We made it! We are in chapter 4 (part 20) and I plan to do a study every two weeks during the summer, then in the fall we will go back to a weekly study and do so until we finish Galatians. - Jim
1 Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, 2 but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements (basic principles- comparable to learning your ABC’s) of the world. 4 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. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Verses 1-3 cover man’s condition under the law (SLAVES)
1 Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child (Gk. Nepios – child, infant or immature one), does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all.
It is important to learn our ABC’s (by the Law), but the man who sits in the library and cites the ABC’s instead of reading the great literature that surrounds him, is showing how immature and ignorant he is – this is NOT a God thing!
2 but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.
Even though promised one day to be sons, as long as we were under the LAW BEFORE CHRIST came we were under guardians, tutors of the law and were in BONDAGE, but when Christ came we are free from bondage of the law and now are heirs (sons – by Adoption)
3 Even so we (or “so also in our case”), when we were children, were in bondage under the elements (basic principles- comparable to learning your ABC’s) of the world.
This was like going from childhood (under the Law) to adulthood (growing in Christ) THEN BACK to childhood /immaturity – legalistic bondage.
It is never God’s will that we go backward!
Verses 4-7 cover man’s condition in Christ (SONS - which is far better)
4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son (shows preexistence of Christ), born of a woman (Jesus in his humanity), born under the law (a Jew),
(vs 4) "fullness of time came" – This refers to that time when the world was providentially ready for the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ (approx. 2000 years ago). The entrance of Jesus into the physical realm was not a random thing occurring at a haphazard time.
5 to redeem (to set free by paying a price) those who were under the law that we might receive the adoption as sons (Gk. Huios).
Note: The Greek word for a child or infant (Gk. Nepios v. 1) is different than son or adult son (Gk. Huios).
Jesus redeemed us (PAID THE PRICE TO SET US FREE), not to makes us slaves but SONS!
6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, Abba, Father!”
ABBA (in an Aramaic word) was equivalent to our calling our father “Daddy” or “PAPA” – this is when the relationship is special.
(Example: When my grandchildren (regardless of age) call me PAPA, those are the most beautiful words they can say).
So, as SONS, God looks for the day when we can call him Dad, Daddy, Papa. For one to address their father with the word “ABBA” is not so much associated with infancy (baby talk) as it is with INTIMACY.
It was used by Jesus – Mark 14:36 and as a proof of God’s Spirit in our life (also see Romans 8:14-16). These words “Abba” (daddy, papa) are the instinctive cries of a heart that has been touched by the Holy Spirit. It is the unique cry of a heart of a son of God (believers).
7 Therefore you are no longer a slave (under the Law) but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (See Romans 8:17)
You are given the right to your inheritance once you go from child to adult.
When you think of it, what a tragedy to be bound by the law AND sin (again AFTER being saved). To be set free in Christ (Salvation/Grace), and thus, to move onto to maturity, only to have the Judaizers lead you back to under Law/legalism instead of growing in the GRACE and in the KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST.
Legalism is NEVER a step toward MATURITY but backwards.
Praise be to God; no longer is your relationship to God determined by your race, rank, or role. No longer are you shut up in the prison house of sin. No longer are you under the curse of the law. We are sons of God by faith in Jesus Christ.