Text: Ephesians 3:14-15 (Topical Exposition)
“For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom all fatherhood in heaven and on earth is named” (Eph. 3:14–15). Ray Ortlund, “We fathers play a role in our children’s second, supernatural birth by praying for them and raising them in the paths of the Lord (Eph. 6:4)”.
Fathers have the privilege to reflect God as a father in the sight of their children. But supremely, through the Word of God. That is why you lead them to read the Bible. However, the same to what Donald Miller, in his book Blue Like Jazz, said that some kids cannot fathom God as a father because their father was abusive, too busy, or they are fatherless coming from a broken family.
The goal of the fathers is to hear from their children that when they grow up, they want to follow the footsteps of their fathers, especially toward Christlikeness. Billy Graham uttered, “The greatest tribute a boy can give to his father is to say, ‘When I grow up, I want to be just like my dad.’ It is a convicting responsibility for us fathers and grandfathers.” These three things fathers must seek: selfless love, wisdom, and union in Christ.
Main Idea (Outline):
Love – Sacrificial/selfless Love
“I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:18). As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him (Psalm 103:13 NIV). This love marries discipline (Heb 12:7-11).
Unity – Union in Christ
John 17:20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” This prayer of Christ is the union we ought to have in Him. This is how Paul also understands in his epistle in Galatians 2:20, and Romans 8:10.
Pastor Tim Keller helps us understand how wonderful it is to have God as our Father: “The only person who dares wake up a king at 3:00 a.m. for a glass of water is a child. We have that kind of access.”
The ultimate goal of fatherhood—aside from enjoying Christ—is to lead his family to Christ. Do not expect that because church is there then you no longer have the responsibility to cultivate your children in their spirituality. How many times do we come to church? Or bible study? Once or twice? The rest of our week is already immersed in society, work, school, Netflix, and friends. Then we wonder why our kids are like this? Or our family is struggling? Deuteronomy 6:7, “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Eph 6:4).
Wisdom – Solomon speaks about Lady Wisdom (Paul to Timothy and Titus)
In the book of Proverbs, King Solomon made sure that he will pass on the most significant asset he can give to his son—not money, nor properties, not even the throne but—wisdom. He wrote this entire collection of proverbs for “learning wisdom and discipline for understanding” (1:2). This wisdom is:
- A garland of favor on your head and pendants around your neck (1:9); better than jewels and nothing desirable can equal it (8:11). A social status; is something to pursue.
- Through wisdom, trusting the Lord makes your path straight (3:5-6; 4:11).
- Makes you happy (3:13); leads you to long life and good sleep (3:16, 24).
- Rejects and draws away from temptation, lust, and financial entanglements (5-7)
- Fathers lead the devotion or gospel conversations. Ask the hard questions.
- Seek wisdom. Study and read good books.
- Model Christ’s love.
Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
June 19, 2022