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Interpret God by His Fatherhood.

Interpret God by His Fatherhood.

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Published by glennpease
By Amory H. Bradford,


"But to as there is but one God, the Father."
1 Cor. viii. 6.
By Amory H. Bradford,


"But to as there is but one God, the Father."
1 Cor. viii. 6.

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Published by: glennpease on May 10, 2014
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ITERPRET GOD BY HIS FATHERHOOD. By Amory H. Bradford, "But to as there is but one God, the Father." 1 Cor. viii. 6. The greatest question in the sphere of pure thought is, Does God exist? The next in importance is, If He exists, what is He like? The former has never been long unasked, and when asked, the second has never failed to follow. This study has nothing to do with the former question. On no other theory than that of His existence can one of the problems of light or thought be explained. If there is no God there is no purpose, no meaning in any- thing, and the universe flashes in its lights, speaks in its voices, and sings in its harmony, an infinite and eternal lie. o God — then there is nothing but blackness of darkness eve^where and for ever. There was never a truer word spoken than " The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." Of hardly less importance is the second ques- tion — What is God like ? Upon the answer to that depends all comfort for the present and all hope for the future. If He is only a King like earthly kings, an infinite Autocrat, it would be 22 Interpret God by His Fatherhood. as well if there were no G-od. An empty throne is better than a king with no heart. If the idea of God is that of absolute will — cold, remorseless, universal, immortal, life will be
 
fatalistic and pessimistic. Pessimism and fatal- ism are common where the kingliness of Deity is emphasized. If the conception of God is that of a big man, with human passions and frailties, then passion and sensuality will pre- vail. The voluptuous life of Corinth, Athens, and the East was only the reflection of the deities whom the people worshipped. Where Jupiter was god men were warlike and cruel ; where Yenus was goddess women were lewd and men licentious ; where a cruel divinity has been adored human sacrifices have been offered, as among the Druids. Man always reflects his idea of God. A city or a state never rises above the faith of its people. Jesus Christ assumed the existence of God. He gave two ways by which His character might be known. He said, u I and the Father are one." He said again, "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." God is like Jesus Christ. That is the message of Christianity. But is there no other way by which the Scrip- tural teaching about God may be interpreted ? Is there no key to the doctrine of God ? Sup- pose a man from a remote star were to land on our planet, and we were desirous of comparing notes with him about God, what would we tell Interpret God by His Fatherhood. 23 hini was the teaching of our sacred books on that subject ? Let us seek an answer to that question. In doing so we will confine our inquiry to the ew Testament, not because it in any way conflicts with the Old, but because in the Old we have that which is partial, while in Jesus Christ we have that which is universal.
 
Is there any word which Jesus applies to God which answers the inquiry, What is God like ? He often speaks of the kingdom of God, but seldom of the King. There are references to the kingdom, but, as in the Lord's Prayer, it is almost always to the Father's kingdom. The prayer begins "Our Father," and continues "Thy kingdom come." In a few places God is called "light," "love," but such characterisa- tions are not common. One word and only one is usually applied to God, and that is " Father." In five verses in the ew Testament God is spoken of as King, and in two hundred and eighteen as Father.* o other name is often applied to Him. "When Jesus disputed with the doctors He answered His mother, " Wist ye not that I must be about My Father's busi- ness ? " And when He hung on the cross He cried, " Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit." He first enounced Himself Messiah to a heathen woman of disreputable character, and yet to her He spoke of His Father three times, and once of God as a Spirit. "The hour * See Cruden's Concordance. 24 Interpret God by His Fatherhood. cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth : for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.* When Jesus taught His disciples concerning prayer He put away heathen ideas of prostra- tions and the adoration of a kingly majesty, and said, " After this manner pray ye : Our Father." When He taught trust in Divine providence it was as follows : u Your heavenly Father feedeth them." The parables are in- structive reading on this point. Many of them

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