Galatians 4:1-7 (Read Here)
Galatians 4:8-31 (Read Here)
Have you ever thought about what being an adopted son or daughter actually means? The start of this chapter gives us a glimpse into a cultural conversation that we rarely discuss today. Sonship was traditionally earned through age and through a striving to gain knowledge. Paul so beautifully paints this picture of Jewish tradition to then say that we too were once enslaved to philosophy and the empty deception of tradition. But at just the right moment in history, King Jesus entered the story and we were renamed and adopted as sons and daughters of God. The Holy Spirit is the deposit and evidence of sonship into God’s family.
By grace and through the work of Christ, we are now the family of God. Paul’s concern for the Galatians in verses 8-20 can be seen as a charge to us as well. For the readers of this letter their temptation was to completely abandon their new covenant with God and turn to the old testament Jewish law. Our temptation is to retreat to the behaviors of slaves and strangers, by sharing our affections with the world. The problem with this is that it completely ignores the grace offered to us through the work of Jesus on the cross. The work of belonging to God as an adopted child only requires one thing of us, that we would abide in Him.
In what spaces in your life have you found yourself behaving like a stranger to God? Take a moment to truly ask God to reveal these sin patterns to you. Write them down, confess them to God and share them with a trusted friend or mentor. Practice the rhythms of intimacy by meditating and praying through each verse of this chapter. Let this freedom of this chapter lead your heart to worship. Lord, as we are sent into the world, may we be a people who understand what it means to belong to you. So very amen.