Galatians 4:6
And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
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(6) It is because you are sons that you are able to address your Heavenly Father in such genuine accents of filial emotion. It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of Christ which has been given to you in virtue of your adoption. He prompts your prayers.

This verse should be read in connection with Romans 8:15-16, to which it forms a close parallel.

Because.—It is, perhaps, on the whole, best to retain this translation. The conjunction may, however, possibly mean in proof that.”

Abba, Father.—A reduplication of loving entreaty. (See Note on Romans 8:15.) For similar instances of a Greek word being repeated in Aramaic, or an Aramaic word in Greek, we may compare Revelation 9:11 : “The angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon;” Revelation 12:9 : “That old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan.” The Aramaic “Abba” appears in our word “abbot.”

4:1-7 The apostle deals plainly with those who urged the law of Moses together with the gospel of Christ, and endeavoured to bring believers under its bondage. They could not fully understand the meaning of the law as given by Moses. And as that was a dispensation of darkness, so of bondage; they were tied to many burdensome rites and observances, by which they were taught and kept subject like a child under tutors and governors. We learn the happier state of Christians under the gospel dispensation. From these verses see the wonders of Divine love and mercy; particularly of God the Father, in sending his Son into the world to redeem and save us; of the Son of God, in submitting so low, and suffering so much for us; and of the Holy Spirit, in condescending to dwell in the hearts of believers, for such gracious purposes. Also, the advantages Christians enjoy under the gospel. Although by nature children of wrath and disobedience, they become by grace children of love, and partake of the nature of the children of God; for he will have all his children resemble him. Among men the eldest son is heir; but all God's children shall have the inheritance of eldest sons. May the temper and conduct of sons ever show our adoption; and may the Holy Spirit witness with our spirits that we are children and heirs of God.And because ye are sons - As a consequence of your being adopted into the family of God, and being regarded as his sons. It follows as a part of his purpose of adoption that his children shall have the spirit of the Lord Jesus.

The Spirit of his Son - The spirit of the Lord Jesus; the spirit which animated him, or which he evinced. The idea is, that as the Lord Jesus was enabled to approach God with the language of endearment and love, so they would be. He, being the true and exalted Son of God, had the spirit appropriate to such a relation; they being adopted, and made like him, have the same spirit. The "spirit" here referred to does not mean, as I:suppose: the Holy Spirit as such; nor the miraculous endowments of the Holy Spirit, but the spirit which made them like the Lord Jesus; the spirit by which they were enabled to approach God as his children, and use the reverent, and tender, and affectionate language of a child addressing a father. It is that language used by Christians when they have evidence of adoption; the expression of the warm, and elevated, and glowing emotions which they have when they can approach God as their God, and address him as their Father.

Crying - That is, the spirit thus cries, Πνεῦμα Pneuma - κράζον krazon). Compare the notes, Romans 8:26-27. In Romans 8:15 it is, "wherewith we cry."

Abba, Father - See the note at Romans 8:15. It is said in the Babylonian Gemara, a Jewish work, that it was not permitted slaves to use the title of Abba in addressing the master of the family to which they belonged. If so, then the language which Christians are here represented as using is the language of freemen, and denotes that they are not under the servitude of sin.

6. because ye are sons—The gift of the Spirit of prayer is the consequence of our adoption. The Gentile Galatians might think, as the Jews were under the law before their adoption, that so they, too, must first be under the law. Paul, by anticipation, meets this objection by saying, Ye are sons, therefore ye need not be as children (Ga 4:1) under the tutorship of the law, as being already in the free state of "sons" of God by faith in Christ (Ga 3:26), no longer in your nonage (as "children," Ga 4:1). The Spirit of God's only Begotten Son in your hearts, sent from, and leading you to cry to, the Father, attests your sonship by adoption: for the Spirit is the "earnest of your inheritance" (Ro 8:15, 16; Eph 1:13). "It is because ye are sons that God sent forth" (the Greek requires this translation, not "hath sent forth") into OUR (so the oldest manuscripts read for "your," in English Version) hearts the Spirit of His son, crying, "Abba, Father" (Joh 1:12). As in Ga 4:5 he changed from "them," the third person, to "we," the first person, so here he changes from "ye," the second person, to "our," the first person: this he does to identify their case as Gentiles, with his own and that of his believing fellow countrymen, as Jews. In another point of view, though not the immediate one intended by the context, this verse expresses, "Because ye are sons (already in God's electing purpose of love), God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts," &c.: God thus, by sending His Spirit in due time, actually conferring that sonship which He already regarded as a present reality ("are") because of His purpose, even before it was actually fulfilled. So Heb 2:13, where "the children" are spoken of as existing in His purpose, before their actual existence.

the Spirit of his Son—By faith ye are one with the Son, so that what is His is yours; His Sonship ensures your sonship; His Spirit ensures for you a share in the same. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His" (Ro 8:9). Moreover, as the Spirit of God proceeds from God the Father, so the Spirit of the Son proceeds from the Son: so that the Holy Ghost, as the Creed says, "proceedeth from the Father and the Son." The Father was not begotten: the Son is begotten of the Father; the Holy Ghost proceeding from the Father and the Son.

crying—Here the Spirit is regarded as the agent in praying, and the believer as His organ. In Ro 8:15, "The Spirit of adoption" is said to be that whereby WE cry, "Abba, Father"; but in Ro 8:26, "The Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." The believers' prayer is His prayer: hence arises its acceptability with God.

Abba, Father—The Hebrew says, "Abba" (a Hebrew term), the Greek, "Father" ("Pater," a Greek term in the original), both united together in one Sonship and one cry of faith, "Abba, Father." So "Even so ('Nai,' Greek) Amen (Hebrew)," both meaning the same (Re 1:7). Christ's own former cry is the believers' cry, "Abba, Father" (Mr 14:36).

Lest the Jews should claim the adoption as peculiar to them, the apostle tells them that these Gentiles were also sons; and in confirmation of that, he saith, that God had sent

the Spirit of his Son into their hearts: not that the Holy Spirit is not the Spirit of the Father, as well as of Christ; but he calleth him the Spirit of Christ, because he had made adoption the end and fruit of redemption; and redemption is every where made the work of the Son. The apostle saith, Romans 9:4, that the adoption belongeth to the Israelites: the Jews were the first people whom God dignified with the name of his sons, his first-born, Exodus 4:22; and so many of them as believed also received the Spirit, Ezekiel 36:27; but the full effusion of the Spirit was reserved to gospel times, and until the time that Christ ascended, John 7:39 16:7. After which the Spirit was poured out in the days of Pentecost, Acts 2:1-47, whose effects were evident, not only in power to work miracles, and speak with divers tongues, (which were not common to all believers), but also in a variety of spiritual gifts and habits, amongst which this was one, teaching them to cry,

Abba, Father.

Crying, ( it is expounded, Romans 8:15, whereby we cry, that is, through whose influence and working in us we cry), Abba, Father, that is, Father, Father: which not only signifieth the Spirit’s influence upon believers’ words in prayer, first conceived in the heart, then uttered by the lips; but chiefly those habits of grace, by which we pray acceptably; faith and holy boldness, by which we call God Father; zeal and fervency, by which we are importunate with God, and say, Father, Father. Which were now not the privileges of Jews only, but of these Galatians also, who were by nature Gentiles, and strangers to God; and a certain evidence of their concern in the redemption of Christ, and that they also might expect salvation from him.

And because ye are sons,.... That is of God, so some copies read; and the Ethiopic version, "inasmuch as ye are his sons"; not in so high a sense as Christ is the Son of God; nor in so low a sense as all men are his offspring; nor in such sense as magistrates are the children of the most High; nor merely on account of a profession of religion, as the "sons of God" was a phrase very early used of the worshippers of the true God; but by virtue of adoption, and which is not owing to the merits of men, who are by nature children of wrath, but to the free rich sovereign grace of God. It is a privilege and blessing of grace in which all the three persons are concerned. The Father has predestinated to it, and in the covenant has provided and laid it up; he set up his Son as the pattern to which these sons should be conformed, and proposed the glory of his own grace, as the end; by virtue of which act of grace they were considered as the children of God, as early as the gift of them to Christ; and so by him when he partook of their flesh and blood, and died to gather them together who were scattered abroad; see Hebrews 2:13. The Son of God has also an hand in this affair; for through his espousing their persons, they become the sons and daughters of the Lord God Almighty; and through his assumption of their nature they become his brethren, and so to be in the relation of sons to God; through his redemption they receive the adoption of children, and at his hands the privilege, the power itself, to become such. The Spirit of God not only regenerates them, which is an evidence of their sonship, but as a spirit of adoption manifests it to them, works faith in them to receive it, and frequently witnesses to the truth of it; all which show how any come and are known to be the sons of God. This is a privilege that exceeds all others; it is more to be a son than to be a saint; angels are saints, but not sons, they are servants; it is more to be a child of God, than to be redeemed, pardoned, and justified; it is great grace to redeem from slavery, to pardon criminals, and justify the ungodly; but it is another and an higher act of grace to make them sons; and which makes them infinitely more honourable, than to be the sons and daughters of the greatest potentate upon earth; yea, gives them an honour which Adam had not in innocence, nor the angels in heaven, who though sons by creation, yet not by adoption. The consequence, and so the evidence of it, follows,

God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying Abba, Father. The Syriac and Arabic versions read, "our Father"; all the three divine persons here appear, as having a concern in this business, as before observed; here are God and his Son, and the Spirit of his Son, said to be sent; by whom is designed not any work of his upon the heart, nor any of his gifts and graces; but he himself in person, even the same Spirit of God that moved upon the face of the waters at the creation of the world, and moved holy men of God to write the Scriptures; who formed and filled the human nature of Christ, and descended on him as a dove; and by whom Christ and his apostles wrought their miracles; and who is called the Spirit of his Son; as he is frequently by the Jews (g), , "the Spirit of the King Messiah"; and sometimes (h) , "the Spirit of his word", the essential word of God; because he proceeds from him as from the Father, and because he dwells in him, in an eminent manner, as Mediator, and is sent by virtue of his mediation and intercession; and he is the rather mentioned under this character, because adoption proceeds upon the natural sonship of Christ, and is what is the peculiar office of the Spirit to testify. When he is said to be "sent", it does not suppose any local motion or change of place in him, who is a spirit infinite, immense, and omnipresent; nor any inferiority to the Father that sends him, or to the Son whose Spirit he is; for he is one God with the Father and Son, and with the Father is the sender of Christ, Isaiah 48:16, but it regards his peculiar office in this affair of adoption, by agreement of all the three persons; the Father predestinated to it, the Son redeems, that it might be received, and the Spirit is sent to discover, apply, and bear witness to it; which is a wondrous instance of the grace of God. The place where he is sent is "into" the "heart": where he is as a principle of spiritual life, and which he furnishes and supplies with all grace; where he dwells as in his temple, and is the evidence of God's dwelling there, and also of interest in Christ; is there as a pledge and an earnest of future glory; and the whole is a surprising instance of condescending grace. The work he does there is various, and consists of divers parts; as convincing of sin, and righteousness, working faith, and acting the part of a comforter; but what is here referred to, is the discharge of his office as a spirit of adoption, "crying Abba, Father". The word Abba is an Hebrew, or rather a Syriac or Chaldee word, signifying "father"; and which is added for explanation sake; and its repetition may denote the vehemency of filial affection, the strength of faith and confidence as to interest in the relation; and being expressed both in Hebrew and Greek, may show that God is the Father both of Jews and Gentiles, and that there is but one Father of all; and if it might not be thought too curious an observation, it may be remarked that the word "Abba", read backwards or forwards, is the same pronunciation, and may teach us that God is the Father of his people in adversity as well as in prosperity. The act of "crying", though it is here ascribed to the Spirit, yet is not properly his, but the believers; and is attributed to him because he excites, encourages, and assists them as a spirit of adoption to call God their Father; and may be understood both of the secret internal crying of the soul, or exercise of faith on God as its Father, and of an open outward invocation of him as such, with much confidence, freedom, and boldness.

(g) Bereshit Rabba, fol. 2. 4. & 6. 3. Vajikra Rabba, fol. 156. 4. See Gill on Romans 8:9. (h) Targum in 2 Chron. 6.

{3} And because ye are sons, God hath {f} sent forth the {g} Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

(3) He shows that we are free and set at liberty in such a way that in the meantime we must be governed by the Spirit of Christ, who while reigning in our hearts, may teach us the true service of the Father. But this is not to serve, but rather to enjoy true liberty, as it is fitting for sons and heirs.

(f) By that which follows he gathers that which went before: for if we have his Spirit, we are his sons, and if we are his sons, then we are free.

(g) The Holy Spirit, who is both of the Father, and of the Son. But there is a special reason why he is called the Spirit of the Son, that is, because the Holy Spirit seals up our adoption in Christ, and gives us a full assurance of it.

Galatians 4:6. A confirmation of the reality of this reception of sonship from the experience of the readers; for the ἐστέ, which, after the foregoing more general statement, now comes in with its individual application (comp. Galatians 3:26), does not refer to the Galatians as Gentile Christians only (Hofmann), any more than in Galatians 3:26-29.

ὅτι] is taken by most expositors, following the Vulgate, as quoniam (Luther, Castalio, Beza, Calvin, Grotius, Bengel, Semler, Morus, Rosenmüller, Paulus, Olshausen, Baumgarten-Crusius, de Wette, Baur, Hilgenfeld, Ewald, and others). And this interpretation (on ὅτι, because, at the beginning of the sentence, comp. 1 Corinthians 12:15; John 20:29; John 15:19) is the most simple, natural, and correct; the emphasis is laid on υἱοί, which is therefore placed at the end: but because ye are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son, etc. He would not have done this, if ye had not (through the υἱοθεσία) been υἱοί; thus the reception of the Spirit is the experimental and practical divine testimony to the sonship. If not sons of God, ye would not be the recipients of the Spirit of His Son. The Spirit is the seal of the sonship, into which they had entered through faith—the divine σημεῖον attesting and confirming it; comp. Romans 8:16. See also Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 340. Others (Theophylact, Ambrose, Pelagius, Koppe, Flatt, Rückert, Schott) take ὅτι as that, and treat it as an abbreviated mode of saying: “But that ye are sons, is certain by this, that God has sent forth,” etc. (comp. Galatians 3:11). This is unnecessarily harsh, and without any similar instance in the N.T.; modes of expression like those in Winer, p. 575 f. [E. T. 774], and Dissen, ad Dem. de Cor. p. 205, are different. Wieseler takes it as equivalent to εἰς ἐκεῖνο, ὅτι (see on Mark 16:14; John 2:18; John 9:17; John 11:51; John 16:19; 1 Corinthians 1:26; 2 Corinthians 1:18; 2 Corinthians 11:10): “as concerns the reality (ἐστέ is to have the emphasis) of your state as sons.” But this would unnecessarily introduce into the vivid and direct character of these short sentences an element of dialectic reflection, which also appears in Matthias’ view. Hofmann handles this passage with extreme violence, asserting that ὅτι δέ is an elliptical protasis,—the completion of which is to be derived from the apodosis of the preceding period, from ἐξαπέστ. in Galatians 4:4 onward,—that ἐστὲ υἱοί is apodosis, and that the following ἐξαπέστ. κ.τ.λ. is the further result connected with it. In Hofmann’s view, Paul reminds his (Gentile) readers that they are for this reason sons, because God has done that act ἐξαπέστειλεν κ.τ.λ. (Galatians 4:4), and because He has done it in the way and with the design stated in Galatians 4:4 f. This interpretation is at variance with linguistic usage, because the supposed elliptical use of ὅτι δέ does not anywhere occur, and the analogies in the use of εἰ δέ, etc., which Hofmann adduces—some of them, however, only self-invented (as those from the epistles of the apostle, 2 Corinthians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 7:12)—are heterogeneous. And how abruptly ἐξαπέστ. ὁ Θεὸς κ.τ.λ. would stand! But, as regards the thought also, the interpretation is unsuitable; for they are sons, etc., not because God has sent Christ, but because they have become believers in Him that was sent (Galatians 3:26; John 1:12); it is not that fact itself, but their faith in it, which is the cause of their sonship and of their reception of the Spirit; comp. Galatians 3:14. To refer the sending of the Spirit to the event of Pentecost (as Hofmann does), by which God caused His Spirit to initiate “a presence of a new kind” in the world, is entirely foreign to the connection; comp., on the contrary, Galatians 3:2, Galatians 5:14.

ἐξαπέστειλεν ὁ Θεὸς κ.τ.λ.] for it is τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἐκ Θεοῦ, 1 Corinthians 2:12. Observe the symmetry with ἐξαπέστ. κ.τ.λ. in Galatians 4:4. The phrase conveys, in point of form, the solemn expression of the objective (Galatians 4:4) and subjective (Galatians 4:5) certainty of salvation, but, in a dogmatic point of view, the like personal relation of the Spirit, whom God has sent forth from Himself as He sent forth Christ.

τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ] So Paul designates the Holy Spirit, because he represents the reception of the Spirit as the proof of sonship; for the Spirit of the Son cannot be given to any, who are of a different nature and are not also υἱοὶ Θεοῦ. Comp. Romans 8:9. But the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, inasmuch as He is the divine principle of Christ’s self-communication, by whose dwelling and ruling in the heart Christ Himself (comp. on 2 Corinthians 3:17) dwells and rules livingly, really, and efficaciously (Galatians 2:20) in the children of God. See on Romans 8:9; Romans 8:14. Comp. the Johannean discourses as to the self-revelation and the coming of Christ in the Paraclete.

ἡμῶν] The change of persons arose involuntarily from the apostle’s own lively, experimental consciousness of this blessedness. Comp. Romans 7:4.

κράζον] The strong word expresses the matter as it was: with crying the deep fervour excited by the Spirit broke forth into appeal to the Father. Comp. Romans 8:15; also Psalm 22:3; Psalm 28:1; Psalm 30:8; Bar 3:1; Bar 4:20. The Spirit Himself is here represented as crying (it is different in Rom. l.c.), because the Spirit is so completely the active author of the Abba-invocation, that the man who invokes appears only as the organ of the Spirit. Comp. the analogy of the opposite case—the crying of the unclean spirits (Mark 1:26; Mark 9:26).

Galatians 4:6. Sonship involves relations of mutual confidence and love between the Father who bestows His choicest gifts, and the Son who responds with His whole heart.

6. In proof of this, as in ch. Galatians 3:2, St Paul appeals to their own experience. Man by nature does not regard God, much less does he pray to Him, as a father. If the Galatians have “the earnest of the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 1:22; 2 Corinthians 5:5) in their hearts, it is a pledge of their inheritance (Ephesians 1:14), a proof that they are sons of God. Comp. Romans 8:15-16 (where the identity of the words employed is very striking in the original) “For ye did not receive a spirit of bondage again unto fear, but ye received a spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”

sent forth] the same verb which is used in Galatians 4:4. The Father sends forth from Himself the Son and the Spirit.

the Spirit of his Son] ‘A title more strictly adapted to this occasion than any other that could have been employed. We are sons of God, because we have received the same Spirit as His only Son’. Calvin. He is the Spirit of Christ because given to Christ (John 3:34), sent by Christ (John 15:26) witnessing to Christ (Ib.).

crying] A word denoting intense earnestness of supplication. Here it is the Holy Ghost who makes intercession in the believer’s heart (comp. Romans 8:26); in Romans (loc. cit.) the believer himself cries, Abba, Father. There is no contradiction in this, any more than in our Lord’s promise, Matthew 10:20.

Abba, Father] The first word is Aramaic, and means ‘Father.’ In two other passages the same combination is found. From its use in one of these (Romans 8:15) which is parallel to the verse before us, nothing can be inferred as to its origin. But from the other (Mark 14:36), we learn that our Blessed Lord in His agony in Gethsemane used this form of invocation. Why He used it, we cannot say. Certainly the second word was not added by Him (or by the Evangelist) as explanatory of the first. In the repetition of the word, which expressed at once His faith and His filial submission, we have an utterance which baffles our finite exegesis. The anguish of that spotless soul, in the near prospect of the Cross and bowing beneath the load of a world’s sin, found vent in words, the most fitting, yet (as language ever must be) inadequate fully to convey the deepest feelings of the heart. But we observe, 1st, that it was in deep suffering that these words were spoken. Suffering is a mark of Sonship. Comp. Hebrews 5:7-8 ‘Who in the days of His flesh, having offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death … though He was a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered,’ with Hebrews 12:7 ‘If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons: for what son is there whom his father chasteneth not?’ And, 2ndly, the use of a Jewish and a Gentile word in that mysterious and awful cry reminds and assures us that in Him and by His Passion we both, Jews and Gentiles, have access as children unto the Father.

Galatians 4:6. Ὅτι, because) The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the consequence of the condition of sons [their status as sons], the latter does not follow the former.—ἐστε) you are; even you of the Gentiles.—υἱοὶ sons) who are of age, living with the Father on terms of free-born liberty.—Ἀββᾶ ὁ Πατήρ, Abba Father) The Hebrew noun is here delightfully used; comp, Mark 14:36; and the union of the Hebrew and Greek idiom is consonant with the one mixed cry [in prayer] of the Hebrews and Greeks [made one in Christ]. The Hebrew says, Abba, the Greek says, Father, both, Abba, Father; comp. Revelation 1:8.[35] So peace, peace, is redoubled, in like manner, for the Jews and Greeks, Isaiah 57:19. Individuals also no less [than the whole Church] redouble their call upon the name of the Father. This is a pledge of sonship in the New Testament; comp. Matthew 6:9, note.

[35] “I am Alpha and Omega (Greek), the Beginning and Ending” (expressed in Hebrew, א and ת). The Greek and Hebrew are often so conjoined. Or rather it is vers. 7 to which Beng. refers, ναί (Greek), ἀμήν (Hebrew).—ED.

Verse 6. - And because ye are sons (ὅτι δέ ἐστε υἱοί). The apostle is adducing proof that God's people had actually received the adoption of sons; it was because it was so, that God had sent into their hearts the Holy Spirit, imparting that vivid consciousness of sonship which they enjoyed. The fact of the adoption must have been there, to qualify them to be recipients of this divinely inspired consciousness. The affirmation in Romans 8:16, "The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit that we are children of God," closely resembles our present passage; but it is not identical. We are not made sons (the apostle intimates) by the Spirit giving us the consciousness of sonship; but, having been previously made sons, the Spirit raises in our spirits sentiments answering to the filial relation already established. The position of the clause introduced by "because" is like that in 1 Corinthians 12:15, 16. The persons recited by the "ye" are still God's people; not the Galatian believers in particular, except as a portion of the whole Church of God. The apostle puts the thought in this form to bring the truth more strikingly home to their minds. This he does more closely still in the next verse by "thou." But that he has in view God's people as a whole is clear, not only from the whole strain of the context, but also from the phrase, "into our hearts," in the next clause. God hath sent forth (ἐξαπέστειλεν ὁ Θεός); God sent forth. The tense indicates that the apostle does not refer to a sending forth of God's Spirit to each individual believer, parallel to that "sealing" which believers are stated to be subjects of in Ephesians 1:13. This historic aorist, as it does in ver. 4, points to one particular emission - that by which the Comforter was sent forth to take up his dwelling in the Church as his temple through all time (John 14:16, 17; Acts 1:4, 5). The Spirit of his Son. The Spirit which "anointed" Jesus to be the Christ; which throughout animated the God-Man Jesus; which prompted him in full filial consciousness, himself in a certain critical hour with loud outcry (μετὰ κραυγῆς ἰσχυρᾶς, Hebrews 5:7) to call out, "Abba, Father!" The phrase, "his Son," is aetiological; by it the apostle intimates that it was only congruous that the Spirit which had animated the whole life of the incarnate Son should be shed forth upon those who by faith become one with him, and should manifest his presence with them, as well as their union with Christ, by outcome of sentiment similar to that which Christ had expressed. Since the sonship of Christ is here spoken of as if it were not merely antecedent, but also in some way preparatory to the sending forth of the Spirit, it best suits the connection to construe it, not, as in ver. 4, as that belonging to him in his preincarnate state of being, but as that which appertained to him after being "made to be of a woman," and in which his disciples might be considered as standing on a certain footing of parity with him. This harmonizes with the relation which in the Gospels and Acts the sending of the Spirit is represented as holding to his resurrection and ascension. The interpretation above given in one point presupposes the apostle's knowledge of the story of the agony in the garden, when, according to St. Mark (Mark 14:36), Jesus himself used the words, "Abba. Father." This presupposition is warranted, not only by the probabilities of the case, but also by what we read in Galatians 5:7 of the Epistle to the Hebrews, Pauline, certainly, if not actually St. Paul's. We have to add that the Gospels not only make repeated mention of our Lord as addressing the Supreme Being by the compellative of "Father," but also represent him as constantly speaking of God as bearing that relation both to himself and to his disciples. This mode of designating the Almighty was characteristic in the highest degree of Jesus, and up to that time, so far as appears in the Scriptures, unknown. The manner in which the apostle here speaks of the "sending forth" of the Spirit in close proximity to the mention of the "sending forth" of the Son, strongly favours the belief that he regarded the Spirit, as being also a personal agent. In Psalm 104:30 we have in the Septuagint "Thou wilt send forth (ἐξαποστελεῖς) thy Spirit, and they will be created." In Psalm 43:3 and Psalm 57:3 God is implored to "send forth [ἐξαπόστειλον, Septuagint] his light and his truth," "his mercy and his truth;" these being poetically personified as angelic messengers. Into your hearts (εἰς τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν). But this reading of the Textus Receptus is, by recent editors, replaced by the reading, εἰς τὰς καρδίας ἡμῶν, into our hearts, the other reading being regarded as a correction designed to conform this clause with the words, "ye are sons," in the preceding one. In both cases the apostle has in his view the Church of God viewed generally. His putting "our" here instead of "your" was probably an outcome of his feeling of proud gladness in the thought of his own happy experience. A precisely similar change in the pronoun, attributable probably to the same cause, is observable in the remarkably analogous passage in Romans 8:15, "Ye received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but ye received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." Crying (κράζον); crying out aloud. The word expressing loud utterance betokens in this case undoubting assurance. No faint whisper this of an inner consciousness, shy, reticent, because afraid to assure itself of so. glorious, so blissful a relation; no hesitating half-hope; it is a strong, unwavering conviction, bold, though humbly bold, to thus address the all-holy Supreme himself. The "cry" is here attributed to the Spirit himself; in Romans 8:15 to believers, these being the Spirit's organs of utterance; presently after in the Romans, vers. 26, 27, the Spirit himself is said to "intercede with groanings which cannot be uttered ... . according to the will of God." Analogously, in the Gospels, evil spirits in demoniacs at times are said to "cry out" (Mark 1:26; Mark 9:26), while in other passages the cry is attributed to the possessed person. Abba, Father (Ἀββᾶ ὁ Πατήρ). In addition to Romans 8:15, just cited, the same remarkable words are found once only besides, in Mark 14:36, as uttered by our Lord in the garden. St. Luke (Luke 22:42) gives only "Father" (Πάτερ); St. Matthew (Matthew 26:39, 42), "my Father" (Πάτερ μου: in ver. 39, however, νου is omitted by Tischendorf, though he retains it in ver. 42). St. Matthew, by adding μου to Πάτερ here, which he does not add in Matthew 11:25, 26, seems to indicate that the form of address which our Lord then employed bespoke more than usual of fervency or of intimacy of communion. According to Furst ('Concordance'), "Abba," אַבָּא, occurs frequently in the Targums "sensu proprio et honorifico;" in the Jerusalem Targum taking the form "Ibba," אִבָּא. In consequence, we may assume, of the "honorific" complexion of this form of the word, it was in Chaldee the form usually employed in compellation, or for the vocative. The hypothesis that either the Divine Sneaker, or the Evangelist Mark, or the Apostle Paul, added ὁ Πατὴρ as an explanatory adjunct to the Aramaic "Abba," for the benefit of such as might need the explanation, is resisted

(1) by the threefold recurrence of the conjoined phrases in just the same form;

(2) by the absence of any such intimation of a translation as we find given in other passages where an Aramaic word is explained, as in Mark 5:41; Mark 7:11, 34; John 1:38, 41, 42; John 20:16; Acts 9:36;

(3) by the addition of ὁ Πατὴρ being made by St. Paul in the Romans, when writing with a glowing ardour of strong feeling wholly repugnant to the didactic calmness of a translational gloss: he does not pause to add such a gloss to "Maranatha" in 1 Corinthians 16:22, where it would seem to be much more called for. The apparently nominatival form of ὁ Πατὴρ lends no countenance to this view, as is shown by the comparison of Matthew 11:26, ναί ὁ Πατήρ: Luke 8:54, 41 ἡ παῖς, ἔγειρε: and in the Septuagint, Psalm 8:1, 9, Κύριε ὁ Κύριος ἡμῶν: Psalm 7:1, Κύριε ὁ Θεός μου. Another hypothesis that the twofold compellative was meant to intimate that God was now Father alike to Jewish believers and to Gentile, is wrecked upon its occurrence in St. Mark. The present writer ventures to surmise that the conjoined phrase originated thus: The Lord Jesus, being wont very commonly to substitute for the name "God" the designation of "Father," may be supposed to have used for this designation the word "Abba" as the honorific form of the Chaldaic noun for "father," in much the same way as the Jews regularly substituted the noun Adonai, an honorific form of Adonim, "lord," or "master," for the unutterable tetragrammaton, יהוה. Instead of Adonai, Christ (it may be supposed) customarily employed the word "Abha," as an almost proper name of the Supreme Being. When our Lord had occasion to apply the word "Father" as a common noun to God, whether in addressing him or in speaking of him, we may infer firm the Peshito-Syriac Version of Mark 14:36 that he added another form of the same original noun "Abj," or "Obj," instead of or in addition to "Abba." The Πάτερ of Luke 22:42 may have been used to represent "Abba;" St. Matthew's Πάτερ μου to represent "Abj" or "Obj." The use of "Abba, ὁ Πατὴρ by believers, probably quite an exceptional use, was adopted, both as a conscious reminiscence of Christ's utterance in the garden - they, by conjoining themselves thus with their Lord, pleading, as it were, his Name as their warrant for claiming this filial relation with the Most High - and also as an intensely emphatic description of God's fatherhood, by conjoining together the almost proper name denoting his general fatherhood by which (supposably) Christ was used to designate God, and the common noun by which Christ's disciples had by him been taught to address him in prayer, and which embodied their sense of his especial fatherhood to those who serve him. The apostle is not to be understood as intimating that the Holy Spirit does actually produce in every heart in which he dwells the definite consciousness of sonship. It is enough for his purpose that the nisus, the endeavour and tendency of his spiritual operation, is in all cases in that direction, though through slackness on their own part so many Christians fail of conquering for themselves the full possession of their inheritance. But, however, we need not (he implies)go back to Mosaic ceremonialism to seek there for our assured sonship. We have it already here - here, in Christ, and in the indwelling presence of his Spirit. Galatians 4:6

Because ye are sons (ὅτι)

For ὅτι in this sense at the beginning of a clause see Romans 9:7; 1 Corinthians 12:15; John 15:19; John 20:29. The emphasis is on sons. The spirit would not be given is ye were not sons. Others take ὅτι as demonstrative, as a proof that ye are sons; but examples of such usage are wanting. It is not a proof of the fact of sonship that the apostle is giving, but a consequence of it. Comp. Romans 8:16, where the witness of the Spirit attests the sonship.

The Spirit of his Son

The Holy Spirit which animated Jesus in his human life, and which, in the risen Christ, is the life-principle of believers. See 1 Corinthians 15:45, and comp. Romans 8:9-11. The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Christ, Romans 8:9, Romans 8:10, where Paul uses Spirit of God, Spirit of Christ and Christ as convertible terms. The phrase Spirit of Jesus Christ only Philippians 1:19. In John 3:34 Christ is represented as dispensing the Spirit. He is fully endowed with the Spirit (Mark 1:10; John 1:32): he sends the Spirit from the Father to the disciples, and he is the burden of the Spirit's testimony (John 15:26; John 16:7, John 16:9, John 16:10, John 16:15). The Paraclete is given in answer to Christ's prayer (John 14:16). Christ identifies his own coming and presence with those of the Spirit (John 14:17, John 14:18). Paul identifies him personally with the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:17).

Our hearts

Note the interchange of persons: we might receive, ye are sons, our hearts. Comp. Romans 7:4.

Crying (κρᾶζον)

A strong word, expressing deep emotion. The verb originally represents the sound of a croak or harsh scream; thence, generally, an inarticulate cry; an exclamation of fear or pain. The cry of an animal. So Aristoph. Knights, 1017, of the barking of a dog: 285, 287, of two men in a quarrel, trying to bawl each other down: Frogs, 258, of the croaking of frogs. This original sense appears in N.T. usage, as Matthew 14:26; Matthew 15:23; Matthew 27:50; Mark 5:5, etc., and is recognized even where the word is used in connection with articulate speech, by adding to it the participles λέγων, λέγοντες saying, or διδάσκων teaching. See Matthew 8:29; Matthew 15:22; Mark 3:11; John 7:28, etc. In Mark 10:47 the inarticulate cry and the articulate utterance are distinguished. At the same time, the word is often used of articulate speech without such additions, as Mark 10:48; Mark 11:9; Mark 15:13, Mark 15:14; Luke 18:39; Acts 7:60; Acts 19:34; Romans 8:15. It falls into more dignified association in lxx, where it is often used of prayer or appeal to God, as Judges 3:9, 15; 4:3; 6:7; Psalm 21:2, 5; 27:1, 54:16; and in N.T., where it is applied to solemn, prophetic utterance, as Romans 9:27; John 1:15, and is used of Jesus himself, as John 7:28, John 7:37; John 12:44, and of the Holy Spirit, as here. The Spirit gives the inspiration of which the believer is the organ. In Romans 8:15 the statement is inverted. The believer cries under the power of the Spirit.

Abba, Father

Comp. Mark 14:36; Romans 8:15. Ὁ πατήρ the Father, is not added in order to explain the Aramaic Abba for Greek readers. Rather the whole phrase Ἁββά ὁ πατήρ had passed into the early Christian prayers, the Aramaic title by which Christ addressed his Father (Mark 14:36) being very early united with the Greek synonym. Such combinations of Hebrew and Greek addresses having the same meaning were employed in rabbinical writings. Comp. also Revelation 9:11; Revelation 12:9.

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