SONS AND HEIRS
I praise You, God, that You and I are one.
Read Galatians 3:23—4:7
Children of God
23 Before the coming of this faith,[a] we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
4 What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2 The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3 So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces[b] of the world. 4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.[c] 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,[d] Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
a Galatians 3:23 Or through the faithfulness of Jesus … 23 Before faith came
b Galatians 4:3 Or under the basic principles
c Galatians 4:5 The Greek word for adoption to sonship is a legal term referring to the full legal standing of an adopted male heir in Roman culture.
d Galatians 4:6 Aramaic for Father
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat are you looking forward to today?
God’s law is good. It is a reflection of the character of a good and loving God. It is desirable (Psa. 19:7–11). It is the right way to live. And when I fail, it is meant to make me run to God’s promised grace.
Our problem is not the law—it’s using the law wrongly. I perform to make God love me. I obey God, so God must bless me. I make the law a system of self-righteousness. I do stuff to justify myself. And so the law becomes a prison and slave master (23–25).
That’s the basis of every religion—but not the Gospel of Jesus Christ. At just the right time, God sent his promised Son, a human, who is able to be our substitute. He kept the law, so he is our perfect substitute. He is God’s Son, so is able to bring us to the Father and make us his children (4,5).
And so, by grace, we are all “sons” who inherit. There are no sub-classes of Christian (26–29). We are equally adopted in the Son, Jesus Christ (5–7). We are united to him so we inherit all he has. We enjoy the same intimacy and affection he enjoys with the Father. And the Spirit gives us a sense of that intimacy today (6).
In what areas of your life are you relying on yourself to succeed? Choose to rely on Christ today. Seek him first before you take the next steps and commit to walk in obedience.
My Jesus, may I truly understand all that You have done for me in making me a child of God. Teach me to walk within Your grace.