Sermon Notes & References

“Heavenly Father”

Matthew 6:9-13

June 10, 2018

A. Introduction

    1. The Lord’s Prayer 1

 

    2. Jesus’ Teaching on Prayer 2

 

B. The Fatherhood of God

    1. His Fatherhood as Creator 3

 

    2. His Fatherhood of Israel 4

 

    3. His Fatherhood to Us 5

 

C. His Heavenliness

    1. Not Our Earthly Father

 

    2. Heavenly Father

        a. Holy 6

        b. Loving 7

 

D. Conclusion


1 Matthew 6:9-13. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  “Heavenly Father”

 

A. Introduction

    1. The Lord’s Prayer

        a. we are beginning a series in which we are looking at what is commonly called, the ‘Lord’s’ prayer

            (A)    but I think as we shall be considering it, we shall see that a better title would be “The Model Prayer” or “The Example Prayer”

            (B)    as mentioned during the reading of out text, this is found in the middle of the passage of Scripture that relates Christ’s sermon on the mount

            (C)   there is another such prayer found in Luke 11:2-4

        b. some people get worried because the words of the prayer in that place differ from those which we find here in Matthew

            (A)    but they should not worry, nor try to patch up Scripture so that the two are identical

            (B)    for Luke 11 recounts another time and place, of the giving of this example prayer, a time when His disciples asked Him to teach them to pray as John the Baptist had taught his disciples – that the words differ shows this prayer was not merely to be recited

            (C)   indeed there are a number of places in the gospels where what seem to be the same teaching, parable or incident are given but differ in the details; there are a variety of reasons why this is so

                 (1)    there is no reason that Jesus should not have given similar messages during His ministry but altered for the occasion

                 (2)    most, if not all of the time, Jesus would have used Aramaic – the then current dialect of Hebrew – in His teaching; and the writers of the gospel have translated that into Greek; but there is no single way to translate one language into another – e.g., the many translations of the Bible into English

                 (3)    it is acceptable that in reporting events and teaching, the apostles should not necessarily do so verbatim, but in a condensed or summary form, truly conveying the message

            (D)   so, these differences should not shake our confidence in the fact that the Scriptures are divinely inspired by God the Holy Spirit.

 

    2. Jesus’ Teaching On Prayer

        a. As already mentioned, this chapter begins “Beware of practising your righteousness before men …”

            (A)    that is, with the mere motive of gaining their admiration

            (B)    Jesus applies this first to the matter of the giving of alms – charity should not be flaunted before others

        b. and then respecting prayer

            (A)    He points out some abusive forms of prayer

                 (1)    public demonstrating one’s praying merely for show

                 (2)    meaningless repetition and multiplication of words – Jesus’ model prayer is quite the opposite: a young child can learn it!

            (B)    and He lays out some prerequisites of the kind of prayer that is acceptable to God: to pray aright is

                 (1)    to be effectively alone with God in spirit

                 (2)    to come to God in the correct frame of mind

                 (3)    to have made matters right with others (or, as taught earlier in this sermon on the mount, “leave your offering there before the altar, … first be reconciled to your brother, …” (Matthew 5:24))

        c. then, in contrast to hypocrites and heathen He give instruction as to how You should pray – the “you” in verse 9 is emphatic: those who learn Christ, Christ’s disciples, are to be different

            (A)    “Therefore do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need, before you ask Him.” (Matthew 6:8) … “therefore pray ye”

            (B)    the prayer which Jesus teaches is based on God’s character; on …

 

B. The Fatherhood of God

    1. His Fatherhood as Creator

        a. a father is identified as one who begets

            (A)    that is, who brings someone or something into being

            (B)    with the animate creation that is true, and very specifically with mankind who has been made in the image of God

            (C)   “And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27)

        b. and God, in the widest possible sense is One who begets

            (A)    in Job, the angels – spiritual beings – are called ‘sons of God

            (B)    the entire universe – sun, moon, stars and all that is in them – was created by God – and in that sense He is Father

                 (1)    “one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:6)

                 (2)    “yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things, …” (1 Corinthians 8:6)

            (C)   and all mankind has Him as Father in this sense

                 (1)    it is inherited through our common forefather, Adam

                 (2)    even as Luke traces the genealogy of Jesus Christ, “… the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.” (Luke 3:38)

 

    2. His Fatherhood of Israel

        a. is again based on the fact that God created Israel as a nation: He so claims: “But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!’” (Isaiah 43:1)

        b. and that Fatherhood is stated in Scripture

            (A)    Moses recited this fact to the people in his closing song: “… O foolish and unwise people? Is not He your Father who has bought you? He has made you and established you.” (Deuteronomy 32:6)

            (B)    Isaiah repeated it: “For Thou art our Father, though Abraham does not know us,… Thou, O Lord, art our Father, …” (Isaiah 63:16)

            (C)   Jeremiah records how they refused God’s grace, ‘”Then I said, ‘How I would set you among My sons, And give you a pleasant land, The most beautiful inheritance of the nations!’ And I said, ‘You shall call Me, My Father, ….’”’ (Jerermiah 3:19), but they acted treacherously

            (D)   and Malachi,

                 (1)    A son honours his father, and a servant his master. Then if I am a father, where is My honour? And if I am a master, where is My respect?’ says the Lord of hosts to you,’” (Malachi 1:6)

                 (2)    Do we not all have one father? Has not one God created us?…” (Malachi 2:10)

            (E)    and yet, in all these the reference is always to Israel as a nation, rather than as individuals

        c. to this may be added the recorded prayers of the various rabbis, as found in the Mishnah and other ancient Jewish writings, but always in an impersonal, national sense: the God who created Israel

 

    3. His Fatherhood to Us

        a. the NT gives us a word for Christians – “brethren” – which is used to encompass all the believers in Christ

            (A)    a term far more meaningful than that which the Jews used in referring to one another – Paul: “kinsmen according to the flesh

            (B)    for it involves the begetting work of God in a much closer way

        b. first, there is the fact of the Christian’s spiritual birth

            (A)    Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3 AV) – the word for “born again” equally well means “born from above” and that describes God’s work of regeneration which makes us His children

            (B)    So Peter gives thanks, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” (1 Peter 1:3 AV)

            (C)   for it brings us into a family relationship with the unique Son of God, as the writer of the Hebrews declares concerning us believers: “10 For it was fitting for Him, … in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. 11 For … (they) … are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,” (Hebrews 2:10-11)

            (D)   this family relationship was realized and anticipated by the OT saints as illustrated by the examples of faith found in Hebrews 11

        c. secondly, there is the legal aspect of this relationship

            (A)    in place of being enemies of God, “5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:5-6)

            (B)    adoption, in the sense it was used in the NT, gives a legal standing and full rights of sonship

            (C)   briefly, as Romans 8 explains, “15 … you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, …” (Romans 8:15-17) –[for the sake of making clear this one truth I have left out some other important truths – look for yourselves!]

            (D)   but our status as full-grown, adopted children, gives us the right to call upon this our Father with our every need and request

 

C. His Heavenliness

    1. Not Our Earthly Father

        a. it is sad to say, but true, that not every earthly father meets the ideals of fatherhood – the stories of abandoned wives and children are far too prevalent in this day and age for us to be unaware of this

            (A)    and indeed, even those fathers who persevere through thick and thin are very aware of how far short we fall

            (B)    sometimes our emotions, and the very desire to be what we should be, leads us at one time to be too severe, at another, too lenient

        b. so sadly, there are some to whom the picture of God as a Father is not a comforting thought, but distressing

        c. so it is good to remember He is our Father in heaven

 

    2. Heavenly Father

        a. we cannot begin to exhaust this theme this morning, but let us simply mention two characteristics of this Father

        b. He is our Holy Father

            (A)    Holy means God is wise: 8 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9) – He knows better than ourselves our burdens

            (B)    Holy means that God is majestic – when He answers prayer it is as sovereign, not to raise Himself up, but to raise us up (sometimes I catch myself trying to word my prayers carefully, as though I had been given three wishes and want to use them to my best gain; but God doesn’t need that kind of cleverness: he works all to our good)

            (C)   Holy means that God is powerful – “And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

        c. He is our Loving Father

            (A)    For God so loved the world, that …” – that is the key

            (B)    over and over the Scriptures, particularly, but certainly not limited to, the NT, repeat the truth of God’s love

            (C)   He loves with a perfect, heavenly love, and so we can come to Him with boldness and freedom

                 (1)    And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” (1 John 4:16)

                 (2)    There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, …” (1 John 4:18)

 

D. Conclusion

    1. An Invitation to Pray

        a. with these simple words

        b. phrases familiar it would seem to Jews in those days

        c. yet put together in this way

        d. to encourage the believer in Christ to approach God in prayer; for

 

    2. God Answers Prayer

        a. because of the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit

        b. because He has adopted us as full-fledged sons with a right to ask

        c. … for your Father knows what you need, before you ask Him.” (v 8)


Footnotes

Endnotes

1

© 2018 by Garth Hutchinson, Faith Fellowship Baptist Church of Aurora (Ontario): may be distributed or quoted freely, only let this be done to the glory “of the great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ” (Titus ii.13). Except as noted otherwise, quotations are from the New American Standard version, used by permission. Various other English versions of the Holy Bible may be used in this sermon. Explanatory additions to the Bible text are shown in [braces]. Version identifiers are:

 

              AV          Authorized (King James) Version of 1769

              NAS        New American Standard version © 1960, 1995 The Lockman Foundation (usually the 1995 edition)

              NIV         New International Version © 1984 by the International Bible Society

              NKJV              New King James Version © 1979 Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers

              NLT         New Living Translation © 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust

              NRSV             New Revised Standard Version © 1989 Division of Christian Education of national Council of Churches of Christ

              JBP         The New Testament in Modern English, J. B. Phillips, Geoffrey Bles Ltd

              RSV        Revised Standard Version © 1946, 1952 National Council of Churches of Christ; Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd

              UBS        Greek text of the United Bible Societies; particularly that published in 1954 by The British and Foreign Bible Society

              WEY               The New Testament in Modern Speech © 1902, 1912 R. F. Weymouth


Some of the commentaries and resources used in the preparation of this message are identified as follow:


              Barnes –  Notes on the New Testament by Alfred E. Barnes

              Calvin –   Commentaries on the Bible, by Jean Calvin; translated into English & published in the Online Bible.

              EBC             The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, © 1986 Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 49530, MI:

              EGT             The Expositor’s Greek Testament, Hodder & Stoughton; 1903

              JFB  -      Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, Jamieson, Fausset & Brown; S. S. Scranton & Co. 1872

              Gill       Exposition of the Old Testament, Exposition of the New Testament, by John Gill, D.D.

              Kerux –   The sermon & illustration data base compiled by Rev. David Holwick at the web-site, www.holwick.com.

              Lightfoot –      Commentary on the New Testament by Bishop John Lightfoot

              RWP             Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament, by Dr. A. T. Robertson

              TTB      Thinking Through the Bible, Rev’d John McNicol, D.D., © 1944 by the author; The Upper Canada Tract & Book Society.