God is the Father of all believers.
‘‘Grace be to you, and peace, from God our father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.’’ Eph. 1:2
Additional reading: Gal. 1:1; Col. 1:12; 1Thes. 1:3; 3:13
One thing I remember clearly about this study is; we are created in God’s image—in His likeness. This means that His essential qualities, character, integrity and all that make Him God dwells richly in us through our knowledge of Jesus Christ. Permit me to say that we are all from a common source and His imprint is in us through the Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit, the fullness of God is made manifest in us. Thus, the entire world can trace us to Him because He is our Father.
Therefore, Paul did not fail to point this out while writing to the Church in Ephesus. He needed to make it clear to them that they were from a common source, i.e. from God and so the very reason to be live like Him. Paul wrote saying: ‘‘Grace be to you, and peace, from God our father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.’’
Exactly, Paul said this: ‘‘Grace be to you, and peace, from God our father [pater: apparently a primary word; a ‘‘father’’ (literal or figurative, near or more remote):- father parent], and from the Lord Jesus Christ.’’ There is no other way I should say this apart from the way the Bible puts it. ‘‘I greet you with the grace and peace poured into our lives by God our Father and our Master, Jesus Christ. The God of Glory.’’ (MSG). The point being made here is; God is our Father.
There are two questions that must be asked at this point. (1.) Who is a father? (2.) Who is a parent?
Father has the following meanings:
1. Man who is a parent: a man who is the parent of a human being, or a male animal that has produced offspring — been like a father to me
2. Man acting as parent: man who brings up and looks after a child as if he were its father
3. Man who is ancestor: a man who is an ancestor, especially the founder of a family or people —- the land of our fathers and mothers
4. Man who is founder: a man who establishes, founds, or originates something — the father of modern linguistics
5. Prototype: something that is a prototype or original version of something else
6. Man who is leader: a man who is a community or civic leader — the town fathers
A careful look at these definitions point to the fact that whichever way you look at it, God is our Father. We are His offspring and this explains why we are called His children. Though God is in heaven, He looks after us as if He is our earthly father. He does this through the presence of the Holy Spirit in us who guides us in the way of the heavenly Father. God through Jesus Christ founded the Christian family. So we can say that He is our ancestor. God is also the original version of man that explains why the Bible says we are created in His image and likeness. Again, God by the Holy Spirit in His us leads the Church community unto all righteousness.
The following definitions tell us who a parent is:
1. Mother or father: somebody’s mother, father, or legal guardian
2. Origin of something else: something from which one or more similar and separate things have developed, or to which they are attached — money transferred from the parent fund
Another careful look will again show that God is our Father; we are from Him, He is our source as we all came from Him, we are dependent on Him, He leads, guides and guards us.(Definitions are from Microsoft Encarta Dictionary).
To underscore this fact, we need to take a look at verse one. This will help realize the people or community this letter was directed at: ‘‘Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are in Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus…’’
‘‘Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints [hagios: (an awful thing) sacred (physically pure, morally blameless, or religious, ceremonially consecrated) :- (most) holy (one, thing,) saint] which are in Ephesus, and to the faithful [pistos: objectively trustworthy; subjectively trustful: – believe, believing, believer, faithful, faithfully, sure, true] in Christ Jesus…’’
Primarily, this letter was addressed to the saints—the holy people of God in the Church in Ephesus, then to all the faithful—the trustworthy followers of Jesus Christ not only in Ephesus but the entire body of Jesus Christ all over the world.
It takes a father who is holy and righteous to beget children who are holy and righteous. From our definitions of who a father and parent are, it should, therefore, not surprise you that Paul described the members of the body of Christ as saints and a faithful people. Since God is our Father and we proceeded from Him—we are His offspring, it is only natural for us to share in His qualities.
Meditation: How amazing to know that I am a version of God in human form!
Prayer: Let my life always reflect Your nature that all may see You in me and glorify You.
Question: (1) Who in your own words is a father? (2) How much influence does a father have over his offspring?