We’re halfway through Galatians!There are three crucial things in life that are all described in this passage today.
The first is the gospel by which we are saved.
We’ve seen in Galatians that there is one true gospel, the gospel of grace. It is not by the law. It is not of works. It is not according to man. Nothing should be added to it or removed from it. The simple gospel message is what Paul wrote in Galatians 1:4, “who [the Lord Jesus Christ] gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” The gospel is freedom from our sins through faith in Jesus Christ who gave His life for us. It brings deliverance and new life in Him.
A second key thing to understand in life is our identity.
We’ve also looked at this in Galatians already in our last passage. Galatians 3:26: “For you are all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ.” When we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus, then we are adopted as His child. This is our identity. We are made in His image and now children of God. Knowing our identity will shape what we believe about ourselves and who we let define us (God, not others) and how we live our lives. When we truly understand our identity as a child of God, as an heir, as adopted as His, it changes how we view everything.
A third key thing is knowing that our lives in Christ are lived by the power of the Holy Spirit given to us.
God doesn’t save us by grace and then leave us to just work hard and do our best, returning to law. We don’t have to live this life by our own strength, but in His. We don’t have to strive in our own power; He enables and helps us by His Spirit, given to us. It changes everything. Even if our actions look the same sometimes, the motivations and source of strength are altogether different and frees us to depend on Him and live a Spirit-filled life.
Much more could be said about each of these three things, but I point them out because today’s verses in Galatians 4:1-7 talk about all of these important truths of gospel, identity, and the gift of the Holy Spirit:
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. 4 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.
6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
We were in bondage, but verses 4-5: “When the fulness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” This is gospel truth — God sending forth His Son to redeem us — and our identity – being adopted as sons.
And as His sons, God has sent forth His Spirit into our hearts crying “Abba, Father!” God’s Spirit in our hearts as His child – what an incredible thought!
We are no longer a slave but a son, and as a son, an heir of God through Christ (verse 7).
Prayer: Praise you Lord Jesus for our redemption, our deliverance, our salvation, our adoption, and the gift of your Spirit in us when we are saved. By your sacrifice and love for us, through your death on the cross and resurrection, we become dead to our sins and alive to Christ, filled with your Spirit, able to live life in your strength, identified as heir and child of God. What wondrous things! Praise you and thank you! Let us remember that we are yours and let these truths seep into the deepest parts of our hearts so that we understand them and grasp more and more the massive truth of how much we are loved by you, how you have created us, saved us, and have plans for our lives. Let these words of truth become living realities in us all so that we grasp the wonder of what you have done for us and how you have made the way for us to be free and know you. In fact, you haven’t just made the way; you are the Way! We give you praise. We love you so. Thank you, Jesus. In your name, Amen.