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Abba

By: Admin on June 18, 2013

Definition: abba
Abba: not the pop group from the 70’s and 80’s, but rather the Aramaic word that translated to today’s English means, “daddy”.

We rarely think of God as “daddy”, yet Jesus referred to God as “Father” more times in his four biographies than any other term. In fact, three times in the New Testament the writer actually uses the word abba, but we can be certain that most of Jesus’ conversations and teachings were in Hebrew and Aramaic and he most certainly would have used the term abba when talking about His Father.

Do we see God as our perfect father? Let’s take a look at this relationship that we can have with God.

Romans 8:13 - 17
13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Lessons about God, our Dad

I'm going to actually work backwards through this Bible passage, to help us understand some things better.

1. We are God’s Children and Share in Everything
Romans 3:17
"Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."

This is the main point: We are co-heirs with Christ. We share in Christ’s suffering and we share in His Glory.

Who is the heir in a family? Normally, the eldest, and in the case of the middle eastern culture, the eldest son. Jesus is the “eldest son” of God, he is the principal heir of the family.

Because we are children of God, we are co-heirs WITH Jesus, because of Jesus we have this position. We share in everything. This "everything" includes the sufferings of Christ because of our faith in Jesus and our conviction that he is the only way to God

It also means sharing in his glory: the complete, restored condition - exactly the way God had created and intended us to be. Jesus was in Heaven with God and had all the status. He deliberately chose to set that glory aside and come to earth like one of us. After he died, God raised him back from the dead and reestablished Jesus in the place he always held. God does the same for us, not that we become Jesus, rather that we will be brought to the place where God has intended us to be.

2. We are God’s Children because He Created this Relationship
Romans 8:15, 16
"The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children."

God created this relationship that we have with him. This is not our idea or even close to what we are capable of doing. This is what Jesus' disciple, John, had to say in his biography of Jesus:

John 1:12 & 13
"Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God."

John is talking about those who have received and believed in Jesus. And it is Jesus who gives us the right to become children of God. Jesus can do this because he is the true heir to God’s estate, God’s Kingdom. He is equal to God because He is God.

Jesus calls us to “receive” and “believe”, in other words, deposit all our faith in him and trust in him alone, recognizing who he really is. The process is all God’s idea and all through His ability and authority.

Going back to Romans 3:15, because we are children of God...
-We are not slaves, we are children
-We don’t live in fear of punishment or separation from God, he is our father
-We have been adopted, legally placed into God’s family with all the responsibilities and blessings that come with being in God’s family
-We are brought into a close, intimate relationship: we can call God, “abba” - daddy
-The Spirit, God himself, is the guarantee of the fact that we are now children of God. He communicates directly with our spirit this truth.

What does this mean to us?
Humility - we need to go to God as abba. By thinking of God and approaching him as abba we show we need Him and that we are totally helpless without him.

It shows that God really is the authority in our lives. We look to God as our father because he not only provides for us, but that he has total authority in our lives. We submit to his will and way.

3. We are God’s Children and He Changes our Lives
Romans 8:13, 14
"13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God."

In verse 13 it says, “Live according to the flesh”. This means to live our own lives our own way. To give in to temptations and let our own feelings and personal, selfish ambitions guide our decisions.

The result is death, that is, separation from God and others, the destruction of a relationship.

But, if we live “by the Spirit” we have life. Living "by the spirit means living life through the power of God and in recognition of his authority over our lives and decisions.

We "put to death the misdeeds of the body" by destroying and separating ourselves from the old way of thinking and living. This doesn't mean becoming a hermit living in the cabin in the hills, away from all the evil influences of the world. It means to deliberately set aside our own selfish way of thinking and deciding in order to follow God's way.

The result is that we live. We have a relationship with God himself.

Verse 14 says we are, “led by the Spirit of God” which means to 1) to lead, take with one
1a) to lead by laying hold of, and this way to bring to the point of destination )Thayer Greek Lexicon, G71)

In other words, we are to be carried on and moved by God himself, accompanied by the Spirit. This is a conscious decision on our part.

Let's see the application of these principles to our lives, especially on this father's day. These lessons may be directed to dads today, but they apply to everyone who believes in Jesus.

1. Just as God has made us beneficiaries of everything He has, so we must share our lives with our children.
Give them the full benefit of home filled with the love, truth and grace of Jesus.

2. Just as God chose us to be in His family, so we must bring our children into the full family.
We must not be ignoring our kids or our responsibilities toward them, rather we need to be having active involvement in their lives, doing what is necessary to bring them fully into the lives God wants. This means communicate with our kids, just as the Spirit communicates with us as children of God.

3. Just as God changes our lives because of the relationship, so we live and teach the life God expects of our kids.
Sin only leads to death of relationships. We must destroy sin and be humble and submit to God. By following God, we will find life and lead others to that life. So, lead your kids, just as the Spirit of God actively leads us.

Topics: family, god, holy spirit, message series

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