Sons, not Slaves!
Sons, not Slaves!
I apologize for having gone M.I.A on the Galatians Bible Study for a while. Just to get you up to speed, I have shared with you what I learnt from the first 3 chapters of Galatians. You can get the entire list of posts by clicking this link : Category Archives – Galatians or searching for the word Galatians in the blog.
Moving on to chapter 4, Paul uses the analogy of slaves and heirs to explain the period of law and grace. You know, given Paul and his strictly complex composition of verses, this might be one of the easy passages to comprehend!
Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, 2 but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. Galatians 4:1-3
This was a common practice in the Jewish household, to keep the heir of the house under guardians and stewards, while he is a child, so he can be disciplined and trained for his adulthood. That’s exactly what the law was supposed to do, keep them on the guard. When the child has become a man it was no longer appropriate or allowed to keep him under supervision. Likewise, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” Galatians 4:4,5
56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:56,57
Doesn’t this verse give you joy on top of joy? And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace (John 1:16) We are called to bask in the fullness of His grace! Why is then that we oftentimes get caught up in feelings of guilt and judgement imposed by ourselves or others? Paul is asking the same thing to Galatians.
8 But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. 9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain. Galatians 4:8-11
Despite being justified by faith and putting their faith in Christ, they started following their old rituals and ceremonies, because they were being guilted into doing so by those around them. Instead of rejoicing in the new found freedom in Christ, they were losing their joy to the so-called legalistic folks. Its not something they wished to do, but did so anyway, because of pressure.
Christianity is not a set of do’s and don’ts. It’s a sad truth that by the legalistic and judgmental approach we will not pull but push away many souls from the church. Even more when the soul is a new convert. The reason why we fall at the foot of the cross, is because we failed terribly at keeping our moral standards, it wasn’t doing us any good. Then why do we keep going back?
The price is paid, our pardon is received. Its time to live a victorious life, as a child of God, as co-heirs with Christ. A victorious Christian life is not a live-as-you-may life. It is a new life, striving to be holy just as He is holy, but not live with shame or guilt of sin anymore.
Read next post in this series: Minister with Grace