Our Heavenly Father

Title: Our Heavenly Father

Bible Book: John 14 : 1-6

Author: Johnny L. Sanders

Subject: God, Father; Creation



In John, Chapter 14 we see a part of the farewell discourse of Jesus. He is about to be arrested, tortured, and crucified. He has told them this, but they, for one reason or another, have not processed what He has taught them. Now, Jesus gives them some final words of encouragement and critical instructions. These are not the words of a desperate man who is about to die. Please do not get that idea. Jesus knew He would die, but He also knew He was going to be victorious over death, hell, and the grave. He is going to ascend to the Father, where, seated at the right hand of the Father, He would make intercession for all those who call on the Father in His name. So, this is a critical time for the disciples, but certainly not a time of desperation for Jesus. They will be filled with doubt and confusion, but not He. He is absolutely certain of victory and success in His mission. So, with that in mind, I would like for you to look with me at the first in a series of messages from John, Chapter 14. We will also be looking at other references. The first sermon in this series is on Our Heavenly Father.

My college roommate and I sat in a Systematic Theology class when we were in seminary, listening to our professor’s Fellow, or grader. He was a graduate student who was working on his doctorate in Theology, the study of God. When we left that class we talked about something the graduate student had said when he was introducing the subject of God. My friend said, “Roommate, you cannot define God, but then he gave us three definitions.”

I don’t remember those three definitions today, and probably didn’t remember them the next day, but this illustrated to me the futility of trying to define God. We cannot put God into a capsule and say this is everything you will ever need to know about God. However, if we are to know a little about God we must go the Bible for answers. The sincere Christian should learn something new and fresh about our Heavenly Father every time he or she opens the Bible. If you go to the Bible Navigator, an electronic Bible library, published by B & H Publishing, and click on the word “Father” you will find 1086 listings of the word Father. Many times an earthly father is the subject of the search, but the Bible reveals many things about our heavenly Father.

I will agree with the graduate student who said that we cannot define God, but rather than giving you three definitions of God, I would like to challenge you to grow in your knowledge and understanding of our Heavenly Father by looking at a few of His attributes. An attribute is something that helps us to understand something, or someone.


“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “the One who is, who was, and who is coming, the Almighty” (Rev 1:8, HCSB).

A. He Is the One Who Is.

God exists. There is no created thing in all the universe that does not proclaim the existence of our Heavenly Father. When Moses asked God how he would identify the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to Pharaoh, Yahweh spoke the simple words from the burning bush, “I Am” sent you. No matter what else we may say about our Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer, He exists. He is.

B. He Is the One Was.

I was visiting in my home with the late H. Leo Eddleman many years ago when I mentioned this passage. I noted that in this statement God was saying, “I am the cause of My Own existence.” I added, “It means “I am that which I am, I was that which I was, and I shall be that which I shall be.”
Dr. Eddleman said, “It means more than that. In the fullest sense, it also means, ‘I am the cause of your existence. He is the cause of all that has existed and all that ever shall exist.” When I think of Dr. Eddleman I remember his telling me that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover once said, “Leo Eddleman has the best working knowledge of Hebrew of any non-Jew in the United States.”

C. He is the One Who Is Coming.

Revelation has a lot to say about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Look at this verse again: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “the One who is, who was, and who is coming, the Almighty.” Jesus clearly identifies Himself as the Alpha and the Omega, and he stresses in Revelation that He is the One who is coming. We often associate the title “The Almighty” with God the Father, but we must remember that we worship the great Three in One God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


A. He Brought Everything in to Existence from Nothing, Gen. 1:1ff

1. The Hebrew word to create here means to call into existence from nothing.

Special creation has been under attack for a long time. It has been my privilege to know scientists who have been at the forefront of the creation-evolution battle for a long time. The word “debate” may seem to be a more appropriate word than “battle”, but a battle is just what has been raging for well over a century. Dr. Bill Cooper has been a leader in the Creation Science Movement in Great Britain for many years, and only resigned within the past several months (at the time of this writing).
Dr. Jan Mercer was for many years a powerful spokes person for creation scientists for many years. She told me that she taught biology under a department who openly professed his belief in evolution. Dr. Mercer and her husband Andy traveled with leaders if the Institute for Creation Science. They visited in our home a number of times on their way to visit with Dr. Gary Parker. Jan guided my reading in the creation-evolution debate for more than 25 years.

In recent years, a lot of Christian leaders have been reading books on Intelligent Design. While I appreciate the fact that they may have good intentions, I am concerned that Intelligent Design may well be a compromise position. I understand that someone asked a scientist at the Institute for Creation (ICR) about Intelligent Design and the response was, “We are more concerned with the intelligent Designer that intelligent design.”

There may be some hope that they can get ID by the ACLU and teach it in public schools, but I am convinced that I should stay with the Genesis account of Creation. As far as I am concerned, if you are a Christian and do not accept the Genesis account of Creation, I would urge you to spell your god with a small “g”. I spell my God with a capital “G” because I believe He created all things exactly as He said He did in the first chapter of Genesis. I spent many years reading books by people like Dr. Henry Morris, as well as monthly publications by very capable creation scientists.

2. God said, “Let there Be” and the Son made it happen.

John was inspired by the Holy Spirit to introduce the Fourth Gospel like this: “In the beginning was the Word; and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created” (John 1:1-3, HCSB). The Father said, “Let there be...”, and the Son, as the Agent of creation, caused it to happen.

3. There is a distinct possibility that the Trinity was involved in creation.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters” (Gen 1:1-2). God said, “Let there be” and the Son, as the Agent of Creation, caused it to happen. “The Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.” One of my favorite professors preached a revival in the church I served as pastor many years ago. He mentioned a paper someone had written on The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament, and with emotions that were uncharacteristic of him, said, “There is no Holy Spirit in the Old Testament!” We see many references to the pre-incarnate Christ in the Old Testament. Is it not possible that the “Spirit of God” may, in some cases anyway, denote the Holy Spirit?

B. God Saw That Which Was Created and Said, “It Is Good.”

I have always enjoyed wood work. It is satisfying when you build a table or a book case and then look at it and see that it turned out exactly as you intended. When I look at my entertainment center and my wife’s china cabinet (whatever wives call those things), I am looking at something I would like to be capable of building.

I remember the first time I visited with Jim Hayes and his father, Brother James Hayes in their shop, and after looking at the biggest collection of routers I had ever seen outside a power tool retail shop, I explained that I was having trouble getting the cut I wanted with a router. The Roman Ogee cut looked feathered, or a little rough. Brother Hayes asked, “Are you using carbide blades?” I answered, “No, but I am using the ones the store sold me to use with my router.” He said, “There is no way you will get a smooth cut without carbide bits.” I bought some carbide bits and began getting the cuts I wanted.

Our Lord spoke the whole world into existence and then looked at it and said, “It is good.” He was looking at a universe, so we are told, with one billion stars in it. What’s more, we are told, for every star in our universe there is another whole universe out there somewhere. Are you beginning to get a little hint as to how big, how powerful, and how brilliant our God really is? I have only a hint of it and “I Stand Amazed...”


A. The Law Reminds Us of the Creator.

“Indeed, ask about the earlier days that preceded you, from the day God created man on the earth and from one end of the heavens to the other: Has anything like this great event ⌊ever⌋ happened, or has anything like it been heard of? (Deut 4:32).

B. The Books of Poetry Remind Us of Special Creation.

David, the shepherd boy who became Israel’s greatest king, was a youth and a man after God’s own heart. All the kings who followed him on the throne of Israel were judged by David. I know. I know. There was the sin with Bathsheba and the attempt to cover it up by having her husband Uriah the Hittite killed in battle. Doesn’t God remember that. In a word, NO! He remembers it historically but He does not remember it judicially. What God forgives God does not remember judicially. Perhaps if we read some of the Psalms we will understand why David was a man after God’s own Heart. For example, David wrote:

“Yahweh, our Lord, how magnificent is Your name throughout the earth! You have covered the heavens with Your majesty” (Ps. 8:1, HCSB).

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky proclaims the work of His hands. Day after day they pour out speech; night after night they communicate knowledge. There is no speech; there are no words; their voice is not heard. Their message has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens He has pitched a tent for the sun. It is like a groom coming from the bridal chamber; it rejoices like an athlete running a course. It rises from one end of the heavens and circles to their other end; nothing is hidden from its heat” (Ps. 19:1-6).

C. The Prophets Reminds us of the Father’s Creative Activities.

The prophets were keenly aware of their Creator. But before looking at any of the prophets, consider another quote from the Psalms: “For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Ps 139:13). Isaiah asks, “Do you not know? Have you not heard? Yahweh is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth” (Is. 40:28). Again, Isaiah wrote:

“This is what God the Lord says—who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and life to those who walk on it” (Is. 42:5).

“This is what the Lord, your Redeemer who formed you from the womb, says: I am the Lord, who made everything; who stretched out the heavens by Myself; who alone spread out the earth” (Is. 44:24).

Jeremiah, in Chapter 10 contrasts the Creator with the false gods of the other nations. I have a series of sermons on SermonCity.Com under the general title, “Jeremiah’s America”, in which I examine some disturbing parallels between ancient Israel and America. America, in the Twentieth Century could hardly wait to embrace Humanism, approved it in elementary schools, promote it in high schools, and defend it in colleges. A student in a Christian university once told me that a history teacher mentioned God’s creation and added that you could go to the Bible department and find professors who were teaching elements of evolution.

A common way to compromise with evolutionists is to accept the Gap Theory (billions of years when animals may have been evolving). I would ask them, do you believe trees, weeds, and grass were growing without the sun? Another compromise position is the Day-Age theory. I am absolutely convinced that it happened the way God said it did. Who was the only One there? I once spent an hour with creationist Ken Ham at the First Baptist Church of Lafayette, Louisiana. We had both arrived early and when we spoke I recognized him and we sat down and visited while waiting for other pastors to arrive. Ken Ham, who had been a teacher in Australia, said that when a teacher denies God’s special creation one should say, “Excuse me, Sir. Were you there?” I know who was there and I have His word for it.

D. Jesus Was The Agent of Creation, John 1:1-3.

1. John Sheds Light on God’s Special Creation.

“In the beginning was the Word; and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created” (John 1:1-3).

“For we are His creation—created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10).

2. Paul Proclaimed God’ Creative Work.

Therefore, what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it—He is Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in shrines made by hands. (Acts 17:23-24).

3. God Sustains all He Created.

David understood that, as we see in his words: “I lie down and sleep; I wake again because the Lord sustains me” (Ps 3:5).


A. He Redeems All Who Believe in Him.

“The Lord redeems the life of His servants, and all who take refuge in Him will not be punished” (Ps 34:22). This has been the message of the Bible from the beginning. In Genesis 3, following the Fall of man, God promised to send a Redeemer. This was not an impulsive decision. It was not a quick fix at which He arrived after his special creation rebelled against Him. Jesus, in the KJV, is called the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8, KJV).

Isaiah calls God our Redeemer: “Your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel” (Is. 41:14, HCSB). Again, Isaiah wrote, “This is what the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel” (Is. 43:14).

B. God Sent Jesus Christ into the World to Be Our Redeemer.

John is not called the Evangelistic Gospel without a reason. I spent many months writing a seven volume commentary (or my Bible Notebook) on the Gospel According to John (now posted on SermonCity.Com under my name and then under Commentaries). The Prologue is a powerful testimony to the Person and redemptive ministry of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit inspired John to write of Jesus:

“He was in the world, and the world was created through Him, yet the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:10-3, HCSB).

C. He Is Our Heavenly Father.

Jesus taught His disciples to pray to our Father Who is in Heaven (Matt. 6:10-13). Jesus is our Savior, and while He is our Redeemer, He refers to Himself as our brother. We are joint heirs wit Jesus in the Kingdom of God. Jesus has “... made us a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (Rev 1:6). He promises:

“The victor: I will give him the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I also won the victory and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Rev 3:21).


What is the significance of all of this? Look at John 14:

"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know."

Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:1-6, NKJV).

Did ask, What is the significance of all of this? That is a question that is easy to ask, but one can spend a life time trying to grasp the full scope of it and never exhaust the subject. I was called to preach the Gospel when I was 13 years old. That was a long time ago. Have I discovered all the answers? I have only begun to scratch the surface. Anyone who has spend a few minutes in the presence of Jesus in Heaven can answer questions we do not even know to ask.

How does one get in on all of this? Now, there is a simple answer to that one:

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, NKJV). But that is not all. Jesus also taught:

“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one” (John 10:28-30, HCSB).

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