Galatians 3:26-4:7 Heirs of God through Christ WC McCarter
Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that God has put eternity into the hearts of people. We are conscious of God, and we are thoughtful of what comes after this life. Therefore, folks are constantly attempting to understand how they may be saved from their own failures and short-comings. I believe that all folks inherently know that God is supreme, holy, righteous, and just. That is what it means to be God. In fact, Romans 1:20 says that from the beginning of history God’s invisible attributes are clearly seen and understood throughout creation. So, here’s the thing, you can only be saved one of two ways. It is as simple as this: either you save yourself or someone else saves you; either you pay for your own sins or someone else pays for your sins. If someone else is going to save you by paying for your sins, then it must be God who does the saving work. Psalm 49:7-8 says, “No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them—the ransom for a life is costly.”
You see, this is what makes Christianity exceptional among all the religions of the world. No matter what religion or world-view we may discuss when you boil them down to their core you are only left with religious performance. Salvation is merited by the person. Your good must outweigh your bad or you’re doomed. On the other hand, Christianity offers Good News. The Bible teaches that God has acted in history to save those who will come to Him by faith in His Son. Jesus Christ has merited our salvation. His good outweighs our bad. As one person has said, all religions basically teach that good works will result in salvation while Christianity teaches that salvation will result in good works. The order of these two things makes all the difference.
So, God has put eternity into our hearts. We seek Him out. We want to know what the next age will bring. We desire to know how to be saved from our failures and mishaps so that we can ensure our place in a blessed eternity. And we are those people who have trusted God for salvation. We have abandoned our own pursuit of salvation by law or any kind of works and trust that what He has done in Christ Jesus is enough to save us. This is His way. We stand in grace, united with Christ, hidden in Him, and anticipate our heavenly inheritance of eternal life and blessings forevermore.
Main Message: For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
READ Scripture- This is the Word of God
The Christian’s Status (26-29)
Look what the apostle calls Christians. He says that we are six things: sons and daughters of God; those who have put on Christ; one in Christ; belonging to Christ; Abraham’s seed; and heirs of the promise.
This is what it means to be a Christian. We are not bound to the law or burdened by its commands. We are not those who wonder about our eternal destiny or view God as a distant and harsh Judge. We are all sons and daughters of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Our identity before God is “in Christ” who is the unique Son of God. God has forgiven us, accepted us, and adopted us as His children because of our union with Christ. Let me be clear, people like to promote what they call the universal fatherhood of God, but the Bible teaches that God is only the Father of those who have been adopted. Adoption into the family of God is based on our association with Christ.
When can we point to the time that we were made adopted children of God? What was it that happened that best pictures our union with Christ? Think back to your baptism, the apostle says. He says that when you were baptized into Christ that you actually put on Christ. You were clothed with Christ. Baptismal union is a marvelous thing. It is that moment in our own history to which we can think back and remember the feeling of joining the family. I remember one Wednesday night our family pulled up at the church building and as we were walking through the parking lot, I told my parents that I was ready to commit to Christ and be baptized. I was not a small child. I was twelve years old. I can remember many specifics of that evening. I went downstairs to class as usual. They brought me upstairs after the service to change and be baptized. When I came out of the water I flung my hair like I would in a swimming pool (I had a lot more hair back then). When I went into the side room afterward, the minister did his usual thing by asking if anyone else would like to be joined to Christ in baptism. Lo and behold, a teenage girl by the name of Bridget was baptized that very night. It wasn’t too long before that we had become boyfriend and girlfriend! Do you remember your baptism? That is when you were united with Christ! You were united with His death and resurrection. Have you never been baptized? Would you consider giving your life to Christ and being united with Him today? At the end of this sermon, we will give you the opportunity to come forward and be immersed.
So, you see, when you put on Christ, all of the other human distinctions no longer matter. It does not matter if you were Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, black or white, rich or poor, American or Asian. . . . None of those things matter anymore. You have been joined to Christ and made a child of God. We are all one people in Christ Jesus. Thus, we are not only united with Christ, but we are also united with one another. That’s why we have to get along. That is why Jesus said that the world will know who we are by how we love one another. We have to stop looking at one another through the lens of the world and start looking at one another through the lens of faith. I once had a wealthy and proud man in the VA church randomly come and say to me, “You treat everyone the same.” I thought, that’s an odd thing to say and responded, “Well, yes, I try to.” He said, “That’s not normal around here,” and he walked off. But, you see, that is supposed to be normal for Christians.
A year or two later I sat with that man and his wife in a hospital room while he was on his death bed. Do you think it mattered at that point if he was wealthy or not? Do you think it mattered what color his skin was? Do you think it mattered what his reputation had been or how successful he was in business? Let me assure you, none of those things mattered. The only thing that mattered as he laid on that hospital bed was whether he was in Christ.
An Illustration of the Status (1-7)
Now we have seen our status as Christians. We are not guilty inmates being guarded by the harsh law. We are sons and daughters of God through faith in Christ Jesus. We are not little children who need a guardian. We are full grown, adult children of God. Notice in verses one through seven the illustration of this that the apostle uses. We have the summary of what it meant to be under the law and what it now means to be united with Christ.
Under the Law: Considered little children unable to receive an inheritance and his status is equivalent to a slave. Those little children are under harsh disciplinarians until they come to a mature age. Whether a person was Jew or Gentile, before Christ they were bound to the law or the things of this world.
Union with Christ: At just the right time, God sent His Son under the same conditions in which we once were in order to redeem us from those things. We have now been adopted into God’s family. Because we are children of God, He has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts. Notice the great privilege of being a child of God. Not everyone experiences this relationship and all the benefits. The Spirit of Christ within you tells your spirit that you are a child of God. That is how you are willing and able to call out to God by calling Him Abba (Aramaic) and Father (Greek), which is to say “Daddy” in English. If you are a full grown child of God, then you are an heir of God.
Conclusion and Christian Application
(1) Christian unity is one of the most important things that the church should focus upon. Human distinctions begin to fade away when we come into union with Christ. It does not matter if you are rich or poor, man or woman, black or white because we all have the same Savior and the same Lord. We are all heirs of the same promise–the one made to Abraham.