Skip to main content

abba! father!

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" (Romans 8:15 ESV)


Francis Schaeffer comments on this passage in The Finished Work of Christ...


We have received the Holy Spirit, and we are to let Him lead us. If we are truly saved, there should be some evidence of this in our lives. But Paul isn't saying these things to make us grovel in sorrow, searching our hearts and beating our chests, wondering, “Am I really a Christian?” We will see that the rest of this chapter is a great cry of victory and assurance. If you are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, then indeed you should walk in the Spirit and you should be led by the Spirit. At the same time, interwoven with these reminders is the tremendous realization that, having accepted Christ as Savior and being indwelt by the Holy Spirit, God is our Father. [8:15-17]  He loves us and cares for us.
If we have accepted Christ as our Savior, God the Father, the Creator, the very one we have sinned against, can now be called “Daddy.” [8:15] Paul has pointed out the absolute gap between being saved and being lost. He has reminded us of the importance of recognizing that we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit—the importance of, moment by moment, living according to the Spirit. How marvelous this is! But if, as we contemplate all of this, our hearts begin to fail us, how gentle is our God! How tenderly He picks us up and says, “Don’t you understand this is not to cause you to fear, it’s not to break your heart. It isn't to crush you to the earth. Quite the contrary, it’s to assure you that I have come to you and that I am your papa, your daddy.”
The word “Father” in this verse is the Greek word for father, while “Abba” is the Aramaic word for father. There is a very precious and a very important distinction between the two words. The Greek word “father” can be used like our English word “father.” It can have either a harsh or a gentle meaning. But the word “Abba” in the Aramaic is rather parallel to our word “Daddy.” It is a gentle term. Each language, surely, has a gentle word for “father,” which cannot have a harsh meaning.  Paul wants us to understand the wonder and glory of being indwelt by the Holy Spirit. He wants us to do some heart searching as to whether or not we are living up to this highest of callings, this greatest of challenges. And yet at the same time, he wants to give us the greatest possible comfort. For the transcendent God of the universe is the one who in the stillness of the night, or when I have fallen in the mud, takes me by the hand and invites me to call Him Daddy.


From Chapter 11, "Life in the Spirit", in The Finished Work of Christ: The Truth of Romans 1-8, by Francis A. Schaeffer (Crossway Books, 1998)



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

bible reading nov 1-2

  Bible reading for weekend Nov 1 -- 2 Nov 1 -- Hosea 7 and Psalms 120-122 Nov 2 -- Hosea 8 and Psalms 123-125 ================   "Were I to write for him my laws by the ten thousands, they would be regarded as a strange thing." (Hosea 8:12) THE RESULTS OF SIN (ch 7-8). Notice the words and metaphors to describe Israel's sinful condition: they are surrounded with, and proud of, their evil (7:1-3); like adulterers in the heat of passion (7:4-5); their anger is like a hot oven (7:6-7); they are like a half-cooked (one side only) cake (7:8); their strength is gone (7:9); they are like silly doves easily trapped (7:11-12); they are undependable like a warped bow (7:16). In spite of all of this they are so proud of themselves! (We might say they have a strong self-esteem.) They have spurned what is good (8:3); they sow to the wind and have no real fruit (8:7); they are a useless vessel (8:8) and a wild donkey wandering alone (8:9); they regard God's law as a strange thing

bible reading dec 3-5

  Bible reading for weekend December 3 -- 5  Dec 3 -- Nahum 1 and Luke 17 Dec 4 -- Nahum 2 and Luke 18 Dec 5 -- Nahum 3 and Luke 19 ================ "The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. But with an overflowing flood he will make a complete end of the adversaries, and will pursue his enemies into darkness." (Nahum 1:7-8)  TIME'S UP FOR NINEVEH (Nah 1-3). The prophecy of Nahum is God's word to the people of Nineveh, part two. Jonah was part one, chronicling a city-wide repentance of Assyrians in the capital about a hundred years earlier. The closing bookend is Nahum, and the Assyrian empire is big, powerful, and aggressive. Notice the references to chariots (2:3-4, 13; 3:2). The Assyrians were a militarily advanced culture, and cruel in their warfare. Whatever spiritual receptivity they had at the time of Jonah was gone by the time of Nahum. Nahum may not have actually visited Nineveh, for it seems the book was w

Howard Hendricks on OT books chronology

When I was in seminary, Howard Hendricks (aka "Prof") gave us a little card with the books of the OT chronologically arranged. The scanned copy I have was a bit blurry and I wanted to make something like this available for our church class in OT theology ("Story of Redemption"). A few minor edits and here it is...