One of the ministries of the Holy Spirit is to make real to the child of God the nearness and dearest relationship of God being their Heavenly Father. To help remove the slavish and unscriptural grounds of Him being a Hellish, cruel, cold, indifferent dictator but one who is Holy, yes, and therefore must be treated with reverence, respect, but who is loving, caring and intimately so with and for you. His heart is towards you as  John 3:16 says “For God SO LOVED the world He….”  He did what?  “He GAVE His only Begotten Son…” the love of the Father is seen in His GIVING, sending the Son whom he dearly loved to redeem us from the slavery of sin, the tyranny of demonic stronghold to liberate us to know Him, and enter into a new and cherished relationship with Him. John near the end of his own life would write to encourage God’s people with these words, “See what an incredible quality of love the Father has shown to us, that we would [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.  Beloved, we are [even here and] now children of God, and it is not yet made clear what we will be [after His coming]. We know that when He comes and is revealed, we will [as His children] be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is [in all His glory].  And everyone who has this hope [confidently placed] in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure (holy, undefiled, guiltless)”-{1 John 3:1-3 Amplified Bible}.


The term “how great” (potapēn) literally means “of what country.” In other words, this was an “alien” or “supernatural” type of love. This idiom “always implied astonishment.” John almost couldn’t believe we would have so high of a privilege John’s is describing the kind of love the Father gives His children, “what great love.” The Greek word translated “what great” is used  six times in the New Testament and always implies astonishment and admiration.

When John says “that is what we are!” He is declaring what is true for us presently, the reality of our status. Right now, at this very moment, we are His children. This is not something God will do- a future promise He will fulfill, but presently is true of us! God calls us His children. He declares it is so, therefore it is so! We have all the rights of His child to enjoy as adopted children. “…and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.” – {Rom 8:17}. We are one of His own!  God is our loving, caring eternal Heavenly Father! John’s use of the word, “Father” implies father- child relationship, and He has transferred us out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His beloved Son, and we are to grow in gratitude to Him for this wonderful outworking of His love towards us-{Read Col 1:12-14} We have gone from slaves to sons and daughters of God the Father!

The Father’s love in sending the Son and making us His children shows the depths of devotion He has for us, who in and of ourselves are unlovable and of no attraction to Him, nor of any benefit to enhance Him. For He is perfect in need of nothing or no one outside of Himself to inform Him, satisfy or enhance in anyway. Perfection is perfection and such He is. But we read…


“Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins.  You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)  For He raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.  So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of His grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all He has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.  God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”-{Eph 2:1-9 NLT}.

“In his classic work, Knowing God, J.I. Packer explains the profound significance of divine adoption when he writes:

“What is a Christian?” The question can be answered in many ways, but the richest answer I know is that a Christian is one who has God as Father…Our understanding of Christianity cannot be better than our grasp of adoption…The truth of our adoption gives us the deepest insights that the New Testament affords into the greatness of God’s love. I asked to focus the New Testament message in three words, my proposal would be adoption…

Theologian J.I. Packer claims that our adoption into God’s family is the central litmus test of our spirituality. He writes,

If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father. If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all.”


When my oldest son was six years old I was coaching his soccer team. One evening before practice he and I were kicking a ball and he was trying to score on me. he would shout “daddy, daddy,” and I would throw the ball to him and he would shoot. Soon we were joined by another player names Spencer. I would throw a ball to him and let him try and shoot. They would take turns shooting. All of a sudden Spencer started calling out, “Daddy, daddy” to me and then shooting. But I knew he was not my child, though he called out to me, “daddy, daddy,” he was not one of mine! Many call out to God that he is their “Father,” and claim we are all God’s children. But is this what the Bible teaches?

But some may ask, “Are we not all God’s children?’ and the Scripture answers that, note the  two categories, “By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.”-{1 John 3:10}. There are two distinctive categories, the children of God and the children of the devil and John shows what the evidence is that separates them! Jesus said, “Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word.  You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.  But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me.”-{John 8:43-45}. So “NO” we are Not all God’s children. He created us all, but we are not all His children apart from being born into this new Family and even this is His Gracious, kind act towards us through and only through the merits of Christ . Jesus says, “And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”-{John 6:65}. So we come to Him, because of Him, and in the gift of repentance and faith into His family we enter in having been declared right by Him we stand not in condemnation but in Grace, in the full acceptance of God because of the Lord Jesus and His sacrifice on our behalf to satisfy the righteous and holy  perfect demands of God. God the Father has initiated our salvation and has made us His children and our response is to “PRAISE, BLESS, “Speak well of Him” {Read Eph 1:3-15 and see all He has done for us and His Son and Holy Spirit!}

God undertook for us when we were rebels, spiritually dead in sin, enslaved and He set us free. The depths of love God the Father has gone to show us His love is seen on the cross of His Beloved Son, and now we are no longer strangers , alienated by our sin to God,but sons and daughters of God, by His doing!”But as many as received Him,{The LORD Jesus} to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,“-{John 1:12}. “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are.“- {1 John 3:1}.

So now as His children, sons and daughters we come to His Word to learn something of His Person, character and the Holy Spirit helps us understand and know Him. And the beautiful word “ABBA,” Father is mentioned Three times in the New Testament;

  1. JESUS IN GETHSEMANE’;” And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.”-{Mark 14:36}. Jesus went praying in the Garden before the Cross which was ahead of Him and He address’s God as “Abba! Father” In His time of great distress, temptation, we read in Matthew 26:38-39 ” Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”-  “…And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.”-{Matt 26:38}. Jesus’ last cry was “Father(Abba) into Thy hands I commit my spirit.” And having said this, He breathed His last.” -{Luke 23:46}.The phrase “Abba, Father ” is used in time of great distress and He uses it in time of Prayer! He appeals to Him as “Abba…” In using “ABBA, FATHER” Jesus spoke as a child would speak to their father. It reflects something of the intimacy and trust that characterized His relationship with God.
  2. “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.”-{Rom 8:15}. Note these translations to help understand the beauty of your new position as sons and daughters in this nee relationship with “Abba, father!” -“For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father! (Amplified Bible – LockmanNLT: So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God’s very own children, adopted into his family–calling him “Father, dear Father.” (NLT – Tyndale House)Phillips: Nor are you meant to relapse into the old slavish attitude of fear – you have been adopted into the very family circle of God and you can say with a full heart, “Father, my Father”. (Phillips: Touchstone)”
  3. “Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”-{Gal 4:6}. Paul in writing to the believers who had fallen into legalism, seeking to satisfy God with man made rules had displaced His grace and He writes to warn them and to use truth to cause them to see their error and the glorious work of the Grace of God on their behalf and hear these words of the gracious grace of God towards them. God has sent His Spirit into our hearts and we cry out “Abba, Father!” We call God this most intimate of names, and address Him as our “Abba, Father! “The Spirit of God residing within us leads us into this truth. God is now our Abba Father, and we can come to Him, not cowering in fear, or dread, but respectfully coming with the knowledge He loves us, is for us and cares intimately and sacrificially so as His sending His Son for us shows!


Indeed we read The Father LIKES you. Jesus said “for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father.”-{John 16:27}. The word ” “loves’ is Phileo” which is the word used for a personal affection! It speaks of “a warm, caring, deep, affection,” and this God the Father has for you, because you believe His Son came from the Father and you have a {Phileo} love for His Son. The word is also used in John 11:36 “So the Jews said, “See how He loved [phileo] him.” His response upon seeing Mary and Martha’s pain at he death of Lazarus! He had a personal deep emotional feeling of affection for him! This is what Jesus told the disciples The Father had for them because they too shared in this common interest, namely Him, that they shared in a common interest of deep personal emotional affection for Jesus Christ! It is to say they “Liked Him!”

The Father “LIKES you” and the way it is written grammatically it is a continuous, unbreakable warm, tender and deep emotional affection that He has for you. HE GENUINELY TENDERLY, AFFECTIONATELY… LIKES YOU!

Think and Meditate upon that! You have heard it said and rightfully so, God loves you!” But have you known that God LIKES YOU? How humbling is that for our ego in light of the fact we know something of our own selves and sin tendency. But He likes us because we like His Son. The word used here for “Love” is not the same as John 3:16 “God so LOVED” which speaks of sacrificial love , but the word used here is one of “affection, to like”. God affection is towards you and He likes you!!



God promises believers “I will be a Father to you and you shall be sons and daughters to Me” -{2 Cor 6:18}

“Abba is an Aramaic word which according to the Jewish Talmud, reflects some of the first words an infant learns to say, crying “Abba.” Over time Abba became a word used by adult sons and daughters to address their earthly father and even today in Israel, children often address their father as abba. R. Kent Hughes notes that while “Abba meant something like Daddy, (its use to describe God conveys) a more reverent touch. The best rendering is “Dearest Father.” Harold Hoehner adds that while we as “Believers may address God with the endearing term (Abba) because He is “our Father,” (we) should never use this term in the spirit of unsavory familiarity but with the full acknowledgement of His majesty.” Abba speaks of intimacy, tenderness, dependence, security and confidence in the Father’s loving care. Hughes says the truth “that God is our Abba, Father is one we must cultivate for the sake of our soul’s health.” Indeed, when we can cry “Abba” even on our darkest days, we are saying in essence that we are willing to trust our Father’s heart even when we cannot trace His ways…Abba Father is an eloquence you can use now. It is one which when you cannot speak a word which might move an audience, shall still remain upon your tongue to move the courts of heaven! You shall be able to say, “Abba Father.”-{preceptionaustin}

John MacArthur writes…

Abba is an informal Aramaic term for Father, connoting intimacy, tenderness, dependence, and complete lack of fear or anxiety. Modern English equivalents would be Daddy, or Papa. When Jesus was agonizing in the Garden of Gethsemane as He was about to take upon Himself the sins of the world, He used that name of endearment, praying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for Thee; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what Thou wilt”

“ABBA is transliterated as Abba into English from the corresponding Aramaic word which was used in the everyday language of families as a term addressing one’s father. Children, as well as adult sons and daughters, used Abba when speaking to their fathers. And so Abba conveys a warm, intimate sense just as with our expression “Dear father.” Abba emphasizes the warm, intimate and very personal relationship which exists between the believer and God. In Abba filial tenderness, trust and love find their combined expression.”{preceptaustin}

ABBA…was the word used by a young child to its father; it was an everyday family word, which no one had ventured to use in addressing God. Jesus did. He spoke to His heavenly Father in as childlike, trustful, and intimate a way as a little child to its father.” We know how our children speak to us and what they call us who are fathers. That is the way in which Jesus spoke to God. Even when he did not fully understand, even when his one conviction was that God was urging him to a cross, he called Abba, as might a little child. Here indeed is trust, a trust which we must also have in that God whom Jesus taught us to know as Father.”-{Barclay}

Swindoll explains that…

The Aramaic abba stems from what might be called “baby talk.” According to the Jewish Talmud, when a child is weaned, “it learns to say abba [daddy] and imma[mommy]” (Berakoth 40a; Sanhedrin 70b). In time, the meaning of the word was broadened so that it was no longer a form of address used by little children, but was used by adult sons and daughters as well. The childish character of the word diminished and abba acquired the warm, familiar ring which we may feel in such an expression as “dear father.”


“Adoption gives us the rights of children (Gal 4:567note), regeneration gives us the nature of children (Jn 1:12note): we are partakers of both of these, for we are sons. Nobody can cry, “Abba, Father,” but by the Holy Spirit. They are such heavenly sounds as only the twice-born, the true aristocracy of God, can ever utter, “Abba, Father,” words that even move the heart of the Eternal God (Ge 21:33NIVnote). So, when we are born again, “Our Father, Who art in heaven,” (Mt 6:9note) is a prayer that is never forced upon us, but rises up naturally within the new-born nature; and because we are born again we cry, “Abba, Father.

John Piper adds that “the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to change our slavish fears toward God into confident, happy, peaceful affection for God as our Father…We enjoy emotionally the Fatherhood of God by the testimony of the Spirit. The testimony of the Spirit is not a premise from which we deduce that we are children of God; it is a power by which we delight in being the children of God. Don’t Wait for a Whisper – Look to Jesus! (Isa 45:22KJVnote) If you want to know that you are a child of God, you don’t put your ear to the Holy Spirit and wait for a whisper; put your ear to the Gospel and your eye to the Cross of Christ and you pray that the Holy Spirit would enable you to see it and savor it for what it really is.”

Spurgeon adds that “this sweet word Abba was chosen to show us that we are to be very natural with God, and not stilted and formal. We are to be very affectionate and come close to Him, and not merely say “Pater,” which is a cold Greek word (for father), but say “Abba,” which is a warm, natural, loving word, fit for one who is a little child with God, and feels the freedom to lie in His bosom and look up into His face and speak with holy boldness. Abba is but a babe’s lisping. Oh, how near we are to God when we can use such speech! How dear He is to us and dear we are to Him when we may address Him in this manner, saying, like the great Son Himself, “Abba, Father.” (Mk 14:36note) When we cry “Abba” even our very cries are full of the spirit of adoption. We are satisfied to offer to God words salted with our griefs, wetted with our tears. We can go to Him with holy intimacy and be not afraid to cry in His presence “Abba, Father.” (Abba) implies a fervent cry, not a flippant utterance nor mere words on our lips, but a cry that comes up from the depths of our soul. We cry after Him (Ps 57:2note), our heart and our flesh cry out for God (Ps 34:17notePs 119:145note), for the living God (Ps 42:2notePs 84:2note), and this is the cry “Abba, Father, I must know Thee, I must taste Thy love, I must dwell under Thy wing (Ru 2:12note), I must behold Thy face (Ps 11:7notePs 17:15note), I must feel Thy great fatherly heart overflowing and filling my heart with peace (Ro 15:13note). If an earthly father watches over his children with unceasing love and care, how much more does our heavenly Father? Abba, Father! He who can say this, hath uttered better music than cherubim or seraphim can cry! There is heaven in the depth of Abba! Father! There is all that I need! All that I can ask! All that my necessities can demand! All that my wishes can desire! I have all in all to all eternity when I can say, “Abba! Father!” Our first birth makes us sons of Adam, our second birth makes us sons of God. Born of the flesh, we inherit corruption; we must be born of the Spirit to inherit incorruption. We come into this world heirs of sorrow because we are sons of the fallen man: our new life comes into the new world an heir of glory, because it is descended from the second man, the Lord from heaven.”

“ABBA, Father” speaks of a child, father relationship, “daddy,” or “dearest Daddy” speaks of one of intimacy, family, respect, love, and  indicates the child like trust a child puts in his or her “daddy.”

Thomas Dawsey provides the diagrams below!

Visual Verses - Our Father - Father's Day 2016 550x296