—Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.
—Ephesians 1:4-6 (NLT)
Before God made the world, we were chosen to know Him and to have fellowship with Him. But the powerful God who made us was pure and holy, and sin separated us from His presence. God loved us so much that He made a way for us to have an intimate and loving relationship with Him. He sent His dear Son to us—not to condemn us but to save us. (John 3:16-17). When we accept Christ into our hearts, God adopts us as His own.
—And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
—Galatians 4:6-7 (NKJV)
The Holy Spirit within us cries out to God saying, “Abba.” “Abba” is a term of endearment that indicates a deeply loving and intimate relationship with God. The presence of the Holy Spirit within us proves that we are the children of God. God is our Abba Father—our loving “Daddy.” It is a spirit of sonship, and it makes us aware of God’s acceptance and love. Knowing God loves and accepts us is the opposite of feeling we are slaves. The thought of being a slave to God’s judgment creates a sense that we need to earn the privilege to be in His presence. And there is no way to be at peace in the presence of God if we believe His love depends on us being good enough. He loves and accepts and approves of us only because of Jesus.
—For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
—Romans 8:15 (NKJV)
We are no longer under bondage to the law but are now under Grace (Romans 6:14). The law made God our judge but the Grace of Jesus made God our Father. We are no longer slaves to the law which judged us. Christ paid the price for our sins, and now we are the children of God. God desires for us to know Him not as the God who judges but as our Father who loves us. As His adopted children, we don’t need to fear His judgment. He doesn’t want us to live in bondage again to fear and to have a fearful and painful relationship with Him. God longs for us to know that we have the freedom to boldly come to Him in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
God chose us to be His sons and daughters. We have a privileged status of “sonship” because of Christ. The sonship that Christ has given us is found in three ways, and we were created to need these three things—a secure identity, acceptance, and approval. Without these things, we cannot live peaceful lives. But no person can give us a sense of worth. Only in Christ do we find our true worth in God.
When you believe you are not worthy enough, you don’t walk in the Grace of Christ. You try to find your identity, acceptance, and approval in people and circumstances instead of the Beloved Son of God who makes you worthy. The law makes us insecure, but the Grace of Jesus gives us unshakeable security. And Christ is within you crying out that you are no longer slaves to the law, but a child of His Grace.
—To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
—Colossians 1:27 (NKJV)
The love of God has been made known to us in Christ. Christ lives within us, the hope of glory. We receive our identity, our acceptance, and approval from being His and being in Him. As Jesus is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17). When God sees us, He sees the identity of His Son. Just as much as God loves and accepts and approves of His Son, so He loves, accepts, and approves of us. He is our Abba Father.
Who we believe we are in Christ—our identity in Him—our sense of worthiness in Him—makes all the difference between living a defeated or victorious life.
© 2022 Lynn Lacher