Saturday, June 15, 2013
He Is The Righteous Father
Worldly wisdom talks of “the universal fatherhood of God,” and babbles for ever about that mere dream, that fiction of folly, against which the Bible is a plain and pointed protest. Universal Fatherhood indeed, when our Lord Jesus said, “If God were your Father ye would love me, for I proceeded forth and came from God. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.” Is it not described as a special wonder of love that we should be called the sons of God? (1 John 3:1.) Did not the Holy Ghost say by his servant John, “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil; whoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”
The philosophic Christian world knows an effeminate, indiscriminate fatherhood, but not “the righteous Father.” It will not bow before the majesty of his justice. According to the tenor of its teaching sin is a misfortune, transgression, a mere trifle, and the souls that suffer for wilful guilt are objects to be pitied rather than to be blamed. The world’s “thinkers” are continually drawing upon our feelings to make us pity those who are punished, but they have little to say in order to make us hate the evil which deserved the doom. Sin according to them does not of itself demand punishment, but penalties are to be exacted or remitted for the general good, if indeed they are to be executed at all. All necessary and inevitable connection between guilt and its punishment is denied. They dare to call justice revenge, and speak of atonement as if were a solatium for private pique. The Christian world does not seem to have learned the truth that “a God all mercy were a God unjust,” and that a God unjust would soon be discovered to be a God without love, in fact, no God whatever. “Righteous Father!” This is the peculiar revelation which is received by those who have been taught of the Holy Spirit, and to this day Jesus Christ may say, “O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee.”
Men kick against the doctrine of the atonement, they quarrel with substitution, they are fierce in their sarcasms against the mention of the precious blood of Christ, and sneer superciliously at those who hold fast the old truth. They stumble at this stumbling stone, and strive evermore to overthrow this rock of truth; and yet, depend upon it, this is the test question by which we shall know whether a man knoweth God aright or knoweth him not.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Righteous Father Known And Loved," delivered October 14, 1877. Image by Jeff Pang on Flickr under Creative Commons License.