Friday, 8 April 2016
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26
Paul now changes his terminology from “we” in the previous verses to “you” in this verse. The word “you” is plural and is speaking to the Galatians as a gentile group who are now included in the promises of God. The “you” includes all, both Jew and Gentile, but it must be remembered that the main substance of the letter is concerning the Gentiles being duped into believing that they have to adhere to the Law of Moses in order to be pleasing to God. Paul shows here what malarkey that is!
In these words, his emphasis is on “sons of God” rather than “all.” The intent is to show that by mere faith in Christ Jesus, we are brought into the family of God as sons of God. What is important to understand is that Paul uses the term huios for “sons.” According to HELPS Word Studies, the word means “properly, a son (by birth or adoption); (figuratively) anyone sharing the same nature as their Father. For the believer, becoming a son of God begins with being reborn (adopted) by the heavenly Father – through Christ (the work of the eternal Son). In the NT, hyiós (“son”) equally refers to female believers (Gal 3:28).”
Paul could have used another word, teknon, or “children,” to describe us (which he uses in Romans 8 & 9 and in Philippians 2 under a different context), but he instead chose huios. The reason for this is that when one was under the law, they were as an immature child being led by the pedagogue. However, when one comes to God by faith, they are no longer under the care of that guardian. Instead, they have come to maturity and have the full rights which being a son within the family grants. Although the distinction between these words is slight and should not be pressed too far, the use of “children” by some translations confuses the distinction that Paul is making.
It is through faith, and not deeds of the law, that one comes to this mature position. To insert precepts of the law into one’s life in order to stand justified before God demonstrates immaturity and a need to go back to school, study proper theology, and hopefully grow into faith which saves. Anything else disqualifies a person from the right to be called a true son of God.
Life application: Doctrine matters. We should never stop growing in our doctrine and we need to learn to put aside childish things. Let us be fully developed and mature Christians who live by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
Lord God, it is normal for us to get up and look forward to a good day ahead, hoping that the path will be smooth and flowers will adorn the way. This isn’t always the case though, and quite often, the way is bumpy and thorns catch us as we go. Help us to be thankful for the good days, accept the difficult ones with grace, and give us the sense to praise You for both. We couldn’t really appreciate the good days unless we also had the bad ones. Thank You for each day in Your presence. Amen.