Skip to Main Content

Day Fifteen

“I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father.  In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world.  But when the fullness of time has come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who are 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!.  So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, an heir through God!”                   Galatians 4:1-7 NIV


In his book “Knowing God”, JI Packer answers the question, “What is a Christian?”  In this incredible book, he simply states, “The richest answer I know is one who has God as father”.

Within the Jewish culture, there was, and is a deep sense of the Holiness of God. Moses took off his shoes, women covered their heads, and The name of God was YHWH; which contained no vowels and was more of a “breathing in and out” over a spoken name. The entire Jewish culture embraced a complex system of rules and regulations all in the context of revering and worshiping their God, who’d led them by fire and a cloud. While revering God, their relationship with Him was transactional. They held up their side of the relationship by following a system of dos and don’ts and He was to hold up His side by blessing them. We see in these first verses in Galatians 4 that before coming to faith in Christ, both Jews and Gentiles were in slavery to the elements of the world.  Jews were slaves under the law, and Gentiles were slaves under false religion.  Both systems were based on a philosophy that you had to perform to get God to both accept and bless you.

But God becoming flesh and redeeming us took us out from under the law to the place of being a child of God. This passage tells us that we get the incredible gift of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us because we are his children, and being his children changes our relationship with God. He is still Holy, but now we can call on God in a more personal, vulnerable, and intimate way.

Abba father is an informal term only used by two men in the Old Testament; Paul and Jesus. Jesus refers to Abba Pater (father) in his most vulnerable moment in history; praying in the Garden of Gethsemane.

It’s been said that “Abba” is heart language. It’s personal. Calling on God as Abba father says we are His very own child. That we belong to HIM! When you think of God do you see Him as holy and untouchable? That’s ok because He is!  But He also desires an intimate relationship with YOU. He has invited you to call him Abba Father and there is a “turning” when we refer to God as “Abba Father” in our prayers.  We are proclaiming our place as daughters and sons. We are entering into “fellowship” and relationship with Him as our perfect, compassionate, mercy-filled, love beyond our ability to grasp, unfailing Father. What an unfathomable gift!! Abba father…we belong to YOU!