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Galatians Free Bible notes

Daily Bible thoughts 755: Tuesday 25th November 2014:

Isaiah 51:17-23

This is the second of three ‘’Awake, awake!’’ references that come in the space of two chapters (51, 52). The first one was a prayer, asking God to do something (51:9). But in the next two references God responds by telling Jerusalem to do something (51:9, 52:1). In a sense, a prayer for revival is one in which we ask God to ‘wake up His power’. Of course God’s power is never sleeping, but, at times, it can feel like it is. So we ask God to show His muscular ‘’arm’’. Then, in revival, God wakes up His church. Only once in these two chapters does the church ask God to wake up, but twice, God tells His church to wake up. God doesn’t need waking up. It just seems to us that He does. But His church does require an awakening. We are so often like Peter and John on the Mount of Transfiguration: ‘’very sleepy’’. Only when we become ‘’fully awake’’ will we see Jesus’ ‘’glory’’ (Luke 9:32). What kind of impact would a fully awakened church have on this nation; indeed on this world? May God have mercy on us for being so dopey!

God tells Jerusalem and its people to wake up because it’s a new day. They had ‘’drunk from…the cup…’’ of God’s ‘’wrath’’ (17). This is like a cup of strong wine that overwhelms the drinker and makes him ‘’stagger’’. However, all that was in the past. Their enemies would now be made to drink from that bitter cup (22, 23).

‘’You’ve drunk the cup GOD handed you, the strong drink of his anger. You drank it down to the last drop, staggered and collapsed, dead-drunk. And nobody to help you home, no one among your friends or children to take you by the hand and put you in bed. You’ve been hit with a double dose of trouble – does anyone care? Assault and battery, hunger and death – will anyone comfort? Your sons and daughters have passed out, strewn in the streets like stunned rabbits, Sleeping off the strong drink of GOD’s anger. The rage of your God. Therefore listen, please, you with splitting headaches, You who are nursing the hangovers that didn’t come from drinking wine. Your Master, your GOD, has something to say, your God has taken up his people’s case: ‘’Look, I’ve taken back the drink that sent you reeling. No more drinking from that jug of my anger! I’ve passed it over to your abusers to drink, those who ordered you, ‘Down on the ground so we can walk all over you!’ And you had to do it. Flat on the ground, you were the dirt under their feet.’’ The Message.

It is a wonderful gospel truth that no-one in the world need fear drinking the cup of God’s anger, if they put their trust in Jesus who drank it to its dregs for them upon the cross (Matthew 26:39). This passage says that with God there can be a new day and a second chance. Ultimately, all new beginnings in the gospel stem from the cross.

Prayer: I may not know, I cannot tell, what pains He had to bear; but I believe it was for us, He hung and suffered there. Thank you Jesus.

Daily Bible thoughts 754: Monday 24th November 2014:

Galatians 6:11-18

Some people think the illness that brought Paul into the orbit of the Galatians (4:13) was an eye condition. Here is one reason why (11; see 4:15) Paul suffered unimaginably for the gospel (2 Corinthians 11:21-33), yet he gives this fact only a cursory mention in (17). There is something profoundly touching and sad about his words. Paul was ‘’persecuted’’ (12; see 4:29) because he was cross-centred (12-15). One reason why the message of the cross leads to a backlash is because it crucifies pride. It gives you no ground for boasting about yourself and your achievements. You can’t say, ‘I’m in the Kingdom of God because of my efforts; my religious activity. I’m here because of my own merits, because I was circumcised (or some other religious thing.)’ The cross gives you nothing to ‘’boast’’ about except ‘’the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.’’ (14). Simply through faith in ‘’Christ crucified’’ (1 Corinthians 1:23, 24) people are born again and made anew by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 5:17). We could argue that (15) sums up the entire letter to the Galatians. It is about ‘’grace’’ , ‘’mercy’’ and ‘’peace’’ (18, 16). We don’t earn anything; we don’t deserve anything because of some religious thing we do. We receive forgiveness of sins and a right standing with God through trust in Christ and His finished work on the cross. He puts His Spirit into us and makes us brand new people. ‘’When I survey the wondrous cross, on which the Prince of glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.’’ The cross of Jesus gives you nothing to brag about, and that is one reason why it gets its preachers into so much trouble. Paul knew that the very people who insisted on the need for circumcision/keeping the law, in fact did not keep the whole law themselves. They were highly selective in what they did (13)

Bill Hybels, the senior pastor of ‘Willow Creek Community Church’ ,Chicago, was attending a party on a boat one night. Just as he was stepping onto the ladder to leave, one of the guests shouted to him, ‘’Hey Bill, What’s the difference between religion and Christianity?’’ He knew that he only had a moment or two in which to answer, but this is what he said: ‘’Well, I spell religion ‘D.O.’ because it’s about all the things that people do to try to get right with God. But I spell Christianity ‘D.O.N.E.’ because it’s about what Jesus has done on the cross to make it possible for us to come to God. We just have to receive this as a gift.’’ We could say that the message of ‘Galatians’ can be summed up in terms of ‘do versus done’. The Judaizers were saying, ‘Do’. They said there are things you have to do to be saved, in addition to believing in Jesus. Notably, they argued, ‘You have to be circumcised’. Paul, however, resisted that notion. ‘It’s all been done for you on the cross by Jesus,’ he retorted.’ You simply have to receive this gift.’ In every generation of the church, people will come along who in some way pervert the truth of the gospel. They will re-shape it in their own image. The error may take on a subtle form, or it may be glaringly obvious. However it appears; whatever shape it takes, ‘Galatians’ shows that Christians must stand for the truth standing on the truth. I don’t believe we should get obsessed with erroneous teaching. Some Christians do, it seems to me, and I don’t believe it is healthy. They become spiritual ‘bloodhounds’, with their noses perpetually to the ground, sniffing out heresy wherever they can find it. They end up finding it where it isn’t! Nevertheless we need to be always on the alert, and ready to put the ‘gloves’ on for the sake of truth.

Well, we can do no better than leave the final word with Paul: ‘’May what our Master Jesus Christ gives freely be deeply and personally yours, my friends. Oh, yes! The Message.

Prayer: Thank you Father God for your amazing grace!


Daily Bible thoughts 753: Friday 21st November 2014:

Galatians 6:1-10

At the heart of this passage you find a statement that encapsulates a truth found all through the Bible (7), namely that what you ‘’sow’’ you will also ‘’reap’’. If you plant corn, you don’t expect to harvest potatoes! ‘’What a person plants, he will harvest.’’ In everything we do or say we are ‘sowing’, either to ‘’please’’ the ‘’sinful nature’’ or ‘’the Spirit’’ (8). Actions have consequences, for good or bad. It depends on the nature of the ‘seed’ we are scattering. (I remember a well-known Christian author/preacher saying that we cannot keep sowing to ‘the flesh’ and expect to grow spiritually. It doesn’t work like that.) We have seen, in this letter that you don’t do good in order to become a Christian. It doesn’t work like that. But as a Christ-follower, indwelt by His Spirit, you are set free to do good (see Ephesians 2:10). This is not in order to become something, but because of what you are in Christ. So we are to sow seeds of goodness everywhere (9). Whether appreciation is shown or not; whether it seems to have any impact or not; whether we benefit from it or not, realise the results are in God’s Hands. We can trust Him with the harvest. Faithful seed sowing must lead to a crop. God will give us what we have worked for. ‘’Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.’’ (10).The Message. At times, we may feel that those around us don’t show the consideration we might like to receive from them. But the issue is not how others are behaving. We can’t control that. We can, however, do something about our own behaviour. We can walk out into each new day, determined to sow goodness seeds everywhere, and as many as possible. Being and doing good today, by the power of the Holy Spirit, are within reach of all true believers in Christ. How many opportunities to do good did we miss yesterday? Today is a new opportunity. Let us ‘seize the day’.

Here are some ways we can show this goodness to others:

  • By gentleness (6a; compare with 5:15, 26): ‘’If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out.’’ The Message. Our aim should be to lift people up where possible, not pull them down.
  • By humility (1b, 3; see Romans 12:3): Recognise your own weakness, vulnerability to temptation, and proneness to fall.
  • By giving mutual support (2; see 1 Corinthians 12:26).
  • By not comparing or competing with our brothers and sisters (4, 5). It is sadly possible to feel good (or better) about yourself by thinking ill of others. But the gospel tells us it is not our job to judge anyone. Conversely, we can look at other people and feel inferior. The message is, ‘Just be yourself in Christ.’ With God’s help; with the power of His Spirit in you, be the best version of who He made you to be that you can be. The only person you can legitimately compare yourself with is Jesus. Doing this will keep you humble. ‘’Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.’’ The Message. The ‘’load’’ in (5) is different from the ‘’burdens’’ in (2). It is about doing your duty; fulfilling your own God-given responsibility; being who God has made you to be.
  • By generosity (6). In this particular case the point relates to looking after those who teach the Word. Prayer: Thank you Lord that this day will be crammed with opportunities to do good. Help me to see, and to seize, each one, for your glory.



Daily Bible thoughts 747: Thursday 13th November 2014:

Galatians 5:16-26

‘’Every time we say, ‘I believe in the Holy Spirit,’ we mean that there is a living God able and willing to enter human personality and change it.’’ J. B. Phillips.

The Christian life is not a matter of keeping laws (18). As we have seen, we trust in Jesus to rescue us from sin. (Michael Green once wrote that the very Name ‘Jesus’ means ‘God to the rescue!’) Now we come to the further truth that we are transformed by the Holy Spirit. As we live by the power of the indwelling Spirit, He enables each one of us to ‘’not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.’’ (16). Because of His enabling, we can avoid toxic behaviours such as those described in (15, 19-21 and 26.) Notice that we will feel those desires, but the Holy Spirit will help us to ‘Just say no!’ I think it was Martin Luther who said, ‘’You can’t help the birds flying around your head, but you can stop them building a nest in your hair!’’ The old hymn is spot on: ‘’Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin.’’

There is no doubt that we are capable of such bad behaviour as described in verses 19-21. Verses 16-23 point to what someone has called the fact of Christian conflict. This is a shorter version of Paul’s longer argument in Romans 7. The problem for every follower of Christ is that we still have a ‘’sinful nature’’. It is not surgically removed at the moment of conversion. It will be with us until we die. Just as a crown green bowling ball is fitted with a ‘bias’, and therefore has a tendency to go off course, so do we! We tend to veer off from the straight and true. We have this thing within that wants to sin and likes to sin. It is permanently inside us. At least, it is until we die. We can, for example, want to bite and devour fellow believers. We can feel proud or jealous. We can hate. We can be egotistical. We can have wrong sexual desires. We are capable of terrible things. Each one of us is aware of an inner ‘tug of war’ between the new nature and the old. The war within is real and relentless. A young pastor asked an older, veteran pastor, ‘At what age will I cease to battle with lust?’ The old man replied, ‘Son, when I get there I’ll let you know!’ This fight is ferocious, and it can be deeply distressing to those who long after holiness. The Holy Spirit causes us to desire things that are contrary to what the sinful nature has appetites for, but oh how this inward civil war rages! The Spirit stirs up hankerings after goodness, but the flesh resists furiously. There is no getting away from this fact of conflict.

But the passage also points to the way of Christian victory. There are two clear things we have to do: i) we must crucify the sinful nature (24): this is something we ‘’have’’ done at our conversion. But also, we know it is something we have to continually do. We must live in repentance, dealing radically with all forms of temptation; we have to be ruthless in our resistance, cordoning off all possible highways to sin (Matthew 5:29, 30); ii) we are to ‘’keep in step with the Spirit.’’ (25). It strikes me that these two principles are in tandem. We can’t perform the first without the second. Only by God’s power can anyone hammer nails into the sinful nature. Without that divine energising we will pander to the flesh and let it have its own way. ‘’Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every area of our lives. This means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.

The Message: Thank you that the Holy Spirit is in my ‘corner’ and that He is the ‘Champion’. Thank you that He has got the beating of my sinful nature, and will train me to be a winner.

Daily Bible thoughts 746: Wednesday 12th November 2014:

Galatians 5:7-15

We have all known brothers and sisters in Christ who at one time ‘’were running a good race.’’ (7). There is always a reason why we find them sitting in a crumpled heap beside the track. It may not be the same one that we find in Galatians, but there will be a cause. It is never less than heart-breaking to see someone drop out of the race.

Something was happening in the churches of Galatia that was not of God (8). The believers were being affected (and infected!) by false teaching, and a little drop of that poison can do a whole lot of damage (9). You don’t need a huge portion of it to wreck the local church. A grain or two on your plate will be enough. The ‘’offence of the cross’’ (11b) is, at least in part, the message that faith in Jesus’s sacrifice alone will save you. You don’t have to add any other good works into the mix. This applies to circumcision – a rite that was so important to Jews (11). Paul was ‘’persecuted’’ because he preached that salvation is by grace alone and through faith alone. Simple trust in Christ will suffice. He reserved the strongest language for those who wanted to pervert the gospel message (12). ‘’Why don’t these agitators, obsessive as they are about circumcision, go all the way and castrate themselves!’’ The Message. Tough words!

The battle for the faith was not something to be taken lightly (Jude 3). There were people who were spreading the rumour that Paul was preaching circumcision. He absolutely refutes this, saying that he would not be experiencing persecution if it were true. The Judaizers would let him alone if that were the case. But he had not given up hope for the Galatians (10), and believed that they would not turn away from the true gospel. He was clear in his mind that false teachers would get their punishment.

As Christian people we are ‘’free’’ (13-15). We are free from trying to save ourselves by our own efforts. We are freed from that self-defeating approach to life. But this ‘’freedom’’ does not then become a license to sin (see also Romans 6). People who misunderstood or misrepresented Paul’s teaching would argue that this is what he said. But nothing could be further from the truth. We are free from a man-made, do-it-yourself religion of works. Even more important, we are free from the guilt of sin. But Paul also emphasises that we are free to live right and responsibly, before God and with each other. ‘’It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom.’’ The Message. ‘’Law works by compulsion from without, but grace works by compassion from within.’’ Warren W. Wiersbe: ‘With the Word’, p.770

Sadly, many Christians have proved the truth of (15), probably without knowing (or remembering) that these words are in the Bible: ‘’But if you act like wild animals, hurting and harming each other, then watch out, or you will completely destroy one another.’’ The Good News Bible.

Prayer: Thank you for this wonderful freedom in Jesus; a liberty to do right and not do wrong. I am free indeed. Thank you Lord.

Daily Bible thoughts 740: Tuesday 4th November 2014:

 Galatians 5:1-6 (why not have a listen to the talk on Galatians see talks page)

Here are two balanced points to hold together in our understanding:

  1. Faith does not need the addition of works to save a person: The Judaizers were saying to the Galatian believers, ‘You need Christ plus circumcision to be saved.’ Paul’s reply was adamant: ‘No, you need Christ only.’ Paul’s message was about ‘’grace’’ (4) and ‘’faith’’ (5). A person becomes a Christian because of God’s grace (His undeserved favour) and through faith. God doesn’t ask you to be circumcised to belong to Him, or to do anything else, but to trust in Christ alone. It really is that simple. Paul saw that their pre-Christian lives under the Jewish law had been one of carrying a heavy burden – ‘’a yoke of slavery’’ (1). Having been set free by Christ from trying to earn God’s favour, he urged them not to return to ‘the land of bondage.’ Keith Green recorded an album some years ago which was entitled, ‘So you wanna go back to Egypt?’ That was Paul’s question!


  1. Faith without works is dead (as the apostle James would say, verse 6): You don’t need to add any good works to faith in order to become a follower of Christ, but, (and here’s the subtle, nuanced balance we need to maintain) as a person of true faith you will manifest this in good deeds (Ephesians 2:10). You’re not trusting in the good deeds to get you saved; but as a saved person you will do good deeds. Faith in Jesus will be accompanied by the fruit of Jesus’ own character reproduced within. We will see more of this shortly. Faith will express itself ‘’through love’’ (6; see Romans 5:5 and James 2:14, 17). People of faith in Jesus have a growing love for God and for others, by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Old Testament law is fulfilled in them. It is written on their hearts (Jeremiah 31:33). They are not trying to keep the law in order to get right with God, but they do keep it as the overflow of God’s life within them.

The point has been well made that to fall ‘’away from grace’’ (4) does not mean to lose your salvation. It means to move out of the sphere of grace and operate in the realm of law. It is to substitute regulations for a living relationship with Christ. Beware of any teaching that bases your acceptance with God on any kind of religious performance.

As the hymn-writer said: ‘’Nothing in my hand I bring; simply to thy cross I cling.’’

Prayer: Lord, I sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that what I do can make me more acceptable to you. Today I am reminded that my acceptance with you is all because of you. It is based on faith in the finished work of Christ, and even that faith is your gift. Thank you for your amazing grace! But I also ask that you will keep me from falling into the trap of thinking that it doesn’t matter how I live because you accept me. I recognise that it does, and that by the power of the Holy Spirit I will go on being changed. I want to fully co-operate with you in this work of transformation.

Daily Bible thoughts 739: Monday 3rd November 2014:

Galatians 4:21-31

In this next section ‘’Hagar’’ represents the Old Testament law, and Sarah stands for the new covenant of grace. The challenge for the Galatians lay in this: would they return to slavery, trying to be made right with God through works of the law; or would they maintain the freedom of trusting in Jesus alone for salvation? Would they substitute human effort for faith? There are at least two key ideas here

  • Promise (23, 28): We might say that Abraham ‘worked’ for the son he had with Hagar, ‘’the slave woman’’. Ishmael was born because of human reasoning and effort. ‘’The son of the slave woman was born by human connivance…’’ The Message. On the other hand, Abraham ‘believed’ for the son he had with Sarah. It was biologically impossible for him and Sarah to have a child, but he believed God’s promise that they would, and they did! (Romans 4:18-25). A son was conceived and born ‘’by the power of the Spirit’’ (29). Christians are Abraham’s true children because they also believe God’s promise that they will have a right standing with God if they put their trust in Jesus. Through faith in Him the impossible happens: we are forgiven our sins and made right with our Maker. So ‘’like Isaac’’ we ‘’are children of promise’’ (28). We can try to get saved and fail, or trust for salvation and enter into it. Hagar (and Abraham) represent trying; Sarah (and Abraham) represent trusting. Paul saw clearly that to go back from trusting to trying was a return to religious slavery. That really should not be seen as a viable option for anyone in Christ (30). We want to put distance between ourselves and any form of slavery (30; see 5:1; Genesis 21:10, 12-14). As Abraham ‘got rid’ of Hagar, Paul says the Galatians should rid themselves of the Jewish false teachers (and their teaching) who were wanting to take them back to the law and bondage.
  • Persecution (29): The persecution of Isaac by Ishmael was a foreshadowing of the difficulties (in Paul’s day) created for true believers by the Judaizers (those with a message of ‘works righteousness’.) Paul taught ‘believe and you will receive’. Salvation is by faith in God’s promise. But his opponents taught the need for human effort for salvation. Faith alone was not enough. It had to be supplemented with certain good deeds, such as circumcision. So the Christians were experiencing this painful antagonism: ‘’Isn’t it clear that the harassment you are now experiencing from the Jerusalem heretics follows that old pattern? The Message.

‘’God’s promise – that is, His word – is powerful. It is a living word. It gives life. Through God’s word Sarah gave birth to a child, Isaac, even though she was ninety years old! In the same way, through God’s word of grace, THE Galatians have been born by the power of the Spirit (verse 29). They too are citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem, the true offspring of Abraham, not by natural descent but by the grace of God. Why should the Galatians now turn back and seek to live like children of Hagar the slave woman?…Let us not throw away the grace of God by putting our faith in the works of any law or any religion. Let our faith be in Christ, and in Christ alone.’’ Tom Hale: ‘The applied New Testament Commentary, p. 715. ‘’…to live by grace, through faith, gives one a free and fulfilling Christian life…you and I need to beware lest Ishmael and Hagar have crept back into our lives. If they have-let us cast them out.’’ Warren W. Wiersbe: ‘The Wiesbe Bible Commentary’ (NT), p.570.

Prayer: Thank you Lord that our salvation does not depend on works. We could never know if we had done enough good works. I am so grateful for the freedom that simple trust in Jesus brings.



Daily Bible thoughts 731: Wednesday 22nd October 2014:

 Galatians 4:8-20

‘’In the egg, when first laid, there is a tiny point of life amid the thick, viscous fluid; but this gradually increases, while the other diminishes, and at last there is hardly a trace of this left, and the chick is formed, the egg-shell is broken, and the tiny feathered thing steps forth. The chick is formed in the shell.’’ F.B. Meyer: ‘Great verses through the Bible’, p.432

It is sad when you see people make good progress in the Christian life, and then start to regress (11). This is so painful for a genuine Christian leader. ‘’I am afraid that all my hard work among you has gone up in a puff of smoke.’’ The Message. That feeling is hard to take. Authentic ministry can be like childbirth (19). You ‘labour’ to see people become increasingly Christ-like, but this work can be excruciating. It’s never more heart-breaking than when you see people go back to their old ways. Do you know how I feel right now, and will feel until Christ’s life becomes visible in your lives? Like a mother in the pain of childbirth. The Message. Pray for Christian leaders. They carry burdens (and wounds) that don’t always show on the surface. They must persevere through great disappointments. Remember this and determine that you will keep them in your prayers, and not insensitively and unnecessarily add to their ‘load’.

There was a time when the Galatian believers were unbelievers (8). This is true of us all. We can look back to when we ‘’did not know God’’. When Paul says, ‘’But now that you know God – or rather are known by God…’’ (9), he is underlining God’s initiative in salvation; His sovereign choice of them. This always precedes our decision to move towards Him. In their pre-Christian days the Galatians were in slavery to idols. In going back to the law, Paul saw them as returning to a form of slavery (9, 10; see also 3). This wasn’t a palatable thing to say. It wasn’t a ‘sermon’ the Galatians wanted to hear. It wasn’t likely to get him an invitation to come back to their church!But Paul would not pull any punches with the gospel itself at stake. The false teachers, who had seen good success with the Galatians, flattered them for their own purposes (17). No-one could ever properly accuse Paul of such an approach. ‘’And now have I suddenly become your enemy simply by telling you the truth? I can’t believe it. Those heretical teachers go to great lengths to flatter you, but their motives are rotten.’’ The Message.

At the core of this passage we see the apostle himself as a living illustration of Romans 8:28. Can good come out of ‘’an illness’’? (14). It did in Paul’s case. It made it possible for him to preach the gospel to the Galatians. (It is thought Paul may have had an eye condition: 4:15; see also 6:11). God was working for Paul’s good. The Galatians treated him with such love and care. He was also working for the Galatians’ good. They heard the gospel through Paul’s physical problem. It can be argued that God was working, too, for the greater God of the many who would later read and benefit from Paul’s letter to the Galatian churches – ourselves included! An illness can have a ‘’because’’ attached to it. In itself it is not a good thing, but God can use it for good and great purposes. ‘’You were well aware that the reason I ended up preaching to you was that I was physically broken, and so, prevented from continuing my journey, I was forced to stop with you. That is how I came to preach to you.’’ The Message. But oh the pain the great apostle must have gone through, to be so loved, and then later on so rejected. Let’s determine that, as far as it lies with us, we will not cause such grief to the leaders Christ, the ascended Lord, has gifted to His church (Ephesians 4).

Prayer: Thank you Sovereign Lord that, although you may allow bad things to happen, you can be trusted to bring good things out of them.

Daily Bible thoughts 730: Tuesday 21st October 2014:

 Galatians 3: 26-4:7

Christian people are no longer slaves to the law but are sons of God. That is the big idea in this section. At just the right time, Jesus, the Son of God, came into the world to make it possible for us to become sons of God (4:4, 5). Be sure that God will never be premature or tardy. He will always be on time.

  • You become a son of God ‘’through faith in Christ Jesus’’ (3:26), and you signify this in water baptism (3:27). Baptism alone doesn’t make anyone a child of God, apart from genuine trust in Christ. Someone said that baptism, as a mere rite, is as valueless as a currency note without gold to back it up. The true children of Abraham are those people who believe God’s ‘’promise’’ and are counted as righteous as a result (3:29).
  • The ‘’sons of God’’ become part of a big family in which all the old distinctions no longer apply (3:28). You will notice that the term ‘’sons of God’’ applies to both male and female. In this new society you don’t cease to be a man or a woman, a Jew or Gentile etc, but those old differences no longer have the power to keep people apart. They no longer form barriers between men and women. In Christ we transcend them. There is a story told about a private soldier and an officer ,sitting in the same pew at a church service. When It came time to receive communion, the soldier stepped out into the aisle and stood back to allow his officer to go first. But the officer said to him, ‘’Not in here!’’ There is unity and equality in Christ. We are on level ground before the cross.
  • As a son of God it is your privilege to have the Spirit of God in your heart (4:6). He enables you to enjoy a relationship of intimate communion with your Heavenly Father. Because of the Spirit’s presence you can call God ‘’Abba’’. This is an Aramaic term meaning ‘dearest Father’. Its nearest English equivalent would be ‘daddy’. This is the same word Jesus used in prayer (Mark 14:36). As adopted children of God, we share with Jesus all rights to God’s resources.
  • Through Christ you become a son of God with the full rights of an heir (3:7). Under Roman law, an adopted child was guaranteed all legal rights to his father’s property, even if he was formerly slave. He would not become a second class son. Rather he would be equal to all the other sons, whether biological or adopted, in the father’s family.

‘’Are you a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ? Then you are also an heir and all of Christ’s riches are yours (Eph.1:3)! A child must wait until maturity to inherit the family wealth, but God’s children can have His wealth now (Phil.4:19).’’ Warren W. Wiersbe: ‘With the Word’, p.768.

Prayer: Lord God, help me to always remember who I am in Christ Jesus, and live no longer as a slave to the law, but as a son of God.


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