God is described as the creator and Father of the world without apology in the Bible, and all those who honestly survey the evidence come to this conclusion (Gen. 1:1). God is the giver of all good gifts. The fact that all of mankind reaps benefits from His generosity cannot be denied (Mt. 5:45; Jas. 1:17). The Bible goes on to further describe God as the “Father of spirits”, which puts to rest the idea that individuals are born in sin. While individuals receive their physical make-up from their earthly parents, their spiritual make-up comes from God (Heb. 12:9). So all mankind whether believer, agnostic, or atheist have God to credit for their existence and He in that respect can be viewed as their Father. However, there is a further application to the term Father that can’t be applied to everyone (Acts 17:26-29).
There have been many talk shows that have gone to great depths to help individuals find out who their father was and to identify whether or not children belong to an individual or not. These shows often embarrass and cause shame on behalf of the parents and the children, but one thing that cannot be denied is the result that the paternity test reveals. When you think about a spiritual paternity test, many claim that God is their Father and that they are His children as it relates to having a personal relationship with Him. With all of the claims that are made, the waters of spiritual paternity are often muddied and some individuals are on an endless quest to determine whether or not they can in confidence call God their Father.
In John Chapter 8 Jesus deals with this very issue: God being the Father of those who heard him. Jesus shows the way to determine, and the facts that can be used to determine whether God is our Father. The Jews claimed that mere family lineage made them sons of God and that because God has been a Father to their ancestors, he is by necessity their Father (Jn. 8:33; 39-41). Many still hold to this view today. The thought goes like this: “Well, my grandmother, mother, and father were very religious people, therefore I feel like I’m OK with God.” Can this be used as a safe basis for determining one’s relationship with God? Jesus rejects this idea and shows that only those who truly love him can consider God their Father, regardless of family affiliation and lineage (Jn. 8:42-43). No matter our religious history, the only indicator of God being our Father is if we love Jesus, which is determined by our keeping of His commandments (Jn. 14:15, 1 Jn. 2:3-4).
So if one does not love Jesus and keep His commandments who is their spiritual Father? Jesus does not leave this for our speculation, but shows that those who are not the children of God are the children of the devil (Jn. 8:44). Jesus claims that since the Jews with whom He spoke on that occasion did not want to receive the truth and rejected the plain truth shown by Him, they loved lies and have aligned themselves with their spiritual father, the Devil. This paternity test cannot lie (Jn. 8:45). Regardless of what we claim we are or think we are, the spiritual paternity test that determines who our spiritual father is, is whether we will love truth and Jesus or not. If we love lies, we cannot claim God as our Father. If we don’t want to hear the truth about marriage and divorce, this evidences who our Father is. If we don’t want the truth on worship, the deity of Christ, or the church, this evidences who our Father is, because: “He that is of God heareth God’s words” (Jn. 8:47). Our deeds and our receptivity of God’s truth tell the story. No matter what we claim, the deeds we do and the things in which we delight (truth or error), shows who our Father is (Jn. 8:33-36, Rm. 6:16). We do not need to guess and wonder if God is our Father we need to simply look into His word and see are we loving His Son by obeying His words, then we can have the confidence and remove all ambiguity because: “ …The Lord Knows them that are his” (2 Tim. 2:19).