God through Jesus, your salvation is a done deal, even though your salvation won't be complete until Jesus comes again or you leave this world to go be with the Lord! What this means is that your salvation is safe from all attacks. Satan can't get to your soul because it is guarded by the Power of Almighty God! And that same power is available to you for living your life between here and heaven!! Paul put it this way to young Timothy...

1 Timothy 1:7-10
7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.
8 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God,
9 who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,
10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

What difference does it make whether or not we depend on God's power or our own? The difference is night and day! It's like deciding whether or not your going to live life in black and white, or full color spectrum high def!! The difference is life or death, victory or defeat, depression or expression of new life in Jesus, fear or confidence. Living by the power of God does not mean you won't have problems, difficulties, sadness, challenges, setbacks etc. but it does mean you'll get through all of them and come out stronger!

Paul sums it up beautifully in Ephesians...

Ephesians 1:17-21
17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength,
20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,
21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.