“For you did not again receive the spirit of bondage to fear,
but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father!'”
Though I’ve read this verse hundreds of times, I never really noticed the astonishingly weighty contrast it invites us to contemplate.
According to Paul, prior to our new birth, we were in the flesh, under the Law, under sin, under condemnation, under wrath, in peril of hell, and—for all of these reasons and more—in bondage to fear.
Now, however, we are in the Spirit, under Christ, under righteousness, under acquittal, under love, in (confident) hope of eternal life—and for all of these reasons and more—liberated into a spirit of sonship. As newborn babes we have been delivered, once and for all, into the strong, loving, eternally trustworthy arms of Father God.
Now here’s my confession: Though I’ve walked with the Triune God for nearly 40 years, I feel I have only begun to emerge from the thicket of my many fears, and out into the wide-open field of my heavenly Father’s fervent, immutable, and altogether committed covenant love for me, his chosen child.
And since we are all cut from the same cloth, I suspect many of you can say the same.
So then, let us pray: Pray that the Lord Jesus will open our eyes to the Father’s eternal love for us; that he will deliver us from our tendency to walk before Him as though we were still in the flesh, under the Law, under condemnation, under wrath, and on a tightrope over the fires of hell.
In other words, let us pray that we may learn to cry “Abba, Father” as never before, having seen Abba, Father as never before!
For when we do, our love for Him will be perfected, and we will never again walk “in bondage to fear.”