Here is a sermon I preached today on Romans 8:14-19 and Galatians 4:3-7
You can listen to or download the sermon here:
1. A crisis of Fatherhood
1 in 4 families of children in the UK have only one parent living at home
90% of the time that is the mother
Some people stigmatise single mothers. But don’t stigmatise the parent who stayed. Stigmatise the one who left!
Many men desert their children.
Fatherhood is the greatest delight of a man’s life, but it is also his biggest challenge
It requires you to be a real man not just play X-box.
Those who have been privileged enough to have a father all too easily criticize our fathers. Sometimes people find it hard to relate to God because they found it hard to relate to their father. Hard act to follow in being compared to our Father God!
Your father is the only one you will get.
2. The privileges of being Gods child
a. He gently leads and directs us “led by the Spirit.” The Spirit is like the wind. We cannot see him, but we can see what he does. He begins to work in us before we are Christians. He is the one who leads us to Jesus. He draws us to have an interest in Christianity. He convinces us of our sin. He humbles us. He helps us to realise that God is God and we are not. He causes us to be born again.
From our perspective we feel that we have made the choice. We rightly sing
“I have decided to follow Jesus.
No turning back.
No turning back.
The cross before me.
The world behind me.
No turning back.
No turning back.”
But the Spirit says, “It was I who drew you!”
All this can happen to a Christian, and we may not know the Spirit as a person. He also speaks through the Word, through other believers, and through circumstances. But we he also wants to relate with us as a person. He wants to reveal himself to us, and restore the relationship the fall broke. We can receive the Spirit and are filled with him.b. We do not need to be terrified of God, as if he were a slave master (“spirit of slavery….fear”)
c. He CHOSE to adopt us. Most parents get the kids they are given, adoptive parents choose their children. GLORIOUSLY liberating to know that God chose to adopt us!
d. We have an intimate relationship with him “Abba father….Spirit bears witness” cf love of God poured out into our hearts (Romans 5:5).
e. He provides for us “heirs…”
f. He is with us and for us in good times and bad ”suffer with him” ”glorified with him”
g. He will never leave us and is preparing a glorious future for us
3. The privilege of fathering
We can never be the perfect father that God is for all of us. But we can father our kids, and we can be a spiritual father to others. What does fathering look like? Its just like how this passage says God is for us.
To be just like our heavenly father is. The same points. But, note that of course we can never reach his perfect standards.
- gently lead
- avoid inducing fear or “exasperating”
- regularly choose to stay. So easy to leave. 70% of married men under 40 expected they’d have an affair at some point.
- be intimate with our kids, and caring. My tendency is to want to fix things, or find out what went wrong….better to give them a hug first.
- provide for them (bank of Dad…..!)
- be there for them when things are tough and go through things with them…..
- be loyal to them for ever and prepare for their future.