Enjoy Christian Relationships Part 2
by John Lowe
(Laurens SC, USA)
But what Paul is doing is using the imagery of clothing oneself with Christ.
Paul argued that the Galatian believers had been publicly baptized, thereby demonstrating outwardly the transformation that had occurred within.
In addition to having the life of Christ in our body, the scriptures also declare that we are created in Christ Jesus.
We are in Him and He is in us.
For Paul’s readers, even those today, verse 28 has revolutionary implications.
Through Christ, everyone has access to a relationship with God.
The gift of salvation is available to everyone.
The offer of salvation is not just for those with economic means but also for those who are poor.
Salvation is not just offered to men but also to women.
Furthermore, all who become part of God’s family do so in the same way regardless of race, occupation, position or gender—through faith in Jesus Christ.
Those who share this common bond of faith in Christ are members of God’s family.
As children of God, we are to relate to other believers as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Have you ever observed or personally experienced barriers that kept Christians from accepting and enjoying fellowship with one another? (Sierra couldn’t teach, hold an office or do anything in church—Faith Baptist—because she was divorced.)
According to verse 29, the only way to become an heir and to receive the promise made to Abraham’s seed is to belong to Christ.
The true decedents of Abraham are followers of Christ and not the Jews.
It’s his spiritual decedents who possess the promise.
That’s you and me; we can call ourselves sons of Abraham.
Accept Your New Privileges
1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
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.
7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Paul used an illustration to summarize the basic difference in the status of believers before coming to Christ (one of bondage and immaturity) and after responding to faith in Him (one of freedom and maturity).
In verse 1, Paul explained what he meant by heirs.
The ancient world placed a great emphasis on boys coming of age.
There was religious and legal significance tied to that time.
The required age varied by societies, but sons did not receive their inheritance until they reached this point in life.
Paul was saying that the future head of the family was no better than a slave.
He was a child and could not make any decisions.
As a minor, he lived under rules and regulations, just like a slave.
He had no freedom or legal rights.
When compared to an adult, the child occupied an inferior position.
Paul’s point is that a person under the Law has an inferior position.
Only in Christ does one have freedom and responsibility.
In verse 3, Paul characterized the position of those living before Christ came as slavery under the basic principals of the world, which refers to a basic set of philosophical or religious ideas.
These would be the evil influences of the devil and the evil that flowed naturally from the heart of men.
In any case, the Galatians were behaving like slaves to these evil principals instead of enjoying the freedom given them by Christ.
Paul says that Jesus came in the “fullness of time.”
It was the exact right time.
God was in control and several things had to happen, and God brought it about so that everything just dovetailed when Jesus was born.
1. The Greek language was developed to be the language that the New Testament was written in.
2. Rome had conquered the known world. There was peace and law.
3. The Pharisees had risen to power to impact every part of Jewish life. Much of what Jesus taught used them as his “bad example.”
4. Satanic activity was rampant in anticipation of the coming of the Son of God.
Some might wonder why Jesus didn’t come earlier in history.
But with the perspective of perfect knowledge and wisdom, God chose the right moment in time to send His Son.
He was born of a woman to show that He was fully human as well as divine.
And He was born under the Law in order to redeem those enslaved by it.
Although Jesus was under the Law He was without sin.
Why is it so important that Jesus never sinned? (Because if He had, He would not have been the perfect Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world)
Finally, Paul stated two purposes (or results) of God sending His Son at the fullness of time.
Jesus came to redeem those under the Law.
To redeem means to buy out of slavery.
The demands of the Law enslaved the Jews.
Pagan idolatry enslaved the Gentiles.
Sin enslaved both groups.
Christ paid the price of redemption for all people and liberated them from slavery and God’s condemnation.
The second purpose for His coming follows redemption: that we might receive the full rights as sons, or literally, “be adopted as sons.
God has adopted believers as His children.
We have moved from slavery into the Heavenly Fathers family.
Paul told the Galatians, “You are sons.”
He saw sonship and receiving the Holy Spirit as closely related.
So He further affirmed that “God sent the Spirit of His Son into your hearts.”
In other words, just as God sent His Son into the world, He sent His Spirit into believer’s hearts.
The Holy Spirit is the gift of God to every Christian.
Becoming a child of God and receiving the Holy Spirit occur together at Salvation.
The Law had no way to enter into hearts and change them, but the Spirit can enter and renew hearts.
The Spirit is described here as One who calls out, “Abba Father.”
Abba is Aramaic for “Daddy.”
Jesus used it to address his Father.
The term symbolizes a believer's new relationship with God.
The word also reflects the intimacy and joy Christians enjoy with God.
God has made believers, as a result of their adoption as His children, His heirs.
Our position as heirs results completely from God’s grace, not from any works we perform, and not because we deserve it.
Since our status results from God’s work, not from our own works, Christians have confidence in the certainty of our inheritance.
We are privileged as Christians to be free from the bondage of sin and evil, and we have all the rights belonging to God’s children.
As Christians, we enjoy a relationship with God, by taking advantage of our rights, such as depending upon the power of the Holy Spirit and by participating in fellowship with God through prayer.