Posted by: Jonathan Stepp | June 10, 2008

A Father’s Love

Every evening I kiss my kids goodnight and tell them that I love them. They know they’re mine.

Can you imagine if they didn’t believe me? What if my four-year-old laid there in bed after I left the room thinking “Daddy doesn’t love me, he hates me – in fact, I’m not even sure there is a Daddy, maybe I just came into existence by spontaneous combustion and Daddy is a figment of my imagination.”

What hell that would be for him! To doubt my love would leave him adrift in a dark world of loneliness.

So, I am very passionate and determined about convincing my kids to believe in my love. They aren’t my kids because they believe it, they are my kids because I made them so. I love them because I love them. And that’s what I want them to believe.

What’s my best strategy? Will they be more convinced of my love if I am constantly, on a daily basis warning them about the dangers and suffering that will come from doubting my love?

Will my four-year-old be reassured if I go into his room tonight and say “I love you, and I hope you believe that because if you don’t I’m going to throw you out of the house and let you die in the street.”

Or, will he be more reassured by hearing day after day a consistent message about his true identity? A message that says “you are mine, I love you, and nothing – not even your own doubt – will change the reality of who you are: my beloved child.”

My four-year-old will be far more reassured if I go into his room tonight and say “I love you.” Period, end of discussion, no qualifiers and no “ifs”, “ands”, or “buts”.

I’ve decided that the second approach is my best strategy: to focus on the unequivocal declaration of their inclusion and status as my beloved children.

I believe it is the same with the good news of our adoption into the Triune Life. The Son of God has gathered up humanity into his relationship with the Father and the Spirit (Eph. 1:5, Col. 1:19-20, Rom. 5:18). To doubt that gospel is hell, so we are passionate about convincing people to believe that Jesus has made them children of his Father.

What’s our best strategy for that?

I think our strategy for telling the world about the Father of Jesus should be the same as the strategy I use with my kids every night when they go to bed: you belong to the Father, he loves you , and nothing – not even your own doubt – will change the reality of who you are: a beloved child of the Father in the Son.

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Responses

  1. I believe adoption is a awesome. But come to the conclusion that it is not a truth announced to the “world.” What is announced is the gospel, or evangel of conciliation; that is that this Creator has conciliated in Christ that world that had no desire to even know HIm. RM1.18-3.20) Compared with 2Cor.5.18-21 I still maintain there is a difference between God being at peace with us (conciliation) and our being at peace with Him. (reconciliation) I don’t feel comfortable announcing that everyone has been chosen before the disruption (CLT) of the world. (EPH1.4) Our special salvation NOW is to display his grace and like Israel demonstrate to those outside His true nature and heart towards His creatures. With that said; I am open to your kind and loving insight to the contrary.:)

  2. Thanks for the comments, I really appreciate your way of expressing yourself!
    In one sense I agree with you, even though humanity is adopted – or conciliated, as you say – there is a difference between the reality of who humanity is in Christ and who we believe ourselves to be. So, I guess I’m saying that I agree that we need to be at peace with God as he is already at peace with us.
    Personally, though, I just feel that trying to distinguish between conciliation and reconciliation is a bit of hair-splitting on semantics.
    Either humanity is joined to the Trinity in the incarnate Son or we’re not. If we are, then we are reconciled, redeemed, adopted, saved, given life, justified, etc., etc. – whatever word we want to use, and the Bible uses all these words and more.
    We still need believe that this true, just as my kids need to believe they’re my kids and I love them, but I don’t think that our belief causes us to be children of the Father. The Son has caused that to happen. That’s why I think it’s important that our expression of the gospel be a declaration of fact.
    Thanks for the conversation!


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