Galatians 3:26-4:7 — The wonder of adoption

It’s really amazing to me that God would actually adopt us into his family.  He could have accepted us as “pets.”  He could have recognized our status as people, and yet kept us at a distance as acquaintances.  He could have brought us into his household as mere servants or slaves.  He could have even accepted us as friends.  But he did more.  He adopted us into his family and now recognizes us as his children.

Paul tells us,

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (3:26-27)

He says here that we are all sons of God through faith in Christ.  What he is saying here must have stunned some of his original listeners.  Because back in those days, only literal sons had the right of inheritance.  But he makes it clear that all Christians, whether male or female, now have that right that once only belonged exclusively to the sons.  Not only that, Paul said,

There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  (3:28)

Previously, the Jews considered all non-Jews outsiders.  More, they looked down on women.  And of course, being a slave was never considered a good thing.  But Paul says that in God’s eyes, all who belong to Christ now belong to him and he recognizes us all as his children.  All of us have been clothed with Christ’s royal robes of righteousness and are now identified with him.

In case we didn’t quite get his point, he then draws an analogy between us and children in those days.  In those days, a child was no different from a slave practically.  That is to say, he had no true access to his inheritance even though he was an heir to it.  Rather, he was put under guardians or trustees  and he remained under their authority until the day his father formally recognized him as his son and heir.  (4:1-2)

In the same way, before we were adopted as God’s children, we were like slaves.  We were put under the guardianship of the law and had no right to any heavenly inheritance.  We were told, “Do this, and do that,” by the law, but while it generally guided us in the right direction, we could never keep it fully and as a result, had no rights as God’s heirs.  (4:3)

But that all changed the day God formally adopted us as his children and made us his heirs.  The process started when he sent his Son to purchase (or redeem) us as his own through Christ’s death on the cross.  And now when we put our faith in him, he formally adopts us as his children.  (4:4-5)

Not only that, he gives us his Spirit of his Son who cries out from within our hearts, “Abba, Father.”  In other words, God in Trinity cries out this new relationship we have with him.  A relationship not of a beloved pet, or an acquaintance, or a slave or a servant, or even a friend, but as a son and daughter of the King.

So Paul concludes,

So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.  (7)

How do you see yourself?  How do you see God?  Do you see him as your Father and yourself as his beloved child and heir?  He sees us in that way.  It’s time that we see things the same way He does.  So don’t ever put yourself down as worthless or unworthy.  You are a child of the King.  Let’s start living that way.

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About bkshiroma

I'm from Hawaii, but have been in Japan as a missionary/English teacher since 1995. I'm currently going to a church called Crossroad Nishinomiya, an international church in Nishinomiya, a city right between Kobe and Osaka. Check out their website: crossroad-web.com 私がハワイから来ましたけど1995年に宣教師と英会話の教師として日本に引っ越しました。 今西宮にあるクロスロード西宮という国際の教会に行っています。どうぞ、そのホムページを見てください: crossroad-web.com
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