SONS OF THE FATHER
Matt. 6:9 In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Some of the things that Jesus taught are taken for granted today but were quite radical when He first presented them. For example when he taught His disciples to pray He used the phrase “Our Father”. This was quite different from the formal way people would normally pray, He was describing a very personal and intimate relationship to the living God. In this prayer we see incredible simplicity and humility and at the same time an unsurpassed depth of revelation and spirituality. That was the beauty of the teaching of our Lord. In about 400 A.D. John Chrysostom spoke about the power of the opening line of the Lord’s prayer.
“See how He straightway stirred up the hearer, and reminded him of all God’s bounty in the beginning. For he who calls God Father, by him both remission of sins, and taking away of punishment, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, and adoption, and inheritance, and brotherhood with the Only-Begotten, and the supply of the Spirit, are acknowledged in this single title. For one cannot call God Father, without having attained to all those blessings. Doubly, therefore, doth He awaken their spirit, both by the dignity of Him who is called on, and by the greatness of the benefits which they have enjoyed. But when He saith, “in Heaven,” He speaks not this as shutting up God there, but as withdrawing him who is praying from earth, and fixing him in the high places, and in the dwellings above.”
Chrysostom had a great grasp of the implications of calling God Father. He taught that this implies sonship with an unspeakable array of blessings and privileges set aside only for sons and daughters. He said this includes remission of sins which means our punishments have become null and void. He said that we have become righteous before God and sanctified, not only forgiven but changed. Chrysostom went on to speak of redemption, adoption, and inheritance. We have been purchased, placed in God’s family, and given all of the family rights and privileges as fellow heirs with Christ. Finally he reminds us of possibly the greatest implication of calling God Father of all, we have become brothers of the Only Begotten. Christ is our elder brother, the implications of that are breath taking.
Today, we can join together with believers from the last 2000 years in praying the greatest of all prayers, “Our Father Who art in heaven”. As we do, we identify with the greatest legacy and mystery of all time, we have become sons and daughters of the Most High God. He has sent the Spirit of adoption into our hearts and we cry out Abba, Father. Don’t be surprised if you get stuck at the “Our Father” part of your prayer, I often do. Why is that? It’s because the revelation that we are His sons is more than we can ever comprehend.