“And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’”
~Galatians 4:6 (NRSV)
Parental perspectives dominate in life. Our perceptions of life are heavily dependent on how we were brought up, and how we interact with family. Our parents have been keys regarding our wellbeing. Mothers and fathers, alike, no matter how good they were or are, have marked us. We are the people we are, today, because of parental influence or lack thereof.
A wondrous component of and provision for faith, it is then, that we have a Parent in Heaven. Our Father, in spite of earthly models differing, is perfect.
Our Father in Heaven—a phrase we ought to address many of our prayers by—is the image of God as parent. By Jesus Christ—the Son—we have a relationship with this Heavenly Parent. And by the Spirit of the Son we have it.
All three members of the Trinity are involved. It is because of the Son that we have the Spirit and the Spirit convicts us and compels us to feel we are sons and daughters of God the Father. This is because it is true.
It is because we can call on our Father in Heaven that we have every reason for peace as sons and daughters, and Heirs of the Promise.
But let us focus on the filial aspects of being sons and daughters to a comforting, perfect Father.
Feeling As Sons And Daughters
The apostle Paul deliberately used paternal names in two languages to convey God the Father as Heavenly Parent—“Abba” from Aramaic, and “Father” in Koine Greek (the language of the New Testament).
It isn’t the same to believe in God, and to practice worship and prayer aright, and to know and do godly things, and yet, feel as sons and daughters.
To feel as a son or daughter of God is the final frontier in our redemption under grace.
To accept what the Son has done—Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection for our salvation—for me and for you—is to agree that God has redeemed us as sons and daughters. The Spirit confirms this. To know the Spirit, for the Spirit to inhabit us, is to be a child of God.
When we think of parental perfection we should think of God. For all the mistakes our parents made, and all the mistakes we make as parents, all this is compensated for by the parenting of God. We ought to feel as sons and daughters of the Most High.
Imagine this for a moment... Selah
We ought to feel privileged. Despite our notions of human parenthood, we can afford to indulge in visions most intimate and personal of the Father’s perfect parenthood.
When We Need Comfort
Being sons and daughters of the Father we have access to be comforted.
As any effective parent does, the Father comforts us in our distress. The Holy Spirit is the one that conveys us to the Father’s holy court. When we need comfort or encouragement or even a goad the Father is there. In the Son, the Father completes us.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.