Monday, 18 April 2016
Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Galatians 4:7
“Therefore” is based on the fact that “God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts.” Because of this fact, a change has taken place in each one of us. This is made poignant now because Paul switches from the second person plural (you all) of the previous verse to the 2nd person singular in this verse (you as an individual). Thus he is making this a personal statement to each recipient of this letter.
As you have received the Spirit of His Son, “you are no longer a slave but a son.” A change has taken place. We go from a state of bondage (verse 4:3) to a state of freedom. We are no longer under the yoke of the law, but we have full rights within the house. This doesn’t just mean that we can now participate in the family life God has prepared, but that it is an eternal inheritance. This is evidenced by the finishing words, “…and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”
As God is eternal, and we are heirs of God, then we have been granted His same eternality (Hebrews 9:15). We have an inheritance “incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven” (1 Peter 1:4). Vincent’s Word Studies notes the following concerning this inheritance –
“The figure is based upon Roman, not upon Jewish, law. According to Roman law, all the children, sons and daughters, inherited alike. According to Jewish law, the inheritance of the sons was unequal, and the daughters were excluded, except where there were no male heirs. Thus the Roman law furnished a more truthful illustration of the privileges of Christians.”
This is especially evident from Galatians 3:26-28 which said, “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Life application: The overall intent of Paul’s words should not be overlooked in the analysis of each clause. He is constantly making a contrast between the bondage of the law and the freedom of God which is found in Christ. For those who fail to trust Christ alone for their salvation, they remain in bondage. They have failed the test and remain bound as slaves. They have not becomes sons of God. Be sure to evaluate yourself. Are you still attempting to be justified by deeds of the law? If so, you are not a true son of God.
Heavenly Father, life is routine and dull at times, it is true. But at those times we can ignore the tedium and concentrate on our relationship with You. As You are the Source of all things, then every good thing we could ever desire lies ahead when we finally stand before You. In anticipation of that day, we can fill our routine moments with thoughts of eternal extravagance! But Lord, help us not to forget You when things are fun and life is full. Help us to always live our lives with You at the forefront of our thoughts. Amen.