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Abba, Father

A couple of days ago, I discussed Jonathan Edwards’ sermon, Sinners in the Hand of an Angry God. His picture of God’s wrath, while unpopular with our modern view of things, is in fact in agreement with what Scripture says on the topic. But if Scripture ended there, we really would be lost.

While we stand lost already, Scripture is clear that by accepting what Christ did on the cross as applying to us, our situation is completely changed. We go from being mortal enemies of the one who created the galaxies to being His children, heirs, even His Bride. That is an amazing transformation:  Enemy to Intimate.

We love the verse John 3:16 and show it at football games, but the message doesn’t end there. Here’s the passage in context (vv. 16-21) and joined with another passage (Romans 8 14-17) to drive the point home. Note that the word “Abba” is literally the Aramaic word for ‘Daddy.’ It doesn’t get much more intimate or tender than that. Incredible. True.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.


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