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For much of my Christian life, I struggled to see God for who He really is.

I thought of Him as my “Master.” That made me believe and feel like He only put up with me, but He didn’t really like me; He only tolerated me because of the fact that I had received Jesus. But every time I failed, or made a mistake, it seemed that God Almighty angrily yelled, “I’m going to kill you!”

But then Jesus would fervently intercede, “The blood! The blood, Father!”

“Oh, I almost forgot,” God would say as He stayed His hand of execution.

Have you ever noticed that when Jesus came, He did not just call God His “Father,” but rather, in the Greek text, it is the word “Abba-Father” taken from The Hebrew/Aramaic word for “Father”. (Mark 14:36) This is an affectionate term for addressing your Father used by a more mature child. It would be used by a child who was around 13 or 14 years of age and knew his or her father’s status, character, and power. 

Praise God that’s changed! I now know that our Abba-Father deeply loves and actually cares for us. But as long as we see Him only as “Master,” we can’t experience Him any other way. Many Christians today are still trapped in that old Master-slave mentality. Even though a slave may know the status, character, and power of his master, only a son or daughter can call Him “Abba.”

The Greek word for “master” comes from a combination of two other words: the first one meaning “to be the pilot or the steer man of a ship” and “to be the governor or the guide; to be lord.” Jesus is our Lord, but He doesn’t treat us like a slave-driving master!

“Henceforth I call you not servants; for a servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” (John 15:15)

The second Greek word means “to exercise lordship” or “to be down upon.” It literally means to lord it over another! But Jesus didn’t see God this way—He saw Him as Abba-Father. In His view of His relationship with His Abba- Father, He (the Son) was equal to and loved by His Father. Even the Pharisees understood this when they accused Jesus of making Himself equal with God! 

“Therefore the Jews sought to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” (John 5:18)

Have you heard the terms commonly used in the church today amongst believers, referring to vertical or horizontal relationships? We think of our relationship with God as vertical and our relationships with people as horizontal. This very terminology reveals the mentality that God is a “down upon” God. But to Jesus, the fact of him being a Son was a horizontal relationship! 

Jesus came to bring us and give us that same, horizontal, Abba-Son relationship with our heavenly Father! You and I can now rest, assured that we are loved, accepted, and co-heirs in the beloved! Seated together with Him in heavenly places. “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6)

“Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” (Ephesians 2:5-6)

You are His son, and He is your Abba-Father!

Copyright © Kingdom Life Ministry
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Arthur Meintjes
Web site: Arthur Meintjes
Arthur is a Bible teacher and conference speaker and has traveled the world teaching the Good News (Gospel of Peace) and faith-righteousness, the message of God's unconditional love, goodness and mercy to restore mankind. He is also an adjunct lecturer at Charis Bible College in Colorado Springs, Colorado where he teaches first and second year classes for both the day and night school. He teaches third year classes on invitation.

He is a frequent guest speaker at several other CBC campuses in the USA and the United Kingdom. Arthur has also written a book titled Knowing and Experiencing God and co-authored a book with his wife Cathy titled Grace and Faith Thoughts.

Arthur Meintjes has a lively, passionate and heartfelt teaching style that has touched many hearts and He finds tremendous fulfillment in seeing lives changed and future leaders encouraged to share the gospel of grace and peace in their world.

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