Accordingly He begins,
Our Father. We
must consider two things here:
sense God is our Father, and
owe Him because He is our
Why we call God Father
created us. We call
because He created us in a special way-namely, in
His own image and likeness which
not impress on other creatures here below: "He is thy
Father Who made thee, and created thee."
governs us. We also call
because He governs us. For although
governs all things, yet
governs us as masters of
ourselves whereas He governs other things as slaves of
His will: "Thy providence, O Father, governs all things". "Thou disposest of us with great favor".
adopted us. We call
because He has adopted us. For
He endowed other creatures with trifling gifts, but to us
He granted the
inheritance, because (as the Apostle says) we are
His sons "and if sons, heirs also". "You
have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear, but you have received the spirit of
adoption of sons whereby we cry, Abba ('Father')".
What we owe God as our Father
Our debt to God is
Honor. We owe
God honor: "if I am Father, where is My honor?" This
consists in three things:
a. In reference to
Himself, we should
honor God by giving
Him praise: "The sacrifice of praise shall honor Me." Moreover,
this praise should be not only on our lips,
but also in our heart:
"This people honoreth Me with their lips, but their heart
is far from Me."
b. In reference to ourselves, we should honor God by
body: "Glorify and bear God in your body."
c. In reference to our neighbor, we should honor
God by judging him justly: "The king's honor loveth judgment."
Imitation. We owe
God imitation, since
He is our
Father: "Thou shalt call Me Father and shalt not cease to
walk after Me." This is done in three ways:
loving Him. We imitate
loving Him: "Be ye imitators of God as most dear children
and walk in love." And this must be in the
b. By showing
mercy. We imitate
being merciful, because
mercy is bound to accompany
ye merciful." And this must be in deed.
c. By being
perfect. We imitate
being perfect, since
mercy should be
ye perfect as also your heavenly Father is perfect."
Obedience. We owe
God obedience: "Shall we not much more obey the Father of spirits?"
We owe Him obedience:
a. Because of
His dominion, for
He is the
Lord: "All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient."
b. Because of
His example, since
His true Son was made
obedient to the
good for us: "I
will play before the Lord Who hath chosen me."
Patience. We owe
God patience under
chastening: "My son, reject not the correction of the Lord
and do not faint when thou art chastised by Him: for whom the Lord loveth, He chastiseth
even as a Father, the son in whom He delighteth."
What we owe our neighbor (our Father)
From this we are given to understand that we owe our neighbor
Love. We owe our neighbor
love, because he is our
brother, seeing that we are God's children: "He that loveth
not his brother whom he seeth, how can he love God Whom he seeth not?"
Reverence. We owe our neighbor
he is a child of God: "Have we not all one Father? Hath not
one God created us? Why then doth every one of us despise his brother?"
We do this for the sake of its fruits, since
God Himself "became
to all that obey Him, the cause of eternal salvation."