Our God has many natures. God of creation, God of the covenant, God the all-powerful. God with us – Immanuel, God the Redeemer, and God of salvation. All of these reveal his nature as a loving God with our best interests in mind for His Kingdom.
But perhaps a nature of God that sometimes gets lost in the theological discussion is God the Father. His other natures, while great, show who He is and what He’s done for us. But Father, or Abba, shows something different. In light of Abba, we see how He relates to us. Abba is an Aramaic word that would translate roughly to “dad” or “daddy” – it shows the intimate relationship that God our Father wants to have with us.
In Romans 8:15, we see that in His nature as Father, God wants to adopt us into His Kingdom. “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” In Galatians 4:6, a similar sentiment is given: “Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’”
This relationship He wants is extraordinary. Imagine a man in prison for crimes against a king. The king of the city decides to pay the man’s debt at no cost to the prisoner. That’s where the Gospel stops for some people, but there is so much more. The king not only allows the man out of the prison cell but invites him to his castle to live there. The prisoner arrives feeling happy about what’s being done for him and his fortunate turn of events. But the king isn’t done with his offer yet. He then tells the prisoner he wants to adopt him into his family, as an heir, as a legal son, with no requirements. This is God’s nature as Father and this is the intimate relationship that God desires with us as Abba. He does not want to be a distant king – He wants to be an approachable Father.
God has created every person with dignity, purpose, and value. As we see in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” God desires for us to love the fatherless, as well as the orphan and the widow. There are numerous Psalms on the topic, but there is a passage from Deuteronomy I love: “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.”
I used to be one of those fatherless children. This September is the 27th anniversary of my adoption that was handled through Lutheran Family Service, and I can speak confidently to the fact that they are doing God’s will. Through the services they provide, fatherless children find loving Christian homes. Scared mothers with nowhere else to turn are being comforted. New parents are blessed to be able to raise children in faith. Hope is secured. Earthly parents imitate the same love, grace, and forgiveness that our heavenly Father has for us. Adoption is an extension of the Gospel.
“Every Christian is to become a little Christ. The whole purpose of becoming a Christian is simply nothing else.” That’s a quote from my favorite book, Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. There are many ways to be an extension of Christ; adoption is one of my favorites.
If you work at Lutheran Family Service, thank you. If you support this wonderful organization, thank you. If you pray for this wonderful organization, thank you. If you are looking to adopt from this wonderful organization, thank you. And if you’re unsure where to go next with your unborn child, there is a wonderful organization I’d love to tell you about.
A man who entered the world with zero fathers, but now delights in his earthly and heavenly Father every day.