Fred Zaspel – What Does it Mean for God to be our Father?

The verbal images of God in the Bible, just as the various names given him, constitute a significant part of his self-revelation. When Scripture likens God to a lion or rock or shepherd or judge or King it tells us much about who God is and about our relationship to him. One of the most prominent metaphors is that of God as Father, a representation we find in reference to God repeatedly in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament, but especially so in the New. And this revelation of God as “Father” itself is unpacked in several dimensions. We’ll just highlight them here.

God as Father – Creator

First, God is Father in the sense of Creator. He is “the Father of Lights” (James 1:17), “the Father of Spirits” (Heb.12:9), “one God the Father from whom are all things” (1Cor.8:6), and in this sense all humanity is “his offspring” (Acts 17:25-26). With this come the accompanying connotations of his rights over all things, the dignity and honor and authority due a father, as well as his providential care for his creatures.

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