Aug 252016
 

tshirt_design_our_fatherIntroducing The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father Who Art in Heaven – Part 1

“Our Father who art in heaven.”

Jesus began His prayer with the invocation – Our Father who art in heaven – which announces the nature of our relationship with God. This invocation is pregnant with meaning and is a key for comprehending our relationship with God.

As we begin to apprehend all of what Jesus has compressed into this short invocation, we will better understand our relationship with God, which, in turn, will help us to pray.

An accurate portrayal of our relationship with God will not project onto God our subjective experiences with our human fathers or how we might imagine the ideal fatherly relationship. Instead, it is crucial that that we seek to understand our relationship with God as He has objectively revealed that relationship to us in the Scriptures.

In His invocation, Jesus linked together three aspects or angles by which to view and understand our relationship with God: (1) He is Father; (2) He is in Heaven; and (3) He is Ours. An objective, scripture-based portrayal of our relationship with God should incorporate all three of these aspects or angles.

In this Part 1, we will explore the name Father.

“But to all who did receive him who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)

God reveals himself throughout the Scriptures by many descriptive names. The name Father is the most intimate of all God’s names and signifies a family relationship. Christians are not enemies, strangers or laborers in relation to God; we are adopted children born of God.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17)

God the Father sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, into our broken world to lay down His life to save us. In his letter to the Romans, Paul wrote something similar: God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:8) These passages show us objectively the nature of God’s love for humanity. When we pray Father, we should remember that Jesus, the only begotten Son, reconciled God to us by the blood of His cross.

Pastor Timothy Keller has been quoted as saying that “in the word Father that you are my Father — is the gospel in miniature.” Keller’s statement echoes Early Church Father, John Chrysostom:

“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.” (John Chrysostom, 349-407 A.D.)

The name Father encourages us as His children to pray to Him with trust and confidence, not based on who we are or what we have done or left undone, but because of what the Triune God has done for us: God the Father our Creator who sent the Son; God the Son our Redeemer who gave himself for us; and God the Holy Spirit our Sanctifier who dwells in each one of us and intercedes for us.

A Portrait of the Father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son.

Perhaps the most vivid portrait of God as Father is found in the Parable of the Prodigal Son in the 15th Chapter of Luke’s Gospel. In this parable, Jesus corrects two common misconceptions about our relationship with God.

Do you struggle with feelings of unworthiness? The younger prodigal son had sinned very badly against his father (consider it total rebellion). When he later met up with his father, the younger son could not even imagine being forgiven and restored as his father’s son. In his mind, he was not worthy: Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” (Luke 15:21) However, an astonishing action by his father shows us that the younger son was already forgiven even before he spoke a word: But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20).

The lesson of the younger son is that the magnitude of our sin does not limit our Father’s compassion for us. God’s graciousness towards us is not dependent on our worthiness (of which we have none), but on the infinite worthiness of our Savior who gave himself for us. Forgiveness comes from outside us through the proclamation of the Gospel – “Christ died for our sins” (1 Cor 15:3). Therefore, we must set aside any feelings of unworthiness and believe the Gospel of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who clothes us with His infinite worthiness.

What about the older son? The older obedient son served his father dutifully all his life. When the younger son came home, the older son revealed his own misconception about his family relationship: Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!” (Luke 15:29-30)

The older son’s problem was not his obedience. His problem was that he thought his father owed him something for his obedience. The reality, however, is that the older son already had everything irrespective of his obedience: And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.” (Luke 15:31) The older son was blind to the blessings of sonship, because he was chasing a relationship based on working for his father’s favor.

The lesson of the older son is that being part of God’s family cannot be earned; it is a gift. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Eph 2:8-9) Therefore, we must repent of any feelings of entitlement and rejoice in our Father’s grace received through faith in the Gospel of our Savior, Jesus Christ, who clothes us with His perfect obedience. Amen.

Next week in Part 2, we will explore the words “who art in heaven.”

 

Copyright © 2016 Jean Dragon – All rights reserved.

  66 Responses to “Jean’s Gospel: Introducing The Lord’s Prayer… Our Father”

  1. Jean,

    Very well done.

    I’m glad you addressed the fact that many of us immediately choke on the word “Father” because of our earthly relationships.
    After decades,this is still a problem for me…

  2. “’m glad you addressed the fact that many of us immediately choke on the word “Father” because of our earthly relationships.
    After decades,this is still a problem for me…”

    Same.

    It was deeply saddening, deeply troubling, but also therapeutic observing Bob Grenier in depositions for two days having to finally address the issues and answer questions and address the abuse after him stonewalling and lying since I confronted privately in 2004/2005.

    There is a relief to my angst. I look forward to the Trial, though it will cost me most everything I have….but it will be worth it.

  3. On another note, since this whole thing has many many levels and isn’t just about Bob or just about me and my brothers etc.

    WOW, you should hear the spin about Chuck Smith not having to give Bob permission to open a Calvary Chapel Visalia, that anyone can just open a Calvary Chapel, no problem etc.

    WOW, the lying and spin was remarkable, but it is well documented now and a very interesting set of questioning and answers from a Calvary Chapel Pastor.

  4. Alex, this is a teaching thread…use one of the others for this.
    The key to getting people healthy is to get them well taught…

  5. The plan was to bankrupt me which they believed would then silence me, that I’d be forced into a deal b/c I would not be able to afford the tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to go all the way through a Jury Trial.

    They made a miscalculation. They do not “know their enemy” or who they perceive to be their enemy.

    I do know my enemy, very very well. Pride is the Achille’s heal and Pride will lead to his downfall and the downfall of many in Calvary Chapel and that Construct over time.

  6. Sure thing, just saw your comment. Please delete these comments and I’ll move threads.

  7. Alex, we’re good…we’ll just take it from here.

  8. Michael,

    I think some of the liberal Christian traditions (and perhaps Bible translations) have tried to remove the name “Father” and “Him” entirely in relation to God, for other reasons than you mentioned. I’ve heard references such as “God’s self” instead of Father or Him. I find this development deeply troubling.

    I think discipleship and The Lord’s Prayer is a journey into the mystery of faith, which comprehends God as Father and we as adopted children.

    For me, my biggest issue has been one of worthiness. Satan attacks and accuses me regularly with my past and present sin, and doesn’t want me to feel worthy of forgiveness and unmerited grace. I now let Christ fight for me in the words of His prayer. It’s very effective, but it’s a war not a battle.

  9. It’s a war that can only be won if one is assured of an alien righteousness and in the reality of ones union with Christ.
    This is where the doctrine of justification has to be understood without equivocation…

  10. Thank you Jean. This is beautiful…. and yes, the ‘Father’ issue….and while I, like many here, have earthly father ‘issues’…..as a parent, step parent and grandmother, I now have a much better understanding of the role and attributes of a good Parent, father or mother, and I work at assigning those attributes to God the Father…. and IMO, that is the ‘reason’ for parenting on earth…. at least good parenting…. to know how God loves.

    Jean, I constantly struggle with the subject of worthiness…Thank you for writing on the subject and sharing your own struggles….

  11. Thank you Paige. I agree with you about parenting.

  12. Anyone see any significance in pater being used here, instead of abba?

  13. Josh,

    For the benefit of the other readers: “Pater” is the Greek word for “father” and the Gospels were written in Greek, so Pater is the predominate usage. Only one place in the Gospels, in Mark in the Garden of Gethsemane, does the author retain the Aramaic word for father – Abba. However, one would expect that Jesus as an Aramaic as a first language speaker would have used Abba as his word for father in all his ministry. Thus, I don’t draw any significance to the Greek word Pater in Matthew 6 and Luke 11. I assume, the Gospels, which were written in Greek, translated his Aramaic.

  14. Jean,
    Thank you for another great study. As many have already mentioned, the meaning of Father has been twisted for many of us. If there is one thing that I wish could be taught to (and believed by) parents , it would be the understanding that a child’s parental figures
    ARE the first experience of God to the child, and the imprint of such is long-lasting.

    Paige touched on it also, I like her words… “the reason for parenting on earth…”

  15. Thank you Owen. You have triggered a thought. If I was raising children, or had a close friend who was raising children, I would buy this book, which I think addresses the excellent comments raised by you and Paige:

    https://www.amazon.com/Being-Dad-Father-Picture-Grace/dp/1945500328/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1472152743&sr=1-1&keywords=Scott+Keith

    “Dr. Keith understands the increasingly counter-cultural yet vital truth: that there is no force in a child’s life more potent than that of a good father, the kind that points to the goodness of our Heavenly Father.”

  16. Looks to be a very good read, and a useful book, Jean.

    It is counter-cultural. Parenthood in general is being stripped away, watered down.

    I could easily hijack this thread on that topic. Better leave it to focusing on the best Parent there is.

  17. Jean, good article – however I think you may have skipped the most important word in the phrase. We can speak of father as a role, as a parent as a relationship to another – but I do not think we can speak of father in the context of this prayer by using father as a standalone.It must be in the context of ‘our father’ – it must be personalized to us believers.
    It is not unlike the “for you” we see in a couple of places.

    It’s one thing to speak of Christ dying for sinners – it’s quite another when you add the “for you”.

    “our father” has a nice ring to it.

  18. I should correct myself – it’s not as though you skipped it because I don’t know your intent. I will just say I would have emphasized it more.

  19. Jean,

    The following is merely a personal feeling I have. I do not in any way intend to argue with the Scripture. However, it is a fact that there are several places in the Bible (as we understand the Bible to be) where there are discrepancies or misunderstandings which are confusing at the least. (Rom 5:8) “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” is one I consider to be misunderstanding. Perhaps you can help me.

    Please refrain from calling this heresy before I explain.

    I have a hard time understanding the necessary emphasis on Christ’s “death,” due to the definition of death itself. I argue that Christ (Himself) did not die. Instead it was His Earthly body that died. The Son of God was/is alive before, during and after His earthly body.

    I do understand the usage of the term “Death” to be implicating His Crucifixion. However, I can also understand that this can be detrimental to the understanding of the lost. MAINLY due to the fact that it shows no inclusion of what caused His resurrection. It was not ‘caused’ totally by His Crucifixion. The missing factor is that after His earthly death, He had to be Judged by God the Father for His Earthly Life, completed without a single sin. Had Christ of committed a single sin in His earthly life He would have failed as being the Messiah.

    I personally consider this to be more necessarily prominent of His Messiah-ship than merely being killed.

    To make it even worse I find the term “He died for us” misleading too. If He died FOR us then why do we still die? The statement should be “He lived for us” because it is the way He lived UNTIL death that saves Him – and us.

    My main point is that Pastors tend to quote the Bible too much without an explanation to follow.

    God bless you,
    Paul

  20. MLD,

    Your point is well taken. As I indicated way up front, I have broken the invocation into 3 parts because of per article space constraints. Part 3 will add the “Our” to Father. Hopefully I can address the invocation in installments and build the overall meaning without losing anything. If you will be patient, I would love your feedback along the way and at the end.

    PS: Our Father does indeed have a nice ring to it.

  21. Paul,
    Good questions. Unfortunately, I will have to wait until I can get home to my computer to respond, because your questions do not lend themselves to short answers.

  22. Paul,
    What you said and how you said it may not be heresy to some groups. However, I have no problem saying that in a Christian context it is very much heresy.

    Separating Jesus’ spirit from his body is one problem and the idea that Jesus was judged by the father for sin is another.

    The word of faith doctrine that Jesus descended to hell to be judged is very poorly thought out. This is straight out of Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland.

  23. MLD,

    Separating Jesus’ body from His Spirit can not be Christian heresy. I am NOT claiming His spirit was not always in His body, but if they (His human body and Spiritual Being) are the same thing, what is the need to have come to earth born from a woman?

    Of course He was Judged by God. Had He of committed one sin, (according to God’s judgment) He would have failed; and that is exactly what Satan tried to get him to do when he tempted Jesus. Temptation has no meaning unless there is a choice to comply, or not.

    Also, if you think that Jesus was unable sin while in an earthly body, that subtracts from the fact that He was 100% God and 100% human.

  24. Paul,
    1.) I never said they were the same thing – they are 2 things body & Spirit. What I am saying is that they cannot be separated.
    2.) Can you show me Jesus standing before the father receiving this judgment? I think he was judged worthy before he came in the incarnation.
    3.) I am one who thinks that Jesus had the sin.

  25. To be more clear of my belief, He was 100% god SPIRITUALLY and 100% human in living a human body. And yes, His Godly Spirit was in His human body. That’s why He was 100% both.

  26. Paul, I think you view is more that Jesus was 100% God Spiritually wearing a human costume (made of flesh and blood).

  27. MLD,

    If Jesus had sin, what got Him to ascend? The mere fact that He was nailed to a cross?

  28. I don’t hold the position that Jesus sin?
    As far as the ascension goes, why is that special for Jesus? You see similar wonders of God’s acceptance of Jesus at his baptism and at the transfiguration.

    You obviously know that you hold a minority position (which is not wrong in itself) but you did hedge it a bit with a call not to call it heresy until we heard it out. What is gained by your position that we who a more traditional view are missing?

  29. Mld,

    Re: your 26. He did not wear a costume, He lived as a human being (100%)

  30. MLD,

    I will answer your # 28 but it will take me some time.

  31. Paul,

    You wrote:

    “I have a hard time understanding the necessary emphasis on Christ’s “death,” due to the definition of death itself. I argue that Christ (Himself) did not die. Instead it was His Earthly body that died. The Son of God was/is alive before, during and after His earthly body.”

    Paul, the Bible says that Christ died. We have no authority to override what the Bible clearly states, just because we don’t understand something. The Athanasian Creed:

    “For as the rational soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ, who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead, ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence He will come to judge the living and the dead.” This is what orthodox Christianity confesses regarding Christ.

    “To make it even worse I find the term “He died for us” misleading too. If He died FOR us then why do we still die? The statement should be “He lived for us” because it is the way He lived UNTIL death that saves Him – and us.”

    There are several symbols, Passover Lamb of God, Scapegoat which make clear that Christ died for our sins. Peter puts it very well:

    “”He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.””

    The wages of sin is death. Christ paid your tab Paul. Believe the Gospel.

  32. MLD,

    RE: your # 28.

    1. You said, “I don’t hold the position that Jesus sin?” – In your #24 you said, “3.) I am one who thinks that Jesus had the sin.” – I am not sure what that all means.

    2. I never said that Jesus’ ascension was “special for Jesus”. I was merely pointing out that He was returning to heaven, after His earthly body died which is the same as us ascending to Heaven after our successful Godly Judgement. (of course ours is having our name in the book of life, Jesus’ was to live an earthly life without one sin.

    3. I also never said that those of you with a more traditional view are missing anything. When I asked to not call it heresy before hearing me out was in reference to my expectation of reaction of me claiming (Rom 5:8) to be misleading instead of misunderstood.

  33. 1.) I meant to say “had the capacity to sin.” Sorry

  34. Paul,

    You need pastoral care. It is going to require a lot of catechesis to correct a lot of your prior indoctrination. If you would like to provide me (here or through Michael) with your home town and State, I can try to introduce you to a good pastor who can help you. I mean this sincerely.

  35. Jean,

    In your # 31 you said, “Paul, the Bible says that Christ died. We have no authority to override what the Bible clearly states, just because we don’t understand something.”

    In my opinion there is no difficulty understanding “Christ died.” My point was that there seems to be a massive amount of emphases by pastors referring to the importance of His human body death than His human body life being without sin.

    I also have difficulty with, “”He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.””

    Personally, I think that Paul’s wording may have been properly understood in his time but
    to tell modern-day people that Jesus “bore our sins” means He had sin within His self. If Jesus had one sin within Himself whether His own or ours, He would have no place in Heaven. Again, Jesus cleansing of our sins is His earthly human life living completely without sin which none of us could do except via HIM.

  36. Paul,

    You wrote:

    “In my opinion there is no difficulty understanding “Christ died.” My point was that there seems to be a massive amount of emphases by pastors referring to the importance of His human body death than His human body life being without sin.”

    You are still dividing Christ, with your “human body” distinction. I assume and hope the pastors you are referring to did not make that distinction. However, if they were emphasizing Christ’s death, then they were being biblical. Here’s what the apostle Paul wrote:

    “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” That sounds like an emphasis to me.

    “If Jesus had one sin within Himself whether His own or ours, He would have no place in Heaven.” Christ’s imputed sin was judged on the cross. Death destroyed death. Christ’s resurrection was the defeat of death, the defeat of Satan, the absolution of our sin.

    I sincerely believe that Satan has you trapped in an intellectual puzzle, which is distracting you from the real issue: Paul you are a sinner, but Christ died for your sins. Will you believe that you are forgiven? Be reconciled!

  37. Jean,

    Thank you for your offer. I appreciate the sincerity. However I have no desire to be indoctrinated by any “denominational” catechisms. They all tend to explain things of the Bible to fit their denomination. The Bible says to not add too or subtract from Jesus’s teachings. This obviously necessitates full reliance on the Holy Spirit. (Jeremiah 29:13). Although I do not commit to any denomination, I learn a lot from most of them. My only dislike is them planting a flag on one ground and refusing to decipher cognitively outside their particular box.

    Thank you and God bless you.

  38. Paul,

    An excellent rule of thumb is that if you come up with a doctrine no one else has, you’re dealing with heresy.
    If you believe that your “full reliance” on the Holy Spirit has led you to reject the historical doctrines of the church, you need to check that spirit.

    The Bible witnesses to both the active and passive obedience of Christ…and sound teachers expound both.

  39. Michael Horton expounds…

    “John Murray, the recipient of that famous telegram, wrote eloquently of this great biblical doctrine. “Early in our Lord’s ministry we have his own witness” to being the promised “Servant of the Lord” in Isaiah, says Murray. When John the Baptist questioned the propriety of him baptizing the Messiah, Jesus answered, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness” (Mt 3:15). (2) It was our Lord’s great pleasure and duty to “fulfill all righteousness” down to the least stroke of the Law: “I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me” (Jn 6:38). Calvin observes, “Now someone asks, how has Christ abolished sin, banished the separation between us and God, and acquired righteousness to render God favorable and kindly toward us? To this we can in general reply that he has achieved this for us by the whole course of his obedience.” (3)

    We are told in Scripture that Jesus Christ was both human and divine. Because of this union of the divine with the human nature, “he grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man” (Lk 2:52). In fact, he “learned obedience from the things he suffered” (Heb 5:8). This is not at all to suggest that our Lord was sinful, but in his humiliation he was truly and fully human. That is, just as he grew up physically, so too he progressively obeyed God throughout his life. At no point did he fail to respond positively to his Father’s will, so his growth was perfect and complete.

    It is impossible for us to imagine what it would have been like for this Son of Man to experience genuine temptation in precisely the same way as it comes to us and still to have turned his will from every form of hatred, lust, selfishness, greed, pride, laziness, and every other form of disobedience, whether in thought, word, or deed. He sinned neither by omission nor commission, neither by ignorance nor malice. Even when faced with the temptation in the wilderness, where Lucifer offered him the kingdoms of the world (as if he owned them), in addition to food to satiate his fast-weary body, Jesus, unlike the first Adam, answered with the Word of God.

    But more than all of these countless acts of obedience and perfect conformity to his Father’s will in mind, body, soul, and heart, there was one act of obedience that crowned our Savior’s righteousness: “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross!” (Phil 2:6-8). This death is our Lord’s passive obedience, just as his active obedience is his thirty-three years of perfect conformity to God’s will. Although some other word might be preferred, the “passive” nature of Christ’s obedience to death took the form of suffering, while his “active” obedience took the form of doing. It was not merely the agony of the cross as a form of human punishment, nor indeed even the unjust accusations of his tormentors, but the divine curse that was attached to this death that made this step of obedience so daunting. For this reason, our Lord prayed in Gethsemane, “Lord, if it is possible, take this cup from me.” And yet, even in the face of divine judgment, when he would bear the sins of his people, he still prayed, “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done” (Mt 26:41-43).”

  40. MLD,

    Thank you also for the exchange of comments.

    God bless you,
    Paul

  41. Michael,

    Your # 38 & 39 are definitely good food for thought. It told me even more than you think it did. Thank you.

  42. Paul,

    I’m glad I was able to assist you more than I intended…

  43. Another theological rule of thumb is that people who claim they rely solely on the Holy Spirit for biblical exegesis are actually saying that they reject what the Holy Spirit has already told the rest of the church…

  44. I want to address Josh’s question up at the top.

    According to many scholars “Abba” does not carry all the warm fuzzies that it has been claimed to.
    It means “father”.

    End of story.

  45. Those among us who had a bad experience with their biological father and then went through the loss of that father through divorce, never to have him involved in their life afterward do struggle with the true image of God as a Father.

    There is always the subtle tendency to project the earthly father experience to enormity.

    Making God out to be as our earthly father was.

    If abandonment issues are present there is the struggle that God cares only of others and not ones self.

    I can hear about God as presented by the scriptures but getting past how it gets filtered by my own life experience with my father is an issue that exist in the background for me as it does for many others.

    It is in community that we find the love and acceptance that brings healing grace to our conflicts in this area of God’s fatherhood.

    Teaching like Jean does about the Father helps us to see the truth of the matter and over ride our very wrong internal concepts of fatherhood.

    The role of father shapes all of us and can be a blessing or a curse.

    That is our earthly fathers.

    To obtain a true revelation of God as the perfect Father that He , is something beyond what was modeled by our earthly fathers.

    If we can make the leap over what was modeled to what actually is delineated in scripture about God as Father is key to understanding the opening of the Lord’s Prayer.

    Thanks Jean!

  46. Hmmm, Calvin had some thoughts about the usage of Abba and Father, but apparently that is a rabbit hole this thread does not need to go down. All good.

    Thanks for the response Jean.

  47. I think that the Abba / Father goes more to the ‘our father’ than it does to the ‘daddy’ wording.

  48. Josh,

    Your question is not a rabbit hole. It is a very relevant tangent. Let me clarify my comment from yesterday. If, as most scholars agree, Jesus spoke in Aramaic as a first language, then every place you see the name Father in the Gospels, Jesus most probably said Abba.

    If we had an Aramaic translation of the Gospels, we would probably see Abba all over the texts. We would never see Pater, which is Greek.

    But the earliest Gospel manuscripts are written in Greek, which most scholars agree was the original written language of the autographs.

    Therefore, except for a single place in Mark, where the Gospel writer (not Jesus) decided to leave Abba untranslated, all the other translations of Father go back to the Greek Pater.

    See below, the same scene, given in the first 3 Gospels. The variations are by the Gospel writers, but we can be confident that Jesus, if he was praying in his native tongue, prayed to His Abba.

    “And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.””

    “And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.””

    “saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.””

  49. It seems the “daddy” translation came from Lutheran scholar, Joachim Jeremias in the mid-1900’s. While I agree with you that this is not the best translation, I do understand the sentiment. Calvin sees it at going from servant to adopted child.

    Anyway, it does seem there is a clear progression from Jesus’ use of Father here, vs. his later use of Abba, Father under deep distress, to Paul’s continuous use of Abba, Father.

  50. Sorry, Jean. Crossed posts there. Good answer. You are clearly correct about the language.

    My question though would be, do you think in the Garden, Jesus said “Abba”, which Mark interpreted as Abba, Father? Or do you think the “Abba” is kept in Mark, and Paul’s writings, for some other reason?

  51. Josh,

    I think when it came to Paul’s use of Abba, Father, there may be something else going on.

    In Roman culture the Pater Familias was a position of power, privilege and control. I won’t say much more about the Pater Familias, but one could Google it for more information. This Roman concept was different than the Jewish concept of Father.

    It’s quite possible that Paul, writing to Gentiles in the Roman empire, wanted them to understand God as Father, from more of a historically Jewish/Jesus perspective, than a Roman perspective.

  52. Hmm, good thought, and similar to one I’ve seen…can’t remember from whom. It that the Abba is kept by Paul, along with the Pater, to show that this is for the Jew and Gentile.

    Being that Mark’s Gospel was likely influenced by Paul, it could be that is where he picked it up in the Garden scene.

    Neat. You got my brain going jean. That’s dangerous 🙂

  53. Ahh, I take the Paul / Mark thing back. My thought has always been that Paul contributed to Luke’s gospel, and that Peter was likely influential upon Mark’s Gospel.

    See, the brain already had a misfire. Everybody stand back.

  54. I’m glad you brought this up Josh. I hadn’t noticed it as a potential issue in the prayer before, but if you had the question, then I expect that other will too. So, working through this was well spent time.

  55. Glad it was fruitful.

  56. Interesting. Paul L’s thoughts sparked an interesting consideration or a few of them.

    Original Sin. If Jesus is God “and” man…but he did not have sin…no original sin was accounted to him.

    Are we born without sin and then sin? Does that belief about Jesus not sinning negate Original Sin doctrine?

    Some say yes, some say no.

  57. The Holy Spirit seems to tell a lot of different people a lot of different things under the Umbrella of Christianity.

    Even in Calvary Chapel and Lutheranism you have MAJOR splits and disagreements…always tends to be a “traditional” branch that the Holy Spirit tells one thing and a “liberal” branch where the Holy Spirit tells another.

    Multiply that by 9,000 to 30,000 different Denominations and Mainline “Christian” churches all with different opinions on many many issues, all appealing to the same “bible”

  58. I do have my opinions, however, and there are a few doctrinal/theological boxes that I think make more sense than the others.

    I guess I would agree more, intellectually, with the Reformed hyper-Calvinists while also agreeing with a chunk of traditional Lutheranism with a smidgen of Charismatic b/c there is a little something to the Holy Spirit moving today, though not the caricature that Charismania presents.

  59. Paul-L’s #23

    This series on the “Our Father” or our “Lord’s Prayer” is dedicated to an overriding Lutheran dogma – sufficient for praying in faith and i intend to stay out of the discussions – however, without entering into the discussion/teaching here, this rabbit trail that developed i will comment on…

    Leviticus 17:11 reminds us that the life of the flesh is in the blood
    Jesus’ conception by God the Holy Spirit, by the will of God, was a step up from the first Adam.
    Now, rather than walking with man, as God did with Adam in that garden, in the evenings before man’s fall into faithless disobedience, Jesus’ blood supply was pure and, i’m guessing, incorruptible. God indwelled/communed/instructed the man Jesus from birth …
    but the day came …
    As prophesied by Abraham and Isaac’s O.T. portrayal…
    Perfect in obedience, never corrupted by sin, yet the son was cursed, separated from God the Holy Spirit Galatians 3:13 – Jesus, alone in his flesh, bore the full weight of sin, cried out to God, “why,” declared “it is finished” and gave up his mortal life…

    all that to say, i have no problem today with how this man Christ Jesus was able to bear sin…

  60. “I believe in … in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary….”

    The “Word became flesh” (i.e., the Incarnation occurred) in Mary’s womb. Mary, as a human female, contributed an egg with 23 chromosomes. The Holy Spirit contributed the other 23 chromosomes, in order to conceive baby Jesus. This is Christ, the God-Man. Fully God, Fully Man.

    The Church, from early in its history, has rejected various attempts to divide Christ. A popular heresy was one that said that God left the body on the Cross, leaving only a human man to die. But, that is un-biblical, and actually renders the atonement meaningless.

    Read what Scripture says:

    “Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?”

    How could one trample underfoot the Son of God if it wasn’t Him hanging on the cross at Calvary? How could a mere human death atone for the sins of the world? What did Jesus mean in his sermon “God so loved the world that he GAVE his only Son”? He didn’t say “loan”, He said “gave.”

    If Christ is the God-Man, conceived by the Holy Spirit, then you can’t ever separate the divinity from the humanity. It is not 2 person glued or blended together. It is 1 person.

    If you can’t understand by rational thought, then just believe God’s Word. God’s word never, ever says anywhere that the “Christ” who died for our sins is not the Christ who suckled at the blessed Virgin’s breast.

  61. This is why terms like ‘Mary, the mother of God’ are so important. It is not about Mary but it says everything about who Jesus is – the samewhen you say it was God who sat in Mary’s womb for 9 months or the biggie – God died on the cross.

    It is to show that theological point that you cannot separate the God / Man – and anything that suggests such is heresy.

  62. Em,
    “This series on the “Our Father” or our “Lord’s Prayer” is dedicated to an overriding Lutheran dogma – ”

    Can you expound on this a bit? What have you seen that is particular to Lutheran dogma?

  63. MLD,

    That is why John 3:16 is such a powerful Gospel text. That is what magnifies His love. That is why Christ blood is a better sacrifice than the blood of Abel.

  64. i don’t intend to dialog on this concept of exactly who died on the cross… we have 2 premise, one is that man is a meld of some sort (some truth to that) – Jesus,was more than a man; the blood that flowed down that wooden stake was sinless, however when that sinless man cried out, “My God, why have you forsaken me?” He meant just that and so, the other premise is the one i hold most believable that the human is intended to be 3 parts: body, soul and spirit, but that the spirit – or spiritual capacity – of man died with Adam’s disobedience…
    that 3 part completion of man scares those who only see that as opening the door to the “special insight” some have incorrectly, IMV, claimed that we can become little gods – nuts to that – 1 John 3:1-2 says what it means and means what it says – nothing more

  65. “Jesus,was more than a man; ”

    Jesus was and is God Almighty himself.

    To say that he was more than a man keeps him one rung behind ‘real’ God.

    The idea that God jumped out of the man Jesus right before he died is appalling.

    FYI – I am dichotomous in my view that man has a material part and an inmaterial part, but I have no idea what this has to do with the conversation.

    Is that your objection – that you think it is a Lutheran view to hold that God died on the cross? Oy Ney – I’m going to Costco and worship at the feet of their electronics. 😉

  66. Em,
    “i don’t intend to dialog on this concept of exactly who died on the cross…’

    The more I think about this – who died on the cross is the only question – should be the only point of discussion.

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