And in order to answer those questions, we must traverse the paths of the Scriptures, which give us numerous titles for God. And we need each of these because each helps us to understand a different aspect about the nature of God. As we move through the Scriptures, we come across God as “Creator”, “King”, Priest”, “Judge”, “Redeemer”, “Shepherd", “Revealer”, as well as many other titles. But there is one title that is used by our Lord and Savior that He suggests is the central title by which we are to come to understand Him. When the disciples ask Jesus to teach them how to pray, Jesus models an address to God that was to forever shape their perception of Him: “Our Father”.
Now here Jesus is not likening God to a Father, superimposing a human relationship onto God in order to help us to understand Him. Rather, Jesus is revealing that His Father is the very definition of Father, of which our human concept of Fatherhood is only a reflection. Therefore, in order to understand true fatherhood, we must look to God. And in thinking about all the various titles for God, “Father” ties together and helps us to understand all the other titles. In fact, of the ones given above, we can see each revealed in the personal relationship between a father and a child. A father creates, rules, intercedes, judges, redeems, shepherds and reveals things to his children.
But perhaps more than anything else, the “Fatherhood” of God helps us to understand and keep in balance two of God’s most important characteristics; His holiness and His love. Now in our day and age, the Church has separated God’s love from His holiness. Embracing the New Testament (which emphasizes God’s Love), we have let go of the Old Testament emphasis on the holiness of God. We hear preached the passages that describe God as Love, but shy away from those passages that speak of His wrath or His demand for righteousness. Therefore our image of God has become skewed and we have become more prone to allowing moral laxity in our Churches. But Dr. Allan Coppedge, who has written extensively on the various titles for God in his book Portraits of God, points out: “The statement ‘God is love’ presupposes God’s declaration, ‘I am holy.’ The New Testament writers do not have to elaborate the picture of the holiness of God again because this is a ‘given’ in their understanding of what he is like. They build on this accepted premise by showing more fully what that holy character is, namely, that it is holy love.” So at the base of any discussion about the love of God, there must be laid the concept of His holiness.
Now just as you cannot separate God’s holiness from His love, you also cannot separate His love from His holiness. Being holy, God must judge sin; but because our Judge is also our Father, the sentence He passes He chooses to take upon Himself on our behalf. He has mercy on us because we are His children. He makes provision for us because we are part of His family. He opens His home to us because we belong to Him. And we can experience all the fullness of fatherhood in our own families because we are created in His image. So this month as we celebrate fathers and all they mean to us, let us look to the One who is our ultimate Father, who makes us holy because He lovingly wants what is best for us and will bring us lasting fulfillment.
Pastor Cameron Ury
Senior Pastor and Teacher at Renton Park Chapel
16760 128th Ave. SE
Renton WA 98058
Rev. Cameron Ury graduated from Asbury University in 2007 with a B.A. in Bible and Theology. From there he continued his studies at Wesley Biblical Seminary in Jackson, MS. It was there that he met his wife Tanya, who graduated from WBS with her M.A. and M.Div. degrees. Cameron and Tanya got married in 2009. Cameron then graduated with his M.Div. degree with a pastoral concentration in 2011.
After shepherding churches in both Mississippi and Ohio, they joined the ministry team at Renton Park Chapel in January of 2018, where Cameron serves as Senior Pastor and Teacher.
Cameron is also the founder and host of Lechem Panim, a weekly radio show that airs on KGNW 820AM "The Word Seattle". The ministry of Lechem Panim is centered around leading people into the life-giving presence of God in and through Bible study, prayer, and active discipleship with the aim of ministering to a world that is in desperate need of the healing touch of Jesus Christ.