By the grace of God and through our obedience to the good news of salvation in Christ Jesus, we have been brought into the family of God. He has entered into covenant relationship with us — He is our God, and we are His people (Hebrews 8.10). Through Christ He has adopted us to be His people and has sent His Holy Spirit to live within us, bearing witness with our spirits that we are His children whereby we cry out Abba, Father! (Romans 8.15-16).
In Jewish households, servants were not allowed to use the word Abba to address the head of the family. That term was reserved exclusively for the children. In Romans 8, Paul’s use of the term is intended to convey to us just how deeply the spirit assures us that we are indeed children of the Most High God — our heavenly Father.
…those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry Abba, Father! The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory (Romans 8.14-17).
Because He is our heavenly Father, God loves us with a very special love — a fatherly love. He calls us His chosen people, holy and dearly beloved (Colossians 3.12). He refers to us as a people for His own possession (1 Peter 2.9). Prophesying centuries before the event of the cross, Zephaniah revealed the joy God would have with His redeemed and reconciled children. He will take great delight in you…will rejoice over you with singing (Zephaniah 3.17). God delights in us because we are His very own!
In Psalm 103.11, David describes God’s fatherly love with these words: For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him. Just as His ways are higher than the earth (Isaiah 55.8-9), so His love for His own is as high as the heavens are above the earth. Just as His wisdom, like the height of the heavens, cannot be measured, neither can His love for us be measured! It is marvelously infinite. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8.38-39).