11th February 2017 - Josh Mackay
Barabbas was a man who lived in Jerusalem, Judea, around AD29 during the time of the Roman Empire. Barabbas was a troublemaker, a thief and a murderer. The punishment for his crimes was that he had to be crucified; which was a common punishment. This meant that he was to be nailed to a wooden cross until he would die of exhaustion and suffocation. Beyond these details, the Bible does not tell us very much about Barabbas, so the story described below is a realistic interpretation of what may have taken place. Often the Romans would force a criminal to make the cross that they were going to die on. This may have been to cause the criminal some mental suffering to go with the […]
Two cries of Abba Father
The apostle Paul identified and described two distinct cries of ‘Abba! Father!’ that are expressed by Christian believers. The first expression of ‘Abba! Father!’ is motivated by a spirit of adoption. This is the expression of a son of man who has received the faith of God and believes to receive the sonship that God has planned and prepared for them.
The second expression of ‘Abba! Father!’ is made by a person who has been born again of the Spirit. When a person has been born from above by receiving the incorruptible seed of God, the Father sends forth the Spirit of the Son to dwell within their heart. The Spirit of the Son cries out, ‘Abba! Father!’ within the born-again son of God. The Son of God Himself is confessing within them that God is the Father of their spirit.
We learn from Paul that both these expressions of ‘Abba! Father!’ should be the ongoing confession of a Christian believer. The adoption is not simply an interim step in the process of new birth. While adoption is necessary for receiving the Spirit of Christ as a new-born son of God, it is also a fundamental and ongoing element of God’s plan for every believer.
In this regard, we know that the fulfilment of the Everlasting Covenant encompasses both our adoption as sons of men, and our birth from above as sons of God. This is communicated in the final statements of the book of Revelation, when John heard a loud voice from heaven proclaiming, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people … He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.’