John 8:37-47 HAVING A SPIRITUAL FATHER
Some teach the Fatherhood of God from a point of view
that the Bible does not sustain. They teach that God is the
spiritual Father of everybody in the world. They call their
teaching "The Fatherhood of God and The Brotherhood of Man."
They consider all people to be children of God. The Bible
does not teach this. Jesus, in the text before us teaches
contrary to this.
I. What the Bible does teach about the Fatherhood of God
The Bible does teach the Fatherhood of God. It teaches
that the One whom we call "God The Father" is the Father of
Jesus Christ and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. In
Scripture He is called "The Only Begotten Son of God." That
is, He is the only fleshly begotten Son of God. He is the
only Son whom God conceived whom He caused to be born in
The Bible also teaches that God is the spiritual Father
of all who are saved, all who are genuine believers in Jesus
Christ. All of the saved are born of God. That is their
inward spirits were born again by the Holy Spirit of God,
making God their spiritual Father. They are children of God
or sons of God. When an individual places his faith in
Jesus for salvation, that person is born again. He is born
from above. His inward spirit is reborn by the Holy Spirit
of God. Spiritually, he is a child of God. Every saved
person is a child of God and God is his heavenly Father. He
has an earthly father who conceived him in human flesh, but
he also has a spiritual father, God the Father in heaven,
who caused Him to be born again.
But the Bible does not teach that all people in the
world are children of God. The Bible teaches that those who
are unsaved are spiritually the children of the Devil.
Thus, the Bible not only teaches the Fatherhood of God, but
it teaches the fatherhood of the Devil. It teaches that
those who are unsaved are, from the spiritual point of view,
children of the Devil. Each one has an earthly father who
conceived him in the flesh and they have a spiritual father,
the Devil. That is what Jesus teaches in this text which is
before us today.
II. Not all of Abraham's descendants in the spiritual family
V. 37, "I know that ye are Abraham's seed..." The Jews
had thought that they were acceptable in the sight of God
because they are descendants of Abraham. They thought they
would go to heaven because they were descendants of Abraham.
Jesus acknowledged that from the fleshly point of view, they
were indeed descendants of Abraham. But that does not mean
that they were acceptable in the sight of God just because
they are descendants of Abraham. Nor does it mean that they
would make it to heaven because they are descendants of
Jesus had pointed out in the text last Sunday that one
who lives a lifestyle of sin is a slave to sin. This means
that he is not acceptable in the sight of God even if he is
a descendant of Abraham. It means that he would not make it
to heaven even if he is a descendant of Abraham. It means
that unless he repents and trusts in the Christ, the Son of
God, he would die in his sin and suffer for his sin in
Jesus had tried to convince those Jews that He is the
Christ, the Son of the Living God, but to no avail. These
men were bitterly opposed to the idea that Jesus is the
Christ and they would not even consider the possibility that
He might be the Son of God.
They were so opposed to Him being called "The Christ"
that they set about to kill Him rather than have the people
accept Him as the Christ. (V. 37), "...but ye seek to kill
me, because my word hath no place in you."
Now Jesus did not mean that every person in the crowd of
people was unsaved, but He most certainly did mean that many
of them were unsaved. One of the evidences that they were
unsaved and that they were still in bondage to sin was the
fact that they were trying to kill Him.
Jesus said that the reason they were trying to kill Him
was because they did not agree with the things He taught
them. He taught contrary to the scribes and Pharisees and
they hated Him for His teachings. They had already issued
orders for His arrest. Their orders had not been carried
out, but, never-the-less, they had already issued those
orders. They fully intended to put Him to death.
This was murder which they had planned. They had
deliberately planned to murder Him and they still desired to
murder Him. These people were still in bondage to sin.
They were still lost in their sin in spite of the fact that
nationally they were descendants of Abraham.
III. The source of the teachings of Jesus
Jesus defended the things which He had said which had
so offended them. V. 38, "I speak that which I have seen
with my Father..." In this statement Jesus didn't say that
He was talking about God, the Heavenly Father. He just said
"my Father." But they all knew that He was saying that God
in heaven is His Father. And He was. Jesus here was laying
claim that God in heaven is His Heavenly Father and that He
is the Son of God. He was not claiming to be a "born-again"
child of God. He was claiming to be the only fleshly
begotten Son of God. They knew this, even though He did not
specifically say that His Father whom He was talking about
is God in heaven.
Jesus said that all the things which He had taught the
people which had offended them and caused them to hate Him
and plot His death were things which He had gotten directly
from His Father. That is, He got those teachings directly
from God the Father in Heaven.
Neither does Jesus at this point mention God in Heaven
as also being the spiritual Father to those who are saved.
The Bible abundantly teaches that those who are believers in
Christ and who are saved are sons of God or children of God,
but this is not mentioned by Jesus at this time. They have
their own earthly fathers, but they also have God in Heaven
as their spiritual Father.
IV. An altogether different source for beliefs and actions
of the unbelieving Jews
Jesus does, however, speak of those unsaved Jews having
a spiritual father. (V. 38), "...and ye do that which ye
have seen with your father." At this point Jesus does not
say that the spiritual father of those who are unsaved is
the Devil. He will tell them plainly in verse 44 that the
Devil is their spiritual father, but at this point all He
wants them to see is that they have a spiritual father who
is entirely different to the One whom He has. His own
Father in Heaven has taught Him certain truths, but their
spiritual father had taught them things which were entirely
contrary to that which His Father has taught Him. They not
only believed differently, but they acted differently. They
behaved differently. They lived differently. His Father
had taught Him to restore life to men, but their father had
taught them to kill. It was in keeping with what their
spiritual father had taught them they had plotted to kill
God in heaven is the spiritual Father to Jesus and Jesus
has spent His ministry teaching the things which God the
Father gave Him to teach and doing the good things for
people which God the Father has told Him to do. He has
taught nothing but truth and had done nothing but good
toward them. He has done good for hundreds and thousands of
people and had never done any man wrong. But the kind of
works which the unbelieving Jews had done were the kind of
works which the Devil, their spiritual father would cause
men to do. They had deliberately told lies against Him.
They had set about to murder Him. That is a work which is
from the Devil. Their spiritual father is evil.
V. 39, "They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our
father..." The unsaved Jews once again went back to their
claim that they are descendants of Abraham. This is what
they were counting on to get them into heaven. They were
counting on their being descendants of Abraham to get them
But Jesus again pointed out to them that even though
physically they were descendants of Abraham, yet spiritually
they were not descendants of Abraham. (V.39), "...Jesus
saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do
the works of Abraham." If they had descended in the
spiritual family of Abraham they would live the kind of life
that Abraham had lived and they would do the kind of deeds
that Abraham had done. Abraham was a man of faith in God
and obedience to God. If these people were spiritual
descendants of Abraham, they would not oppose the message of
God which had been sent to they by the very Son of God.
They most certainly would not be trying to kill the Son of
God. They would believe God's message and try to do the
will of God.
V. 40, "But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told
you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not
Abraham." Abraham did not do the kind of works that these
men were doing. This is because they were not in the same
spiritual family with Abraham. They did not have the same
spiritual Father which Abraham had.
V. 41, "Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they
to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father,
even God." At this point the Jews seemed to understand that
Jesus was talking about a spiritual father and was telling
them that they did not have the same spiritual father which
Abraham had. This they stoutly denied. They said, "We be
not born of fornication..." That is, they claimed to have
the same spiritual father as Abraham. They said, "We have
one Father, even God." They were saying, "We have Abraham
as our earthy physical forefather, but spiritually God in
heaven is our Father. We are not spiritually illegitimate
children. We are God's children spiritually."
V. 42, "Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father,
ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God;
neither came I of myself, but he sent me." Jesus pointed to
their bitter hatred of Him in order to disprove their claim
of being children of God spiritually. If they were children
of God, they would not hate Him. They would love Him,
because He came from God and is the very Son of God.
V. 43, "Why do ye not understand my speech? even
because ye cannot hear my word." Why did those men not
believe the things which God in heaven had given Him to
teach? It was because they were not of God's spiritual
family. They hated the truths which came from God because
they, themselves, were not of God's family. If they had
been of God's family they would love the truth of God and
they would love the Son of God who delivered that truth to
IV. The Devil, the spiritual father of the unsaved Jews
V. 44, "Ye are of your father the devil..." Jesus now
tells them plainly that the Devil is their spiritual father.
They were unsaved and the unsaved are not in the family of
God. Regardless of who their earthly father is, the unsaved
are in the spiritual family of the Devil.
The Devil is the one who has the predominant influence
over their thinking. The Devil is the one who has the
predominant influence over their conduct. The Devil is the
one who has the predominant influence over their lives. (V.
44), "...and the lusts of your father ye will do..." You
will live like the Devil. You will do like the Devil does.
You will do like Him because your are spiritually in his
family. You hate the same things which the Devil hates and
you love the same things which the Devil loves.
(V. 44), "...He was a murderer from the beginning, and
abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.
When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a
liar, and the father of it." Jesus told them that this is
what the Devil is like and this is what they were like.
They hated the truth of God. They hated the Son of God.
The Devil was a murderer and right at this very time they
were also trying to commit murder. They were trying to
murder the Son of God.
Their rejection of truth was from the Devil. V. 45-47,
"And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which
of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do
ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God's words:
ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God."
V. The need for the unsaved
Listen, Jesus did not tell these things to these people
to insult them. Jesus wanted them to know these things
because they needed to wake up to the terrible spiritual
condition that they were in. Even so, God did not put these
things in the Bible to insult people of our day. But God
wants every unsaved man, woman, boy and girl to wake up to
the fact that until he repents of his sin and trusts in
Jesus Christ for salvation, he is spiritually in the family
of the Devil. In order to become a child of God he must
repent of his sin and he must be born again by the Holy
Spirit of God.
Now this is something that every lost sinner has an
opportunity to do. If you are lost and on the broad road
that leads to destruction then you can turn to God in
repentance of your sin and trust in the Son of God whom God
has sent to be the Savior. If you will call upon Jesus and
trust in Jesus to be your Savior, then you will be saved.
You will be born again. You will be born a child of God.
You will be in the family of God. You will have God in
Heaven as your spiritual Father. You will have a home in
heaven just waiting for you to get there. And you will get
there because God make sure that you get there.
Will you turn this morning to God and confess to Him
that you are a sinner and that you need to be saved. Will
you turn to Jesus this morning and ask Him to save your
soul? Will you trust Him to cleanse you of your sin and
take you to heaven when you die? If so, will you come
forward and make your profession of faith public?
If you are already saved and there is some commitment
which the Lord would have you to make, would you make that
commitment now? If you desire to place your membership here
in this church, then would you come forward and present
yourself to this church for membership?