Wednesday 15 August 2012

Bible Book:

"So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God." (v.7)

Galatians 4:4-7 Wednesday 15 August 2012


These verses with their reference to "born of a woman" in verse4 are selected for today because in many Christian traditions thisday is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

In Galatians chapters 3 and 4 Paul is arguingagainst those who insist that non-Jewish Christians (Gentiles)should be circumcised and keep all the requirements of the Law ofMoses. Paul holds that the Law was a temporary provision and a kindof bondage, and that now that Christ has come believers arereleased from its discipline. It is not that they are released fromall moral restraints, but that their relationship to God is on adifferent footing grounded in faith in Christ.

A number of themes are worth noting in the passage:

  • the contrast between natural 'sonship' and adopted 'sonship'.(Paul speaks of 'sons' here because he is using the analogy ofRoman law, under which only male offspring inherited. But manytranslations rightly recognise that the point he is making appliesto both men and women and translate 'sons' as "children".) Jesus istruly God's son, sent from God and born of a Jewish woman. We areGod's children by God's gift, granted through God;
  • the contrast between a son who is free and a slave who isnot;
  • the link between being a son and being heir to a fortune;
  • the comparison between God sending the son at a particular timeand place and God sending the Spirit at any time to those whobelieve;
  • the echo in verse 6 of Jesus' own prayers (as in the Lord'sPrayer - Luke 11:2). Abba is the Aramaic word for fatherthat Jesus would have used. The point being made is not that God isexclusively male, but that we enter into the relationship with Godthat Jesus enjoyed.

To Ponder

  • What is the difference between serving God like a slave andserving God like a child?
  • What is the 'inheritance' that comes with faith in Jesus Christ(verse 7)?
  • How important is it to see God as Father?
Previous Page Tuesday 14 August 2012
Next Page Thursday 16 August 2012