PRAY & READ: Galatians 4:1-7
Would you prefer to be a slave or a son? A wife longs to be loved as a desired bride not a maid. A little boy or girl desires to rest their head on their daddy’s chest rather than be parentless in an orphanage. We would all rather own property or be property of a task master? One of the great things about being a follower of Jesus is that we are not orphans, slaves or maids. We are adopted as ‘sons’ of God.
Paul begins Chapter 4 by contrasting a believers life before salvation with their life after salvation. He does this using an analogy of a child’s coming of age. A child, or heir, is "under guardians and managers" and is basically no different than a slave. Just as a child is too young to receive his inheritance, also the Israelites were under the Law until the "fullness of time had come." (vs.4)
In Bible times, sons were often treated like slaves until they reached the age of maturity. In Roman culture once a son reached that age he was formally adopted and acknowledged as a son by his father. That may sound weird to us today but it is important to understand Paul’s ‘slave to son’ analogy.
For the Israelites, the inheritance was promised during the covenant with Abraham but Israel lived in a time before this promise was realized. But not so with Christians; Jesus changed all that!
Paul tells us that we were once slaves under the Law until Jesus freed us and adopted into God’s family. Jesus lived under the Law in order to free those who were slaves under the Law (4:4-5). Slaves became sons!
By Jesus' work, we have been redeemed and receive "adoption as sons." (vs.5) As God's adopted children, we receive the future inheritance, beginning with His promised Spirit. We not only get legally adopted into God’s family, we get the experience of having the Perfect Father and something unique happens in us that transforms us from the inside out.
The Holy Spirit not only dwells within us and gives us a desire for God but He also fills us with an intimate toddler-like cry for God as “Abba” (daddy) in prayer. I love the sound of my kids voice when they call for their ‘daddy’, how much more do you think God loves to hear our voice?
1. How do you feel about being an adopted into God’s family?
2. What does it mean to be God's adopted child?
3. Have you ever felt the freedom to call out to God as “Abba”? How do you see God? How do you think He sees you?
4. How does Paul contrast living under the Law and living by the Spirit?
MEMORIZE: Gal. 4:6
This week's devotional is written by Todd Inserra. Todd is a City Church Owner who has served as a City Group Leader and is a local fire fighter.