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Having a loving father makes all the difference

Columbia Biblical Studies: Friday, February 21
Columbia Biblical Studies: Friday, February 21
George Hodan

Today’s bible study is Romans 8:15: 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.’

What a difference the Spirit who received us makes! Would we be a slave or a son? What a vast difference there is. But, before we jump to any incredible conclusions, let us take a look at the Spirit that received us. This is the Spirit of God, of our heavenly Father. It is not simply the spirit of goodness or nature, but the Spirit of God.

And the Spirit of God does not make us slaves. Being slaves carries the connotation of servitude, lack of freedom, ill treatment and hard work. It even suggests something less than full personhood and gull existence. But God, in His loving acceptance, has not made us slaves. Yes, He does expect us to work, to believe, to be faithful followers and servants. But never will we become ensnared in slavery. God does not shackle His children. He does not hold them in bondage. He does not sell them at the market like a horse or a piece of meat. He loves each and every one of us and, while God will never impose the rigors of slavery on children of His kingdom, We will walk proudly in the shadow of the Spirit, never dragging the chains of slavery.

So, we need never fear. We need never fear being led back into slavery as our people once were so long ago. We will never be sold, bartered, owned, mistreated and overworked. We will have the full approbation of sonship as sons and daughters of our heavenly Father. Sonship implies love, unconditional love and acceptance. It suggests a loving father who will guide us, teach us direct us, pick us up when we fall, lead us in the right direction and, literally and figuratively, be the training wheels on our spiritual bicycles. He will never leave us unprotected or alone to struggle without help. He will always be there, revered, esteemed, praised and loved. He will always welcome each of us as His child and never forsake us or let us be given into slavery.

So now we cry, ‘Abba, Father!’ This is not terribly different than a little child calling ‘Daddy!’ and running toward his father with eyes aglow and arms spread wide. And that is exactly what God wants each of us to do. He wants us to come to Him as little children, trusting in his wisdom, firm in his love, established in His grace and subject to Hid holy will. He wants us to run toward Him with our eyes aglow and our arms spread wide to be grasped in a loving hug, sheltered by strong arms, pressed against the strength of our Father in heaven.

References: The People’s New Testament Commentary by M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock and The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur.

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