A Father in the Faith

Grace and Peace,

“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”

{Philippians 4:9}

                   It is a sheer post Cross provision to be sons and daughters of God.  Having received the Spirit of adoption we are granted to be sons and daughters.  This reflects the privileged relationship we have with God as our Father.  Thus, having received the Spirit of adoption we cry, Abba Father.  The Spirit of God searches the deep things of God and thus Paul writes these things of the Father.  Wherefore, God permits the apostle Paul to be a father in the faith.  This is presented on numerous occasions.  For instance,

“Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: as ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, that ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto His kingdom and glory.”

(1 The. 2:10-12)

The apostle Paul taught God’s doctrine and behaved himself in a manner of life that displayed God’s holinesss, justice, and blamelessness.  Paul charged, exhorted, and comforted believers in the stead of God the Father.  In Philippians 4:9, Paul describes,

“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”

Paul isn’t only describing the doctrine that they learned and received, but the things they have seen and heard of Paul.  It is easy to see Paul’s teaching as we read and study God’s Word, but it is harder to see what is seen and heard of Paul. 

Nonetheless, God has not left us without Paul’s ensample.  In the Cornthian epistles we see Paul charging, comforting, exhorting those churches.  He explains,

“For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.”

(1 Corinthians 4:15)

We hear time and time again of Paul’s love, care, tenderheartedness, and even rebuke.  The Father’s chastening is a token of His sincere and profound love for His sons and daughters.  The apostle Paul by correction, reproof, and admonition chastened the Corinthians, that we be not condemned with the world.  Although the Corinthians questioned Paul’s love toward them, to Paul and God it was clear, “Wherefore? Because I love you not?  God knoweth.” (2 Cor. 11:11).  Paul was “very gladly spend and be spent for {them}; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.” (2 Cor. 12:15).  Paul did not seek Corinthians profit, but their edification, “for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.” (2 Cor. 12:14). 

Therefore, God has provided His speech, words, behavior toward us through Paul’s functioning as the Corinthians father in the faith, an ensample of things learned, received, heard, seen – to do.  For then the God of peace shall be with you! 

Look Up,

Josh Strelecki, Pastor-Teacher  

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