From Slave to Heir

Key Verse: “When the fulness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, that he might redeem them that were under the law, that we might reveive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”
—Galatians 4:4-6, American Standard Version

Selected Scripture:
Galatians 3:19 – 4:7

IN TODAY’S LESSON, THE Apostle Paul was wrestling with an issue that was troubling the Galatian churches—the place of the Law in God’s plan of salvation for mankind. The apostle treasured the Law as a most holy, and complete, revelation. However, it wasn’t until after his conversion that he had revealed to him the real purpose of the Law, and its place in God’s plan. We read, “What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator. A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one.”—Gal. 3:19,20, New International Version

What was this promise? We find the answer in Genesis 12:1-3, and Genesis 22:18, where we read, “In thy [Abraham’s] seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” The ‘Seed’ mentioned was Christ. (Gal. 3:16) The Law was a “schoolmaster”—a servant and instructor—to bring the Jews to Christ, that they might be justified by faith.—vs. 24

The apostle asks a question, “Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.”—vss. 21,22

The Jews were in bondage under the Law which never could give them life. But now being brought to Christ by faith, they were no longer in bondage. “Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (vss. 26,27) Going on, the apostle says, “If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”—vs. 29

There is another important point that the Apostle Paul brings to our attention. He points out that we, who were Gentiles, were also in bondage; the bondage to the elements of the world. All of us were Adam’s children, born in sin. The Prophet David says, “I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Ps. 51:5) Speaking to those Jews under the law, “When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.—Gal. 4:4,5

It took Jesus, born a Jew, born perfect, “holy, harmless, undefiled, [and] separate from sinners,” one able to keep the law in every respect, to release those under bondage, under the Law.—Heb. 7:26

Finally, the apostle says, “Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”—Gal. 4:6,7

Dawn Bible Students Association
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