Our Father which art in heaven.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): It was not without meaning that He taught us when we pray to say, “Our Father.”
ROBERT HAWKER (1753-1827): Do earthly parents love to hear the voice of their little ones, as soon as they can lisp out father? And will not our heavenly Father be pleased with the name, when taught by the Spirit to call Him “Abba, Father,” Romans 8:15?
MARTIN LUTHER (1483-1546): There is more eloquence in that word, “Abba, Father,” than in all the orations of Demosthenes or Cicero put together.
ALEXANDER MacLAREN (1826-1910): The conception of the Divine nature is no doubt infinitely deepened, made more tender and more lofty, by the thought of the Fatherhood of God―Fatherhood! what does that word itself teach us? It speaks of the communication of a life, and the reciprocity of love. It rests upon a Divine act, and it involves a human emotion. It involves that the father and the child shall have kindred life―the father bestowing and the child possessing a life which is derived; and because derived, kindred; and because kindred, unfolding itself in likeness to the father that gave it.
C. H. SPURGEON: This relationship also involves love. If God is my Father, He loves me.
THOMAS WATSON (1620-1686): That you may see God’s fatherly love to His children, consider, God makes a precious valuation of them. “Since thou wast precious in my sight,” Isaiah 43:4. A father prizes his child above his jewels. Their names are precious, for they have God’s own name written upon them: “I will write upon him the name of my God,” Revelation 3:12. He has bowels of affections towards us.
ROBERT HAWKER: What dearness of affection must they stand in to God, when Jesus Himself, speaking to the Father concerning them, saith: “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that thou, hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me,” John 17:23―and, in what a high sense, God’s children, yea, God’s dear children so loved, may be.
THOMAS WATSON: He delights in their company. He loves to see their faces, and hear their voices, Song of Solomon 2:14. He cannot refrain long from their company; let but two or three of His children meet and pray together, He will be sure to be among them. “Where two or three are gathered together in my name—there am I in the midst of them,” Matthew 18:20.
C. H. SPURGEON: Now, we cannot truly cry unto God, “Abba, Father,” without, at the same time, feeling, “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God,” 1 John 3:1…As loving children we feel a holy awe and reverence as we realize our relationship to Him who is our Father in Heaven—a clear, loving, tender, pitiful Father.
MATTHEW POOLE (1624-1679): If earthly parents, especially, look after their children when weak, much more our heavenly Father.
THOMAS WATSON: He bears his children in His bosom, as a nursing father does the sucking child, Numbers 11:12; Isaiah 46:4. To be carried in God’s bosom shows how near His children lie to His heart—If God is our Father, He will be full of sympathy towards His children. “As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear him,” Psalm 103:13…If it is so unnatural for an earthly father not to love his child, can we think God can be defective in His love?
C. H. SPURGEON: Some will have it that God’s people may sin, partially and finally, so as never to be the Lord’s Beloved again. They say they can sin themselves out of the Covenant. But we have not so learned Christ, neither have we so understood the Fatherhood of our God.
THOMAS WATSON: The Arminians hold falling away from grace, so that a child of God may be deprived of his inheritance. But God’s children can never be degraded or disinherited, and their heavenly Father will not cast them off from being His children. It is evident that God’s children cannot be finally disinherited, by virtue of the eternal decree of heaven…That decree ties the knot of adoption so fast, that neither sin, death, nor hell, can break it asunder. “Whom he did predestinate, them he also called, and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified,” Romans 8:30.
C. H. SPURGEON: Whom once He loves, He never leaves, but loves them to the end. “The gifts and calling of God are without repentance,” on His part towards His people…No, it is not, “I will strike their names out of the Book of Life.” It is not, “I will disinherit them, seeing they have proved unfaithful to Me,” but, “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely,” Hosea 14:4—that is to say, “whatever their sin may have been I will overcome it, I will drive it out, I will restore them to their first condition of health. I will do more, I will so heal them that one day without spot or wrinkle or any such thing they shall see their Father’s face.”
JOHN GILL (1697-1771): “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom,” Luke 12:32. God is on their side, and will not leave, nor forsake them.
MATTHEW POOLE (1624-1679): It is not the will of our heavenly Father that the least and meanest believer should perish, Matthew 18:14.
THOMAS WATSON: Besides God’s decree, He has engaged Himself by promise, that the heirs of heaven shall never be put out of their inheritance. “I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me,” Jeremiah 32:40. God’s fidelity, which is the richest pearl of His crown, is engaged in this promise for His children’s perseverance. A child of God cannot fall away while he is held fast in these two arms of God—His love, and His faithfulness.
THOMAS LYE (1621-1684): When our heavenly Father is, as it were, forced to put forth His anger, He then makes use of a father’s rod, not an executioner’s axe. He will neither break His children’s bones, nor His own covenant.
THOMAS WATSON: He loves His children with the same love as He loves Christ, John 17:26. It is the same love, for the unchangeableness of it. God will no more cease to love His adopted sons than He will to love Christ, His Son.
C. H. SPURGEON: If we ever did, in truth, call God “Father,” we shall always be able to use that blessed title, for the relationship of fatherhood is not a temporary one, and cannot come to an end…A man cannot get rid of fatherhood by any possible means. Yes, though my boy should transgress and dishonor his father’s name, yet I am still his father. There is no getting out of this relationship by any conceivable method and so, if, indeed, the Lord is unto you a Father, He will always give you a father’s love. In your adoption and regeneration the Lord has avowed Himself to be your Father and has virtually said, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love,” Jeremiah 31:3.