One of the most stunning realities in the Bible is that the God of the whole universe calls his people his children. Though we have all turned against him in sin, he not only stoops down to bring salvation (at great cost to himself), he goes much further—lifting those he saves to the heights of honour and privilege as the adopted members of his own family. He simply asks us to stop running away and come, like children running back into the arms of a loving father. As Paul says in Galatians 4:6, “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, ‘Abba, Father.’” When Charles Spurgeon preached on this verse, he took time to focus on one word in particular: “crying”—a word that shows the intimacy and security of how the children of God relate to their Father. This is what he said:
“Note that it is a cry. If we obtain audience with a king we do not cry, we speak then in measured tones and set phrases; but the Spirit of God breaks down our measured tones, and takes away the formality which some hold in great admiration, and he leads us to cry, which is the very reverse of formality and stiffness. When we cry, we cry, “Abba”: even our very cries are full of the spirit of adoption. A cry is a sound which we are not anxious that every passer-by should hear; yet what child minds his father hearing him cry? So when our heart is broken and subdued we do not feel as if we could talk fine language at all, but the Spirit in us sends forth cries and groans, and of these we are not ashamed, nor are we afraid to cry before God. I know some of you think that God will not hear your prayers, because you cannot pray grandly like such-and-such a minister. Oh, but the Spirit of his Son cries, and you cannot do better than cry too. Be satisfied to offer to God broken language, words salted with your griefs, wetted with your tears. Go to him with holy familiarity, and be not afraid to cry in his presence, “Abba, Father.”
Isn’t that beautiful? If you would like to read the rest of his sermon, you can find it here.