The Father Heart of God (Part 2) Three Steps (John 16 & 17; Rom 5 & 8)

  • Three Steps to Receiving the Father’s Love

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Video cover image by Derek Thomson on Unsplash

  • This is the second of two sermons on this topic—it is too important to squeeze it all into one!


  • Recap of Part 1
  • Three Steps to Receiving the Father’s Love

Recap of Part 1

  • Jesus died on the cross for us, he is human and so we can relate to him easily
  • In the last few decades, there has been a renewed emphasis on the Holy Spirit
  • The Father rarely receives due emphasis
  • But the N.T. teaches almost as much about the Father as about Jesus
  • In fact, one of the main purposes of the cross was to reconcile us to the Father [Eph 2:16]
  • Many Christians find if much easier to relate to Jesus than to God the Father
  • God the Father is a parent figure, and all of us have had imperfect parents
  • I asked what kind of flaws do you think earthly parents can have that we can unintentionally project onto God the Father ?

Some Parental Flaws

  • Judgemental
  • Love based on performance
  • Inattentive
  • Emotionally distant
  • Absent
  • Angry and critical
  • Harshly punish
  • Abusive

Our Heavenly Father

  • We must take our eyes off from our earthly fathers, no matter how imperfect they were
    • and let the Scriptures describe the true father
  • The Scriptures sometimes present a deliberate contrast between the two

Luke 11 – Better than an earthly father

  1. What father among you, if your child asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish?
  2. Or if they ask for an egg, will give them a scorpion?
  3. If you then, although you are evil (comparatively), know how to give good gifts to your children,
    how much more will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

This is so important
Because it affects:

  • Our intimacy with God
  • Our prayer life
  • Our anxiety/security
  • Our sense of value and destiny
  • Jesus was very intentional about helping us approach the Father.

John 14 CSB

  1. “Lord,” said Philip, “show us the Father, and that’s enough for us.”
  2. Jesus said to him, “…The one who has seen me has seen the Father…
  3. …I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who lives in me does his works.
  4. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me…
  • Jesus is essentially saying is that the the gentle and loving character he displays is a perfect reflection of the Father
  • Jesus came to earth to show forth the Father’s love
  • We ended last time by reading the Parable of “the lost son”, or better, “The loving, forgiving and rejoicing father”
  • We used this beautiful story to come to the Father in prayer
    • Take a moment to imagine the joy on his face that you are coming towards him
    • He is running towards you!
    • He hugs you as we start to pray
  • Now this week I want to focus on:

Three Steps to Understanding & Receiving the Father’s Love

  • Jesus gives us the “big picture” of this process in

Luke 10

  1. “All things have been handed over to me by my Father,
    and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son,
    and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal him.”
  • The Father sends us the Son
  • The Trinity is an intimate relationship
  • The Son then reveals the Father to us so that we may learn what sonship is like
    %This was one of his primary ministries on earth%
    %He comes to “reconcile us with the Father “%
  • And then the Spirit enables us to experience the Father as Abba—Daddy
    %shows us what it looks like to be loved by our Father in heaven%

The Father Heart of God part 2: Three Steps

  1. Understand Jesus relationship with the Father
  2. Receive his teaching: that we should have the same kind of relationship
  3. Experience the Father’s love through the Spirit

1. Understand Jesus relationship with the Father

  • For the first 30 years of his life, no miracles, but perfect life

Luke 3:21–23

  1. Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized.
    And while he was praying, the heavens opened,
  2. and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven,
    “You are my Son, the beloved one; in you I take great delight.”
  3. So Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years old.
    He was the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli,
  • Jesus ministered with power and with love.
    • Now Jesus was fully God, and so could have done miracles in his own strength
    • But he wanted to be an example to us of the perfect, Spirit$-filled man
    • So he did his miracles in his humanity, relying on the Spirit
    • But he was also giving us an example of ministering out of the love of the Father
      • Because only when we are loved, can we fully love
    • If we are desperately lonely and feel unloved, it is very hard for us to love others expecting nothing in return
      • We will have the need do be loved back in return
      • We will be operating out of a deficit, not an abundance
    • Jesus set us an example of someone who was abundantly conscious of the Father’s love for him
  • Here is an example of this in John 5:17–20 (there are many more examples)

John 5

  1. But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”
  2. …“Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do; for whatever he does, the Son also does in like manner.
  3. “For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all things that he himself does; and he will show him greater works than these, that you may marvel.

The Father Heart of God part 2: Three Steps

  1. Understand Jesus relationship with the Father
  2. Receive his teaching: that we should have the same kind of relationship
  3. Experience the Father’s love through the Spirit

2. Receive his teaching: we should have the same kind of relationship

Three words in Greek for love: agapao, fileo, (plus eros)

  • agapao love is a general word, often used when I love someone and expect nothing in return
  • I get nothing out of it and it is pure, unselfish love
  • An example might be giving food to starving people
  • When “God so loved the world”, it was agapao

fileo love

  • Carries an emphasis that we enjoy the person and get something back
  • It is friendship love, when we like someone’s company
  • The love the Father has for Jesus is fileo —he enjoys the Son
  • The extraordinary thing is that in John 16:26–27, the Father’s love for us is fileo

John 16

  1. In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf;
  2. for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.
  • This is absolutely staggering!
    • the Father is saying that he gets something back!
    • He actually enjoys our company and we bring him pleasure
    • This is absolutely extraordinary! That the eternal God would get something out of a relationship with us!
  • More of this in:

John 17

  1. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,

%Wow, one with each other almost like the Trinity?%

  1. I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

%Wow even more , and we are brought into God’s one-ness (not that we become God)%

  1. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

%If you love someone, you want to be with them%

  1. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me.
  2. And I have declared to them your name, and will [continue to] declare it, [in order] that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
  • So how do we experience this?

3. Experience the Father’s love through the Spirit

  • I am going to say something which may feel untrue for a moment, until we think about it
  • We cannot experience anything of God except through the work of the Spirit
    • Even reading the Bible
    • Even creation!
  • His role, which he loves, is to be channel
  • Pentecost and the Pouring out of the Spirit
    • we see the Spirit poured out
    • but also the outpouring of the Father’s love—Jesus’ prayer is answered
    • The best verse I know of to make this point is

Romans 5:5 & 8:15–16

  1. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
  2. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.
  3. The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
  • If you are not a Christian right now, then this is the perfect picture of what you need to do...
  • Be thirsty! That is all God requires!
  • Pray