. The Father Heart of God (Part 2)






Last week we started looking at this critical topic for us as members and adherents of Logos, namely “The Father Heart of God”. My desire as God’s servant responsible for sharing the Word of God with you, is that we will so understand God’s Heart that we will once again fall in love with God and love Him fully with all our heart, all our mind, all our soul and all our strength. My heart cry is that we will never become a church where law trumps grace, where knowledge trumps life, where judgmentalism trumps relationships and where structure trumps worship. So, how do we prevent this? I believe if we have a right understanding of the Father Heart of God we will get the balances right. So join me as we continue to look at ‘God’s purpose from heaven’.


We asked a very important question as we embarked on the first part of this two part series namely; “how is the love of God which is a demonstration of the Father Heart of God, seen in the Son of God?”


We then saw that this love of God is “seen in the divine gift”. We saw this in that well known verse: John 3:16 (ESV) 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


We then started asking some questions regarding this divine gift and the first question we asked is: “Why did God give?” We saw that the only explanation for why God gave is to be seen in God Himself. The answer lies in heaven and not on earth. God gave because God loved, and God loved while we were pitiful, wretched sinners who were dead, deviant, demonised, disobedient, deranged and damned. And in spite our pitiful CV, God loved us. This calls for our absolute admiration and adoration.


Today we ask our next 4 questions.

1.2 What did God give?


What did God give to the world that shows the Father Heart of God?  Look again at John 3:16 (ESV) 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. He gave His one and only unique Son. This gets to the mystery of the trinity doesn’t it? God has a Son, yet God is one. God is the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Three persons, one God. Not three Gods and not one God with three faces. It is three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but one God. He gave His only Son. As CH Spurgeon put it:


“God gave His other self. It was His only begotten Son, His beloved Son in whom He was well pleased. None of us have ever had such a son to give. Ours are the sons of men, His was the Son of God. The Father gave His other self, one with Himself. When the great God gave His Son He gave God Himself, for Jesus is not in His eternal nature less than God. When God gave God for us, He gave Himself. What more could He give? God gave us His all, He gave us Himself, who can measure His love?”


What God gave speaks of is the Love of God. Think about the Father Heart of God. God gave Himself. All God’s people should shout Hallelujah!! I don’t want to spend time on this, but remember in Genesis 22 when God provided the Lamb to Abraham when He was willing to sacrifice Isaac. God tells Abraham in verse 2 to “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love” These are very interesting words, but then I love the statement of Abraham in verse 8: “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So, the same God who provided the lamb then, provided the snake on the pole in the dessert which we read about in John 3:14, and now He gives us Himself, in His Son which you see in verse 15. Do you realise that you have a Father that is not bent on your destruction but He is bent on your salvation. He provides, and provides and provides. Just like Abraham whose story mirrors or foreshadows that which we read in the New Testament was willing to give the Son whom He loves, God gave His only Son of His love? The Son whom He had loved for all eternity, God gave Him in order to save sinners.


Now, I wonder which one of us would give one of our children, especially if you only had one son to save anybody? If you only have one child, would you not rather be giving gifts to the child than giving the child as a gift? But here is a deeper lesson here. Would we give one of our children to save an enemy? God gave His only Son to save His enemies.


So why did God give? Why did He love the world in this way? It is only to be found in God. What did He give? He gave His only begotten Son.


But there is a third issue here:


1.3 How did God give?


There are sadly Theologians today who battle with the death of our Lord Jesus Christ on a cross. They do not accept that God gave His Son in a way that required humiliation.  Let me quote one of them. In April 2002 a man named John Dominic Crossan who is one of the leading figures in the Jesus Seminar movement that started in 1985 visited the University of Pretoria Theological faculty and made the following statement about the crucifixion of Jesus:


“We should hear it for what it is; ‘transcendental child abuse’. If God can do that, what kind of God are we talking about? I really think we need to ask the question again of the character of God. If God is like that and we have sinned, but since we are inadequate people to be punished, God substitutes for us His own Son, then off course we love that Son, but we should hate that Father. We really should.”


Crossan sadly has missed the point, actually he has missed many points. So today we cancel Christ because it does not fit our understanding based on modern day child abuse, tomorrow we cancel God for animal abuse in the Old Testament sacrifice system and we report God to the SPCA.


Everything about God coming to this earth as man was a humbling of God, not just His crucifixion. Jesus left His glorious estate in heaven to assume a humble estate on this earth. Think of it, Creator God, born in a stable in Bethlehem. He was born to poor parents, working the job of a carpenter, living a life for over thirty years of obscurity, suffering insults, disrespect, and hatred. The Scriptures say that this is God in our midst but we did not esteem Him. Then He died the death of a criminal. The Bible amplifies this self-emptying love in Philippians 2:5-8 (ESV) 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”


God gave His Son to be a sin offering. God gave His Son to live and to suffer and to die for sinners. God provided a lamb in the place of all those who would be saved by His death. He died in our place, He was our substitute. We deserved to be on the altar, we deserved to be slaughtered, but God provided a lamb in our place, His spotless own Son. Scripture is clear in this regard. Ephesians 5:2 (ESV) 2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Romans 8:3-4 (ESV) 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, ….” In fact Isaiah 53:10 (ESV) 10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.”


Think about your children and how much you love them. The moment they are born something happens inside a man that says, ‘I will defend them with my life. I am willing to give my life for them, not their life for another.’ But God sent His Son into the world for ungrateful sinners, and His death in the sight of man was not viewed as a noble thing. He was sent to die the death of a criminal as if He did something wrong when we know He did nothing wrong. Even the one hanging beside Him said that this man did nothing wrong, but He still died a death that a criminal would have died.


Jesus from a human point of view was left alone. Yes Abba Father was with Him. John 16:32 (ESV) 32 Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. Do you know that the Bible reasons with us and asks us if we would give our life for someone like the sinners Christ died for? We read it earlier. Romans 5:6-8 (ESV) “6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” You can either view the Father like John Dominic Crossan as one guilty of transcendental child abuse before a human court, or you can acknowledge God’s court where you were damned and living on death row, and fall on your knees and thank Him for His love that He would become flesh and bear your sins upon Himself.


Maybe there is someone on this earth who will die for a good man. Jesus didn’t die for a good man. Jesus died for sinners. He died for His enemies.


Why did God give? It is only found in God. What did God give? He gave His only begotten Son. How did God give? He gave Him to humiliation, suffering and death on a cross.


There is a fourth and last thing for this sermon.


1.4 When did God give?


In John 3:16 the word ‘gave’ is clearly past tense. Who is speaking these words? John the gospel writer? No, Jesus Christ Himself. Jesus does not say that He will give, but that He gave. Here is Jesus standing right in front of Nicodemus and speaking of Himself He says to him that God gave. He cannot simply be referring to the death on the cross because that would be future. When did God give His Son?


Firstly, He gave Him before time. This purpose of God, this motive of God from heaven, this love of God is something that was found in God before the world was ever made. All that has happened on this earth was all in the mind of God before it ever took place. And God considering us as fallen human beings before the world was ever made determined to save us through the death of His Son. God gave Him before time in that sense. 1 Peter 1:20 (ESV) 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you.”


He was the chosen one to bring about salvation before the world was ever made and now He has appeared in these last days for your sake to save you. Hebrews 9:24-26 (ESV) “24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, 26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”


What He presented was not the blood of some animal. What He presented was His own offering of Himself. So there was one point in time, one point in history that covered all the sins of all those saved in the past and all the sins of those who would be saved in the future. It was all taken care of in His one life, His one death and His one resurrection for all time and eternity. But Hallelujah, the text goes on. Hebrews 9:27-28 (ESV) 27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” When did God give His Son? He gave Him before time in terms of His plan.


But, secondly He gave Him in time. The Son of God made His entrance into the world. He appeared. This is the language that we keep reading. He appeared. Throughout the Old Testament we are told, He is coming, he is coming, He is coming and then John the Baptist announced; ‘He is here’, and Jesus is saying to Nicodemus; ‘I’m here’. I am the one who has ascended and descended from heaven, I am the one who must be lifted up like a serpent on a pole and I am the one who needs to be lifted up so that men can be saved by faith. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, and I am Him, I am here. He died in the place of all those who would believe and He was raised from the dead. So, God gave Him before time, God gave Him in time.

But thirdly He continues to give His Son in our time. What do I mean? I don’t mean in the sense of His life and death and resurrection. Now we offer the Son of God to man through the preaching of God’s Gospel. God says to every person in this room this morning; ‘my Son is here, this morning to save you. Will you believe in Him and receive Him? Will you repent of your sins and trust in Him? He has done everything necessary for your salvation’. God does not ask you to save yourself by law keeping. You cannot. That’s why He sent His Son. Because you were incapable of saving yourself. You have been stained with a stain that is not able to be removed by any human effort or deed. God must remove the stain through the shed blood of His own Son. It is the only way for your sins to be forgiven. You have been bitten by the snake of sin. Now you need to look at the Son of God on the cross. It is the only way for you to be reconciled to God, and God must also change you in your nature and make you a new man or women. Only God can do that.


And now, Christ is to be held forth before the world as the one and only Saviour of mankind. The only name given among men by which they can be saved is the Name of Jesus. The question is ‘will you believe in Him and receive Him?’ What will you do with this unimaginable expression of love? What motivated the coming of Jesus into the world? It is the love of God that is immeasurable.


Oh how I pray that in these simple points you have beheld the Father Heart of God.

Why did God love this world? It is only explained by God. What did God give? He gave His only begotten Son. How did God love this world? He gave His only beloved Son to humiliation and suffering. When did God love this world? Before the world was ever made, and then in time and now even today God loves this world through the offer of His Son.


What will you do with this love? What will you do with this gift? If you have missed the Father Heart of God, you will take the coming of Christ for granted, yawn at it and walk away. But if you understand the Father Heart of God and realise that Christ left heaven’s glory, and thought about you, then you come to Christ for salvation. And if you are saved, then you will hike the level of your love, raise the bar, you will let go of mediocrity and you will love Him right back.



Soli Deo Gloria

Logos Community Church: 31 August 2014