Jesus’ revelation of God as his Father was radical in his day as well as ours, in fact it was one of the reasons he was persecuted. Furthermore, Jesus revealed his followers as children of God, therefore heirs and co-heirs with Jesus. As children of God, we now share in the family business of Father’s kingdom, promoted from being servants employed in the kingdom (John 15:15-16). While faithful servants are dedicated, beloved sons and daughters of a loving Father are much more dedicated and motivated to promote their Father’s work and name. Paul described the struggle that we face as we work through the implications of being adopted sons. He reminded the Roman church that all of creation awaits the revelation of the sons of God (followers of Jesus). It even groans and suffers as in childbirth, waiting for our adoption as sons and the redemption of our body (Romans 8:18-22). Jesus said that those who believed in him would do greater works than those he had done (John 14:12). So, it may be that we need to work out the implication of our being sons and daughters before we can fully understand what Jesus spoke.
Paul, in his writings, often referred to God as “our Father.” To the believers, Paul began each of his letters declaring grace and peace to them from “God our Father” and the “Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2-3; Galatians 1:1-3; Ephesians 1:2-3, 6:23; Philippians 1:2; Colossians 1:2-3; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1-2; 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4; Philemon 1:3). Paul’s consistency in every one of his letters underscored his belief that God was to be viewed as Father, while Jesus was identified as either Lord or Savior. What is powerful in Paul’s example is that he was thoroughly trained in Judaism, which taught that God was Holy and Lord and he was a servant. Yet Paul’s continual addressing God as Father demonstrated that he did not allow his training from youth to distract him from what Jesus revealed about the relationship that he and all believers were to enjoy with God as Father. Understanding that we are children in God’s Kingdom rather than servants has a profound impact on how we live our lives and how we see ourselves.