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God, Our Matchless Father (1 Peter 1:17-19)

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And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. (1 Pet 1:17-19 ESV) 

For some in this world, the thought of their own father brings back memories of joy and profound admiration. They remember strong but tender men who loved their spouses and children and laboured diligently to provide for them, all the while steering them towards godliness amidst the storms of life. Such fathers are an immense blessing and when the Lord calls them from this earth we do not grieve as those who have no hope—but oh! How we still grieve! For others, however, the thought of their father evokes only bitter resentment, anger, or unbearable pain. They have little to celebrate of their father who was perhaps absent, neglectful, or in the most horrific cases, an abuser of those whom he was charged to defend and protect. And though these dishonorable men might leave this earth when death calls for them, their legacy of pain continues to echo in the lives of those who suffered the most at their hands.   

But, despite all of this, there is soul-satisfying hope for those who have been touched by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The beauty of the Gospel is that though we may be physically orphaned by fathers we loved and wished were still with us, or emotionally scarred by fathers who should never have fathered children—God will NEVER fail us as a merciful, all-powerful, loving Father. To those who us who have saved by the blood of Christ, we are freed from the mortal limitations and prisons created by our earthly fathers, and free to revel in the unparalleled majesty and intimacy of our heavenly Father! See here how the apostle Peter speaks about our great Father! 

Our heavenly Father is perfectly just in his treatment of all mankind because he plays no favorites, but judges all on the face of the earth impartially according to their deeds. Never does he treat one sibling better than an another or misjudge harshly because of his inadequate perception of the situation. In every and every circumstance, his children may rest assured that they will always receive that which is perfect and ultimately just—if not now, then in eternity. 

Our heavenly Father is supremely merciful in that when we were utterly, spiritually bankrupt and unable to pay for the price of our own sins, he himself stepped in and covered our infinite debt. Though the wages of our sin was eternal death, our Father did not hesitate to pay our blood-debt in full without a penny drawn from the account of our own works. The Son of God hung on the cross until every last drop of liquid redemption fell to the ground before he shouted, “It is finished!”  

Our heavenly Father is magnificently redemptive in that though we were slaves to repeat the worst mistakes of our parents and ancestors, he seized us from walking the broad way that leads to destruction and placed us on the narrow Way that leads to life. Furthermore, he does not just save condemned convicts from the spiritual gallows but educates them in the school of Christ and sanctifies them so that they might bear the royal image of the Prince of heaven and not the disgraceful criminal lineage of their rebel parents.  

Our heavenly Father is incomparably loving in that he lavishes upon poor, wretched sinners like us matchless grace by sending his one and only beloved Son, Jesus Christ to die in our place! The ledger of our crimes was so black that no amount of blood could ever have blotted it out. Yet, our God, in his overflowing love, did not spare his very own Son, but chose to punish the guiltless in place of the guilty to make us his own beloved children. This, brothers and sisters is true love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his very own Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins!  

Believer, whether you weep because you have lost a father that you held dear or you grieve in pain because you never had a father that you could hold dear, never forget that you always have a heavenly Father whose perfect justice, love, mercy and redemption is enough to satisfy any sorrowing heart. Honor your father whose DNA gave you your life, but honor and worship the heavenly Father whose imperishable Word gave you your eternal life. And one day, when your time of exile here on earth is done, you will see the face of the One your soul loves. In your Father’s presence there is fullness of joy, and at your Father’s right hand, are pleasures forevermore. 

Article by: Samuel Chua


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