Abba: Discover the Warmth of a Loving Father

“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his children, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” (Galatians 4:4-7, NIV)

Affectionate Abba

In the grand drama of the Cosmos, man was created in God’s image to share in all that God made. He created man as a member of the family, someone who could walk with Him daily. Someone with whom the Triune God could have a RELATIONSHIP. I’m not sure what your concept of God is, but, as far as I know, God is above us and beyond us, which is why I find this term very surprising: God says that we can call Him “Abba”, the affectionate Aramaic term for Father that most closely equates in our culture to “Daddy”.

Vine’s Dictionary says this about “Abba”: “Abba is an Aramaic word, found in Mark 14:36; Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6. In the Gemara (a Rabbinical commentary on the Mishna, the traditional teaching of the Jews) it is stated that slaves were forbidden to address the head of the family by this title. “Abba” is the word framed by the lips of infants, and betokens unreasoning trust; “father” expresses an intelligent apprehension of the relationship. The two together express the love and intelligent confidence of the child.”

Broken Vows, Broken Bonds, Broken Hearts

Adam and Eve were his children, and the LORD was their Abba. Man was placed in the garden with a covenant that had one stipulation: do not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve broke that covenant. They not only disobeyed, they did what all children do. They rejected the Father to do things on their own. As a result, they were separated from all of God’s goodness.

Like the prodigal son, (like all of us!) they selfishly tried to take their inheritance early. Living independently of their Abba, they ended up outside the family and far from home. Those who once walked daily with the Father now walked alone. Their actions brought a curse not only upon themselves but also upon the creation in which they labored.

Far-reaching Consequences

Because of the curse of sin (self-will), the very fabric of existence was torn, and no amount of effort by mankind could repair it. The story of the Bible is how God redeemed His children from the curse and adopted us back into His loving family. It has a fascinating and inescapable logic behind it when you break it down. First, the curse resulted from the breaking of the covenant by men; so only a man could provide justice before a righteous God.

Second, sin was the deadly enemy of man, separating him from the Father and bringing death and corruption into the world. Only a redeemer untainted by sin could triumph over it. Third, because its wages are death, sin affected all of mankind both physically and spiritually.

This passage from Galatians offers assurance and hope. It assures us that God has always had a plan, and that plan has always been bent on restoring us to His family. It says that God sent his Son at “the set time.” The appearance of Jesus was no accident, and he was sent by the Father.

Like Father, Like Son

God the Father sent his Son to solve the problems surrounding the redemption of his children. He was born of a woman, so that he might redeem those born of women. The problem with those born under the curse was they were tainted by sin, and therefore were not qualified to lift the curse. A Redeemer had to be untouched by the curse of sin in order to save those who were already condemned by it. (Therefore, the virgin birth was not merely a legend, but a cosmic prerequisite for the Redeemer to be qualified.)

Third, He satisfied the law, so that he might save those cursed by the law. The Redeemer provided not only a physical solution to sin, but a spiritual one as well. His words were not the random ramblings of a Jewish wise man, and his claims to be one with the Father were not blasphemy but fact. He was unique in all of history as being the one qualified to counteract the curse and mediate our adoption back into the Father’s family.

Because of Jesus Christ, we are all able to be God’s children once again, walking with Him and calling Him “Abba” (Daddy). Read the words of Jesus sometime and see how often he depended on his Father, talked with his Father, and walked with his Father. See the affection and intimacy Jesus had with “Abba”. When is the last time you loved on the Father, and talked to Him not as the Awesome God of the universe or as the somewhat intimidating Righteous Judge, but as your loving, affectionate Daddy? I’m pretty sure he sent His Son so you could do just that. Crawl up into God’s spiritual lap today and sit there for a while. It’s what children do.

Abba’s Children

Why would the Almighty God, the LORD, the great Creator,
Concern Himself with our mistakes? He could say, “See you later.”
He could have started over with another cosmic plan
That had a better version of the beings we call Man…
He could have left us all behind. When all was said and done,
He didn’t have to save the world, or send His only Son!
And yet, he did. He paid the price to set his children free,
So we could all be heirs, and children in His family.
Crawl into your Father’s lap, and let him hold you near;
Lean against his chest, and hear him whisper in your ear:
“Out of all creation, it is you that I hold dear,
And I have moved the cosmos just so I could have you here.”

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