When God brings us into His family, He not only gives us a new status as His adopted children. He also sends the Holy Spirit into our hearts to give us a new sense of who He is and who we are. In this brief clip, Sinclair Ferguson considers our cry of “Abba, Father.” Learn more in his new teaching series, The Basics of the Christian Life, available now from the Ligonier store.
So, the gospel of Jesus Christ gives us a new status. But we need more than a new status. We need more than a legal transaction taking place. Think about children you may know, or you may even have had children who have been adopted. Especially if they are of a certain age, it takes them some time before they have the instinct of being your children. Isn’t that the case?
I remember a very dear friend, who was a missionary, who had adopted a little girl. This is a wonderful couple who poured themselves into this little girl, but they never seemed to be able to bring her instinctively to call him “Daddy.” And then, I remember that he told me, one day she appeared at his desk with her shoe, a little shoe in her hand, and she spoke the magic words, “Daddy, my lace is broken.” I wanted to say to him, “You would have bought an entire shoe shop for that girl at that point, wouldn’t you?” Because now the instinct was there. The reality was true, but the instinct was not there. This is the wonderful thing that the gospel tells us: that the Father not only brings us into His family and gives us a new status, but He sends His Holy Spirit into our hearts to give us a new sense of who He is and, therefore, who we are. And so you remember in Romans chapter 8, and again in Galatians chapter 4, the Apostle Paul says that we’ve not only been given a new status, but we have received the Spirit of adoptive sonship, and through Him we cry, “Abba, Father.”