ABBA FATHER Romans 8:15
In Scripture there are many different names used to describe God. While all the names of God are important in many ways, the name “Abba Father” is one of the most significant names of God in understanding how He relates to people. The word Abba is an Aramaic word that would most closely be translated as “Daddy.” It was a common term that young children would use to address their fathers. It signifies the close, intimate relationship of a father to his child, as well as the childlike trust that a young child puts in his “daddy.”
While most people, at least those who do not irrationally deny the existence of God, would claim that all are “children of God,” the Bible reveals quite a different truth. We are all His creations and under His authority and Lordship and will all be judged by Him, but being a child of God and having the right to truly call Him “Abba Father” is something that only born-again Christians are able to do.
Understanding that not all people are children of God and that becoming a child of God only happens when you are adopted by God through faith in Christ Jesus.
The fact that we speak of God as “Abba, Father” suggests five things.
I. THE REVELATION OF RELATIONSHIP.
1. There was a time when we were not the true sons of God.
a. As to parentage, we were the children of the Devil; John 8:44. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
b. As to character, the children of disobedience; Ephesians 5:6. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
c. As to destiny, the children of wrath; Ephesians 2:3. Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
2. The idea of the universal Fatherhood of God implies the universal brotherhood of man and this is unscriptural because the Fatherhood of God is faith-limited; Galatians 3:26. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
3. It is utterly impossible to have spiritual relationship with God as Father apart from the power and operation of the Holy Spirit; Romans 8:9. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
II. THE REVELATION OF PERSONALITY.
1. There is no position which men take that is more ridiculous than to assert that God is impersonal. To speak of Him as being principle, force, matter, law, truth and then talk about praying to Him is the height of folly.
2. When the Lord Jesus directed His disciples to pray, He directed them to pray to One who could both hear and answer prayer; Matthew 6:9. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
III. THE REVELATION OF A CHARACTER.
1. The word “father” throbs with everything that is great and good.
2. The character of God as Father reveals just what the character of every father should be; cf. Psalm 103:13. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
IV. THE REVELATION OF FAITH’S RESTING PLACE.
1. The word “Father” as applied to God is an invitation to trust and confidence; cf. Mark 14:36. And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.
2. When adversity strikes we look to God, trust Him, and find that our faith is not in vain in that He lifts us up and establishes our goings; Psalm 40:1-4. I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
V. THE REVELATION OF SUFFICIENCY.
1. The heavenly Father does not permit His child to lack for anything that would be for the child’s welfare.
2. The first thing the disciples had to learn as the Lord Jesus taught them to pray was the fact of God’s Fatherhood. Knowing God as Father they could ask for their daily bread and for the supplying of every need Philippians 4:19. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
3. It is the privilege of everyone who names the Lord’s glorious Name to enjoy this blessing of knowing He is the child of the Heavenly Father and has the right to claim all that He is and has.