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 a teenager, 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 that God has given us, His adopted children, the unique privilege of calling Him our Father:
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Galatians 4:4-6)
In these verses, 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 are adopted children because God sent forth His Son to redeem us. Just a few verses earlier, Paul tells the Galatians that “in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith” (3:26). Our adoption as sons is a free gift of God’s grace given to us on the basis of faith in Christ.
God also sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts. Romans 8:15 tells us that we cry “Abba, Father!” because of the Spirit of adoption given to us. Because God the Father has sent both His Son and His Spirit, we can cry out to God with confidence and know that He hears the pleas of His children.
No matter what you face this week, we have the privilege of calling God our “Abba! Father!”
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