Spiritual Fatherhood 

 

One of the greatest needs in the Kingdom of God in the 21st century. 

 

We are inundated with so much information on a daily basis – people giving us their opinion, viewpoint and perspective on different matters pertaining to God. We are constantly being told about principles, keys and methods that will eventually bring us to a life of abundance and success.  

 

I ask myself the question: is this what life is all about? 

 

Is life not about caring for one another? Is it not about true friendships and relationships where the love of God, which is poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, finds true meaning and purpose? 

 

I am persuaded that this is exactly what the apostle Paul had in mind when he wrote the following to the Corinthians:  

 

1Co 4:15   For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.  

1Co 4:16   Therefore I urge you, imitate me. (NKJV) 

 

1Co 4:15   For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 

1Co 4:16   I urge you, then, be imitators of me. (ESV) 

 

 

I emphatically want to say - spiritual fatherhood is not: 

 

- a calling 

- an assignment  

- God appointing and anointing you to be a father 

- a ministry 

- the establishing of a father-son relationship where sons report to the father and 

   the father exercises spiritual authority over sons 

- sons looking for someone to be his/her spiritual father 

- reigning and ruling over people 

 

 

Fatherhood (which is by the way – genderless) is about taking responsibility over my own life and destiny and over those of other people. 

Spiritual fatherhood is about feeling the pain and joy of other people and to be there for them. 

 

 

Paul attained spiritual fatherhood through hardship and suffering. 

 

He is writing to a church which is deeply divided, fleshly and immature. 

 

1Co 4:9   For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.  

1Co 4:10   We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored!  

1Co 4:11   To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless.  

1Co 4:12   And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure;  

1Co 4:13   being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.  

1Co 4:14   I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you.  

1Co 4:15   For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.  

1Co 4:16   Therefore I urge you, imitate me. (NKJV) 

 

1Co 4:15   After all, though you should have ten thousand teachers (guides to direct you) in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the glad tidings (the Gospel).  

1Co 4:16   So I urge and implore you, be imitators of me.(AMP) 

 

 

Paul is not criticizing instructors (teachers), but I believe he was reminded of the words of our Lord Jesus in Mat 10:24  A disciple is not above his teacher, nor is a servant or slave above his master. 

Jesus was referring to the fact that a teacher (instructor) will not allow his disciple to grow and develop beyond himself. 

 

One can understand the urgency of Paul only when you understand the meaning of the word “instructor – teacher” in this context. 

Instructors - teachers are “guides to direct children” 

 

Paul is saying to this church: you have many “guides who direct and treat you as children”, telling you what is wrong and what is right – what to do and what not to do. 

This will not create room for spiritual growth. You need people who will love you as a father and take care of you, who understand your true needs and who will create an environment where you will be able to grow and develop spiritually beyond them. 

 

A true father rejoices when his child excels and become better than himself. 

 

A closer look at the meaning of the word “begotten” or “became your father” will give us a greater understanding of what Paul is actually saying: 

1 Cor 4:15  

“for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.” 

Another translation reads like this:  

For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.(ESV) 

 

Begotten - means: 

Men begetting children and raising them, taking care of al their needs and taking them to maturity. 

 

Paul is saying here: I brought you the Gospel of Jesus Christ- you became children of God and I never walked away from you. I took spiritual responsibility over you and through spiritual impartation I am taking you to maturity so that you can reach your destiny. 

Now I urge you – become like me – become spiritual fathers yourself and take responsibility over others. 

 

Why do we (Averille and I) embrace the true Biblical concept of “fatherhood” so deeply? 

 

We believe it is the only way through which proper impartation could take place. By building genuine relationships with people and groups of people we become acquainted with their hurts, their desires and needs and wants, and we can at least start praying and interceding for them. In our walk with God there was a time that we experienced so much hardship and suffering and lack. Thank God, this did not make us “bitter” but “better. Today we can identify with people who are struggling and we can come alongside them, imparting unto them how God sustained us and cared for us. 

 

God gave us so much insight, understanding and wisdom regarding purpose, destiny and vision and it is our greatest pleasure to share this with other people, without expecting anything in return. I believe this is what spiritual fatherhood is about – pouring out your whole life into other people’s lives without expecting to be rewarded. 

 

As a result of this “fatherhood attitude” we have seen so many lives changed, churches been impacted and business turned around. 

 

This is the only way we can make the world a better place to live in. 

 

 

Click here to view or download a full teaching on this subject and also feel free to give us your input and/or comments on our blog.

 

 

 

 

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