Q. Why did Christ command us to address God thus: “Our Father?”
A. To awaken in us at the very beginning of our prayer that childlike reverence for and trust in God, which are to be the ground of our prayer, namely, that God has become our Father through Christ, and will much less deny us what we ask of Him in faith than our parents refuse us earthly things.
(Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 120)
It is not uncommon to hear critics of Reformation theology complain that Martin Luther, John Calvin, and those who followed them, were so preoccupied with justification, that they depreciated the family relationship that sinners enjoy with their creator (adoption). This charge stems from the Reformation (and biblical) doctrine of justification, in which it is understood that the righteousness of Christ is reckoned (or imputed) to a sinner through the means of faith, so that the sinner is given a right-standing before God and therefore saved from His wrath.
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