Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Abba Father

Temple Baptist Church - 7-15-2009

Galatians 4:6


A. The words “Abba Father,” which reference God the Father, are found only three times in the New Testament. I find both the term and the meaning of great interest.

Mark 14:36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

Romans 8:15 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.

Galatians 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

B. In each of these three verses, we find that “Abba Father” is used in the context of trials and fears. In crying, we find adversity. “Man that is born of woman is of few days, and full of trouble.” (Job 14:1)

1. In Mark 14:36, Our Lord Jesus Christ—when facing Calvary—asked for the removal of the cup of sin while bowing to the will of the Father with the word “nevertheless.” First mention dictates the proper meaning of the word.

2. In Romans 8:15, the word “cry” means to call aloud or to scream. It implies the cry of one in trouble or sorrow.

3. In Galatians 4:6, the word “crying” is once again used signifying the inner desire for deliverance from this world.

C. I want to look at the words closely in order to determine their meaning and then give some practical thoughts concerning their use in our lives as God’s children.

D. The word “Abba” means father in the Aramaic. Aramaic is a Semitic (pertaining to both Jews and Arabs but mainly applied to the Jews in our day) language with a 3,000-year history. It has been the language of administration of empires and the language of divine worship. It was the day-to-day language of Israel in the Second Temple period (539 BCE – 70 CE), the original language of large sections of the biblical books of Daniel and Ezra, likely to have been the mother tongue of Jesus of Nazareth and is the main language of the Talmud.

E. Thus we find that Abba Father literally means Father Father. I have heart of some who said it could be compared to our words “Daddy” or “Papa.” Though these terms of endearment that we use for our earthly fathers are wonderful, they are neither right nor respectful when referencing our heavenly Father.

F. “Father Father” does not carry the same meaning as Abba Father.

1. Strong's defines "Abba" as Aramaic for "father."

2. Easton's Bible Dictionary says of "Abba":
This Syriac or Chaldee word is found three times in the New Testament (Mark 14:36; Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6), and in each case is followed by its Greek equivalent, which is translated "father." It is a term expressing warm affection and filial confidence. It has no perfect equivalent in our language. It has passed into European languages as an ecclesiastical term, "abbot."

3. The New Bible Dictionary adds, "It appears that the double phrase was common in the Greek-speaking church, where its use may well have been liturgical." "Daddy," then, would not be a suitable substitute for "Father" or "Abba" when referring to God.

G. “Abba Father,” far from being a colloquialism such as “Daddy” or “Papa,” is an emphatic form of the word “father.” We would find its equivalent in English as “O Father.”

H. Now we notice that “Abba Father” is reciprocal. When we speak of our Heavenly Father, we say, “Abba.” Capitalized toward him. When He looks back at us it is “abbA.” Lower case towards us. It is the same way when a son looks at his father and then the father looks back towards the son. The love is the same but the respect factor is rightly placed.

I. I want to look at some things that I find in that First Mention as Christ faced Calvary that can be applied to us. “Abba Father” has been called the “portal to the heart of God.”

1. I Find In Abba Father Relationship – we have the same relationship and rights as Jesus Christ had with the Father. In Abba Father we find the vehemence of filial affection! “O Father!” As God is our Father, He is Father of His people.

a. Jesus Christ had a special, personal relationship with God the Father. It was not just casual or simply an acquaintance. It was near and dear to the heart of Christ and God the Father.

2 Peter 1:17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

b. What love the Father had for His Son and what Love His Son had for Him!

Romans 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2. I Find In Abba Father Reverence – one of the major problems with the end-time churches is that of a lack of reverence.

a. Many bring God down to the level of being their buddy. I know that His name is Jesus, Jesus Christ, etc., but He is the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord Jesus Christ never called God the Father “Daddy” or “Papa!” Though He was equal with God the Father, He reverenced Him.

b. God the Father has given to Him a name above all other names and He is to reverenced.
Hebrews 12:28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:

3. I Find In Abba Father Reliance – It is an exercise in faith that finds our Lord praying to God in the garden. As He sweat as it were great drops of blood, God the Son relied upon God the Father for the strength for the task ahead. Our Lord Jesus Christ could do all things by Himself. He stilled the storm, raised the dead, healed the sick, made the lame to walk, gave sight to the blind, cleansed the lepers, fed the thousands, cleansed the Temple, and the list goes on—but here He cried Abba Father saying, “All things are possible unto thee.” There are many things that we can and do alone but there are times when only God can fill our needs of impossibility!

a. It does us well at this point to remember that our Lord got tired, hungry, and thirsty just as we do. Spiritually, He was and is God Almighty. Fleshly, He was the Seed of the woman in all of flesh’s frailty.

b. Our strength and courage to go on comes through our relationship with Abba Father.

Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

4. I Find In Abba Father Resignation - Our cry is too often: Lord, I do not want this! Lord, I do not think that I need this! Lord, I do not deserve this! Lord, You can do all things! You can remove this valley if You will.

a. Our Lord Jesus Christ bowed to the will of Abba Father – He knew that His loving heavenly Father would always do both what was best and right.

Mark 14:36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

b. We are to bow to the will of our Abba Father – He loves us and knows best!

Romans 8:28-32 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. 31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

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