For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba…
We are not merely criminals unwhipped of justice, but since Christ has met the demands of the law for us we are entirely acquitted; and then there is implanted in us, by the Holy Spirit, the sweet, glad consciousness of sonship.
I. Therefore THE COWERING FEARFULNESS OF SIN IS SUPPLANTED BY A LOVING FILIALNESS. Very beautiful is that word, "Abba" just here. It is a little up-thrusting of the Apostle's mother tongue. Though we be adepts in any other language, the speech we use to express overflowing feeling is always that which we learned at our mother's knee. And there is such a swell and throb of filialness in the apostle's heart toward the heavenly Father, that even though he must immediately translate it, there is no word to tell his consciousness of his close, free sonship but the word that used to be prattle on his lips when he was a child. So swept away is the bad fear which comes from sin, so dear and deep is his sense of a holy familiarity with God, that the only word that can in the least even shadow it forth is the nursery word back there in Tarsus, Abba.
1. How easy prayer is to a God, who thus reinstating us in sonship, will allow from us such address.
2. How "in everything" (Philippians 4:6) may we make request of Him.
II. THERE IS SUCH A THING AS AN ASSURANCE OF THIS SONSHIP. "The Spirit itself beareth witness."
III. BEING THUS ADOPTED INTO SONSHIP WE ARE HEIRS OF GOD AND JOINT-HEIRS WITH CHRIST. Then —
1. I have title to illimitable Divine possession.
2. I may dismiss fear that I shall fail to enter upon my unimaginable wealth.
IV. SUCH ADOPTION DOES NOT PRECLUDE THE NECESSITY OF DISCIPLINE, It compels it rather. For so great a destiny and glory I must be prepared. But there is this infinite solace under chastisement — it is not punitive; it is educative. Its intention is to fit me for the splendid destiny God intends for me. It is thus quite possible to be glad and thankful for my pain.
(Wayland Hoyt, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.