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Adoption as Sons

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Galatians 4:1-11

Adoption as Sons


            We are going through hard times…transition period….sometimes bad things happen…people get hurt…people do stupid things…people sin…and sometimes people ask me if I regret coming here because of all the turmoil and suffering and bad decisions. I want to assure you that I don’t regret it one bit. I’m glad that I am here and I am excited to see the improvements this church and its people are making. Having said that I will from time to time be disappointed. In myself, in the members of the congregation. For whatever reason, in whatever relationship you are in and this is a relationship..there will be disappointment. The key is to learn from it and bounce back…Paul had to deal with disappointment, and we will see that the people were doing that caused it…and pauls reaction.


What we were: Children in bondage. Vs 1-3

·        Illustration from the Roman world: The Father would assign a tutor or pedagog over his child in order to teach him until the heir was of age to have responsibility. This child even though he was an heir to everything was in bondage under this slave of the house. The child had no rights of his own. Even when he turns 14 and is no longer under the pedagog, he is still under a curator appointed by the city until he is in his twenties.

·        “so as we” Paul is here identifying himself with the Jewish portion of the communities. Speaks of their bondage as children under the law.

·        “elemental things” The basics…the ABC’s. It would be like someone never advancing past learning the alphabet.

·        Children in the US are under their parents rule until they are 18. Hopefully by that time the parents have prepared them enough to face the world as an adult. Unfortunately society is trying to shove the maturities of adulthood on our children. They take responsibility from the parents who are sometimes very willing to give it up and tell middle-schooler’s that it’s OK to have sex here is something to help you along. Christian parents need to understand that the worlds way will not work. Your children are your children, not your friends…in order to properly bring them up to prepare them for the world you will have to be firm. You will have to discipline and teach lessons.

·        The law was made to prepare Israel for something. To get them ready for a time when when they would no longer be children under bondage but mature in their faith. The law was made to show them their sin so that they could know that the needed that sin taken away.

·        We as gentiles were never under bondage to the law…but we were under bondage to our sin and to this world.

We were children in bondage to the ways of the world and to the basic principles, but then God provided a way for us to mature.

What God did: Redeemed us. Vs 4, 5

·        “Fullness of time”-The world was ripe for redemption. The people had heard nothing from God for 400 years and were realizing their need for Him. The Romans who were occupying most of the known world were providing a time of peace. The Roman Roads provided safe travel and commerce. We have the closest thing to a universal language since the Tower of Babel in the Greek language. All these things provided a perfect setting for the coming of the Messiah and the rapid spread of the Gospel.

·        Gods son-born of a woman…Deity and humanity of Jesus is pictured here. Jesus came forth from a woman like we did. Of course His was more miraculous in that no man was involved but we went through the same birth that we did.

·        Christ was born under Law-submitted himself completely to the rules of the Law…not the traditions of the elders. Jesus was claimed to have sinned but he wasn’t guilty of sinning against God. He did correct the traditions and misconceptions the religious leader of the day had and they didn’t take it well. Christ lived perfectly so he could be a sacrifice for those under the law and bring them out of it. Not only that but it was extended to include the whole world. Now we all have the opportunity to become sons.

Because of the sin of the world and the need for a new covenant…God send his son to give us an opportunity to become Sons.

What we can become: Sons and heirs. Vs 6-7

·        Sons receive the spirit….acts 2:38

·        Abba-Arabic word only used in close family circles…Means Papa

o       Illus-Girl In HS that always addressed God as daddy while praying…thought that was odd until I read this verse…she was showing her love to her personal heavenly father who adopted her as his daughter.

·        Because we have entered in this relationship, adventure with God we are now His adopted sons and daughters…no longer slaves to our lust but heirs to the promise of everlasting life for the faithful.

Because of Gods sacrifice of His Son Jesus we can be sons and heirs of the promise of heaven.  But the Galatians were giving that up…they were giving up freedom in Christ for the bondage of the law…and Paul expresses his hurt because of it.

Paul’s disappointment. Vs 8-11

·        Slaves to false Gods before they knew the real God.

o       Jeremiah 10:5 speaking of idols…

o       Think of the idols you have in your life…money…food…jobs…material possessions….these are false Gods that will be gone in the end.

·        Know-be known….God shows his acceptance…not enough to know God but you need to be known by him. In mt 7 we were reading how on the day of judgment will cry out Lord did we not do this and this in your name? And Christ will say I never knew you…depart from me you who practice lawlessness. These are people who thought they were Christians

·        Turn back to worthless and weak…possible to turn back…Christians in Galatia were turning back to slavery under the law wich was now worthless to save…some of us today turn back to the worthless things of the world..the things that are not beneficial to our relationships with God but rather damaging. The things that enslaved us before can enslave us again.

·        Days and seasons- Jewish and pagan calendar…Paul celebrated Passover much like we celebrate 4th of July…key is not to make it a requirement for faithfulness.

·        Paul fears he has worked in vain.


People will disappoint you! You will not be able to get around it! I will disappoint you the elders will you kids will your parents will. Hopefully lessons will be learned and changes will be made. Paul tries over and over to make the case to the Galatians to come back! He was disappointed in them but he also urged change..that is what I am here for. To provide an atmosphere for growth and to bring change and teach you the Word of God.  No matter what disappointments I have…I will fight to the end just as Paul did. I will not give up if someone turns back to the weak things of the world. And I expect you to not give up either. The sacrifice was made for each one of us so we could be adopted as sons and daughters. Lets make the family a little bigger and go see who we can bring into the adoption process by evangelizing this community.

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