Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Galatians, Chapter 4

First of all I'd like to give a big welcome to all my friends from the Crux in Indianapolis. This is the church on the northeast side of Indianapolis that Liz and I go to. Feel free to comment and discuss things in the comments section.

The fourth chapter of Galatians continues to deal with both how the Galatians continued adherence to Jewish traditions and the way that the faith Abraham showed carried over to the gospel of Christ as it was at the time. This seems on the surface to be more of the same from the first three chapters, but in reality it is a continuation of Paul's argument and a way to draw parallels to the promise made to Abraham and the promise of Christ. Both are based solely on faith, as Abraham had only faith to rely on when it came to Isaac, and we only have faith to rely on when it comes to Christ.

"3So also, when we were children we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. 4But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights of sons." – Galatians 4:3-5

As we see here Paul takes time to once again the basic principle of Christ's life. That principle is one of redemption. In doing so he shows His connection to the law, since he was born under the law. Some may wonder why Christ didn't come earlier. Once again though we can see how secular events coincided with Christ's coming to make his message carry even more weight.

Christ came right when the Roman Empire was reaching its height. Not only did it span far and wide, but technology and planning had advanced to the point that the Empire was networked with roads connecting cities. It's also important that for the first time in human history there was generalized law and order because of Rome. This all paved the way for not only Paul's missionary journeys, but the journeys of the other apostles as they spread the gospel to the far corners of the globe during the first century.

Since then Christ's message has traveled even further. It has gone across the oceans and was brought to this continent (though its original methods in being brought here weren't the greatest). Now, through technology, it can be accessed virtually anywhere mankind can reach. None of this was attainable even on a small scale until Christ came, and it is no coincidence that technology and civilization has advanced exponentially greater after His life on earth than it did before. It may not be a direct result of His life, but His message has surely benefitted from it.

"21Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? 22For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise." – Galatians 4:21-23

I am absolutely fascinated by the life of Abraham because of the role that faith played in his life. Because of this faith we see early on that God does indeed keep His promises. Because we believe in Christ we are then sons of Abraham as it says in Scripture. We have the promise of Christ in our hearts, therefore we are sons of that promise. In both cases: Abraham's and Christ's, God had made a promise and worked a miracle to show that it was only God that could deliver on that promise. God left little doubt that He had a role in the birth of Isaac, because there is no other way Isaac would have been born. Though Abraham tried to take matters into his own hands, God still fulfilled His promise. The same is true with Christ, as He was born of a virgin. There is no other way He could have come to earth without God because of that. Jesus was born of the law and made that law obsolete.

Christ is more than a promise though, as part of His promise is being alive in our hearts if we accept Him. Once He is in our hearts He shows that he is more than a promise by changing into what he has in mind for us.


  1. How do you see God and Christ's promise in your life?
  2. as the result of a promise."eatEven if we have Christ in our hearts, how do we still live in slavery?
  3. From the middle verses, how does life rob us of the joy of Christ?

No comments: