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Grow Up

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It time to grow up

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Grow Up - Gal 4:1-11

gal 4.9
Galatians 4:9 KJV 1900
9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Summary: You are adult sons of God, so don’t behave like children; behave like the adult sons you are.
Exploring Galatians: An Expository Commentary (1) The past: Acceptance of Spiritual Minority (4:1–3)

It is a great thing to be the seed of Abraham; it is an even greater thing to be a son of God. This is the theme of Paul’s closing argument in the doctrinal section of his letter. His discussion revolves around three facts that are closely connected to what had happened to his Galatian friends. He speaks to them of their birthright as sons of God and shows them the difference between being a minor and being mature

The past: Acceptance of Spiritual Minority (4:1–3)
It is a great thing to be the seed of Abraham; it is an even greater thing to be a son of God.
This is the theme of Paul’s closing argument in the doctrinal section of his letter.
His discussion revolves around three facts that are closely connected to what had happened to his Galatian friends.
He speaks to them of their birthright as sons of God and shows them the difference between being a minor and being mature
Illustration - growing up
5 years old candy and toys
10 years old - friends and games
18 years old - the mall, friends fun
28 years old my finances and career
30 years old - my marriage , kids and providing
40 years old - college for kids, career, marriage and exercise
50 years old - retirement savings, grand kids and vacation time ....
When you grow and age your think differently
Then she jokingly asked him, “Who are you going to marry when you grow up?”
And without hesitation he replied, “When I grow up I'm going to be a pastor and marry them all.” (Marian Obeda, London, Ontario, “Rolling Down the Aisle,” Christian Reader)
Most children look forward to growing up, because there is greater freedom with fewer restrictions.
That’s why it’s so tragic when you see an adult still living with his or her parents, still dependent on someone else to make all their decisions for them.
However, it’s even more tragic when a believer, whom God considers as an adult son, lives like a child.
offended easily
bitter about the past
based happiness on wither they or others obey the rules
The problem is there is no magic formula. There is no “law” which guarantees the good life. So…
The problem is there is no magic formula. There is no “law” which guarantees the good life. So…

I QUIT BEHAVING LIKE CHILDREN.

Galatians 4:1–3 KJV 1900
1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; 2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
gal 4.1-
Stop depending on rules and regulations to find the good life.
Stop relying on some-kind-of law or magic formula to get ahead in life.
Galatians 4:1 KJV 1900
1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. (ESV)
A child is like a slave, because someone else is managing his life. He cannot manage his own estate, and he cannot make his own decisions.
A child is like a slave, because someone else is managing his life. He cannot manage his own estate, and he cannot make his own decisions.
When Princess Diana died in 1997, she left a sizeable inheritance for her two sons, William and Harry, in the amount of $20.4 million. With investments and interest, that amount grew during their teens and twenties to $31.4 million. But the provision was such that William and Harry were only able to inherit this considerable estate after their 30th birthdays. In June, 2012, William turned 30 and received his portion of the inheritance. Later, Harry received his portion on his 30th birthday as well. (Frank Lovelace, “Prince William turns 30, inherits share of Diana estate,” Newsday, 6-20-12; www.PreachingToday.com)
You see, you don’t give a child nearly $16 million! No! You wait until he or she is old enough to make responsible decisions!
That’s the way it was for God’s people.
For nearly 1500 years, from the time of Moses until the time of Christ, God’s people were like children in His eyes. They were like slaves under the guardianship of the law.
In dealing with believers as minors,
Exploring Galatians: An Expository Commentary (1) The past: Acceptance of Spiritual Minority (4:1–3)

In dealing with believers as minors, Paul is looking at the past and has the Jewish believers particularly in mind. He wants to draw the contrast between the spiritual immaturity of the past and the full maturity and freedom that we have in Christ. He has already shown the Law, in its roles as taskmaster, schoolmaster, prison guard, and chaperon. He now compares it to a legal guardian. Under the old economy, the believer was a ward of the state, so to speak. His property and his inheritance were in the care of another. All of that is changed in Christ.

In dealing with believers as minors,
In dealing with believers as minors, Paul is looking at the past and has the Jewish believers particularly in mind. He wants to draw the contrast between the spiritual immaturity of the past and the full maturity and freedom that we have in Christ. He has already shown the Law, in its roles as taskmaster, schoolmaster, prison guard, and chaperon. He now compares it to a legal guardian. Under the old economy, the believer was a ward of the state, so to speak. His property and his inheritance were in the care of another. All of that is changed in Christ.
Paul is looking at the past and has the Jewish believers particularly in mind.
He wants to draw the contrast between the spiritual immaturity of the past and the full maturity and freedom that we have in Christ. He has already shown the Law, in its roles as taskmaster, schoolmaster, prison guard, and chaperon. He now compares it to a legal guardian.
Under the old economy, the believer was a ward of the state, so to speak. His property and his inheritance were in the care of another. All of that is changed in Christ.
application
In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. (ESV)
Galatians 4:3 KJV 1900
3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
Exploring Galatians: An Expository Commentary (1) The past: Acceptance of Spiritual Minority (4:1–3)

The word for “children” is nēpios, which implies a small child, one not old enough to speak. The Law treated people as infants. Everything has to be spelled out for an infant. A child must be told when to go to bed, when to get up, what to eat, and what to wear. From the time it gets up to the time it goes to bed, it is told what to do and where to go. Nearly all of its decisions are made for it. Such was the Law, and such was the state of spiritual infancy of those under the Law.

Indeed, here is the very essence of legalism. In the New Testament, God sets before us general principles. Legalism lays down the law. It says, “You must not do this, that, or the other thing; you must not go here, there, or the other place. You must not wear that or style your hair like that; you must wear this. You must give this amount, support these meetings or those programs, restrict yourself to this circle of fellowship, and boycott that group there. You can believe only what we tell you to believe, and you are to attack everyone who dares to differ. You may read these books, but you mustn’t read those books.” The result is bondage. It is grown-up childishness. Christ has freed us from all such man-made rules and regulations. We are not allowed, however, to do as we please. We are to master the principles that God has given and govern ourselves, as mature adults, by those principles.

Paul here describes the condition of those people who are under law, governed by legalism, as being “under the elements of the world.” The word for “elements” is stoicheion, which means “elementary rules.” Being governed by legalism is suitable only for a child. The word comes from stoichos, which signifies a row or a rank. The verb stoicheō signifies “to walk or march in rank.” That is the heart and soul of legalism. The legalist likes to line everybody up, give orders, and make them march in step to the beat of his drum. Something about that is very intoxicating—to the one giving the orders, that is. It gives him a sense of power. Elsewhere, stoicheion is used of the letters of the alphabet, as elements of speech. Such was the Law. It was for people who were learning their ABCs.

The word for “children” is nēpios, which implies a small child, one not old enough to speak. The Law treated people as infants. Everything has to be spelled out for an infant. A child must be told when to go to bed, when to get up, what to eat, and what to wear. From the time it gets up to the time it goes to bed, it is told what to do and where to go. Nearly all of its decisions are made for it. Such was the Law, and such was the state of spiritual infancy of those under the Law.
The word for “children” is nēpios, which implies a small child, one not old enough to speak. The Law treated people as infants. Everything has to be spelled out for an infant. A child must be told when to go to bed, when to get up, what to eat, and what to wear. From the time it gets up to the time it goes to bed, it is told what to do and where to go. Nearly all of its decisions are made for it. Such was the Law, and such was the state of spiritual infancy of those under the Law.
Indeed, here is the very essence of legalism. In the New Testament, God sets before us general principles.
Legalism lays down the law. It says, “You must not do this, that, or the other thing; you must not go here, there, or the other place.
You must not wear that or style your hair like that; you must wear this.
You must give this amount, support these meetings or those programs, restrict yourself to this circle of fellowship, and boycott that group there.
You can believe only what we tell you to believe, and you are to attack everyone who dares to differ.
the holy spirit and God’s Word is never even an after thought.
The result is bondage. It is grown-up childishness. Christ has freed us from all such man-made rules and regulations.
1 Corinthians 6:20 KJV 1900
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
We are not allowed, however, to do as we please. We are to master the principles that God has given and govern ourselves, as mature adults, by those principles.
The result is bondage. It is grown-up childishness. Christ has freed us from all such man-made rules and regulations. We are not allowed, however, to do as we please. We are to master the principles that God has given and govern ourselves, as mature adults, by those principles.
We are not allowed, however, to do as we please. We are to master the principles that God has given and govern ourselves, as mature adults, by those principles.
vs3 -
The word for “elements” is stoicheion, which means “elementary rules.”
The legalist likes to line everybody up, give orders, and make them march in step to the beat of his drum. Something about that is very intoxicating—to the one giving the orders, that is. It gives him a sense of power.
Literally, to the ABC’s of the world. It’s like we were in kindergarten, where we had to get permission just to go to the bathroom. We couldn’t make our own decisions. Instead, the law did all that for us, even to the point of what to eat and where to go to the bathroom. Have you read the Mosaic Law recently? There’s some really interesting stuff in there.
For 1500 years, the law dictated our lives; because like children, we really didn’t know how to make good decisions; we really didn’t know how to handle the rich blessings or the inheritance we had from God; and we really didn’t know how to handle the rough waters of life itself.
Not too long ago, a teenaged boy was in such a hurry to try out his new surfboard that, oblivious of the warning flags, he dashed straight out into the waves. Immediately, an authoritative voice boomed, “You are an inexperienced surfer. Return to shore.”
Embarrassed, he came ashore but not without asking the lifeguard how he knew he was a novice. “Easy. You've got your wet suit on backwards.” (H.J. Duffy, Livingston, Texas, “Lite Fare,” Christian Reader)
We restrict children for their own safety, and that’s what God did for His people by giving them the law. But now that Christ has come, God wants you …

II START BEHAVING LIKE ADULTS.

Galatians 4:4–7 KJV 1900
4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Come out from under the constraints of the law, and make responsible decisions like grown-ups in dependence upon His indwelling Holy Spirit.
Galatians 4:4–5 KJV 1900
4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Galatians 4:4–5 KJV 1900
4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
gal 4.
The picture here is of an ancient Roman ceremony in which a boy officially “comes of age” and is thereafter recognized as a man. His father set the “time” or the date, usually sometime between the boy’s 14th and 17th birthday. And on that day, several things would happen at a sacred family festival:
The picture here is of an ancient Roman ceremony in which a boy officially “comes of age” and is thereafter recognized as a man. His father set the “time” or the date, usually sometime between the boy’s 14th and 17th birthday. And on that day, several things would happen at a sacred family festival:
gal 4.
The picture here is of an ancient Roman ceremony in which a boy officially “comes of age” and is thereafter recognized as a man. His father set the “time” or the date, usually sometime between the boy’s 14th and 17th birthday. And on that day, several things would happen at a sacred family festival:
1st, The father would officially adopt the boy, acknowledging him as his legitimate, full-adult son and heir.
2nd, The boy would exchange his childhood garments (toga praetexta) for the garments of manhood (toga virilis).
3rd, The boy was granted liberalia (liberty) on that day.
That means he was no longer under guardians and managers. He was responsible for making his own decisions, and his inheritance was no longer handled by a manager. He could manage it himself. He could spend his wealth any way he wanted to. His father had set him free from the constraints of guardians and managers, and granted him his full rights as an adult son.
Well, that’s exactly what God did for His people. When the time had fully come, on a day which He had set, God sent his Son to redeem you as an adult son.
God gave you Jesus to set you free from the law. God gave you Jesus to set you free from the rules and regulations, which were your guardians and managers. That means that if you are a believer in Christ, God has granted you full rights as His adult son, and He considers you responsible enough to make your own decisions.
Golden said, “I spent the first five years of my life in Philly being told that graffiti is never going away and the kids you're working with are going to end up in jail.” But she didn't give up. When police caught kids painting graffiti, program officials first asked them to sign an amnesty statement, pledging to refrain from graffiti writing, then assigned them scrub time, cleaning spray paint from walls.
Exploring Galatians: An Expository Commentary (2) The Present: Access to Spiritual Maturity (4:4–7)

“When the fulness of the time was come,” God sent forth His Son. He was in no hurry. From Adam to Noah, God allowed men to be controlled by conscience, the knowledge of good and evil, the one legacy that was rescued from the Garden of Eden. The result was a world of such appalling wickedness that the only answer was the Flood.

After the Flood, an age of government was inaugurated, and God put the sword of the magistrate into the hands of Noah and instituted capital punishment for capital crime. The age ran from Noah to Nimrod, when it again climaxed in a further crescendo of lawlessness and a further response of judgment. The human race, scattering far and wide from Babel and jabbering in countless tongues, carried with it the curse of idolatry as Nimrod’s legacy.

Then God broke in again, determined to begin all over again with another man, Abraham. The age of promise began, and God’s focal point of interest was the patriarchal family. Then came the migration to Egypt and the general, slow decline of the Hebrew people into slavery to and compromise with Egypt’s government and gods.

The coming of Moses marked the beginning of a new day. Israel was liberated from Egypt but soon degenerated into idolatry of its own. God gave the Law and wrote a catalog of curses into its codes. The human family had failed. Now the Hebrew family failed. We trace the long history of the children of Israel under law. We mark their dreadful degeneracy, apostasy, and immorality in the days of the judges, the partial revival under Samuel, the dismal failure of King Saul, and the bright era of hope under David. All of these events followed in sequence. Then came Solomon, whose disastrous policies and dreadful compromise with idolatry brought down upon the nation the judgment of God. The kingdom was divided. The northern tribes plunged deeper and deeper into idolatry and immorality until, at length, they were uprooted one and all under the judgment of God and marched away into the oblivion of the Assyrian captivity. The southern kingdom of Judah rocked back and forth between good and bad kings and between compliance with God’s law and open apostasy. In the end, it, too, followed its sister kingdom into captivity.

Seventy years later, God gave the Jews another chance. A succession of godly leaders was able to get the reborn nation off to a good start. Then the decline set in again. Formalism and hypocrisy succeeded idolatry as the nation’s prevailing sin. By the time of Christ, the Jewish religion was bankrupt. The Sadducees, the Pharisees, and the Herodians were the representatives of Jewish religious thought. They had little enough in common except a determination to pay mere lip service to God and go their own ways.

When the “fulness of the time” came, Judaism was a dead religion, a religion of rite and ritual, of form and ceremony, of tradition and crushing legalism. The Gentiles, weary to death of their own bankrupt religions, turned hopefully toward Judaism only to be repelled by Jewish hostility and hypocrisy and by its bitter exclusiveness and rigid bondage to dead forms and narrow views.

The great Gentile world was equally bankrupt. The Greeks had come and gone and left their indelible mark on the world. The golden age of Greece had dazzled the world. Art, science, and government flourished. Then Alexander the Great conquered the world. Greek philosophy, culture, and religion challenged all realms of thought, and Hellenism rose and flourished. It was all, however, just a hollow promise. Greek religion was able to offer men only a pantheon of ridiculous, warring, lusting gods made in the image and likeness of warring, lusting men.

Then the Romans had their day. They sent their legions far and wide, hammered down all who stood before them, and imposed a Roman peace on the world. They brought with them iron-fisted law. They built magnificent roads and ruled over an empire of slaves. However, the Romans built no hospitals, no orphanages, and no public schools. The Roman idea of a holiday was to assemble in the amphitheater to watch gladiators fight to the death or wretched prisoners fight with bare hands against wild beasts to the accompaniment of the howls and cheers of a blood-maddened populace.

Such was “the fulness of the time.” The world was morally and spiritually bankrupt. It was ripe for the coming of Christ. Because Paul’s focus was on the situation in Galatia, where Jewish legalists were trying zealously to clamp the chains of the Law on the Gentile converts to Christianity, he concentrates on “them that were under the law.” When it came to man’s need for redemption, the Law was bankrupt. All it could do was sweep that need under the rug of ritual. The blood of bulls and goats could neither remove the stain nor loose the chain of sin.

So “God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law.” He came to be the promised Seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15). He came to fulfill every claim and demand of the Law (Matt. 5:17). He fulfilled the moral law in His life and the ceremonial law in His death. Thus, He could do something that the Law could not do—redeem.

Then without warning one Friday night, about a dozen guys showed up at Golden's door. As they introduced themselves, she recognized most from their graffiti tag names, like “Rock” and “Cat.” Golden invited them inside. They came in and went right for her art books, pulling out all the books on abstract expressionism.
Many of them had dropped out before high school, but they had learned about art from books they had checked out or stolen from the library. Most had brought Golden their sketch books, so she could see the type of work they were doing. “They'd learned about drawing from comic books; they had an intuitive sense of color and design,” Golden said. After talking with the young artists about their work, Golden explained the anti-graffiti program, and before they left her house, all had agreed to sign the pledge and commit themselves to scrub time.
History
“When the fulness of the time was come,” God sent forth His Son.
He was in no hurry. From Adam to Noah, God allowed men to be controlled by conscience, the knowledge of good and evil, the one legacy that was rescued from the Garden of Eden. The result was a world of such appalling wickedness that the only answer was the Flood.
After the Flood, an age of government was inaugurated, and God put the sword of the magistrate into the hands of Noah and instituted capital punishment for capital crime.
The age ran from Noah to Nimrod, when it again climaxed in a further crescendo of lawlessness and a further response of judgment.
The human race, scattering far and wide from Babel and jabbering in countless tongues, carried with it the curse of idolatry as Nimrod’s legacy.
Then God broke in again, determined to begin all over again with another man, Abraham. The age of promise began, and God’s focal point of interest was the patriarchal family. Then came the migration to Egypt and the general, slow decline of the Hebrew people into slavery to and compromise with Egypt’s government and gods.
The coming of Moses marked the beginning of a new day. Israel was liberated from Egypt but soon degenerated into idolatry of its own. God gave the Law and wrote a catalog of curses into its codes.
The human family had failed. Now the Hebrew family failed.
We trace the long history of the children of Israel under law. We mark their dreadful degeneracy, apostasy, and immorality in the days of the judges, the partial revival under Samuel, the dismal failure of King Saul, and the bright era of hope under David.
All of these events followed in sequence. Then came Solomon, whose disastrous policies and dreadful compromise with idolatry brought down upon the nation the judgment of God.
The kingdom was divided. The northern tribes plunged deeper and deeper into idolatry and immorality until, at length, they were uprooted one and all under the judgment of God and marched away into the oblivion of the Assyrian captivity. The southern kingdom of Judah rocked back and forth between good and bad kings and between compliance with God’s law and open apostasy.
In the end, it, too, followed its sister kingdom into captivity.
Seventy years later, God gave the Jews another chance. A succession of godly leaders was able to get the reborn nation off to a good start. Then the decline set in again.
Golden connected with the young graffiti writers not as “criminals,” but as artists. She offered them a lifeline, a way they could be paid money to paint murals legally. The organization is now the largest public art program in the United States, with a collection of over 4,000 murals. (Larry Platt, “For Phila.'s next mayor, think outside the usual canvases,” Philadelphia Inquirer, 7-9-12; www.PreachingToday.com)
Formalism and hypocrisy succeeded idolatry as the nation’s prevailing sin. By the time of Christ, the Jewish religion was bankrupt. The Sadducees, the Pharisees, and the Herodians were the representatives of Jewish religious thought. They had little enough in common except a determination to pay mere lip service to God and go their own ways.
When the “fulness of the time” came, Judaism was a dead religion, a religion of rite and ritual, of form and ceremony, of tradition and crushing legalism.
The Gentiles, weary to death of their own bankrupt religions, turned hopefully toward Judaism only to be repelled by Jewish hostility and hypocrisy and by its bitter exclusiveness and rigid bondage to dead forms and narrow views.
The great Gentile world was equally bankrupt. The Greeks had come and gone and left their indelible mark on the world. The golden age of Greece had dazzled the world. Art, science, and government flourished. Then Alexander the Great conquered the world. Greek philosophy, culture, and religion challenged all realms of thought, and Hellenism rose and flourished. It was all, however, just a hollow promise. Greek religion was able to offer men only a pantheon of ridiculous, warring, lusting gods made in the image and likeness of warring, lusting men.
Then the Romans had their day. They sent their legions far and wide, hammered down all who stood before them, and imposed a Roman peace on the world.
They brought with them iron-fisted law. They built magnificent roads and ruled over an empire of slaves. However, the Romans built no hospitals, no orphanages, and no public schools. The Roman idea of a holiday was to assemble in the amphitheater to watch gladiators fight to the death or wretched prisoners fight with bare hands against wild beasts to the accompaniment of the howls and cheers of a blood-maddened populace.
Such was “the fulness of the time.” The world was morally and spiritually bankrupt. It was ripe for the coming of Christ.
Because Paul’s focus was on the situation in Galatia, where Jewish legalists were trying zealously to clamp the chains of the Law on the Gentile converts to Christianity, he concentrates on “them that were under the law.” When it came to man’s need for redemption, the Law was bankrupt.
All it could do was sweep that need under the rug of ritual. The blood of bulls and goats could neither remove the stain nor loose the chain of sin.
So “God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law.” He came to be the promised Seed of the woman (). He came to fulfill every claim and demand of the Law (). He fulfilled the moral law in His life and the ceremonial law in His death. Thus, He could do something that the Law could not do—redeem.
And if that wasn’t enough, God also sent his Spirit to remind you that you are indeed his adult son. God gave you the Spirit of Christ to whisper to your heart that you are His cherished heir.
Galatians 4:6–7 KJV 1900
6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
gal 4.
If you have trusted Christ with your life, you are no longer a little child in God’s eyes. You are a full, adult son, ready to take on the responsibility of managing the spiritual riches that are yours as His heirs.
Then one day she was studying this passage, or a passage like it in Paul's writings. She suddenly realized that the apostle was making a revolutionary claim. Paul lived in a traditional culture just like she did. He was living in a place where daughters were second-class citizens. When Paul said – out of his own traditional culture – that we are all SONS in Christ, he was saying that there are no second-class citizens in God's family. When you give your life to Christ and become a Christian, you receive all the benefits a son enjoys in a traditional culture – whether you are male or female. (Tim Keller, in his sermon, The Christian's Happiness, www.PreachingToday.com)
This is NOT the language of a sexist. This the language of a man, inspired by the Holy Spirit, who had the highest respect for women, putting them on the same level as men.
The Apostle Peter is even more direct when he addresses the Christian husband. He says, in , “Husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman… since they are heirs WITH YOU (literally, as heirs together) of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered” ().
Believing men and women are heirs TOGETHER. They are equal heirs, co-heirs in God’s family. All who believe in Jesus are SONS! Do you see it? They are full, adult sons of the Living God, with all the rights and privileges of the oldest son in His family.
That’s the message of God’s Holy Spirit to ALL of our hearts, no matter who we are as believers in Jesus Christ. God sent His Son, Jesus, to redeem us as adult sons, and God sent His Holy Spirit to remind us that we are indeed His sons.
My friends, let that assurance fill your heart today, no matter how bad your circumstances are. For this is NOT the promise of better life circumstances. This is the promise of a far better life. This is the promise of a life of greatness. This is the promise of a life of nobility. This is the promise of eternal life!
Please, let the Holy Spirit get that message through to your heart today! Please, let Him fill your heart with hope, no matter who you are or how bad off you are.
Vincent van Gogh, the famous Dutch painter was raised in a Christian home, but sadly he tossed those truths away when he became an adult and sank into depression and destruction. By the grace of God, though, he began to embrace the truth of his Christian faith again and his hope returned.
You can see it in his paintings, because he gave that hope color. As he moves out of his depression, his paintings include more and more yellow, which for van Gogh evoked the hope and warmth of God’s love.
In his famous painting, called The Starry Night, you can see a little yellow in the moon and the stars. Van Gogh painted this during one of his depressive periods when God’s love seemed distant to him. Tragically, the church, which stands tall in the bottom center of this painting shows no traces of yellow.
But by the time he painted The Raising of Lazarus, he was finding his hope again. The entire picture is bathed in yellow. In fact, van Gogh put his own face on Lazarus to express his own hope in the Resurrection. (Scot McKnight, The Jesus Creed, Paraclete Press, 2004, pp. 65-66; www.PreachingToday.com)
Dear believer in Christ: That’s the picture the Holy Spirit wants to paint on your heart. Please, let Him fill your heart with hope this morning. Listen to Him, as He reminds you that you are indeed an adult SON and HEIR of God Himself!
Then put on our “big boy pants” and live like it. Stop behaving like children. Start behaving like adults. And…

III STAY AWAY FROM CHILDISH RULES.

Galatians 4:8–11 KJV 1900
8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. 9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? 10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. 11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
Don’t make yourself a slave again to some magic formula. Don’t depend on the law again to find the good life.
Paul is afraid that after all his work, his new converts are going back to their old way of living; they are going back to living under law. Oh, they may have swapped their pagan religion for the Jewish religion, but they’re still trying to earn God’s favor and blessing through their own efforts.
Exploring Galatians: An Expository Commentary (1) Liberty Surrendered (4:8–11)

Paul, as a devout Jew, had always looked with horror and disgust on pagan religions. On Mars Hill, he spoke with barely concealed scorn of the folly of idolatry (Acts 17:16, 22–23). He wrote passionately to the Romans about the abysmal folly of idolatry and the terrible insult that it presents to the awesome majesty of the true and living God (Rom. 1:19–23).

Yet, to this day, idolatry continues to have a dreadful fascination for lost people. Most Oriental lands grovel in the worst forms of idolatry. Even in Christendom, people light candles to graven images, bow down before them, venerate them, and pray to them. Various forms of idolatrous Hinduism have taken root among us.

Paul, as a devout Jew, had always looked with horror and disgust on pagan religions. On Mars Hill, he spoke with barely concealed scorn of the folly of idolatry (, ). He wrote passionately to the Romans about the abysmal folly of idolatry and the terrible insult that it presents to the awesome majesty of the true and living God ().
Yet, to this day, idolatry continues to have a dreadful fascination for lost people. Most Oriental lands grovel in the worst forms of idolatry. Even in Christendom, people light candles to graven images, bow down before them, venerate them, and pray to them. Various forms of idolatrous Hinduism have taken root among us.
Exploring Galatians: An Expository Commentary (1) Liberty Surrendered (4:8–11)

Judaism and its legalism were now so completely obsolete that Paul turns to contemptuous adjectives in describing it. He calls it “weak and beggarly.” The word for “weak” is asthenēs. It carries the idea of impotence. It is used to describe the lame man, sitting at the gates of a dead religion, powerless to help himself, and passed by constantly by the priests and servants of the Jewish religion (Acts 4:9). It is translated “feeble” (1 Cor. 12:22) and “sick” (Matt. 25:43). Well did Paul know the utter impotence of Judaistic legalism to make a person righteous and holy and its complete inability to give life, joy, and peace to the soul. No wonder! It was sick itself.

Not only so! Paul describes it as “beggarly.” The word is ptōchos. It means to be destitute, in want. It is usually translated “poor.” The Lord used the word to describe the wretched condition of Lazarus, whom He depicted as a “beggar” (ptōchos), full of sores, and eagerly but vainly desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table (Luke 16:20). Such was legalistic Judaism. Far from being able to enrich anyone, it was a beggar itself, utterly impoverished and destitute of any means whatsoever of imparting spiritual life and godliness to a human soul.

And this is what the Galatians were willing to exchange for that “adoption of sons” that set them in the royal family of heaven! Paul would have laughed in their faces if the situation had not been so tragic and serious.

“Turn ye again,” he said, recording their decision. The verb is in the present, continuous tense. “How are ye turning?” They were in the very act of turning back to a bondage that was just as enslaving and unsatisfying as the pagan bondage that they had abandoned when they turned to Christ.

“Ye desire again to be in bondage?” he demands, underlining their desire. The word he uses is thelō, a word that emphasizes the emotional element in a decision. It focuses on the natural impulse that, as we know from experience, is usually stronger than the reasoned resolve. Paul was astonished at the great desire of his Galatian friends to put themselves back under bondage.

Judaism and its legalism were now so completely obsolete that Paul turns to contemptuous adjectives in describing it.
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Judaism and its legalism were now so completely obsolete that Paul turns to contemptuous adjectives in describing it. He calls it “weak and beggarly.” The word for “weak” is asthenēs. It carries the idea of impotence. It is used to describe the lame man, sitting at the gates of a dead religion, powerless to help himself, and passed by constantly by the priests and servants of the Jewish religion (). It is translated “feeble” () and “sick” (). Well did Paul know the utter impotence of Judaistic legalism to make a person righteous and holy and its complete inability to give life, joy, and peace to the soul. No wonder! It was sick itself.
He calls it “weak and beggarly.”
The word for “weak” is asthenēs. It carries the idea of impotence.
It is used to describe the lame man, sitting at the gates of a dead religion, powerless to help himself, and passed by constantly by the priests and servants of the Jewish religion ().
Not only so! Paul describes it as “beggarly.” The word is ptōchos. It means to be destitute, in want. It is usually translated “poor.”
The Lord used the word to describe the wretched condition of Lazarus, whom He depicted as a “beggar” (ptōchos), full of sores, and eagerly but vainly desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table ().
Such was legalistic Judaism. Far from being able to enrich anyone, it was a beggar itself, utterly impoverished and destitute of any means whatsoever of imparting spiritual life and godliness to a human soul.
And this is what the Galatians were willing to exchange for that “adoption of sons” that set them in the royal family of heaven! Paul would have laughed in their faces if the situation had not been so tragic and serious.
“Ye desire again to be in bondage?” he demands, underlining their desire. The word he uses is thelō, a word that emphasizes the emotional element in a decision. It focuses on the natural impulse that, as we know from experience, is usually stronger than the reasoned resolve. Paul was astonished at the great desire of his Galatian friends to put themselves back under bondage.
They had forgotten that God already treats them like adult sons and heirs. They had forgotten that God has already entrusted spiritual riches to them. They had forgotten who they are in Christ. It’s like they’re going back to kindergarten again, and Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, says, “Don’t do it!”
Rest in that fact, and stop trying to find the good life in a magic formula. Stop trying to find the good life in a list of do’s and don’ts. Stop trying to find the good life in a law, because you can’t.
Besides, who would want to go back to kindergarten again? Who wants to be told what to do all the time? That’s not the kind of life God wants for His adult children.
Elizabeth Elliot put it this way in an article, called The Liberty of Obedience: “It appears that God has deliberately left us in a quandary about many things. Why did He not summarize all the rules in one book, and all the basic doctrines in another? He could have eliminated the loopholes, prevented all the schisms over morality and false teaching that have plagued His Church for two thousand years. Think of the squabbling and perplexity we would have been spared.
And think of the crop of dwarfs He would have reared! He did not spare us. He wants us to reach maturity. He has so arranged things that if we are to go on beyond the “milk diet” we shall be forced to think. (Elisabeth Elliot, “The Liberty of Obedience,” Christianity Today, Vol. 31, no.14)
God is not growing a family of little children. He is growing a family of adults.
You are adult sons of God, so behave like adults. Think for yourself, and do not depend on others to tell you how to think and behave. Don’t behave like children. Behave like the adult sons you are.
What Am I asking you to know?
My friends, as a believer in Christ, you’ve got wings. Get out of the nest and fly!
Your spirituality is not dependent on rules or standards.
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