The Father's Love

Hello, my friends!

One of the most profound truths we can embrace as believers is the reality that we are sons and daughters of the Most High God. This isn't just a nice metaphor or poetic turn of phrase—it encapsulates the very essence of the new covenant we've been ushered into through Christ's finished work. Under the old covenant, God's people were positioned more like servants under the watchful eye of the law. But now, through the cross, we've been granted the privileged status of beloved children, adopted into God's forever family!

In Galatians 4, Paul unpacks this glorious truth for us. He explains how, in ancient times, children were kept under the strict oversight of tutors or guardians until they reached maturity and could receive their inheritance as full-fledged sons. “I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all” (Galatians 4:1). This system, while necessary for that era, depicted the old covenant era when we were “kept under guard by the law” (Galatians 3:23), like underage heirs, not yet possessing the liberties of mature sonship.

But praise God, everything changed at the cross! As Galatians 4:4-5 declares, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” Do you hear the stunning reality echoing through those words? The cross wasn't just about forgiveness, as amazing as that is. No, it marked the defining moment when we were permanently repositioned from servants under the law's tutorship to sons and daughters enjoying all the privileges, freedoms, and an intimate relationship with our heavenly Father!

Under this new covenant of grace, we are no longer bound to law-keeping, because “after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor” (Galatians 3:25). The stringent pedagogue of rules and regulations has been dismissed, ushering us into a new era of being “led by the Spirit” rather than by outward codes (Galatians 5:18). No longer constrained like household servants, we now experience the joyous liberty of full-grown sons relating freely and openly with our doting Dad!

As Romans 8:15 beautifully describes, “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, 'Abba, Father.'” Under the new covenant, the Holy Spirit Himself lives within us, giving us a revelation of who we truly are in Christ. He awakens our spiritual senses to experience God, not as a harsh Taskmaster, but as our infinitely compassionate “Abba”—the Aramaic term expressive of a tender, doting dad's affection for his little ones. This is the intimate relationship we have been graced to enjoy!

Jesus highlighted this wonderful truth when speaking to the Pharisees in John 8:35 “And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.” A servant, no matter how dutiful, remains on tenterhooks, always insecure in his position and fearful of being cast out. But a son's place in the family is irrevocable, founded on the unbreakable realities of love and bloodline relation, not fickle performance. That's you and me, my dear friends! We have been brought into God's permanent, forever family through the new birth, adopted as beloved children just as Christ is the Beloved Son. Our place is secure forever!

This incredible identity as God's sons and daughters radically redefines how we are to relate to our perfect heavenly Father. No longer through the lens of laws, fearful of disappointing a harsh Judge. No, by the Spirit's enabling, we “have received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, 'Abba, Father!'” (Romans 8:15). What freedom and joy this brings! We get to engage with God as intimate sons and daughters, accepted and prized simply for who we are in Christ, quite apart from what we do or don't do.

The enemy, of course, wars fiercely against this revelation because it demolishes the power of guilt, shame, and condemnation over us. Religious legalists despise it too, since a people who have tasted the freedom of sonship won't remain locked under their dead, stifling regulations. We see this in Paul's heated rebuke to the Galatian believers who were entertaining the false doctrine that added works back into the gospel of grace:

“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” (Galatians 3:1-2)

Listen, my dear friends, we must refuse to be bullied back into the orphan spirit's thinking that we are just hired hands bound by rules and checklists to maintain favour with God. As John 1:12 says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” To reinstate the law's merciless reign as our “tutor” is spiritual treason against the finished work that birthed us into this glorious sonship! It's a slap in the face to our heavenly Father who looks upon us with infinite delight, cherishing our place in His family.

I encourage you today to bask in the warmth of your Abba Father's love, soaking in your eternal, unshakable position as a beloved son or daughter. Let the Spirit continually open the eyes of your heart to experience God according to this true identity. When doubts or religious fear tactics try to pull you back into the orphan mindset, cast them down with the truth of the cross! Jesus broke the law's power over you, so you are free at last from that ruthless tutor. Receive afresh your full adoption as a child of the Most High and rejoice in the new era of intimacy and acceptance you've been ushered into!

Most of all, my friends, be blessed today as you get to know your Heavenly Father in a fresh way. Ponder His infinite tenderness toward you as His own beloved offspring. Marvel at the reality that you can freely approach Him in any situation without fear of rejection or punishment. Receive His hugs. Hear His affirming whispers of love over your life. Revel in being celebrated as His treasured, irreplaceable child! This is the experience He longs for you to enjoy each day. You are living and abiding in His house forever, dear sons and daughters, safe in the everlasting embrace of your perfect and loving Abba Father!