The term Father is applied to the triune divine essence in Scripture in a 2-fold sense. God is Father (Ps 68:5) in the sense of Creator (Is 64:8). But the word Father more commonly involves concepts of love, mercy, and grace and is equivalent to God of the covenant. As such he is Father of those who have entered covenant relations with Him. The correlate idea is not humanity as such, but mankind redeemed, esp. believers, who have received the blessings of the covenant. In this sense Israel was taught to regard God as Father (Ex 4:22; Dt 32; 6; Ps 89:2627; Is 63:16; Jer 31:9; Jn 5:45; 8:41; 2 Co 6:18). Believers are children of God by adoption (Jn 1:1213; Ro 8:1416). In this sense Jesus speaks of God as the Father of believers (Mt 6:4, 8, 9, 15, 18). The idea of a divine fatherhood as implying a relation to all mankind, and apart from the covenant of grace, is foreign to Scripture (Jn 8:44; Ro 9:8). See also Father, God the; Filioque Controversy; God; Procession of the Holy Spirit; Trinity.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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