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It’s Time to Grow Up

It’s Time to Grow Up
May 7, 2017

Scripture: Galatians 4:1-7

I. Christians begin their lives as slaves.

A. Paul begins Galatians 4 by writing about rich children in vs. 1. They stand to inherit a lot of money when they grow up. But even though these children are going to be fabulously rich one day, right now – as children – they are no different from a slave. They were not free to make their own decisions regarding their inherited money that they would receive in the future.

B. The point of Paul’s comparison to slavery is found in vs. 3. There Paul writes, “In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world.” When we are born, we are all born into slavery to what Paul calls elementary principles of the world. The Jews were under slavery to the law (vs. 4-5). The Gentiles in Galatia were under slavery to the idols behind the elementary principles of earth, water, fire and air. We too are born into slavery to either a law or to an idol. God wants to set us free from slavery so that we can become His son or daughter. If you come into the presence of God fearful, feeling unloved and joyless, you are acting like a slave. You have not yet become a son or daughter of God.

II. Christians grow to become sons and daughters.

A. There are many wonderful doctrines taught in Galatians 4:4-5. The first doctrine taught in vs. 4 and 5 is the timing of the coming of Jesus to earth. When Jesus came, we were finally set free from our slavery to sin. We finally had become grown up sons and daughters of God. Another doctrine in vs. 4 that is taught is that Jesus is God. Paul writes there that God sent forth his Son. If God the Father had to send Jesus the son to earth, that means that Jesus existed somewhere else before he was born in the stable in Bethlehem.

B. Another doctrine taught in Galatians 4:4 is that Jesus is human. Jesus is not just God who was sent from heaven. Jesus was born of woman. Another doctrine in verse 4 is that Jesus lived that life of perfect obedience to God. Verse 4 says that Jesus was born under the law. As a Jew Jesus was bound to obey God’s law completely. And He did. We read what Jesus did in Matthew 5:17: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Jesus fulfilled the Law by obeying every part of it.

C. In Galatians 4:5 we see two more doctrines. God has redeemed us by sending Jesus to earth to die for our sins. Redemption usually referred to the release of a slave by the payment of a price. Jesus paid the debt we owe to God for our sin at the cross. He redeemed us by His blood. The most wonderful doctrine of all is found at the end of Galatians 4:5. The reason Jesus came to earth was not only to redeem us as Christians. Jesus came to adopt us into His family. That is the whole reason Jesus was sent to earth. When God adopts you into His family, He gives you a wonderful gift. Paul writes about that gift in vs. 6: “Because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” One of the main responsibilities of the Holy Spirit is to remind you that you are a child of God.

Application:
Christians are no longer slaves. You are now a grown up, precious, beloved, child of God.

Sources:
The letter to the Galatians
Commentaries on Galatians by Douglas Moo and Philip Ryken

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