After that summer night, in the following weeks, to my delight and astonishment, I realized that I had entered into a new and real relationship with God. He was there! I knew Him! Not as a result of any mystical effort on my part, but as a result of the abundance of grace given to me through Jesus! I knew my prayers were now being spoken to Him, the living God, and not to the walls or ceiling anymore. The words of the Bible became living words that told me about God and about myself. And as those who know Jesus Christ have experienced over and over to their amazed joy, I felt the very Spirit of God confirm in my heart that I was His beloved child and He was my loving Father. I knew God! It was incredible! I finally knew Him in the closeness and reality I had always desired.
In Romans 8:14-16, Paul wrote,
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
Years ago Michael Card and John Thompson wrote the song, El Shaddai. Some of the Hebrew names for God from the Old Testament are used in the words. In 1993 I wrote an additional set of lyrics because now we are able to call God, Abba! Father!
Through our lives in all Your ways,
You are cause for ceaseless praise.
You will make us like Your Son,
‘Til our race of faith is won.
El shaddai, el shaddai,
Abba! Father! now we cry.
In you our trust shall lie,
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The word Abba is a transliteration of an Aramaic word. W. E. Vine has this definition:
ABBA (Αββα) is an Aramaic word, found in Mark 14:36; Rom 8:15 and Gal 4:6. In the Gemara
(a Rabbinical commentary on the Mishna, the traditional teaching of the Jews) it is stated that
slaves were forbidden to address the head of the family by this title. It approximates to a
personal name, in contrast to “Father,” with which it is always joined in the NT. This is probably
due to the fact that, abba having practically become a proper name, Greek-speaking Jews added
the Greek word patēr, “father,” from the language they used. Abba is the word framed by the lips
of infants, and betokens unreasoning trust; “father” expresses an intelligent apprehension of the
relationship. The two together express the love and intelligent confidence of the child.
W. E. Vine, Old Testament Edited by F. F. Bruce, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and
New Testament Words, 1981, Vol. 1, p. 9.
Original content: Copyright ©2010 Iwana Carpenter