Galatians 4


Joel King


Galatians 4:1-31


· Paul shares an illustration
· A child who is to be heir is subject to others until the time his father sets for his inheritance
· In the same way, those before Messiah were subject to the law until the time God set for the Messiah
· But when the time was right God sent his son who was born to a woman and came under the law.
· However, he came to set the heirs free from the law that they might receive their inheritance
· Now that we are sons and daughters of God he has given us his Holy Spirit, and that gives us the right to call out to God, “Daddy”
· We are no longer subject to the law, but have come of age, and are free to live as sons and daughters with a full inheritance
· Paul points out that before they knew God they subjected themselves as slaves to idols that really were no gods at all
· He wants to know that now that God has brought them unto himself why would they want to go back to being enslaved all again
· He doesn’t understand why they are celebrating meaningless religious dates and festivals
· He hopes his time teaching them about grace wasn’t wasted
· He desperately asks them to become like him, not bound to the law, for when he was among them he became like them and didn’t follow Jewish customs
· He reminds them that at first he met them because he couldn’t travel because of an illness
· And though they took care of Paul it wasn’t a labor because they loved the message that he taught them, it was like Paul was an angel delivering a message straight from God
· It wants to know what happened to their joy about being free, and how he went from being a saint who shared the truth to being treated like an enemy
· He warns them that these false teachers are just trying to win them over and alienate the Galatians from Paul
· It is fine to be zealous but it is important we are zealous for the right things (grace not law)
· He wishes he could be there and hear first hand what is going on for he worries about them like a woman does her children
· He asks them a question of those who are thinking of living according to the law, if they really understand the law
· He points to the two sons of Abraham, one born to Abraham’s slave Hagar –Ishmael, the other born to his actual wife Sarah –Isaac.
· Ishmael was born naturally within the realm of possibility
· But Isaac was born as a result of God’s promise. A miracle as the old woman passed child bearing age gave birth to him
· He teaches that this could also be a good illustration of the two covenants
· The covenant with Moses is liken to Hagar who had a child who was born a slave
· This is like those in Jerusalem still serving the law, they are still slaves
· But the center of real worship is from above and gives birth to free people
· He then quotes Isaiah 54:1 in regards to the barren woman, Isaac’s mom, outpacing the woman who could naturally give birth
· Paul then says that like Isaac they are children of the promise
· And just like Isaac bothered Ishmael, those under the law are bothered by those of us who are free
· But even scripture says that the promised inheritance is only for the free son
· We who are in Christ are the free sons and daughters of inheritance.


· I need to take grace serious, and continually ask myself if I am really leaning on what Jesus did or if I am beginning to lean on what I am doing
· Part of this assessment is measuring my joy. Am I thankful and joyful that God takes me as I am or has my joy diminished because I am trying so hard to earn God’s love myself?
· As a teacher, I need to continually remind those I lead that we are children of freedom. We live by grace and respond in grace. We no longer need to enslave ourselves to the law and earning righteousness.
· I have my inheritance. I am a child of God and need to act like one; not like a slave but someone who is favored by the father.


Forgive me for forgetting the joy of my salvation, and beginning to think that I can earn my right standing before you. Help me renew that sense that you meet me right where I am at and respond in love. Show what it is to live in the freedom of grace and yet be motivated by love to go about doing the Father’s business. Thank you for receiving me into your family and allowing me to call you “Daddy.” I am blessed to have you as a Father. Teach me to live like one of your royal sons. In Jesus Name I pray. AMEN

3 comments (Add your own)

1. Jim Asselin wrote:
Amen - Heavenly Father, help me to live like a free man, an heir to Your eternal estate today, and to be an ambassador for You.

Mon, May 11, 2015 @ 6:46 AM

2. Jan Ramirez wrote:
As an heir, do I live as a CURRENT heir, accessing all I have 'inherited', all I have access to in the Father, through Christ??
Or am I living in this world, surrounded by it's distractions, only with the ANTICIPATION of the life after this one?

Father, help me to live free NOW, in you, by your Spirit, as I have been set free from the bondage of man. Help others see you in me, and instead of being 'bothered', that they would instead be drawn to you.
In Jesus' name, Amen.

Tue, May 12, 2015 @ 11:02 AM

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