“So, you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.” Romans 8:15-17
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 means “Father.” It was a common term that expressed affection and confidence and trust. Abba signifies the close, intimate relationship of a father and his child, as well as the childlike trust that a young child puts in his “daddy.”
As I read this scripture I think of my earthly father. He was a good man and I knew that he loved me dearly. He has been gone for many years, but I think about him often. I think about his love and the things that he did for me when he was here on earth. I know that some of you did not have that kind of father and it is hard to see that God is a loving Father. But God loves us so much more than our earthly fathers could ever love us. I feel that to call God my Father a great honor. Not just to call Him Father, but to call Him daddy.
Becoming a child of God is the highest and most humbling of honors. Because of it we have a new relationship with God and a new standing before Him. Instead of running from God and trying to hide our sin like Adam and Eve did, we run to Him, calling, “Abba, Father!” and finding forgiveness in Christ. Being an adopted child of God is the source of our hope, the security of our future, and the motivation to live life.
Many claim that all people are “children of God,” but the Bible reveals quite a different truth. We are all His creations and under His authority and lordship, and all will be judged by Him, but the right to be a child of God and call Him “Abba Father” is something that only born-again Christians have (John 1:12–13). When we are born again (John 3:1–8), we are adopted into the family of God, redeemed from the curse of sin, and made heirs of God. Part of that new relationship is that God now deals with us differently, as family.