God’s Adopted Children (Part Two)- Galatians 4:1-7

In our previous post, we have seen that we have become God’s adopted children, and that the purpose of our adoption is to make us heirs, that we would be heirs of the promise made to Abraham (Galatians 3:29). We then saw what this promise contained, that we would inherit a family, a home and a blessing. We have inherited (past tense) a family (our fellow believers), we will inherit (future tense) a home (heaven), and we are inheriting (present tense) a blessing. We will now examine exactly what this “blessing” involves and how we go about inheriting it. The idea of blessing is a common one in the Old Testament, and it refers to a father giving his blessing to one of his children. By giving the blessing to a child, the father gave his power and authority to the child, and the child could then operate under the full power and authority of the father. A question, then, immediately arises: Just what sort of power and authority has God “blessed” His children with and how do we operate in that power and authority. We will continue our examination of Galatians to answer this question. In chapter 4, verse 1, Paul begins an explanation of how this inheritance works, telling us that “as long as the heir is a child he is no different than a slave”. The word translated child here is nepios, literally “wordless” in the Greek, and refers to a child not yet able to speak intelligible words, to one who is immature. Although he is an heir and possesses the full inheritance, he does not operate in the power and authority of his father because he is immature and unprepared to do so. He will only operate in the fullness of his inheritance when he matures, and it is the same for believers, who will not operate in the fullness of their power and authority until they “mature”. In verse 3, Paul presents for us the difference between one who is mature and one who is not, and the one who is immature (nepios) is one who is “in slavery under the basic principles of the world”, one who is “wordless”, who lives according to the world rather than according to the Word. We then find, in verse 5, that Jesus was sent to “redeem” those in slavery. The word redeem refers to the price paid to purchase a slave’s freedom, and Jesus paid the price to set us free from living in bondage to the “basic principles of the world” so that we might “receive in full” (Greek apolambano) our inheritance, that it has been made possible for us to live in the fullness of our inherited power and authority here and now. We do so as we mature from nepios (those under control of the basic principles of this world) to huios (those under control of the basic principles of the Word of God), as we begin to rule over what used to rule over us. We then learn, in verse 6, that God sent “the Spirit of His Son into our hearts” to help us mature, to help us live out the fullness of our inheritance . The Holy Spirit has been sent to us, to dwell in our hearts, to help us mature, to show us how to live according to the Word rather than according to the world. God here has given us power and authority, and what is that power and authority over? We have been given power and authority to rule over what used to rule over us, no longer enslaved under the world’s way of thinking and behaving. We have been given power and authority over the ones who used to have power and authority over us (the guardians and trustees of verse 2), and as we mature, as we grow from “wordless” nepios to “wordfull” huois, becoming filled with (controlled by) the basic principles of the Word of God, we will live in the fullness of our inheritance, maturing into sons and daughters to whom the Father can give the full inheritance, and who can operate in the fullness of its power and “blessing”, living our lives according to the basic principles of the Word rather than the basic principles of the world.

No Comments Conformed to the Image of Christ  //  Epistles  //  Growing In Grace  //  Transformation

Comments are closed.

Pure Spiritual Milk

SEO Copy... Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse nunc turpis, cursus et interdum sed, lobortis vitae nunc. Integer placerat tellus odio, non sodales arcu fermentum id. Mauris vitae eleifend leo, et rhoncus odio. Ut et arcu eu ex tempus ultricies eu vel lorem. Curabitur eu consectetur neque. Suspendisse volutpat nibh urna, sit amet aliquet augue imperdiet in. Etiam eget felis pellentesque, dapibus dolor ut, sodales justo. Mauris eu arcu lectus. Suspendisse odio ex, dignissim sit amet ornare eget, elementum at odio.