God Our Father

Why do the Scriptures call God our Father?

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God's called our Father as a way to communicate something fundamentally important about the nature of God and God's relationship to us. So he, that is, God, creates us in community, in relationship, he creates us man and woman, he creates this human family as part of the way in which he has designed us to live. He then communicates his own relationship to us in language that makes sense of this structure, the structure of the family. Now, part of the design in creating man and woman into this bond of marriage, this creation of a human family, is that it reflects in some sense the divine family, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. So, this communal relationship so critical to the being of God, to God's character, is then reflected in the way we are to relate one to each other. So, it is in some sense a metaphor this language of father, but it's more than a metaphor also, that it does communicate the reality that God's bond of loyalty reflected in the way he has made us is also part of the very community in which God lives in eternity, that God is personal, he relates to himself as a tri-personal mystery, for sure, but this fundamental commitment that God is a relational being manifest in his relationship to us as father.

Answer by Dr. Richard Lints

Dr. Richard Lints is Professor of Theology and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.