Cornerstone EPC Sunday morning
Franklin, NC 28734 December 13, 2015
“Jesus, Our Everlasting Father”
Text: Isaiah 9:6-7
We come today to the third sermon in our series on the Names prophetically applied to Jesus by the Spirit through Isaiah. We have loved learning or remembering that Jesus Christ is both our Wonderful Counselor and our Mighty God—and I hope you have seen these on display in your life in the past weeks. Yet to come, next week, God willing, is Jesus, our Prince of Peace. Today, however, we consider, and rejoice in, Jesus—our Everlasting Father. Let us hear God’s Word once again in this place as God speaks to us by His Spirit through His inspired penman—in this case, the prophet Isaiah.
(HERE READ THE TEXT)
The attentive and discerning among us will note a certain difficulty in acknowledging Jesus as our Father. We see that Scripture notes in many places the Sonship of Jesus. Jesus, as to His humanity, is the son of Mary—and He, concerning His divinity, is the Son of God. Jesus often referred to Himself during His earthly ministry as the Son of Man. With this in mind, we may wonder, “How can He, in any sense, be a father?”
The difficulty is removable. John Gill, Calvinistic Baptist pastor and commentator in London (and a ministerial forerunner in the church that C. H. Spurgeon later served), notes accurately that Jesus is not Father with respect to the Godhead, but Jesus is Father with respect to the elect. Dr. Gill, citing Hebrews 2:13, “Behold, I and the children God has given me,” notes that the redeemed in Christ Jesus—the elect—are the spiritual seed and offspring of Jesus. This seems to me the most compelling solution to our earlier problem, but other plausible explanations avail. John Calvin, in his comments on today’s text, offers that the word Father here is put for Author. Hence, Jesus, for Calvin, is the Everlasting Author, or penman, or pioneer of our faith (cf. Hebrews 12:2). Messrs. Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown, in their commentary on today’s text, consider that Jesus’ appellation Everlasting Father refers to the eternity of Christ’s Kingly reign—and kings, among other rulers, serve their constituents in loco paternis, that is, in the place of fathers. On the basis of all the foregoing, then, we rightly conclude that Scripture teaches that Jesus is our Everlasting Father—not to mention our Friend (John 15:9-17) and Elder Brother (Hebrews 2:10) besides.
With the face of Jesus as our Everlasting Father now established, let us now consider the ways that Jesus is an everlasting Father to us. First, note His eternal existence. Scripture tells us, with its very first sentence, that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1), and that somehow in His nature as one being there is a plurality of persons (“Let Us make man in Our image…” [Genesis 1:26]). The Apostle John, led by the Spirit, tells us that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was both with God and was in fact God (John 1:1). Yet in John 1:14, we learn that this Word became flesh and dwelt among us—and all of this, taken together, is proof positive that Jesus always has existed. More than this, He evermore shall be. Jesus, after all, speaks the last sentence of dialogue spoken in Scripture: “Behold, I am coming soon” (Revelation 22:20). He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End (Revelation 1:8). Of course, He is everything else in between too.
Second, Jesus is Everlasting Father to us because of His eternal love. Doubtless, He loves us. Jesus said on the night of His betrayal, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down His life for His friends” (John 15:13). John later writes of Jesus, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a propitiation (or atoning sacrifice) for our sins” (1 John 4:10). John later writes similarly, “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). This is great love from Jesus to us, to be sure, but this great love continues to all eternity. The Apostle Paul, led by the Spirit, writes to the Roman Christian households, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). This surely is something for us to revel in—and that to endless days.
Third, Jesus is an everlasting Father to us in His eternally efficacious sacrifice. The author of Hebrews, led by the Spirit, captures this powerfully in a single verse: “For by a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14). There now remains no need of further sacrifice for sin, since Jesus’ sacrifice is infinitely meritorious and its efficacy is of infinite duration. This sacrifice is the means by which God’s justice is satisfied, His wrath is appeased, and His covenant people are included in His forever family.
Fourth, Jesus is an everlasting Father to us in His eternal safe-keeping of us in covenant. In short, those who belong to Jesus remain safe in Him forever. Consider Jesus own teaching in John’s Gospel, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28-29). Romans 8:38-39, once again, instructs us here. Nothing shall separate us from God or from His love—and that love He has displayed supremely in Jesus’ atoning ministry on the Cross. We are His, and we are eternally safe because we are His—and this not because of anything we do, have done, or can do, but wholly because of what He has done in Christ Jesus.
We are accustomed to think of Jesus as our Elder Brother (Hebrews 2:10) and our fellow (albeit first) heir (Romans 8:17). We should go on thinking of Him thus. Yet Scripture also refers to Him as our Everlasting Father. This has been borne out through today’ sermon. Jesus’ relationship with us is forever. His mercies unto us shall never run dry. His love for us will abide forever. Therefore, place your trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord, or continue so to do—and enjoy Him and His benefits forever and ever.