– Grace makes us children of God.
(Galatians 3:26-27 – AMP) For you
[who are born-again have been reborn
from above—spiritually transformed,
renewed, sanctified and]
are all children of God [set apart for His purpose with full rights and privileges] through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ
[into a spiritual union with the Christ,
have clothed yourselves with Christ [that is, you have taken on His characteristics and values].
What is the relationship that most liken the relationship of grace? Undoubtedly it is the relationship we have with our parents. Why? Because healthy and loving parents do not treat their children based on merits. They provide everything we need to make us free and autonomous adults. When the children receive something from their parents (a new pair of shoes, clothing or food), they cannot say it is because they deserved that out of any accomplishment.
On the other hand, let’s consider an employee. No matter how much the business owner cares for his employee, the relationship is only possible if the first deserves to stay in that position.
(Galatians 4:1-6) I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child [little child], is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. 3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
When Jesus desired to reveal the name of God.
(John 17:6) “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.
(John 17:11-12) And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.”
(John 17:26) I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
What is this name? Many cults think that this name should be a mystery or a token, an amulet. But the
name that guards us is the name Jesus revealed. A basic principle of hermeneutics is to consider the context. So, just read the text itself and find the name that Jesus reveals. In John 17, Jesus refers to God six times, using only one word: Father.
He adopted us. Before, we were slaves. Now we are sons. How, then, can we return to the old slavery? The spirit of sonship replaces the guardianship of the law.
The very Spirit of Christ resides in us, and we no longer need a tutor to guide us. That is one of the greatest truth of the New Covenant:
(Hebrews 10:15-17) And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them
after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws on their hearts,
and write them on their minds,”
17 then he adds,
“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
God desires to place Himself within His chosen ones in order that they may be His children, resembling Him.
(John 1:12-13) But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
(Romans 8:29 – NLT). For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
– Heir but slaved
According to this illustration, we are sons, but we live restricted as if we were slaves. A boy with great wealth. One day it will all be his. In fact, it is already his by promise, but not yet in experience. Because he is immature, he has no freedom.
We know that we have been saved by grace, but we are seduced into thinking that we must now please
God with our works. It is time to grow and experience freedom from the law in a practical way.
When they went out of Egypt, the people of Israel went to the wilderness and arrived in Canaan. That is an image of our journey.
To be delivered from Egypt, we experienced God’s perfect grace. We were delivered from condemnation by the blood of the Lamb. Then we arrived at Sinai. There we have an encounter with the law. Many stays in the wilderness for, so to speak, lived 40 years, but God’s goal is to bring us to Canaan. Canaan is more than heaven. It symbolizes a victorious Christian life under God’s grace.
– Two kinds of sons
Luke 15 about a father who had two sons. One day the younger one said,
(Luke 15:12) And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them.
Things did not work out as he had planned. His unruly pleasures quickly wasted his money, and he found himself in misery. Eventually, the young man became a pig carer, the worst possible job for a Jew. At that point, he began to crave to eat the food that was thrown to the pigs.
He wondered if it would be possible to return. This young man had a brother, and each faced his relationship with his father. The main character is, in fact, the father. This should be “The Parable of the Incredible Father”.
The son had asked for the inheritance while the father was still alive, as he wished for his death.
The father just waited for his son to come to his senses and come to his senses.
(Luke 15:20) And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
He could say, “I hope that now you have learned your lesson!” But the father just hugged and kissed him.
a. “Treat me like one of your servants.”
The prodigal thought that the best way to respond to the father was;
(Luke 15:19) “I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”
Are you asking you heavenly Father to do the same with you today?
(Luke 15:22-23) But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate.
The son deserved punishment, not a party!
The father’s attitude is explained because he wanted his son to grow up.
The son had no relationship with his father. The boy saw him only as a means to achieve his own
pleasures. If the father refused to hand over the inheritance, the relationship would become even more hostile. The son had to find out, from experience, who the father was.
When he returned, he realized how much he was loved and that nothing he had done had changed that love. That young man was living as if he was unloved. But his father answered with grace.
Unfortunately, we spend most of our lives as if we are not loved. When we worry about thinking that God will not take care of us, we act as if we are unloved. When we give ourselves over to anguish in the midst of troubles, we act as if we are unloved.
When we strive to attain God’s favor, we act as if we are unloved.
b. “I have served you”
(Luke 15: 29) but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends.
But what about the other brother in the parable? The same. He was a son. But he lived like a slave, thinking that serving his father was a chore.
He tried to impress his father with his hard work. He thought he could not enjoy his father’s wealth. One son was rebellious, and the other was religious, but neither knew the father’s love.
– Sonship and adoption in Christ
(Galatians 4:6) And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
(1 John 5.12) 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
(Romans 8:2) For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
To have the Spirit is the most extraordinary blessing of the New Covenant.
Although in our Bibles, the translation is “adoption” to be made a son.
Sonship points to share the same life, DNA. At the same time, adoption points to legal rights. It is a complete blessing. You are an heir. You are delivered from hell. You are a partaker of His nature. When you are born again, you are born of God and have received divine life.
The law has no power to produce the reality of sons. That is only by the Spirit.
So, why was the Spirit not sent before? Because it needed to be received as a promise, by faith, like Abraham received. And in the proper time, the “fullness of time”, it would come to pass to all that practiced the same faith.
(Galatians 4:4) But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,
-When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son
.The rule of Rome. Pax Romana.
.Roads. Exchange of business and culture.
.Greek as written language.
.Mythology was in decline;
.The law of Moses finished its work of guardianship. .Many synagogues spread in the emprire.
(Galatians 4:5) to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
1. To redeem.
God rescued, redeemed, bought us back from slavery.
2. To adopt.
God transformed the former slaves into sons.
Jesus was the only one qualified to accomplish our redemption.
The Son of God but also born of a human mother. Perfectly human and fully divine. The only begotten of the Father. The only God-man.
Moreover, He was born “under the law,” that is, of a Jewish mother, in the Jewish nation, subject to Jewish law. He was blameless in all the commandments of the law. He submitted to all the requirements of the law.
He perfectly fulfilled the righteousness of the law.
Christ’s deity, humanity and perfect righteousness qualified only Him to be the redeemer of the world.
If He were not man, He could not have redeemed men. If He were not righteous, He could not have redeemed the unrighteous. And if He were not the Son of God, He could not have made us children of God.
Jesus took man’s hand, and God’s hand and reconciled us to the Father. Only a man-God could have done that.
But that is not all:
(Galatians 4:6) And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
A perfect reference to the mystery of the Trinity
God sent His Son into the world; then, He sent His Spirit into our hearts; and, once in your hearts, the Spirit cries, “Abba, Father!”
That is an Aramaic word. Why in Aramaic? Because Paul needed an expression that was very intimate and special
Jesus Himself used that intimate prayer to God. (Mk. 14:36)
That is the final argument against the justification by works of the law.
1. Our Experience (Galatians 3:1-5)
2. The Scriptures (Galatians 3:6-14)
3. God’s Promise (Galatians 3:15-18)
4. The powerlessness of the Law (Galatians 3:19-22) 5. The power of faith (Galatians 3:23-29).
6. Our sonship in Christ alone (Galatians 4:1-6)
The relationship of sons with a loving father can never be based on law.
I already heard stories of fathers abandoning their homes because of alcoholism. I also heard of stories
of kids that abandoning their homes because of drugs. But I never heard any story of a father leaving his home because of the misconduct of the son.
We are sons. We have no need to fear that our Father will abandon us. The Christian life will simply become a burden if we do not have the revelation that we are loved. You don’t have to buy the Father’s love with good works. He already loves us all that he can. That is the grace of God, there is nothing we can do to increase God’s love for us. Also, as sons, we can do nothing that will reduce His love for us.
Every good son who feels loved will try to please his father. We, likewise,
(1 John 4:19) We love because he first loved us.
In Paul’s day, the Roman Empire ruled. Historians say that up to 70% of the inhabitants of Rome were slaves. To be adopted meant a lot in this context. Under Roman law, a father could disinherit, remove his son’s right of inheritance if he thought the son was dishonoring him, and he could also make one of his slaves an heir. For this to happen, that slave would have to be adopted. A son could be disinherited but
an adopted could never lose that right. You have been adopted into the house of God and you can never lose your inheritance again.
-We can’t buy eternal life
(Mark 10:17) And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
That was the right question: eternal life is an “inheritance.” However, the answer was wrong. But Jesus tried to correct him showing that he could not ever “buy” that “inheritance”.
(Mark 10:21-22) And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
The Lord expected the young man to look into his eyes and say: “I can’t do that!”. Then Jesus would answer, “Great! Stop trying to deserve God’s grace. Stop trying to be worthy of what you can never earn.”
That’s the problem of the rich mentality. The rich have the mentality that they can buy anything and have great difficulty receiving freely.
That symbolizes those who live under the law of merit. They are always with the feeling that they have not done enough.
But don’t be confused. It is not about having much money.
Two days later, the Lord enters Jericho. A rich man of small stature named Zacchaeus was a tax collector. Seen as a thief and exploiter.
Zacchaeus desired to see Jesus.
(Luke 19:5) And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.”
Immediately the man came down and received the Lord in his house. This time the Lord didn’t say anything about keeping the commandments, as He had said to the rich young man. Why, because Zacchaeus already saw himself as a sinner. And because Jesus had the chance to demonstrate His grace and love,
(Luke 19:8) And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.”
It is the grace that empowers us to do God’s will.
The rich young man: flattery of words to call Jesus. Zacchaeus: genuine attitude to get the Lord’s attention.
The rich young man: thought he was perfect; Zacchaeus: knew he was a sinner.
The rich young man: was disheartened but did not
come down from his pedestal.
Zacchaeus: came down from the fig tree and received the word of God with joy.
The rich young man: did not give up his material
Zacchaeus: spontaneously said that he would return all that he had stolen and give half of his possessions to the poor.
The rich young man: tried to receive salvation by law. Zacchaeus: received salvation by grace.
The rich young man: it is difficult for those who love
riches to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Zacchaeus: shows that a rich person can have an encounter with God and enter His kingdom.
And Jesus answer then is the same today:
(Luke 19:10)For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”