Abba! Father!

Read: Ephesians 1:3-6

Last Sunday Pastor Ken preached from 1 Peter 3:7 on the role of husbands in “Healthy Marriages, Part II.” This Sunday Pastor Jason Finley will preach from Ephesians 1:3-6 on our adopted status in Christ as children of God. In our son-ship through Christ, we are wanted by God, we belong to God, and we are representatives of God. As you prepare your heart for our corporate gathering, let these words from John Piper lead you to look intently unto Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.

Heart Preparation

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”
– Romans 8:14-16 –

The Spirit brings about a response in our hearts to the love of God that cries out, “Abba! Father!” The witness of the Holy Spirit that you are a child of God is not a testimony to a neutral heart with no affection for God’s fatherly love so that your neutral heart can draw the logical conclusion that it is a child of God and then try to muster up some appropriate affections. That is not the picture. No. The witness of the Holy Spirit that you are a child of God is the creation in you of affections for God. The testimony of the Holy Spirit IS the cry, “Abba! Father!”

And the reason Paul uses the word “cry” and the Aramaic word “Abba” is because both of them point to deep, affectionate, personal, authentic experience of God’s fatherly love. He didn’t say that the testimony of the Spirit was that we affirm doctrinally that God is father. The devil knows that doctrine. Doctrinal affirmations, as important as they are, don’t make children. What he said was that the testimony of the Spirit that we are God’s children is that from our hearts there rises an irrepressible cry – a cry, not a mere statement, a cry: “Abba! Father!”

We don’t infer logically the fatherhood of God from the testimony of the Spirit. 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.

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. Romans 5:8, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

The testimony of the Spirit is that when we look at cross we cry, “Jesus, you are my Lord!” (1 Corinthians 12:3), and “God, you are my Father!” So look to Christ! Look to Christ!

Excerpt from the sermon, “The Spirit-Led Are the Sons of God,” by John Piper

Song List for Sunday
1. “Oh How Good It Is,” by Keith & Kristyn Getty
2. “Behold Our God,” by Sovereign Grace Music
3. “Before the Throne,” arr. by Shane & Shane
4. “Come Praise and Glorify” by Sovereign Grace Music
5. “Behold the Lamb (Communion Hymn),” by Keith & Kristyn Getty

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