God the Father
(→God the Father in iconography)
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God the Father (Abba) is the fountainhead (source) of the Holy Trinity, and the maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
God the Father created all things through the Son, in the Holy Spirit (Genesis 1 and 2; John 1:3; Job 33:4), and Orthodox Christians are called to worship Him (John 4:23). The Father loves us and sent His Son to give us everlasting life (John 3;16).
First person of the Trinity
The scriptures reveal the one God is Three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, eternally sharing the one divine nature. From the Father the Son is begotten before all ages and all time (Psalm 2:7; II Corinthians 11:31). It is also from the Father the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds (John 15:26). The Orthodox Church teaches that we come to know the Father through Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit (Matthew 11:27).
The name Father
In the Old Testament the intimate name of Father was not used to address God in prayer. Only in Christ and because of Christ can Christians have such boldness. Only Christians can properly say the Lord's Prayer that was taught to them by the Son of God. Only those who have died and risen with Christ in baptism, and have received the power to become sons of God by the Holy Spirit in Chrismation are enabled to approach the Almighty God most high as their Father (John 1:12; Matthew 6:9; Romans 8:14; Galatians 4:4).
God the Father in iconography
Icons depicting God the Father do not conform to the teachings of the Seventh Ecumenical Council. God the Father is invisible and not able to be depicted. Since Christ was born of the indescribable Father, the Father cannot have an image.
But icons such as the Ancient of Days icon depict God the Father as an old man with a white beard, sometimes at the top of other icons. Russian Trinity icons sometimes show Christ and the Father setting on two thrones with a dove between them.
Another icon, that depicts the Father, is the Paternity icon. It also depicts God the Father as an old man with a white beard with the young boy Jesus, sitting on his lap, holding a dove.
| This article forms part of the series
Introduction to Orthodox Christianity