The destination and termination of the teaching and work of Jesus is encounter with the Father
- Jesus radically challenged his disciples natural self-reliance and provoked them into a child-like relationship with God as Father.
- Jesus came and radically taught his followers to use the Hebrew word Abba when talking with God. Roughly translated it means 'daddy' although it would be used by adult and child alike.
- In John 17, the High Priestly prayer is not about church planting or saving souls or healing. It is about knowing the Father. 'This eternal life to know you the only true God.' John 17:3
- Theologians and thinkers throughout history have seen the central importance of this revelation:
- "If the entire bible could be encapsulated in a single sentence it would cry out like the resounding waves of the sea 'the father loves you'". Augustine
- "So much as we see of the love of God, so much shall we delight in him, and no more." John Owen
- "All I want to say to you is you are the beloved and all I hope is that you can hear there words as spoken to you with all the force and tenderness that love can hold." Henri Nouwen
- Yet it is one of the greatest battles of the believer. To go beyond 'knowing about' the love of God to fully encountering it.
- "I have difficulty praying the Lord's Prayer because when I do I think of my own Father who was hard, unyielding and relentless. I cannot help but think of God that way." Martin Luther
- "But this did not just affect Luther; 'if you should ask me to state in one phrase what I regard as the greatest defect in most Christian lives I would say that it is our failure to know God as our Father as we should know Him." Martin Lloyd - Jones
- Paul builds on the foundation that Jesus laid revealing that God's eternal plan was to adopt us into his family.
- Paul most likely is using the Roman rite of adoption to explain that when we come to Christ, we too are adopted into a new family. William Barclay outlined 4 main consequences of the Roman rite of adoption that Paul is alluding to;
b)it followed that he became heir of his father's estate. Even if other sons were born afterwards it did not affect his rights. he was inalienably co-heir with them.
c) in the eyes of the law he was absolutely the son of his new father
- Origin, only the second century fathers and pillars of the Christian faith proposed that their were two ways of knowing God. you could either know him as master or you could know him as father. The first way is called servitude and the second is sonship.
- How do we become adopted?
- You already are! Galatians 4:3 God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba , Father."
- Romans 8:15 "but you received the Spirit of adoption"
- "Justification, the fact that we are forgiven and cleansed from our sin is the foundational blessing of the gospel......but this doctrine of adoption by the work of the Holy Spirit is the highest blessing of the gospel. It's critical that not only do we understand and experience justification, we also go on to experience adoption as sons and daughters of the Father," JL Packer