When my son was a toddler, we went through an awkward phase when he used the word “dada” to refer to all men. I’d watch him look around the store and spot a random stranger, and I’d brace myself for what would come next. “Dada!” would fly enthusiastically from his mouth as Mr. Random Stranger looked around in confusion.
My son didn’t yet understand that the word we use to refer to his daddy was a precious name for an even-more-precious relationship. Now that he’s older, he knows that the love of his father is unique. He calls him “Dad” because of the relationship they share. And we see in Galatians 4:6 that God has given us, His adopted children, the unique privilege of calling Him our Father:
“And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Galatians 4:6)
Abba is the Aramaic word for father, a word used specifically by children to refer to their fathers. Jesus cried out in prayer to His “Abba, Father” in the garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:36). If we’ve been united to Christ by faith and adopted into God’s family, we also have the privilege of calling God our Abba, Father. We can be confident in this privilege because Jesus taught us to call on God as our Father when we pray: “Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name’” (Matthew 6:9).
In Galatians 4, we see the work of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit bringing us into this special relationship and giving us the privilege of calling God our Father. We saw last week that we are adopted children because God sent forth His Son to redeem us (Galatians 4:4-5). God also sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts.
Paul tells us Romans 8:15 tells us that we cry “Abba, Father!” because of the Spirit of adoption given to us. He goes on to say, “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:16). Because God the Father has sent both His Son and His Spirit, we can have confidence in our status as adopted children of our heavenly Father.
No matter what you face this week, we have the privilege of calling God our “Abba, Father.”Share