Romans 8:14-15. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

The late great preacher and author Brennan Manning has said, “We make our images of God and our images of God make us.”

What is your image of God?

Cosmic cop?

Drill Sergeant?

Strange uncle?

White bearded mountain top guru?

Passive aggressive mother-in-law?

Mean manager?


What about abba? Dad?

The great reality of our union with Christ is that, in him, we are now the adopted sons of God. He is our Abba Father. We have been given the Spirit of Adoption. Is any truth more comforting than this? God himself is our dad.

In the Old Testament God wasn’t typically seen as a father figure. They definitely wouldn’t address him as “dad” in prayer. But then along came Jesus. Jesus constantly referred to God as his Father. His Abba. By twelve years old he knew he must do his Abba’s business. He taught us to pray to OUR Father in Heaven. He claimed perfect unity with the Father – “I and my Father are one.” He cried out to his Abba in the garden and on the cross.

Jesus lived deeply from son-ship. Son was his defining identity. Why? Because Father-Son is the eternal relationship in the Godhead. The incarnation did not make God a father and Jesus a son. The incarnation revealed to the world the eternal Father and the eternal Son. The Son that, from eternity past, was in the side of the Father. Now, in Christ, this is OUR same relationship to God. Union with Christ has changed how we relate to God forever. We are sons and daughters. Like Jesus, we are forever in his side.

In the culture of Paul’s day, it was quite common to take an adult slave and adopt him as your son, granting to him the full rights of son-ship. And this is exactly what has happened to us in Christ. We have been legally transferred from slavery into son-ship. We, the prodigals offering ourselves as slaves, have been made co-heirs with Christ our older brother. We share his ring, his robe, his sandals, his feast. We share in his identity as God’s children.

Ben-Hur: The slave becomes a son.

And now by the Spirit of adoption we boldly cry out Abba Father! This is our freedom cry. The cry of love. God has chosen to adopt us. He has chosen to love us. And now his perfect parental love casts out all fear. Now we go boldly into the inner chamber of the house. Into the presence of the Father, where only a true son could ever enter. We go knowing whose we are.

I’m not sure where you’re coming from today. Maybe you’ve never felt the love of a good father. Maybe your mom and dad saw parenting as more of a chore than a glorious privilege. Maybe you feel like you’re simply not worthy of love. Maybe there is a small part (or a big part) of you that wishes you were never born.

Take hold of hope today. Take hold of love. The kind of perfect love that would adopt slaves like us and make us into sons and heirs.

“To live is Christ” makes us the desired, wanted, adopted sons of God. Whether you are a man or a woman, if you are in Christ you are a son. An heir. A co-heir with Christ. And your son-ship is the truth behind everything that makes life worth living. Intimacy – that’s son-ship. Impact – that’s son-ship. Identity – that’s son-ship. Glory – that’s son-ship. And one day, victory – that’s son-ship!

Revelation 21:7. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.


Is your life powered by your identity of son-ship?

You in Christ

How does son-ship in Christ allow you to trust God as your father today?

Christ in you

How might trusting in your son-ship change how you actually live today?


Playlist: Abba, Father.

Click Here to this playlist on Spotify!


To see today’s post from the TLIC Family blog –> Click Here

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