Faithlife Sermons

No Longer a Slave but a Son

Galatians Series  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  50:56
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Galatians 4:4-7
Summary: The Bible talks about us as being sons of God. What does that mean to us as we live our Christian life?
James Dobson tells of the time he was away on a business trip. While he was away, and his wife and 2 children were sitting down to eat, his wife turned to their two year old son Ryan and asked if he would like to pray before he and sister ate.
The invitation startled the little boy, but he folded his little hands, bowed his head and said reverently,
“I love you Daddy, Amen.”
(James Dobson, Focus On The Family Magazine April 07 p. 18)
APPLY: Now, who was little Ryan praying to?
(His earthly daddy)
Because, in his child-like mind – his earthly father WAS God. His earthly father was most powerful being he knew.
Granted, it was bad theology.
But in his childlike mistake Ryan hit upon a truth.
You see, when you and I become Christians, God - the most powerful being we could possibly know – God became our Father.
Paul writes in
Galatians 4:4–7 NKJV
But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
This is a repeated theme throughout the New Testament.
Romans 8:14–16 NKJV
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
John wrote: How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called CHILDREN OF GOD! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
1 John 3:1 NKJV
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
And earlier in Galatians, Paul had written:
Galatians 3:26–27 NKJV
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Now, this is a unique relationship that God has given us.
We are all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
Until Jesus came… that hadn’t happened before.
The people of the OLD Testament had a special relationship with God, but they were never called “the Children of God.”
They were known as the PEOPLE of God.
They were known as the CHILDREN of Israel.
But they were NOT called the “children of God.”
But, at one point in the Old Testament, God declared that this was going to change. He said He was going to establish a NEW relationship with His people. He was going to create a new contract with them – a New Covenant.
The Apostle Peter quoted an OT prophecy when he told the Gentile Christians:
1 Peter 2:10 NKJV
who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
Now, what prophecy was Peter referring to?
It was from Hosea 1:9-10.
And in that passage God declared:
Hosea 1:10b NKJV
“Yet the number of the children of Israel Shall be as the sand of the sea, Which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass In the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There it shall be said to them, You are sons of the living God.’
God declared we’d be called “sons of the living God” - a phrase never before used in Scripture. Long before Jesus was born… and lived… and died… and rose again God had decided that when we became Christians, we would be called “the sons of the living God.”
We were allowed that privilege because God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.
So, because of Jesus, we now have full rights as sons.
We have been adopted by God.

What exactly does being adopted by God mean?

1. We ARE NOT under the Law.

Galatians 4:4–5 NKJV
But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
We’ve been redeemed from UNDER the Law.
Those UNDER the Mosaic law lived UNDER the strict rules and penalties of that Law.
Imagine driving down the road going 3 miles over the speed limit. How many of you have ever done that?
(Some of you aren’t telling the truth).
You see red and blue lights in your rearview mirror and you pull over. A policeman steps up to your window and gives you a ticket.
Did he have a right to give you that ticket?
Because the LAW decreed a certain limit... and you were over the limit set by Law. You broke that Law, so you are subject to the penalties of that Law.
Romans 3 tells us that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
We’ve all broken God’s Law and thus we are subject to the penalty of that Law.
And, what’s the penalty? It is death.
Romans 6:23 NKJV
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
According to Romans 6:23, Through Jesus Christ, we have escaped the penalty of the Law.
Galatians 4:6 NKJV
And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”
Being called a son of God is NOT just some glorified “get out of Hell free” card. It’s an invitation from God to be HIS child. To receive His blessings and to live with Him and spend time with Him for all eternity.
Imagine being approached by one of the wealthiest and most respected men in the nation. He’s come to town and during his visit he meets you. He takes a liking to you. He likes you so much, he has a deal for you.
He wants to adopt you.
He wants to make you his child.
You will be heir to a fabulous fortune.
You will live in a mansion.
You’ll eat at his table.
And when you receive your inheritance, you will have no worries for the rest of your life.
Does that sound like a good deal to you?
Sounds like a GREAT deal to me!
And that’s precisely what God has offered us.
He has offered to adopt you.
What does that mean to be adopted?
First it means we are no longer under law. And secondly it means

2. We ARE children of God.

Now with that position in relationship to God it does come with some responsibilities. One major responsibility has to do with honoring, showing respect.
In Scripture, a proper son/daughter was one who honored their parents. The 4th of the 10 commandments says
Exodus 20:12 NKJV
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
And Malachi 1:6 says that both a good son and good servant are expected to do this – to honor the one to whom they belong. In
Malachi 1:6 NKJV
“A son honors his father, And a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is My honor? And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence? Says the Lord of hosts To you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’
If we are a good child of God, or a good servant of God we will show it in the honor we give to our Father. But how do I honor Him?
1 John 3:10 NKJV
In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.
In other words, “Anyone who DOES NOT DO what is right IS NOT A CHILD of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.”
Thus, if we’re children of God…we will honor God by striving to do right things, not wrong things. Because it will be found in our new life giving nature that God himself replaced the Old with the New. It will be seen and there will be certain profound and radical changes in a true child of God’s life.
But now Philippians 2:14-15 carries it one step further:
Philippians 2:14–15 NKJV
Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
We should do what we do for God with such a spirit of joy and excitement that the world sits up and takes notice. We must not be seen as those who complain or argue.
Have you ever complained?
Have you ever argued?
Of course you have, and I have.
But as children of God we’ve got to get out of that mindset. We need to stop being so spoiled. And understand the gift that has been given to us. Sometimes we just forget what has been given. And we need not forget it.
You can probably talk to anyone who has adopted children from 3rd world countries.
When they went to that continent and visited the ‘adoption agency’ they were struck by how bleak the atmosphere was there. The children had come out of an atmosphere of poverty. They had once been clothed in rags, and struggled to find food to eat. They had been on the verge of death from malnourishment.
But now, here was the couple from America telling two of these boys:
”We want you. We want you to come live with us in America.”
And they adopted them and brought them home to a wonderful land.
These boys now live in a home with loving parents.
And when mom and dad ask them to wash the dishes they huff and the puff for a little… but then they realize they have dishes to eat off of. They have food to make those dishes need washed. So they pick up the dish rag and they go to work.
Why do they honor their parents this way?
Because they are grateful for what they have.
They know the powerful gift their new parents have given them in adopting them and they appreciate it.
And so they wash dishes gladly.
And they make their beds.
They clean their rooms
Brush their teeth… and on and on and on.
They are grateful children and so they joyfully do their chores.
That’s why the Bible is so filled with an emphasis on our being thankful and grateful. Because it is only in being grateful that we honor our Heavenly Father. We are those who joyfully do the work He’s set before us… and when we do that, the world sits up and takes notice.

How does one get to be adopted?

Well, Galatians answers that question in chapter 26-27
Galatians 3:26–27 NKJV
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
So what does Paul say one must do to become a child or son of God.

Faith in Christ Jesus.

Faith in Christ transmits baptism into Christ which produces Christ in ones life.
Romans 6:3–6 NKJV
Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
Ask yourself this morning, “Have I been adopted into God’s family?
Romans 10:9–13 NKJV
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
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