Saturday, 16 April 2016
…to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Galatians 4:5
Giving the full thought of this sentence will help provide context –
“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”
Paul has been speaking of the purpose of giving the law and how it is not some type of replacement to the promises made to Abraham and his seed. Instead, it was given as a tutor to lead us to Christ. At the right moment, Christ came “to redeem those who were under the law.” Redemption from the law was necessary because, as he has already shown, “…as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse” (verse 3:10). This is because one must fulfill the law perfectly; something no one is capable of doing.
Further, he showed “that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for ‘the just shall live by faith'” (verse 3:11). Because of this, Christ came in order to redeem us from the power of the law and from the curse it brings. He explained how this was accomplished in verses 3:13, 14. And the reason for accomplishing this is so “that we might receive the adoption as sons.”
The logical order of what occurs is redemption from the law followed by adoption as sons into the messianic body; Christ being “the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29). The knowledge of sin, and the penalty for committing sin, came about through the law. Through adoption, release from the power of the law, and immunity from the penalty of sin is realized.
It should be noted that being received as adopted sons implies a first-time entrance into son-ship, not a receiving back as a son. In other words, the parable of Luke 15 concerning the prodigal son is not what Paul is referring to here. It is though faith in Christ that we are brought into the family of God. Adoption apart from faith in the promises of God is not possible. It is another indication that the law was unable to save.
Life application: If we had to be redeemed from the law in order to be adopted as sons, then why would we insert (or re-insert) deeds of the law after becoming sons? The two thoughts are contradictory. We, by faith in Christ’s accomplished work (plus nothing), are saved unto eternal life.
Lord God, it is with gratitude and a feeling of complete unworthiness that I come to You with my daily needs and requests. And yet, it is with a sense of boldness that I can do so! This isn’t because I merit a moment in Your presence, but because of the work of Christ. Through Him, I can come boldly to Your throne of grace and state my heart’s desire to You. Thank You for access to Your great throne. Thank You for Jesus my Lord. Amen.