MEDITATIONS ON SPIRITUAL ADOPTION #6
THE SPIRIT OF GOD
January 6, 2010
Reading: Galatians 4:1-7
"And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, 'Abba, Father!'" Galatians 4:6
Up until recently, whenever I saw or read the words "Abba, Father," I
immediately thought of the wonderfully intimate relationship our Savior had
with His Father. While I still believe this is very true it is not limited to
that. If I was asked "Where in the bible do we find the words "Abba, Father" I
would accurately reply they were the words of Jesus in the
Along with Jesus we are sons of God; not divine, yet nevertheless sons in every other sense of the word. "And because we are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, 'Abba, Father.'" Just as the Father sent Jesus (Gal 4:4-5) so He sent His Spirit to complete the transaction of actually making us His sons (vss 4-5). Jesus made our adoption possible and the Spirit of God oversees the transaction-He signed the adoption papers.
God the Father designed the plan (along with the Son and Holy Spirit), God the Son made it possible by taking care of the sin problem that stood as an obstacle to the plan being fulfilled and God the Holy Spirit performs the transaction. Once again, as in the physical creation (let us make man) the three Persons of the Triune God performed the adoptive transaction making us sons and daughters of God. Every act of God is a joint operation whereby the Father, Son and Holy Spirit faithfully and perfectly perform their work according to His divine purpose and for His glory.
The greatest of all privileges given to His children is that we approach our heavenly Father on a very intimate basis calling Him "Abba, Father." What a privilege, what an honor, what a relationship. While all other relationships are wonderful in their own right I personally yearn for a deepening of understanding and experience of what it truly means to call my God "Abba, Father." Actually these privileges are more than that-they are rights. Because we are members of our natural family certain elements are not just privileges they are rights. We have the right to live in our parent's home, eat their food, and participate in family gatherings and events- all because we are the children of our parents. It is no different in our heavenly family."
"But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" John 1:12-13.
The word translated "right" or as in the KJV "power" is 'exousia' which means authority. As children of God we have the right to claim His promises and to fully expect Him to be faithful to those promises. We have the authority and the right to call the Creator of the universe "Abba, Father." Yes, it is a privilege, a great and wonderful privilege, yet it is so much more, it is our right, a right given to us by the Spirit of God.
These words are used only three times in the New Testament and one of
the things common to all three occasions is the concept of crying out. The
first usage is by Jesus, our elder Brother, when He was under extreme stress in
So these words are presented in Paul's letter to the Roman believers,
"For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, 'Abba, Father'" Romans 8:15.
"Cry out" is the word 'krazo' meaning to call aloud, scream (shriek, exclaim, implore). Again in our text "krazo' is used implying that our cry "Abba, Father" is one made out of desperation and anxiety. Is this not the impression given in the well known verse, "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" Heb 4:16. I need help, I am beside myself, I can see no way out-"Abba, Father, help me!" Because I am His child I have the right to cry out to my heavenly Father.
This in no way implies I cannot enjoy this right of intimacy when I simply wish to "Be still, and know that I am [He is] God" Psalm 46:10. The Holy Spirit is giving us the right and ability to address God with the same language as does Jesus. We have many examples of Jesus calling God "Father" but only one as "Abba, Father." Truly, this is one more sign that Jesus is our Brother as we both have the same Father.
This right Jesus Himself described when He said, "All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him" Matt . Adoption is a legal status and means little unless the Father reveals Himself to us as "Our Father," He then sends His Spirit into our hearts enabling us to internally feel the reality of our new relationship of Father and Son and to address the one true and living God as "Abba, Father." Our heavenly Father sends His Spirit into our hearts with a wonderful message-"I am El Shaddai, Almighty God, and now, because you are My Sons and daughters, you may call Me Abba, Father."
"And what is "the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father?" It is a sweet compound of faith that knows God to be my Father, love that loves him as my Father, joy that rejoices in him as my Father, fear that trembles to disobey him because he is my Father and a confident affection and trustfulness that relies upon him, and casts itself wholly upon him, because it knows by the infallible witness of the Holy Spirit, that Jehovah, the God of earth and heaven, is the Father of my heart" C.H. Spurgeon - 1834 - 1892.
"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing"