For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Romans 8:15
Paul makes it clear that we have not received any spirit of bondage. The law was bondage. The word means slavery. They were no longer slaves to a law they couldn’t keep. The law was good in that it was how God wants us to live but it carried no help to keep it. In fact, it shows us how inadequate we were in ourselves to keep the law.
The bondage of the law was fear. I remember when I was growing up, it seemed the church tried to keep us in check through fear. Don’t do this or else God will get you. Confess your sins or God will no longer have anything to do with you. Don’t go to the show or God will disown you. After all what would He think if He came back and you were sitting in a movie theater?
The fear of the law is the punishment of the law. Why don’t you speed? The fear of getting a $500 fine. Jesus took the total punishment of the law’s requirements on Himself on the cross. He was judged by the law on the cross—not Him personally because He had no debt to the law through sin.
Instead of bondage, we received the spirit of adoption. We were placed into God’s family. “4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” (Galatians 4:4-6)
God sent Jesus to redeem us from the law and the harsh requirements keeping us as servants or slaves. He paid the price, filled out the paperwork making us children of God and placing us into the family of God. With that we can “cry out,” an onomatopoeic word, used especially of the scream of the raven. We are able to call God our Father, which was not done in the Old Covenant under the law. In addition, we meld that with the Aramaic term a child calls his father—Abba. He is our daddy, our Father God.
We are not under the bondage of the law but we have received the spirit whereby we can call to our daddy in times of need and to our Father in worship. He isn’t just God, He is Father.