"Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 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.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together." Romans 8:12-17
History and Context:
We have already discussed the history of the Epistle to the Romans in the posts Spirit vs. Flesh and Finding the Mind of Christ. This passage of scripture comes directly after the discussion that we had in Spirit vs. Flesh. Paul describes the conflict which we all have between our spirit, which is redeemed, and our flesh which is not. Then he brings in the solution, that if we walk by the Spirit, there is no condemnation! That solution then leads him to Romans 8:12-17 above.
There are a couple of things I want to point out in this text. First of all it is begun by the continuing the discussion on the battle between our spirit and flesh. He says that those who are led by the spirit of God are the ones called sons, or children, of God. Secondly, let's look at the words "Abba, Father". Abba is an Aramaic word which the translators could not find a nequivalent in English. It expresses more than the English word father. It is actually describes a very close relationship. This is conveys an intimacy that can only be had between a parent and a child. This is the kind of relationship God wants with us. Thirdly, the passage conveys the idea of adoption. This was a huge honor in the Roman culture, because adoption meant you were chosen, hand picked, to be that persons child. God has chosen you! He wants you as his child! Which this desire then brings us to be heirs of God.
The challenge this father's day is simple. While you are taking time to honor your earthly father meditate on this fact: God chose you to be His child! How amazing is that! You are the child of God, you are His heir, and He chose you to be His! Simply meditate on that and what that means. Then find some way to honor him today, because He is also your father.
Lord, on this father's day let me honr you as well as my earthly father. Teach me what it means to be your child and your heir. Thank you so much for choosing me, for picking me to be your child! I love you Father! In Jesus Name, Amen!