For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage [slavery] again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:14–15)
Abba is the Aramaic or Hebrew word commonly used for “daddy.” In Israel, a little child will call his father, “Abba.” And because we have received the Spirit of adoption, we have the right to address God as Abba. Father. Daddy.
Paul told us that we have two options. We can be led by the Spirit of God, or we can be under the spirit of slavery. The spirit of slavery makes us fearful of punishment; the Spirit of adoption leads us as God’s children.
The Greek word that is translated as sons indicates a “mature son.” When you are first born again of God’s Spirit, you become a child. But as you are led, you become a mature son or daughter of God. The pathway to maturity is being led by the Holy Spirit, no longer bound under a spirit of slavery. As Paul wrote in Galatians 5:18, “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”
In order to become a mature son or daughter of God, you must be led by the Spirit. But remember, if you are led by the Holy Spirit, you are not under the law. That is our freedom—not a freedom to do evil, but a freedom to love. Our motivation to do service for Jesus is love, the most powerful motivator in the world. It works even when fear does not. That’s what God is bringing us to. That’s what makes us mature sons and daughters of God. That’s the result of being delivered from the law.