For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father!” Romans 8:15 NABRE
Paul writing to the community in Rome prior to a planned visit is declaring the birthright of all who follow Jesus, adopted sons and daughters. Paul rejects we have a spirit of slavery. This is language used for sinners, because of their sinful nature they are slaves to sin and as slaves only act out of fear. It is fear that gets obedience from the slave, there is nothing else to motivate them. Paul reminds we have received a spirit of adoption through Christ Jesus. Jesus is God’s first born and we are ALL adopted by the Spirit becoming one with Christ. Adoption was widely practiced in Roman culture, viewed as a great honor, enhancing one’s social standing. It doesn’t compare to someone seeking a family rather it is someone seeking life improvement, even to the point of adopting a son who is strong and powerful and can take over the father’s name. We are adopted sons and daughters of God, who is referred to as Abba, Father. This is a term of familiarity, likened to saying daddy or papa today. It is the term Jesus uses. In his most vulnerable moment, just prior to his capture and entering into the final hours of life Jesus says, “Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from me, but not what I will but what you will.” (Mark 14:36). This usage became more common after Jesus’ teaching.
We may not view God as Father as being safe, we are told He is a judge, we also have our own fathers that maybe aren’t models of virtue. God is Father and Mother, use whatever image allows you to feel close and safe. It is how the relationship is intended, a parent protector and lover.
Do you see God as a parent protector? Are you safe in the arms of your Abba?Paul reminds we have received a spirit of adoption through Christ Jesus. Jesus is God's first born and we are ALL adopted by the Spirit becoming one with Christ. Click To Tweet
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