An heir through God
Galatians 3:23-4:31 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. 24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.
4 Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father. 3 So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.
8 However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods. 9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain.
12 I beg of you, brethren, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You have done me no wrong; 13 but you know that it was because of a bodily illness that I preached the gospel to you the first time; 14 and that which was a trial to you in my bodily condition you did not despise or loathe, but you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus Himself. 15 Where then is that sense of blessing you had? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me. 16 So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth? 17 They eagerly seek you, not commendably, but they wish to shut you out so that you will seek them. 18 But it is good always to be eagerly sought in a commendable manner, and not only when I am present with you. 19 My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you— 20 but I could wish to be present with you now and to change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.
21 Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. 23 But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. 24 This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. 25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. 27 For it is written,
“Rejoice, barren woman who does not bear; Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor; For more numerous are the children of the desolate Than of the one who has a husband.”
28 And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. 30 But what does the Scripture say?
“Cast out the bondwoman and her son, For the son of the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the free woman.”
31 So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman.
In today’s text it says: As long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father. So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. As heirs we have an inheritance. Our inheritance is not just that we have eternal life. It is not our own death which initiates our inheritance, but rather it was through Christ’s death that our inheritance became effective. Jesus died to redeem us from sin and was resurrected to life, that we might live in Him. We then are heirs not in death, but in life.
In John 10:10 Jesus says: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. The abundant life that we have though is not the abundance of the things of this world. It is the abundance of the kingdom of heaven, of which we are heirs. In Isaiah 55:8-9 God says: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.” We are no longer slaves to the world, nor do we serve the world systems. We are free to live above the world; free from the deception and destruction of the thief. 1 John 2:15-17 says: Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. If we want access to the full inheritance we have been given, we are responsible to live as citizens of the kingdom not the world. In Matthew 6:33 Jesus says: Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Righteousness, the righteousness of Christ is also part of and essential to our inheritance.
In John 14:15-18;23-27 Jesus says: “If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you… If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me. These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Our inheritance is the peace of Christ. Our inheritance is the indwelling Holy Spirit of God, our helper and our teacher. Our inheritance is to be at home with Jesus and the Father. It is all the benefits and blessing of God. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit, thank You for my inheritance, that I may live as an heir of the kingdom and not a slave to the world. Through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, may I live in a way that entitles me to access the fullness of my inheritance in Christ. May I live according to Your higher ways; in the righteousness of Christ and may I know the peace of being at home and abiding with You. Amen.