Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Galatians 4:1-7 "Daddy!"

Our family loves the idea of adoption. Our younger daughter, Emmy, has adopted two of the most adorable girls to join their brother, Beau, to complete the Blakely family. We could not love them any more if they were genetically related. Don and I are as much “Nanny and Papa” to them as we are to our other three grandchildren. And if Don and I had a large estate to pass on (which we DON’T), they would share equally in it. But not yet.

They are too young to benefit as heirs at this point. Should we die before they were old enough, any funds they inherited would be held in trust for them. A trustee would be guarding their inheritance until they were ready to acquire it. So, at this point, even though they technically are heirs, right now they have no more benefit than a servant in our home would have. {Man! All of this is so far from our actual world!!!}

This is the analogy that Paul uses to explain the way the Law kept guard over us until the right time, when Christ came:

Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had.  They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set.  And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world. (Galatians 4:1-3 NLT)

Now, the “basic spiritual principles,” or the Law, was good. It taught us how we should live. The problem is it had no power in it to help us actually keep it! All it did was keep us in the status of slaves. Paul asserts that it was Christ who bought us out of slavery, and gave us the full status and rights of adopted children:

But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law.  God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir. (vs. 4-7)

Okay, I don’t know about you, but it absolutely blows my mind that the Almighty God, Creator of the universe has brought me into His family and allows me to call Him “Abba,” which is the equivalent of “Daddy!” Really? Wow! And He has made me an heir to all of the promises in Christ. Not because I could keep the Law, but because His Son perfectly fulfilled it. The image of me running to my Father, with my arms open wide is a joy-filled image. This relationship trumps any religion big time.

So, having been freed from bondage to a Law NO ONE but Christ could keep, why would I choose to go back to the Law again? Why would I put myself under an impossible burden that robs me of all joy? That’s the same question Paul asks the Galatians in the next passage we’ll look at. Stay tuned.  

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