“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” -Jesus Christ (John 10:10)
What would you say if I told you that you are welcomed into the best fellowship that exist?! Deep down we all want to be: known, understood, loved, and to know another without shame, fear, or pretentions. To have such a rich relationship that is free, innocent, intimate, joy-filled, and full of life is what we all want. That’s why we all hope to fall in love. It’s also why many chase after it and quickly become discontent only to so seek a new relationship where maybe this time he/she will be the “one.” The wise preacher says it like this, “…He has put eternity in man’s heart…”
The single most important relationship you or I can ever have is with the Father. The Father made the world through the Word by the Spirit in order that we may know, love, and obey Him.
This what Jesus means when He speaks of His coming that His sheep may have life and have it abundantly. The life Jesus is offering is a relationship to a Father.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him (the Father) and have seen him (the Father).” -John 14:1-7 (italics and parenthesis added for emphasis)
In other words, Salvation is all about restoring the relationship between a Father and His wayward children (NOTE: this is done through the marriage of His Son to His Bride whereby we are brought into fellowship with the Father. Thus Scripture provides the framework for both foundational relationships for the family and society). Jesus later on says in John 17: 1-5:
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you (the Father), 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God (The Father), and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. (Italics and underline added for emphasis)
Eternal life = Knowing our Father and knowing the relationship between the Father and His Son.
The way in which the Father restores what was stolen, killed, and destroyed is by sending His Son and demonstrating to the World what this universe is about. A glorious beautiful eternally rich relationship between a Father and His Son. The Father loves and glorifies His Son and the Son loves and submits to the will of the Father. And we are told this relationship is the best fellowship and this fellowship was why were created. That we would be partakers in this rich fellowship. Jesus goes on to say:
“I have manifested your name (the Father) to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves... I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” -John 17:6-13, 20-26 (Italics added for emphasis)
This is why Jesus came. Indeed, this shouldn’t shock us at all! For the last prophet of Old told us this was the very reason the Messenger was coming. Malachi 4:5-6 says,
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. 6 And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.” (Italics and underline added for emphasis)
God the Father regards the earthly relationship between a Father and his children as fundamentally important because it is a window into the most rich relationship. The Father’s loves for The Son and the Son’s love for The Father. And Malachi says, this is why God sent Jesus to the earth.
This is what the Apostle Paul is getting at when he writes in Ephesians 2:18-22:
For through him (the Son) we both have access in one (Holy) Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (italics, underline, and parenthesis added for emphasis)
We see here the whole Trinity of fellowship working to restore us back to their fellowship. For through the Son by the Holy Spirit we are brought back to the Father. Consider Paul’s prayer in the next chapter in light of all this:
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him (the Father) who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him (the Father) be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. -Ephesians 3:14-21 (italics added for emphasis)
Fathers exist because The Father has eternally existed. And children exist because The Child has eternally existed. You and I are here for a relationship to a Father. Many have been hurt by their earthly Fathers and this is a terrible tragedy in light of what Scripture teaches about Fatherhood and Sonship. Thankfully there is good news! The Eternal Father sent His Eternal Son by the power of The Holy Spirit to restore what has been “stolen, killed, and destroyed.” In my next post we will look more into how “the thief” works. But for now, rest in the perfect fellowship we have with the Father through the Son by the Holy Spirit! Find healing there through the cross of the Son by the Spirit in our fellowship with the Eternal Father.
The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all!