Heirs Alongside Christ (In or Out – Part 6)
This is Part 6 of “In or Out” taken from Galatians 3:26 – 4:7. The previous parts can be found here:
In verses 6 and 7, the power and work of the entire trinity is brought to bear on our relationship with God. Because we are God’s children through the work of the Son, God sends the Holy Spirit into our hearts. This is how we have a close and continually growing relationship with God, the kind of relationship that allows us to not only see his as God—as divine—but also as our loving father.
The contrast that Paul makes is not between immature children and adult children, it is between servants and children. Just like in the story of the prodigal son, the Galatians wanted their Father to accept them as servants, when they were really his sons. The contrasts are easy to see.
The son has the same nature as the father, but the servant does not. keeping the law could never change our nature. It is only when we become sons and the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us that 2 Peter 1:4 says we able to “share in his divine nature”. When we stray from grace and return to our old nature, we are in denial of God’s divine nature within us.
The servant has a master, but the son has a father. Under the law, our best hope is that God is our master. While we are to be servants of God, our allegiance, obedience, and honor are to be based on our relationship which is rooted in his love for us. When the Holy Spirit lives in us, we are able to respond to God, “Abba, Father”. “Abba” is an Aramaic word for father; but it implies more than just biology. It is about relationship. It is the difference between “father” and “daddy”. This is a closeness that no servant has.
The son obeys out of love, but the servant obeys out of fear. But we are no longer servants. Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” Instead, we are to live out the fruit of the Spirit, the first of which is love.
The servant is poor, but the son is rich. We have been adopted not only as sons or children, but also as heirs. This is because of our standing, being adopted through Christ. The Bible talks a lot about our riches, all of which are found only in Christ (Colossians 1:19, 2:3):
Riches of his grace (Ephesians 1:7, 2:7).
Riches of his glory (Philippians 4:19).
Riches of his goodness (Romans 2:4).
Riches of his wisdom (Romans 11:33ff).
These riches make up part of our inheritance as heirs with Jesus.
The son has a future, while the servant does not. While many masters were kind and provided for the future of their servants, this was in no way guaranteed; it wasn’t required. But we know God has promised to always provide for his children, both now and in the future. As God’s children, we heirs to his riches now, as I already described; but we have assurance that we are heirs to the future kingdom.