3.3 God, the Father

God reveals Himself as the Father in unsurpassed fashion through the incarnation of God, the Son: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. ... No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him" (John 1: 14, 18). God the Father has begotten His only Son from eternity (see 3.4.1). This mystery is only revealed to those to whom the Son discloses it: "No one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him" (Matthew 11: 27).

When believers use the term "Father", in connection with God, it is linked to aspects of His creation, authority, and loving care. God is the source and sustainer of everything He has created. In this respect, all human beings are able to address God, who is their Creator, as Father.

In Old Testament times, God revealed Himself as a loving and caring Father to the people of Israel. He said to Moses: "Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the Lord: Israel is My son, My firstborn. So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me'" (Exodus 4: 22-23). The people of Israel called God "Father" (Deuteronomy 32: 6; Jeremiah 31: 9). When Jesus spoke to the Jews in the Sermon on the Mount, He too referred to God as their Father (Matthew 5: 16). He called upon them to invoke God with the words: "Our Father in heaven" (Matthew 6: 9).

Jesus Christ opened the way for human beings to become children–and thereby heirs–of the Most High through the rebirth out of water and the Spirit (Ephesians 1: 5; Titus 3: 5-7; Romans 8: 14-17). Thereby the concepts "Father" and "child" have taken on a new dimension. In 1 John 3: 1, the Fatherly love of God is given as the reason for which the reborn can be certain of their status as children of God: "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!"

See also