Reference: Romans 8:16-17
Being joint heirs with Christ means we share not only in the suffering, but also in the glory.
The apostle John, in his first letter, says we shall be like Him (I John 3:2). Christ ascended into heaven in His glorified state. You and I, as testified by the Holy Spirit, will be like Him in glory.
Again, do you believe God is honest and truthful in His word? The coming glory isn’t all about us; it’s all about God and what He has done. Here, He tells us part of His work has been to give us the Holy Spirit, that we might know Him.
Enabling you to say “Abba, Father”
The most telling, most complete statement we have from the word of God concerning the Spirit’s testimony about the certainty of our faith is this: “…that you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out ‘Abba Father.'”
Abba Father is an interesting phrase. The word Abba is one of those words which cannot really be translated without losing its meaning. So it is simply carried over from the Aramaic, a language which was commonly spoken at the time of Christ. It conveys the heart of a young child who has total dependence upon, trust in, and absolute love in its relationship to its father. The word “Daddy,” as spoken by a young child, comes close.
So the phrase “Abba Father” is almost like saying “Daddy Father.” The child of God, adopted by the Father with all the accompanying privileges, now looks to the Father with full confidence, trust, and hope, enjoying what it means to be an adopted child of God. It is an expression of faith, with the greatest assurance of trust that can be uttered: the promise of salvation.
So Paul says to you, because of the gift of the Holy Spirit, you can have a sure and certain faith in Christ. You can say “Abba Father.”
Dependent upon the Comforter
This faith is not boasting. It is not arrogant. It is believing what the Gospel says. And it is believing by the Holy Spirit, who assures you of eternal life.
It is not boasting and it is not arrogant because it depends upon the Holy Spirit.
The birth of Christ, the gift of the Son, would be meaningless and without benefit if it came without the additional gift of the Holy Spirit.
Everything that we have noted from this passage does not in any way suggest you have no responsibility, or that when it comes to faith, you just sort of throw up your hands and say, “Well, either God puts it in my heart and my mouth or He doesn’t.” Not at all.
Yes, God has done it all. But God calls on you to believe. He calls on you to confess your faith. You need to avail yourself to the means of grace, the worship of God and the fellowship of His people.
You need to claim the promise that the Holy Spirit testifies within you, the basis upon which you can believe in your salvation.
Blog post content taken from a sermon series delivered by Dr. Maynard Koerner, President and Professor of Ministerial Studies at Heidelberg Theological Seminary.