Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Living with our Four Fathers.

Scripture says that we have four fathers, you know.

Of course we all have a biological father, who gave us our direct DNA. For some, that's all they got from him. The relationship with their human father has been difficult, distant, or even non-existent. Others were fortunate enough to receive the gift of loving discipline, affirmation and provision from their human father.

However, through our biological fathers, we also all have the DNA of Adam, our first father, who gave us the gift of original sin. Thanks Adam. His disobedience was like poison poured into the source of the river called humanity, and it has polluted every part of the human condition, corrupting our ability to reflect God's image accurately, like rust on a copper coin. Our first father's gift to us was not simply bringing sin into the world, it was that we inherited a sinful condition. We find ourselves in a state of disintegration from God and other people, and of moral and emotional disorientation.

But God our Father is a Redeemer. Straight after Adam and Eve tried to sew themselves skirts out of fig leaves to hide the shame of their sinfulness, God clothed them with animal skins. This was the first time an animal was killed. (animals were not killed for food at that time.) It was a glimpse of the Gospel.The Proto Evangelon. Something had to die to deal with our shame. Or Someone. There is only one perfect Father. And He spent the only Son he had on us to redeem us from the sin of our first father. The death of Jesus, the Son enables us to find our real Father.

There is a fourth father, though. His name is Abraham,and the scriptures call him the father of our faith. In Genesis, he is contrasted with Adam, our first father. Where Adam doubted God and it caused him to disobey Him, Abraham believed God and it caused him to obey Him.

He was not religious. He was born into a culture that worshiped false gods. But God the Father sought him out, and revealed Himself to Abraham in sovereign grace. He did not know any moral law. Abraham simply believed God and was made righteous through faith. He saw the Gospel in advance. But his faith was active not passive. It moved him to obey, to sacrifice, to journey with God.

The next few blogs, I want to contrast Adam and Abraham as two very different fathers. One a model of doubt and disobedience. The other a model of faith and obedience. Irrespective of how our human father was towards us, God the father has left us with two models and one choice. He has redeemed us from the curse of Adam so that we can walk like Abraham.

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