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Catechism Class: LD9B – Trusting My Heavenly Father.

05/07/2021

God is MY Father – Lord’s Day 9B Q26

In our last lesson we saw that God is the Creator of EVERYTHING.  He created this world and the universe out of nothing, and he did it in six literal days, and he crowned his creation when he created mankind, the pinnacle of creation, made in God’s own image, to reflect his glory. Not only did he create the word, but he rules over it and sustains it. Genesis 8:22 Our instructor teaches us this in the first part of Q26. …the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who out of nothing created heaven and earth and all that is in them, and who still upholds and governs them by his eternal counsel and providence,   

But some might be asking, – what has this all got to do with me? All this doctrine, with all its precision,- set out in systematic creeds and confessions and catechisms?  I’m just a simple Christian! But the problem with taking the ‘I’m just a simple believer’ attitude is that you cannot separate ‘MY CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE’ from systematic Christian Doctrine. The two are inextricably linked. The catechist illustrates that well here.  Having taught us that God is the Creator, he demonstrates how that essential theological doctrine affects our daily Christian life and experience.  That’s what we are going to see in this episode of the podcast.    So, Q24 continues to assert that God, the eternal father of our Lord Jesus Christ. “…is, for the sake of Christ his Son, my God and my Father.  In him I trust so completely as to have no doubt that he will provide me with all things necessary for body and soul,  and will also turn to my good whatever adversity he sends me in this life of sorrow.  He is able to do so as almighty God, and willing also as a faithful Father.”  Let’s think about that that and learn how our instructor works his way though the theology of God and us…

1 Only Christians can truly call God their Fatheris, for the sake of Christ his Son, my God and my Father. Ephesians 1:5  There are plenty of people in the visible church who are of the opinion that God is the ‘father of all.’  Now to be fair, in the broadest possible sense, we can say that ‘God is the father of all’ in the sense that He created all and we owe our lives to him, just as we owe our earthly life to our earthly father.  But the the truest sense of the concept, we cannot say that.  John 8:44. So, our instructor here makes it clear that we can only claim to have God as father, for the sake of Jesus Christ, his son.  It is through Christ alone, that we are adopted into God’s family, Romans 8:15  Only in Christ have we the RIGHT to regard ourselves as the children of God. John 1:12  

2 Understanding Christian Doctrine causes us to TRUST GodIn him I trust so completely as to have no doubt that he will provide me with all things necessary for body and soul,

Now we can begin to see how this works.  It is because God created us, because he cares for us, and because he redeemed us, and because he has adopted us into his family, because we have a Father in Heaven that we can trust him completely! We often say God is our father but if we just say it slightly differently, we might grasp the enormity of it – “My father is GOD!”  Let’s see how extensive is our trust in him:

  • Everything necessary for my body.  Remember the words of Jesus, in Matthew 6:25-26 
  • Everything necessary for my soul. My soul’s salvation, assurance, satisfaction, inner peace of heart, sanctification – eternal life – everything my soul needs is there for me in my relations with the God who Created me, in and through my saviour the Lord Jesus Christ.  When we affirm that God is able to supply all our bodily and spiritual needs, we are also taught to affirm that he is WILLING to so so.  Because he is a father, he will not withhold any good thing from his children.  He is able to do so as almighty God, and willing also as a faithful Father.”  Matthew 7:9-11  

Now, note that the catechist only teaches that God will supply all our NEEDS.  What we need and what want can be two very different things.  He promises to meet your NEEDS.  That’s all.  That’s why was ask, in the Lord’s prayer for God to supply us with ‘Our Daily Bread.’      Psalm 37:25  Philippians 4:19    Now, this leads us to our final lesson from this Lord’s Day:-

3 Following Christ is NOT a Guarantee of a Pain-Free Lifeand will also turn to my good whatever adversity he sends me in this life of sorrow.

The catechist is more realistic here than some modern Christian believers are.   In essence, what many believe is that there is a ‘god’, – a ‘god’ whom they know little about, except that his job is to do them good, perhaps keep them on the straight and narrow, and affirm their lives, making them better people and giving them some purpose and direction.  That’s not the Biblical teaching about Almighty God, the Creator and redeemer.  God does not exist to make my life a bed of roses, and becoming a Christian certainly doesn’t lead to a trouble-free life.   Christians endure suffering, just like everyone else in this fallen broken world.   

So what’s different for us?  Simply this.  That whatever comes my way, God will use it for my good.  I may not know how, or why, but I know that it is so, because my heavenly Father will always do what is right for his children. Romans 8:28  

So, because our God created us, feeds and clothes us, and paid the price for our sins in the person of his own sinless son at calvary, because we trust him, that trust will help us when we go through times of testing and trial.  At that time, we will trust him all the more.  We will got to our heavenly father, with all our care and worries and pains, and we will ask him to help us to bear those burdens. Psalm 55:22   

So the catechist has taken us from an objective statement, that God has created the world, to the subjective experience of an individual believer, trusting in the Almighty God who created the universe, and who knows us so well, that every hair on my head is numbered by him.

BobMcEvoy July 2021

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