Dearest Dad!

Read: Romans 8:12-17

But you have received the Spirit of adoption . . . (v. 15)

British royalty provides endless fascination for many with its pomp, formality, and tabloid stories. I find their titles of nobility intriguing. Prince Charles has 20! If you or I addressed him, we’d use words like His Royal Highness, Prince of Wales, or Earl of Chester. But what do William and Harry call him? Dad. No matter their current relationships, they will always be known as sons of royalty.

Likewise, the Triune God is worthy to be called many titles the Bible uses: Creator, God Almighty, Alpha and Omega, to name a few. But Jesus taught us to address God as he did: “Our Father . . .” (Matt. 6:9). In Romans 8:15, Paul made it more personal: “Abba! Father!” Abba is more like “dear Dad!” The Spirit of adoption who dwells in us gives us a new identity. We will always be the earthly children of human parents. But in Christ we will forever be known as children of the Most High God who wants us to call him “dearest Dad.”

This has two implications. First, our identity as God’s children will never leave us. “The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable” (Rom. 11:29). The son in Luke 15 who wandered far from his father’s home never ceased to be his son. Second, we are heirs to an eternal kingdom. Jesus did not keep the inheritance for himself. Through our adoption, we are “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:17). How will you live differently as a joint-heir with Jesus? —Jon Opgenorth

As you pray, speak to God as your true heavenly dad.

About the Author

jon opgenorth

Rev. Jon Opgenorth serves as president of Words of Hope. Previously, he served for 18 years as senior pastor at Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa. In preparation for ministry, he received a BA in Religion from Northwestern College, and an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary.