"THE GOSPEL OF JOHN" Is God Your Father? (8:42) INTRODUCTION 1. We often hear people speak of the "Fatherhood of God"... a. Suggesting that all people are the children of God b. There is some truth to that, for we are all the offspring of God - cf. Ac 17:28-29 2. Yet in one sense, not everyone has God as their Father... a. Jesus identified some who did not have God as their Father - Jn 8:42 b. He even said their father was the devil! - Jn 8:44 3. Who is your Father? God or the devil...? a. If God is your Father, you will love Jesus - cf. Jn 8:42 b. Love of the Son is proof that we have God as our Father [Do we love the Son? How does love for Jesus express itself? We prove that God is our Father when we love the Son in at least seven ways. For example...] I. BY TRUSTING IN JESUS A. CAN LOVE EXIST WHERE THERE IS NO TRUST...? 1. Between husband and wife? 2. Between friends? B. SO TRUST IN JESUS IS INHERENT TO LOVING HIM... 1. He asks us to trust Him - cf. Jn 14:1 2. How can we say that we love Him, if we don't trust Him? C. DO WE REALLY TRUST JESUS...? 1. To be the way, the truth, the life (enough to put our souls in His hands)? - Jn 14:6 2. To be the provider of our daily needs (enough to put the kingdom first)? - Mt 6:33 [If we trust Jesus in this way, we must surely love Him - and thus God is our Father! But we also show our love for Jesus...] II. BY OBEYING HIS COMMANDMENTS A. KEEPING HIS COMMANDMENTS IS INDICATIVE OF LOVE... 1. As Jesus made clear, time and again - Jn 14:15,21,23,24; 15:10 2. Can anything be more clear? a. Yet some might accuse us of "legalism" because we stress keeping His commands b. If keeping His commandments is legalism, then I plead guilty, because: 1) I love Him and want to abide in His love 2) Don't you? B. YET MANY FAIL TO DO WHAT JESUS TEACHES... 1. He said to repent (Mk 1:14-15) - but many don't, while professing to love Him 2. He said to be baptized and observe all that He commanded
(Mk 16:16; Mt 28:19-20) - yet many say baptism is not a necessary command [Jesus said it best in Lk 6:46...why bother to call Him Lord if we don't do what He says? If God is our Father, we will obey Jesus Him gladly because we love Him. We also show love for Jesus...] III. BY DELIGHTING IN HIS COMPANY A. IF YOU LOVE SOMEONE, YOU ENJOY BEING WITH THEM... 1. E.g., friends, loved ones 2. Can you imagine someone loving Jesus, but not wanting to be with Him? B. YET IT SEEMS DO NOT ENJOY BEING WITH CHRIST...! 1. Demonstrated by their disregard for His Word revealed by the Spirit - Jn 16:12-14 a. They don't make the effort to read it b. They don't take advantage of opportunities to study it 2. Demonstrated by their lack of prayer which Jesus is willing to answer
- cf. Jn 14:13-14 a. They don't pray as they should privately b. They don't appreciate the blessing of congregational prayer 3. Demonstrated by their sporadic attendance - cf. Mt 18:20 a. Where Jesus has promised to be present b. Where many seem to pass by opportunities to assemble C. WHY SUCH DISREGARD FOR THE COMPANY OF CHRIST...? 1. For those new in faith, it is likely ignorance 2. For others, Satan and sin has hardened them into complacency - cf. He 3:12-14 [If we love Jesus, we will love the opportunities to be in His company. We will also show our love...] IV. BY SPEAKING ABOUT HIM A. WE OFTEN DEMONSTRATE LOVE THIS WAY... 1. "Let me tell you about my grandchildren!" 2. "You want to see the latest pictures?" B. SO THE EARLY CHURCH DEMONSTRATED THEIR LOVE FOR JESUS... 1. E.g., the apostles - Ac 5:41,42 2. E.g., those scattered abroad by persecution - Ac 8:1,4 C. DO WE NOT LOVE THE LORD...? 1. How can we be the children of God, if we are ashamed to speak of His Son? 2. Imagine treating your family that way [We should always be ready to speak about Jesus (cf. 1Pe 3:15). We also show our love...] V. BY WILLINGLY SUFFERING FOR HIM A. MANY MAKE GREAT SACRIFICES FOR OTHERS... 1. Parents give up much to be able to have and support children 2. People are willing to jeopardize their lives for loved ones 3. Even a dog will risk his life to save his master B. DO WE LOVE OUR LORD ANY LESS...? 1. Especially when we receive salvation through His suffering? - He 5:7-9 2. Paul called Timothy to join in suffering with him for Christ - cf. 2Ti 1:7-12 3. Peter likewise enjoins all to suffer willingly if need be - cf.1Pe 2:19-21; 4:1 [Another way to express our love for Jesus, and thereby prove that God is our Father...] VI. BY LONGING TO BE LIKE HIM A. CHILDREN DEMONSTRATE LOVE THROUGH IMITATION... 1. By adapting mannerisms of the parents they love 2. Some good, some not (such as bad habits) B. CAN ONE SAY THEY LOVE JESUS, BUT NOT WANT TO BE LIKE HIM...? 1. Especially when imitating Jesus is the goal of Christian doctrine? 2. Note Col 3:9-11; Ga 2:20 [Finally, we show love for Jesus...] VII. BY DESIRING TO PLEASE HIM A. CONSIDER PEOPLE IN LOVE... 1. What man or woman won't go out of their way to please the one they love? 2. They'll change clothes, mannerisms, hobbies, etc. B. CHRISTIANS ARE TO BE SIMILAR... 1. For we are a pure virgin betrothed to Christ - cf. 2Co 11:2 2. Because of His love for us, we should live for Him - 2Co 5:14-15 3. Do you have a compelling desire to please Christ? 4. You do if you truly love Him! CONCLUSION 1. If one does not love the Lord Jesus, they are accursed - cf. 1Co 16:22 a. Why? Because if you do not love Jesus then God is not your Father, Satan is! b. If God is your Father, then you will love the Son and demonstrate in these various ways! 2. How does one initially become a child of God? - cf. Ga 3:26-27 a. It involves faith, and putting Christ on in baptism b. This demonstrates our love for Christ as well c. For we are willing to become one with Him, just as two in marriage become one out of love Is God your Father? Do you love Jesus enough to obey Him and become a child of God?