All biblical writers and all theologians I am aware of, believe that the Father was and is God (though some Protestants like to shy away from terms like 'Father'). This short article will provide a few early quotes that demonstrate this.
Jesus and the New Testament Writers
The many writers of the New Testament recorded that the Father was God.
Concerning the Father being God, Jesus taught:
But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" (John 4:23-24).
Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him." (John 6:27).
Paul wrote about this fact on so many occasions, that I will only quote the first one here:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 1:7).
Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world (James 1:27).
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3).
The Apostle John wrote:
Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love (2 John 3).
Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ: (Jude 1).
Thus, the first century writers acknowledged the Father as God.
Second Century Church Leaders
Second century Christian writers also referred to the Father as God. And that He was the Father of Jesus.
In "the oldest complete Christian sermon that has survived" (Holmes M.W. The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations, 2nd ed. Baker Books, Grand Rapids, 2004, p. 102)--was given perhaps with a year or so of the Apostle John's death. It states:
So then, brothers, if we do the will of God our Father...(An Ancient Christian Sermon (2 Clement), 14:1. In Holmes M.W. The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations, 2nd ed. Baker Books, Grand Rapids, 2004, p.121).
Polycarp of Smyrna wrote (mid second century):
But may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ Himself, who is the Son of God, and our everlasting High Priest, build you up in faith and truth, and in all meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, forbearance, and purity; and may He bestow on you a lot and portion among His saints, and on us with you, and on all that are under heaven, who shall believe in our Lord and God Jesus Christ, and in His Father, who "raised Him from the dead (Polycarp. Letter to the Philippians. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1as edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Section 12 modified by R. Thiel to correct omission in translation).
Melito of Sardis wrote (mid-late second century):
No eye can see Him, nor thought apprehend Him, nor language describe Him; and those who love Him speak of Him thus: `Father, and God of Truth" (Melito. A Discourse Which Was in the Presence of Antoninus Caesar).
This is the apparent position of all groups that I am aware of that profess any form of Christianity.
If Human Fathers are to Receive Honor...
God is our heavenly Father. Notice that Jesus taught:
For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you (Matthew 6:14).
Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 "For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:31-33).
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him! (Luke 11:13).
The Bible also teaches:
'Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you (Deuteronomy 5:16).
If human fathers are to be honored, how much more your heavenly Father?
Certain Modern Protestants
The male gender of the Godhead is clear from the Bible. Yet, although the scriptures in the New Testament use the male gender for the Godhead, some 'modern' Protestants wish to move away from this.
United Church of Christ goes 'Father'-free in 'updated' bylawsUSA Today - July 6, 2011...
Rev. Bennett Guess, spokesman for the denomination. Guess explained what happened last night in Tampa where the UCC wrapped up its biannual governance meeting.
We are still a Trinitarian denomination. This was not a theological document. It was a restructuring from five boards to one. And in doing this, we dealt with bylaws written decades ago, before the denomination's commitment to using inclusive and expansive imagery for God.
We no longer use exclusively male language to refer to God. We haven't for a long time.
The board-consolidation resolution passed Monday night after several hours of debate on restructuring that has taken six years to accomplish, Guess says. With the change came the edit that replaces "Heavenly Father" with the "Triune God."
How is that different? Barbara Powell, a spokesperson for the UCC, explains,
It could be Father or Mother or Creator God. Our language reflects the God of all.
In the 21st century, apparently many religious leaders care more for about opinions of those other than God.
Of course, that was a problem also in Jesus' day as He said:
5 But all their works they do to be seen by men. (Matthew 23:5a)
"Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? (Matthew 15:3b)
5 "And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. (Matthew 6:5)
16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. (John 17:16-17)
9 And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. (Matthew 15:9)
These new "politically-correct" traditions are in violation of scripture. Of course, the UCC teachings on the Godhead have long been based more on traditions of men than sacred scripture. And its latest announcements are even more away from scripture than even before.
Now, UCC is not the only Protestant group to hold such positions, just one of the more recent to further compromise on this point.
The first and century Christian writers acknowledged that the Father is God. Jesus call the Father our "heavenly Father".
Unlike a lot of early Christian beliefs, this one has remained as nearly all associated with any form of Christianity acknowledge the Father as God as well. But just because scripture states this, some who apparently wish to please other humans do not wish to teach this any longer. And that is sad.
More on the Godhead can be found in the following articles:
Where Did God Come From? Any ideas? And how has God been able to exist?
How is God Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient? Here is a biblical article by Wallace Smith which answers what many really wonder about it.
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know?
Binitarian View: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning Is binitarianism the correct position? What about unitarianism or trinitarianism?
Did Early Christians Think the Holy Spirit Was A Separate Person in a Trinity? Or did they have a different view?
Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity? Most act like this is so, but is it?
Was Unitarianism the Teaching of the Bible or Early Church? Many, including Jehovah's Witnesses, claim it was, but was it?
Binitarianism: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning This is a shorter article than the Binitarian View article, but has a little more information on binitarianism.
Thiel B., Ph.D. Is The Father God? www.cogwriter.com 2006/2007/2011 0706, All rights reserved.
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