Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Slave to HeirGalatians 4:1-7
V7 “So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir through God”.
In the United States, the 18th birthday is seen as one of the most important days in the life of a child. This is the point when youth graduates to the stage of adulthood. Many of us grew up looking forward to that day when we officially became grownups. There were no more restrictions to our drivers’ licenses, we were allowed to vote, and the next step was going off to college. The age of 18 meant FREEDOM! It’s ironic how becoming an adult gave us this false sense of maturity and autonomy. One thing however remained true; I was still my parent’s child, heirs of their love and legacy.
Many of Paul’s letters were directly in response to Judaizers, a faction of the Jewish Christians, who regarded the laws of the Torah as still binding on all Christians. Specifically, they tried to enforce Jewish circumcision upon the Gentile converts to early Christianity. This was one of the main issues addressed during the Council of Jerusalem in 50 AD.
Under the Law of the Old Testament, Israel lived as “slaves” to the basic principles of the Law. The people were bound by these laws. However, God was using the Law to foster a chosen people for Himself.
Paul makes the shocking statement that for the Galatians to adopt the Jewish law is the equivalent of returning to their former ways. Being captive under the law is no better than being slaves. It is the same as being “enslaved to the elemental spirits of the world”. But there is no need for that, because “the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children.” The birth of Christ and our decision to follow Him took us from slaves to heirs.
I can’t help but think of the Prodigal Son. The son was a slave to his sins who ultimately came back home, willing to be a servant for his father, but the father instead celebrated the return of the heir of the household. So often we forget about the price that was paid on the cross for us to go from slaves to heirs. God sent His Son to redeem us from the law, so that we might become God’s children. This is not by our own doing, but by the grace of God. This is a gift we did not earn, but one that we should embrace and cherish instead of reverting back to our lives of slavery.
Dear Lord, despite how hard we try to revert to our days of slavery, we pray that you remind us that we are your heirs. Thank you for your love and grace. AMEN.
Thought of the Day
“The Gospel is true because it deprives men of all glory, wisdom, and righteousness and turns over all honors to the Creator alone.” – Martin Luther
Dr. Ron Jacob