There are many names for God in the Old Testament. Names that are interesting to study, names that the Jews were very familiar with and knew by heart. But this knowledge made no difference in the end for them. Today, we sing many songs about God and preach many sermons about God, but few about the one name that Jesus came to manifest to us.
If your father was the president of the United States, would you call him Mr. President? Or would your relationship give you the special privilege of calling him, father or dad? If he was a loving dad, what do you think he would appreciate most? What title would signify a close, loving relationship? In a crowd, while many were yelling Mr. President and one was yelling Daddy, where would a loving dad look first?
The only name that Jesus came to manifest to us is Father, Abba or Daddy. Our Father who art in heaven… He used the title Father over 160 times.
And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. John 17:5-6 ESV
Just before the cross Jesus prayed and addressed His Father as Abba or Daddy. A very intimate title used exclusively in a close Father and child relationship.
And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14:36 ESV
The only time Jesus called His Father God, was on the cross when our sin was placed on Him and He took our place as fallen man and our punishment.
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matt 27:46 ESV
When we are born of God, born again by faith in Jesus finished work, we become a child of God. God becomes our Father, Abba or Dad. These are names that indicate a close, loving and intimate relationship.
Some think it is inappropriate to call God our Daddy or Abba. They claim we must use God, Lord or even Master, the same titles a slave fearing punishment might use for their master. Even the unbelieving world uses God on a regular basis. If you are born again, you are not a slave in bondage to fear, the perfect love of God has cast out all fear, and you are a child of God. The Bible indicates that the inability to address God as our Father, Abba or Daddy; comes from a spirit of slavery to fear. This is not from God. We have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sonsof God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Rom 8: 14-17 ESV
Jesus tells us that our Father loves us just as much as He loves Jesus.
I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. John 17:23 NLT
So what name will you choose to use?