We all have earthly fathers. You may have a close, personal relationship with your father or it may seem distant. Even the best earthly fathers are imperfect, and their limitations can taint our view of our Heavenly Father.
Some are under the mistaken notion thinking we are all God’s children. This typically leads people to assume that God will sweep our sins under the rug and let everyone into heaven. But we are not born as children of God. Instead, the Bible says we are “children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3) who deserve eternal death (Romans 6:23).
Sin creates conflict and disrupts our earthly relationships. The spiritual consequences of sin are even more serious. Sin separates us from God. “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). This explains why, at times, God can seem far away. The distance of this divide is not measured in miles or kilometers; it is an impassable chasm created by sin.
New Relationship, New Blessings
We could never cross the chasm, so Jesus came to bridge the divide. He removed the sin that separates us. “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13). Through faith “in Jesus” (our approach to the Father), you are brought near, reconciled, to God. Notice the passive role we play. We “are brought near.” Jesus didn’t meet us halfway. He carried us across.
Faith in Jesus completely changes your relationship with Heavenly Father. Previously, we “were not a people, but are now the people of God” (1 Peter 2:10). The Bible describes this as being adopted (Ephesians 1:5) into the family of God. “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26). When someone believes, they are now described as being “born of God” (John 1:12–13) and honored heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). What a beautiful relationship we now have with God!
Faith in God’s rescue plan also transforms our view of God. Whereas at one time we might have viewed Heavenly Father as a stern judge with impossible expectations, we now see him as he really is, a God of incredible love, grace. It is totally undeserved love. We did nothing to cause God to love us. It is also unconditional. God attaches no strings. He wants us to have such a close, personal relationship based on his love that we can approach him not just formally as Heavenly Father, but personally as “Abba,” literally Daddy (Mark 14:36). A little child doesn’t hesitate to crawl into their dad’s lap and share their needs; neither should we.
There are additional blessings that flow out of having this close, personal relationship with Heavenly Father. “Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace” (2 Thessalonians 2:16). What tremendous gifts! You can always turn to your Heavenly Father, through faith in Jesus, and find comfort. You have “good hope” knowing, as God’s dearly loved child, you will live eternally with Heavenly Father.
Where Does Your Relationship Stand?
Where does your relationship with Heavenly Father stand? Start out by evaluating your relationship with Jesus.
If Jesus is merely an example to follow, you’re still leaning on your own efforts. God will continue to remain far off and distant. This is for good reason for this. Our best efforts can’t remove the sin that separates us from God.
However, if you are approaching Heavenly Father through faith in Jesus’ saving work, you know how Jesus removed the sin that separates us. You know you’ve been adopted into God’s family and are now an heir. You know the depths of God’s love for you and all the blessings that flow from it. Through faith in Jesus as your complete substitute, you know you already have a close, personal relationship with Heavenly Father right now.
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Additional Questions You Might Have
Can you have faith without works?
Admittedly, the thought that Christ did everything to make us acceptable to God and we don’t do anything violently clashes with what we naturally think.
What Does the Atonement Mean?
Atonement doesn’t make forgiveness possible; atonement guarantees forgiveness.