God Our Father – Gospel in Life

God Our Father

Tim Keller |  June 5, 2011

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  • God the Father
Psalm 103:1-18
RS 330-05


The fact that God can be our Father is possibly one of the most important things that the Bible tells us. Jesus came and lived and died so that we could have a family relationship with God — so that we can call God “Father.” This should be a source of wonder for us, something that electrifies us, and should never be commonplace. If God is our Father, then, what does that mean? 1) To live in covenant; 2) To live in grace; 3) To live in confidence when bad things are happening; 4) To live in intimacy; 5) To live in gratitude.

Psalm 103:1–18

In the Bible, God is often compared to a loving father who shows kindness to those who respect Him. This is a deep idea, and it’s important because, as Galatians 4:4 tells us, Jesus’ sacrifice allows us to think of God as our Father. This close relationship with the Maker of everything is not just amazing, but it also brings five important realizations about knowing God as our Father.

1. To live in covenant

We often hear that we’re all children of God. While there’s a bit of truth in this, the Bible mostly describes God as a Father to those who’ve chosen to have a special agreement, or covenant, with Him. It tells us that being a child of God goes beyond biology–it’s about a relationship of love and care. This special relationship with God, which we need to actively be part of, helps us fully enjoy the benefits of being His child.

2. To live in grace

Even though we often make mistakes, God’s love for us doesn’t change because He’s our Father, not a boss who only cares about what we do. Jesus taught us to call God “Our Father,” showing that we understand God through His fatherly love. This relationship allows us to live in God’s grace, or undeserved love, even when we mess up.

3. To live in confidence when bad things are happening

As our heavenly Father, God loves and corrects us with a good reason, unlike human parents who sometimes get angry for selfish reasons. His anger, which comes from love, aims to help us make better choices, not to punish us. We can be peaceful knowing that whatever God allows in our lives is for our growth, and what He prevents is not necessary, showing His perfect fatherly love.

4. To live in intimacy

God wants a deep, close relationship with us, like the connection between a parent and child, marked by compassion. The Holy Spirit helps us express our deepest feelings to God, encouraging us to call Him “Abba,” an Aramaic word for “papa,” showing a close, family-like relationship. Through prayer, we not only confirm our identity as God’s children but also feel His fatherly love and the comfort of His presence.

5. To live in gratitude

God’s grace saves us from the punishment we deserve, giving us a relationship with Him instead. Jesus took our sins, breaking His own relationship with the Father, to form a covenant between us and God. Understanding and accepting God’s love is important for healing, especially for those who’ve had hard times or feel lonely and unsuccessful.



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Galatians is a powerful book that shows how people can think they know the gospel but are actually losing touch with it. In this study of the book of Galatians, Dr. Keller helps you understand how this short book in the New Testament can transform your life.