The Big Picture – Part 20

Spiritual Fathers, The Pattern for Producing Mature Sons

Last week we looked closely at the character of a son of God. Let us now look at the profile of a spiritual father and his business – the advancment of the Kingdom of God.

Abraham was set aside as a pattern and type for earthly spiritual fathers.

Romans 4:12: And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.

Do you remember God’s original command to Adam the son of God, the federal head and Representative of mankind? He does. Genesis 1:28: And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

This has always been His desire for those who are sons of God. God wants more sons. Disciples are sons-in-training. A disciple is one who follows closely at hand, has an ear to hear, develops understanding and is finally transformed into the character and ways of his master. Making disciples is the way God develops sons, the way of being fruitful, multiplying and replenishing the earth.

Do you know what a spiritual father is? He or she is a spiritual reproduction or offspring of their spiritual father. They are a fully mature, perfect, complete son of God taking on the business for which they have been discipled and trained – fatherhood. Hey, guess what? God is building a family. All the sons of God are being transformed by the renewing of their minds by the process of dying to self through a daily act of self-sacrifice.

Romans 12:1-2: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

God’s good, acceptable and perfect will is that you become a son, then mature to become a father of many sons, like Him. That you be fruitful and multiply.

Exact Representation

A mature son is an exact representation of their father. They are not their father, just an exact representation of him. “John 14:9: Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?”

What God is looking for is character that reflects Him. God’s character is Love, Light, Truth, and Spirit and much more. Recall that last week I showed that your character is developed and finally brought to perfection on the Cross? It is through death to Self that we live to God, that we take on His character. Listen to the words of Heberews:

Hebrews 1:1-3: God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.

When the author of Hebrews calls Jesus Christ the “express image” or in some bibles, the “exact representation” of His person, he is telling us that Jesus shows us the character of God perfectly. The word in the original Greek that we translate to exact representation is karacter (character). Do you see it?

The disposition or character or Christ and hence the Father is that He takes no thought for Himself, but humbles Himself (a.k.a. His Self) even to death on a Cross. To become like your heavenly Father you must have this character. To become an earthly spiritual father you must have this character.

Look at how the son becomes a father:

John 5:19: Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

John 8:28-29: Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

John 12:49: For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

John 6:38: For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

If you know Him, the Son of God, you know the Father. If you see Him, you see the Father. If you hear Him speaking, you hear the Father speaking. If He is doing something, the Father is doing something. If He expresses will, He is expressing the Fathers will.

Jesus represented exactly the character of the Father.

Jesus became the express image of His Father in the earth. This is how you too become a spiritual father. Watch your heavenly Father in Christ and watch your spiritual father. A true disciple follows, learns from, and imitates or does exactly what he sees his father doing. He becomes the express image of his father and it is manifested in his or her character.