Unloading the Spirit of Bondage

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, in his magnificent book Spiritual Depression, writes the following in response to Romans 8:15-17,

…our object in living the Christian life is not simply to attain a certain standard, but is rather to please God because He is our Father–‘the spirit of adoption whereby we cry, Abba, Father’. The slave was not allowed to say ‘Abba’ and that slave spirit does not regard God as Father. He has not realized that He is Father, he regards Him still as a Judge who condemns. But that is wrong. As Christian people we must learn to appropriate by faith the fact that God is our Father. Christ taught us to pray ‘Our Father’. This eternal everlasting God has become our Father and the moment we realize that, everything tends to change. He is our Father and He is always caring for us, He loves us with an everlasting love, He so loved us that He sent His only begotten Son into this world and to the Cross to die for our sins. That is our relationship to God and the moment we realize it, it transforms everything. Henceforth my desire is not to keep the law but to please my Father. We know something about that by nature. Filial love, filial reverence, filial fear is so different from that old servile fear. It is based upon the desire to please our father, and the moment we grasp that we lose the spirit of bondage. Our Christian living is not a matter of rules and regulations any longer, but rather our desire to show Him our gratitude for all He has ever done for us. (p. 172)

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