What then has become of your blessedness? (3:15, ESV)
That’s a good question.
Many Christians today have lost their blessedness. Why?
They’ve forgotten who they are. And they’ve forgotten how they came to be what they are.
What do I mean?
The thing that you see time and again in this passage is Paul trying to pound into the Galatians’ heads, “You are already God’s children.”
Certain Jews were trying desperately to make these Galatians think they had to become Jews and follow the Jewish law in order to truly become “children of Abraham,” and thus, “children of God.”
But Paul says, “No. there is no difference between you and the Jews. For that matter, there is no difference between male or female, slave or free; you are all one in Christ.”
Unfortunately, however, the Galatians had bought the lie and were trying to attain by works what they had already attained by God’s grace through faith in Jesus.
And in doing so, they had lost their sense of blessedness, the blessedness that comes from a right relationship with God, just like Abraham had. The blessedness that came to Abraham not because of anything he had done, but because of what God had promised. The blessedness that David talked of (and Paul quotes in Romans 4) when he said,
How joyful is the one
whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered!
How joyful is a person whom
the Lord does not charge with iniquity. (Psalm 32:1-2)
But many Christians today don’t feel that blessedness. Instead, they constantly feel condemned because of their own sins. They feel that somehow they need to work themselves out of the pit they find themselves in.
But Paul says,
Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by the Spirit, are you now finishing by the flesh? (2:2-3)
We were not saved by our own efforts to be good. We came to God confessing our weakness and inability to save ourselves. And God in his grace poured his Spirit upon us, washing away our sins by the blood of Jesus. When he did so, the Holy Spirit cried out with our spirit, “Abba, Father!” confirming us as God’s children.
Nothing changes once we become Christians. We don’t deal with sin in our lives by our own efforts to be good. We deal with it by coming before God, confessing our weakness and inability to save ourselves. (Does this sound familiar?)
And when we do, God in his grace, continues pouring his Spirit upon us, filling us with himself, and and washing away our sins. And the Spirit confirms to us once again, we are God’s children.
We don’t have to earn our status as God’s children. We already are God’s children. And though we struggle with sin, God will not stop working in us until we are completely remade into the image of his Son.
That’s the blessedness of a child of God.
How about you? Have you lost your blessedness?