Scripture Galatians 4
4But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. 6Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,a]”>[a] Father.” 7So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.
Sometimes we cling to our slavery rather than embracing our freedom.
As I read my daily readings, bouncing now between Deuteronomy and Galatians, I find much more relevance to my Christian walk in the New Testament than in the old. I realize that had I not just now told you, you might not even know that I’m reading more from Deuteronomy each day than I am from Galatians.
These two books seem very much at odds with each other in Deuteronomy we have the Law of Moses laid out in all its gory glory along with the harshest of penalties for breaking the rules.
The Jewish people spent many generations following these rules and carrying out the punishments when someone broke them. They were written on the doorposts of their houses, and engraved in their minds as well.
But then when we move to Galatians, Paul is describing a miraculous change in the relationship of God and His people. No longer were they under the curse of the law, no longer were they required to carry out the executions of the law breakers, now it would be up to God and that person as to whether they would be forgiven.
Forgiveness was now available for all who would accept Christ as the Only Son of God who died on the cross for their sins, anyone who would believe in Him, would have their sins paid for and be forgiven.
What a radical change this was for the Jews, I feel for them, I can see how hard it would be to change those well established thoughts about how God dealt with us.
Paul trys to give them real life illustrations by describing God’s people as a child. When the child is young, even though they are to receive inheritance from their Father when they have matured, they are still, in their youth, governed and regulated by rules, which they are punished for breaking. In this way they are like a slave to those rules and those who enforce them. But once the child matures, the rules are no longer enforced as they were before, because the child has developed a relationship of respect to the parents and understands that the rules are there for their own protection, and were put in place and enforced out of love. At this point, the child is no longer like a slave, but like a true son.
As the children of God grew, the relationship was altered by Him. In the course of time, He sent His own Son to fulfill the fullness of the Law.
I think about the rules and restrictions I have placed upon my children in the past. And to be honest sometimes I have been too hard on them. I have expected things from them that I myself could not do. But our Lord Jesus came and perfectly lived up to the law of Moses, which was something that we were not able to do. And not only did he obey the law completely but He also completely fulfilled the punishment required for our breaking of the law.
Now because of His act of atonement on the Cross we can by faith and grace be received into the family of God – no longer is it a matter of being born into the family of God’s Chosen People Israel, it is a matter of being adopted into this family through faith in Christ Jesus.
Before we come to know Jesus as savior, we are all slaves to Sin because of the Law. We may not even know the law as the Jews did, but we are each given a conscience and a knowledge of what is right and wrong, good and evil; Therefore even without the Biblical Law of Moses as a guide, we still fall short of our God’s glory by breaking the laws of our own conscience.
But now because of God’s great love for us and what He did for us through Christ, we are able to move out from under the curse of the law and into the grace of the Father. We are no longer slaves, but are now adopted into the family of God and can indeed call him Abba Father.
Thank you God for sending Jesus to pay the penalty for my breaking of your Law. Thank you that by my faith in Him I can now be accepted by you into your family as an adopted son. Help me each day to honor you through my actions and guide my steps so that I may serve you through the witness of the Good News of Jesus to all who need Him.
I give up my curse of slavery, and accept the freedom of adoption into the family of God, by believing in His Son Jesus.