The Father and the Son

And he looked at us and he said to us from his chair, “I don’t have to do anything. I don’t have to take any message. You’re my message now.” And we came to an understanding of what it means to be a son. What does it mean to be a son? Fundamentally, it means to love your father so much that there’s nothing you want more than to do his will.

The aspect that we had missed was huge, almost the very heart of fatherhood. We had ignored this very aspect: fruitfulness! The fact that all fatherhood is generative, produces generations. Fatherhood which is not generative—which does not produce children, generations, sons, daughters—fatherhood without generations is unworthy of the name!

This is true of spiritual fatherhood as well as physical fatherhood. God the Father eternally begets the Son. The Son begets children for his Father through his union with his bride, the church. The human children of God beget further children for their Father in heaven by their fruitfulness. And so what we find is that seed and propagation lie at the heart of sonship. The Father’s seed produces a son; the seed of the son produces further children, and so on and so on, with the children of God producing seed both physically and spiritually for their Father.

The 2012 ClearNote Summer Conference was titled I Believe in God the Father Almighty. Here is the sermon titled The Father and the Son, preached July 6, 2012 by David Bayly.

(This is sermon 2 in a series; see also sermon 1, sermon 3, and sermon 4.)


Outline

Introduction
What does it mean to be a son?
Jesus the abusive bully?
Their disdain for the work he’s engaging in—his Father’s work of reconciliation
Sons with true fathers long to please their father
What is the will of the Father?
All fatherhood is generative
Can you imagine a more distressing rejection of fatherhood than for children to say…
The fruitfulness of faithful sons is physical as well as spiritual
Fruitfulness lies at the heart of the Trinity
We must open our eyes to what is plain about him within us
The search for sex without fruitfulness
Conclusion


Introduction

There are two questions that I’d like to answer this evening. They may seem ambitious to ask, let alone answer, but I believe they can be asked and answered from the Word of God:

What does it mean to be a son? And what is the will of the Father?

Our passage is John 4:31-34. This is in the midst of Jesus speaking to the woman at the well, he’s left by himself as his disciples have gone into town to get food; at the well he strikes up a conversation with a Samaritan woman who’s there getting water in the middle of the day. He asks her for water; he witnesses to her; he calls her to repent; and then the disciples return with food. And we pick up the story in verse 31,

Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples were saying to one another, “No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.”

Years ago when I was a pastoral intern in Southern California, I had the happiness of introducing my father to a group that I was a part of, a Navigators group studying the Word together, we’d been together for most of the year, and I’d told them all year about how great my father was, and then my father came and he went out to dinner with us and he got to know the members of the group; and then the next time that we met together as a group one young woman in that group spoke to me in terms that were almost resentful of my relationship to my father, saying to me that it might be very easy for me to worship God as a Father because of the character of my father, but it wasn’t so easy for her. Her father, she said, had been abusive, and I can remember her asking, “How can I see God as a Father? I understand how you can.”

Well, it is fairly straightforward to use the Fatherhood of God as a challenge and a template for men as fathers. It’s more difficult to challenge men and women (and we are speaking to women as sons this evening because Scripture does so) to be sons as Christ was a son to the Father, because to be a son demands submission.

There is no obvious submission in fatherhood, so we like, in a sense, to be challenged to be like God the Father because it’s a challenge to be autonomous, authoritative, and independent; but to be challenged to be sons of God and sons of human fathers as Jesus was Son to the Father is entirely different, because it demands submission. It calls on us to respect the authority of someone who is our superior. It is not in itself authoritative, nor is it independent.

What does it mean to be a son?

In our passage this evening, Jesus reveals this fundamental character of sonship in response to the urging of his disciples that He eat. They urge Him immediately following the conversation with the Samaritan woman; they’ve gone into town seeking food; the woman has come out for water; Jesus has asked for a drink; she’s surprised at his request, no doubt at least in part because of the antipathy, the historic resentment, between Jew and Samaritan; her surprise is furthered, no doubt, by the fact that Jesus, a Jewish man, is asking her, a Samaritan woman—moreover, a woman of questionable virtue—for the favor of a drink. He reacts to her surprise by saying that if she knew who he was, she would have asked him for living water, water that would satisfy her thirst forever; and the conversation culminates in his revealing his knowledge of her sin to her and his calling her to repent. Electrified by this conversation with Jesus, the woman returns to town and calls the townspeople to return to meet this man, who she says has told her everything that she ever did, and who she suggests to the people of town is the Christ.

Meanwhile, the returning disciples are amazed to find Jesus in the midst of such a conversation with such a woman; and so as she returns to town to bring the townspeople back to meet Jesus, somewhere in the mix the disciples urge Jesus to eat the food that they have just brought from that town to him.

Jesus has just told the woman that he is the source of a water that satisfies forever; now he tells his disciples that he has a food to eat that they don’t know about. So he’s told her that he has a water that she doesn’t grasp; now he says to them that he has a food that they don’t know. Like the woman, they don’t understand. She didn’t grasp his water; they don’t get his food.

What does it mean to be a son?

Jesus the abusive bully?

At this point it would be easy to think that this is an unfair twist of the conversation on Jesus’ part when he says to them, “I have food to eat that you don’t know of.” After all, his disciples are only seeking to help him by urging that he eat. And of course he does need to eat, doesn’t he? And so his response seems unwarranted and unkind, the kind of thing that you can sort of imagine Donald Trump doing in his board room, but not the kind of thing that you would think Jesus would do. You can imagine the Donald sitting in his board room sniffling, he’s got a cold, he’s rubbing his nose and he’s coughing in the board room at the head of the table. Finally, one of the underlings in that room leaves the board room, returns with a box of kleenex and puts it in front of him, at which point the Donald erupts in fury and shouts,

Don’t you know that I don’t need kleenex? If I need to blow my nose, I have $100 bills to do it on! And if I really want to blow my nose I’ll just do it on your shirt! What I need from you clowns is that you listen to me: we’re here to make money—we’re not here to wipe noses!

Well it’s abusive, it’s not taking stock of the reality of the situation. Of course he needs to blow his nose! Of course Jesus needs food. We think, well, he’s making a point on the backs of his disciples. He’ll actually accept the food eventually, once he’s made this point.

There are problems with this understanding:

If we look at Jesus making a point here on the backs of his disciples, then we’ve turned him into a bully, the kind of guy who abuses the kindness of others to make his own point—even if it’s a valid point.

Second, it renders him a grandstander to decline the disciples’ kindness in bringing him food if he really needs it.

Third, Scripture is clear: Jesus really can live without food and water, sustained by the love and the care of his Father. For 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness he’s offered food by Satan and he’s sustained without food and water by the will of his Father. He says the same thing to Satan that he says in essence here to the disciples—he says to Satan as he offers him food, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

Their disdain for the work he’s engaging in—his Father’s work of reconciliation

Finally, most importantly, the disciples urge food in the face of Samaritan interest in Christ, betraying a typical Jewish disdain for the bastard stepchildren of Samaria. They are amazed that Jesus is speaking to a Samaritan woman. When she returns with people from her city to hear him speak, they’re urging him to eat. He tells them that he has food to eat that they don’t know of, that his food is to do the will of his Father. Then he immediately says to his disciples, as a continuation of the theme—he was witnessing; they urge him to eat; he says I’ve got food to eat that you don’t know of; then he immediately says the fields are white unto harvest. It’s a clear rebuke of their disdain for the work he’s engaging in, the work of reconciliation between the Samaritans and God the Father.

In other words, his food is to do the will of his Father and the will of his Father is that he reap a harvest of souls. And he warns his disciples, and this is why he seems somewhat abusive, he warns them, Don’t get in the way of my work. It’s in the face of their disdain for the Samaritans, bread itself is less important than bringing sons to God, bringing in the harvest of God’s children. Fields are white, souls are dying, the Father is seeking sons; this is the harvest day; nothing should come before harvest, certainly not eating.

Now there’s nothing unkind or surprising about this attitude in Christ. It is the very attitude that led him to Earth. It was the Father’s will that he lead many sons to glory, Hebrews 2 says to us. If he came to reconcile sons to the Father by his suffering, is it any wonder that he should forgo food to offer to the lost children of Israel the water of life? The Son of God lives by the will of his Father. That is his food. It is his very life. He lives, he suffers, he dies, and he rises again, to the tune of the will of the Father.

So I want to make two simple points about sonship in relationship to fatherhood from what we see here in the life of Jesus Christ.

First, what does it mean to be a son? I said to you that Tim and I get to the same place but often by different paths; we both have five children, but boy we got them differently. We both are pastors today, but he’s a pastor because he always wanted to be a pastor and I’m a pastor because I just wanted to go and party at seminary and God got ahold of me there. Opposite paths. And I think in a sense we came to our understanding of what it means to be a son by very different paths.

Several weeks ago Tim was preaching at our Sunday morning service—the morning that we dedicated the beautiful new building that was built by Mike Boles for us—and he talked about our father, Dad, “failing,” as he put it, “gloriously.” And he made apologies to me as he began the sermon about speaking of my father in this way because he knows I don’t like to hear that. You couldn’t have two more radically different loving views of one father than Tim and I have. I think my father’s discipline was exactly what I needed, and exactly the way that God intended for me to come to repentance and light. Tim thinks of Dad’s discipline as failure in his life, and yet God used it. While Tim was preaching and speaking of Dad’s failures, it was striking to me that a young man who has just recently started coming to our church with his older brother—both of whom are state finalist wrestlers in the state of Ohio, big strong strapping guys in their 30s, men’s men—the younger one (not yet a Christian or maybe just a new Christian) told me later that week as I was at breakfast with him, “Boy, I was angry at your brother when he was preaching! I was really angry. I wanted to stand up and tell him to be quiet, speaking ill of your Dad like that.” And I thought, that’s funny. I wasn’t offended, but he was offended. But it really is the truth of our views of Dad. We came at Dad from diametrically opposed vantage points; and yet we ended up 26 years ago right around now in Cape May, New Jersey with Dad, soon to undergo bypass surgery at Mayo Clinic, sitting in a chair with the family around him—including Tim and me; our younger brother who was living then; and my sister—and we ended up standing around the chair and saying to him, Dad, you have to get through this surgery. You have a message that people need to hear. And he looked at us and he said to us from his chair, “I don’t have to do anything. I don’t have to take any message. You’re my message now.” And we came to an understanding of what it means to be a son. What does it mean to be a son? Fundamentally, it means to love your father so much that there’s nothing you want more than to do his will. This is Christ! He lives to do the will of his Father. It is his bread. It is his water. It is his life.

I’m told there’s a YouTube video of the old Tigers stadium back in the mid-eighties and Prince Fielder. He’s now with Detroit. His Dad, Cecil Fielder, had been a slugger with Detroit, a famous dad, famous home run hitter, and I’m told there’s a video that you can get on YouTube of Prince as a 13-year-old boy in the old Tiger stadium taking batting practice and hitting one out of the park, a home run in batting practice. Well, Prince Fielder went on and he’s now one of the great sluggers of his day, just as his father was. This is what it means to be a son: it’s to love your father so much that you want to do his will. Tim and I came at Dad’s will from different vantage points, but there was nothing in the world we wanted more than to please our father, and if you look at us today and you hear what we preach on and you see the emphases of our lives, I guarantee you 9 out of 10 of them will be things we’ve taken directly from our father. This is what it means to be a son.

Sons with true fathers long to please their father

Sons with fathers who are true fathers long to please their father. Sons desire a father’s approval. Sonship and fatherhood are bound together in ways far deeper than names and looks, and the first great characteristic of true fatherhood and true sonship is the knitting together of hearts—fathers’ hearts and sons’ hearts—towards the performance of great goals. Jesus lived for the will of his Father. It was his food. For us the will of God is life itself.

Now. This is what it means to be a son (and I’m speaking to men and women): at its essence it’s to do the will of the Father.

What is the will of the Father?

Second question, what is the will of the Father? And it may seem like this doesn’t admit to a very easy, quick answer.

All fatherhood is generative

Imagine the Father without a son. Imagine God without a son. Imagine a father without a son, without generation, without the giving of life, without there being family, without there being relatives—imagine the father alone. Imagine fatherhood that’s not generative. Imagine a fatherhood that’s sterile!

Tim and I were working on his book on fatherhood last November down in Florida, and he had a massive outline for that book that was created by some of the men here in Bloomington (Jake Mentzel). It was a wonderful Procrustean bed of an outline. And as days passed, we recognized and Tim realized we had to get rid of that thing, because it was a harsh taskmaster. So, at some point we said, ok, ok, wonderful work, you know, it gives us great ideas, but let’s get rid of it, because I can’t think the way Jake thinks, nor could Tim.

So we were working together and we were discussing various chapters in the book and talking about fatherhood day after day, and it was only near the end of our second week together that we realized a basic aspect of fatherhood not only escaped the outline but had entirely escaped our own thinking as we were talking about the book during those days we were together. The aspect that we had missed was huge, almost the very heart of fatherhood. We had ignored this very aspect: fruitfulness! The fact that all fatherhood is generative, produces generations. Fatherhood which is not generative—which does not produce children, generations, sons, daughters—fatherhood without generations is unworthy of the name!

This is true of spiritual fatherhood as well as physical fatherhood. God the Father eternally begets the Son. The Son begets children for his Father through his union with his bride, the church. The human children of God beget further children for their Father in heaven by their fruitfulness. And so what we find is that seed and propagation lie at the heart of sonship. The Father’s seed produces a son; the seed of the son produces further children, and so on and so on, with the children of God producing seed both physically and spiritually for their Father.

What takes place spiritually through regeneration by the blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God is the same work God gave Adam his son in the garden: to bear fruit, to multiply, to give him sons, to fill his world and subdue it. It is the glory of sons to honor their fathers by being fruitful for their father. We see this with the Son of God in creation; we see it again in redemption: Jesus first created sons for God in the flesh, then he recreated sons for God through the redemption of his atonement, bringing alive God’s fallen children by bridging the gap between the Father and his sons through the cleansing of his blood.

What closeness there is between Father and Son—such wonderful closeness that the Son is happy to die that other sons might be adopted by his Father. What love for God. What love for a Father. We think of his love for men, but it’s not love for men that really motivates Christ, it’s love for God. It’s devotion to his Father, and his Father seeks children.

Over the last few years we’ve had a number of adoptions take place in our church. One of my close friends this year just adopted his third handicapped child from China. He’s adding these three Chinese boys, all of whom are under the age of five, to six natural children ranging in age from 9 months to 24 years. Every time this man adopts, I find myself wondering what his eldest son, the 24-year-old, and his second eldest son, who’s about 12, think about their father adding sons to the family. In fact, I’ve asked them. I said Raymond, are you happy that your dad keeps adopting these Chinese sons? To his credit and theirs, every time I’ve asked this (I’ve asked it a couple times), he’s said, Oh I’m so happy, David. I think, it’s a cut of the inheritance! It’s a share of the father! It’s the rights of the son going out to others, not even the physical children!

There are two things we need to grasp as we think about this:
First, in the best father-son relationship, there is a burning desire in the son to fulfill the will of the father. It is the nature of being a son to seek to please the father by doing his will, and it is the will of the Father, God, that his sons be fruitful. Fruitfulness is the calling of the son.

Can you imagine a more distressing rejection of fatherhood than for children to say…

I have one of the curses of the DeWalts in my family. My mother’s maiden name is DeWalt, and we’ve talked about the curses of the DeWalt family being, among other things, color blindness; with me, a little bit of baldness; and more seriously, cystic fibrosis, hemophilia; and worst of all a raging temper. And I was struck several years ago when my daughter Elizabeth, who’s here this evening, was taking a class in genetics in college, and she came home with all this talk about being an obligate carrier. Now I have hemophilia; Tim’s and my younger brother had cystic fibrosis, died eventually of it; my older brother died of hemophilia; by God’s goodness I’ve survived till middle age; and I hear my daughter talking about “I’m an obligate carrier.” And I go “Huh? Your’re what?” “I’m an obligate carrier, Dad.” And I go, “Well what’s that mean?” It means that every one of my kids is going to have the genes that are a part of this disease. I’m sitting there saying, “Well, what are you saying about me? Are you saying I’m nothin’?” You know? “Would you rather that you didn’t have me as your father?” You know? And I’ve been a little bit hurt by it. I sit there and I go, “Hoh! ‘You’re an obligate carrier.’ Well what about my genius? You know? You get that too.” And I think, can you imagine it? I mean, it struck me that my daughter—now, she’s not going to do this, but I thought, my daughter could say she doesn’t want my genes! That she doesn’t want to propagate this. Can you imagine a more distressing rejection of fatherhood than for children to say, “I don’t want to pass on your character, I don’t wanna pass on your traits”?

And yet there are many, many people in this world who have said to their father—to their father humanly and to their Father, God, “I don’t want to pass on your character. I don’t love you enough, I don’t care for you enough.” And I can guarantee you there’s a link here between the physical and the spiritual. I can guarantee you that those human sons of God who choose not to bear children for their father—and now I’m speaking of physical children—are just as sterile spiritually as they’ve made themselves physically. Man’s rebellion against fatherhood is expressed by hatred and misuse of the body which bears the image of our Father. In our rebellion we detach ourselves from facts about God that are written in our flesh, distancing ourselves from him by turning against what is clear about the nature of God in our own being.

The fruitfulness of faithful sons is physical as well as spiritual

As we consider what Scripture teaches us about the duties and callings of sons, we must come to grips with the reality that we are sons of God physically as well as spiritually. And nowhere is this cast in sharper relief than in the act of procreation. Procreation is not uniquely human—animals couple, but their offspring lacks the slightest hint of a soul. There is no eternity in the heart of a calf or a puppy. There is no family, there’s no head or headship; human fatherhood forges headship from the procreation of an eternal soul, and it’s precisely in this act that the bodies of men most clearly reflect the image of God the Father.

I’m sure there’s a degree of discomfort in many of us at this point that we have to overcome. Can we extrapolate from biology, human biology, to God? And even if we can, do we really want to? Do we want to think about physiology and sexuality in connection to God? Well let me say right up front that Scripture is not tender in these areas. Scripture is forthright in dealing with biological facts such as seed and blood, foreskins, virginity, and fruitfulness. These things are huge in Scripture. We are to be Christ’s virgin bride. Virginity in the flesh is important and it stands for something spiritually. God has his children circumcised and he tells them he wants their hearts circumcised. Now God could have had the act of circumcision performed on a thumb, but he didn’t! He had it performed on man’s sexual organ, there marking it with a covenant. So there is spiritual truth in the physical act of circumcision, but there’s obvious physical truth there as well. We often fail to see the forest for the trees in this area. So let’s rehearse certain truths: God is triune; he’s not the god of Islam, sole and living in splendid isolation. He’s triune, living in unity, Father, Son, and Spirit. The Trinity is a family. The Father has a Son. There is eternal generation in the Trinity—the Father is generating the Son, who forever proceeds from the Father. God the Son creates all things in heaven and on earth, including both angels and man. When man rejects God’s fatherhood, God punishes man with death. But then he redeems his elect to life by purchasing men with his Son’s blood, and he explicitly calls those he redeems his family, the family of God. Though in our squeamishness we may shy away from this topic, the implications of Christ’s fruitfulness in all things are unavoidable when it comes to the duties of those whom Jesus redeems to become sons of God. The Father is fruitful through the Son; the Son is fruitful even to the point of death because of his love for his Father; the Son challenges his disciples for caring so little for the lost that they would rather eat than be fruitful. Man the son, created in the image of God the Son, is built for fruitfulness. Five times God tells man to be fruitful and multiply. It’s the first command in the garden. Then with Noah and his sons immediately after the Flood; this time he emphasizes that his desire is for numerous children—he says, “And you, be ye fruitful and multiply, bringing forth abundantly in the earth.” God tells Abraham that he will become a great nation and that Ishmael too will be fruitful and multiply; he commands Jacob to be fruitful and multiply at Luz; and he warns his people through Moses that he will make them fruitful and multiply them—he promises them this and warns them that they will not be fruitful and not multiply if they fail to heed his commandments.

Fruitfulness lies at the heart of the Trinity

Fruitfulness is woven through every one of God’s covenants with man. His covenants command fruitfulness; they promise fruitfulness; they threaten disobedience with unfruitfulness; they promise sinners restored fruitfulness; there isn’t a covenant between God and man that does not include fruitfulness as a promise or unfruitfulness as a threat—from the garden to the Flood to Mt. Sinai to the throne of David, fruitfulness is always found in God’s covenants with man.

Fruitfulness lies at the heart of the Trinity. The Father is fruitful in the Son; the Son is fruitful in creation; the Spirit serves in a sense as divine handmaid to the fruitfulness of Father and Son. Is it any surprise then that having made man in his image, the Triune God calls man to fruitfulness? But Adam chooses unfruitfulness by eating the forbidden fruit, and in so doing he savages his family, corrupting his seed, rendering his line sterile. His children are born dead spiritually only to be claimed by death physically; they are children of destruction rather than children of fruitfulness. God’s curse on human fruitfulness as a result of Adam’s sin isn’t limited to spiritual death; every form of fruitfulness is cursed: childbirth becomes misery for Eve; the ground is cursed for Adam—he must toil in the midst of weeds and thistles.

It’s a biblical principle: rebellion always results in the destruction of fruitfulness. Read the prophets if you doubt it. The children of God reject the will of God that they be fruitful and God rewards them with the punishment that their rebellion deserves. They kill their children, so God deprives them of children. Manasseh destroys God’s people in the streets of the city and so God destroys the line of Manasseh. It’s the cycle of the garden repeated over and over and over. Sin in the garden destroys fruitfulness, rendering earthly fruitfulness toilsome and laborious, and eternal fruitfulness is destroyed by eternal death. But God is a Father of fruitfulness. He desires fruitfulness of his sons, of his generations, and he will not be deprived of his children. And so in the act of creation God foresaw the need for a redemption. And the act of creation contained a remedy for Adam’s sin. Jesus the second Adam, whose death was that many sons might be brought to glory, was established from the very foundation of creation as the Redeemer. The Father will not be robbed of his children. The Father will have his children. The Father will have his sons be fruitful. Death will not devour his family. Though the blood of his Son is the cause, he will have a family—a redeemed family—even at such a price.

So we find,

In the fullness of time God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, so that he might redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

What is the atonement? It is God reclaiming his children. And how is fruitfulness restored to man at the atonement? By the sowing of seed, the shedding of blood, the death of the Son of God. Jesus spoke of his death using these words:

[He] answered them, saying, “The [time] has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you…

And he’s speaking of himself here,

…unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

Why did he die? To bear much fruit. Why does the grain of seed fall to the ground? Because the Father seeks fruit. He explains his parable of the seed and the sower by saying,

“When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root…but is only temporary…And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”

So the true child of God is known by fruitfulness—bearing fruit! Now what is sown by man in marriage according to Scripture? Well it’s seed, right? In Greek it’s sperma, the word both for human seed and the word for what Christ says must fall to the ground, what is sown by the sower—seed, sperma. What is Jesus, what is the blood of Christ? The sperma of the Father: his blood, the seed that must fall to the ground in death to bear much fruit.

We must open our eyes to what is plain about him within us

If we’re to learn about the fatherhood of God and what it means to be a son of God, we must open our eyes to what is plain about him within us, facts that are explicit in Scripture and implicit in our flesh, a reflection of the fatherhood of God in our very biology. To do this we have to open our eyes to what we would rather avoid, to physiology and sex. Will we admit that our biological makeup even teaches us about the nature of God’s fatherhood? Will we recognize that by making man as he did biologically, God reveals fundamental principles to his human sons?

There’s much that can be said about the glory of motherhood and the necessity of woman to the fruitfulness of man, but for our purposes this evening woman is son of God. These truths about womanhood and motherhood are not going unemphasized today. Our culture’s overreaching on these points is precisely the reason we need to consider fundamental truths of fatherhood and sonship afresh if we’re going to be sons in the image of God.

God gave man the organs to sow and woman the organs to receive. It is no accident. God made woman receptive and man, the son, to inseminate—simple biological truths. They are not accidents.

No one doubts that the children of men are the products of a father’s will and desire. The father must take initiative for a child to be born. If the father doesn’t take initiative, no mother, let alone child, can force the father to do it. The same is even more true of God. Can it possibly be that God’s children choose him and make him their Father when no human child can do this?

The search for sex without fruitfulness

Everything about the birth of children is messy. Procreation is filled with the kind of stuff that makes germophobes squirm: sweat, exertion, fluids, secretions, blood—even in the garden, procreation was not pristine and sterile, even before the Fall. It was a one-flesh union; yet ever since, man has longed for sex without union; sex without dirt; most of all, sex without fruitfulness.

Men have been willing to have bastards, children that have no legitimacy—children without a name, children without a father.
Men have been willing to have their children aborted.
Men have practiced Onanism.
Men have pursued homosexual relationships.
Men have sought sex without procreation, sex without fruit.

Having been cursed with unfruitfulness as a result of the Fall, the sons of Adam embrace sterility and they make a virtue of its necessity. This sin lies behind the curse of pornography. Porn is sex without union, sex without mingling—sex, of course, without fruitfulness. Pornography has rendered sex clean—there is no initiative, no receptivity, no mingling of flesh, no union—it is sterile. So in a day when many human fathers say to their daughters and sons, “Don’t have too many children, don’t waste your life on children, you have too much potential to spend your life and your health on kids,” God the Son is a severe rebuke to our selfishness. God the Father sends his Son to die so that he may have many sons.

Conclusion

What is the will of God? The will of God is that many sons be brought to glory. This is true spiritually—we all know it, every one of us is aware of the imperative of the Great Commission. Brothers, this is true physically. If Jesus was the sperm that brings children to heaven, the seed that falls to the ground so that the dead might live, then we can learn from this ourselves, and we can honor our Father, doing his will, by bearing children for eternity for him.

Let us pray. Heavenly Father, we thank you for your word, and we pray that we may be fruitful for you. Bless our homes with fruitfulness; may we leave behind every form of sterility; may we be willing to die so that you may have many sons. So that many children may enter the kingdom of heaven. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

This entry was posted in ClearNote Fellowship, fatherhood, fruitfulness, marriage, sex, transcripts, Who is this Jesus?. Bookmark the permalink.

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