“How do you relate to God? And how does He want you to relate to Him?”
- Galatians 3:26-4:11 – In Christ we enjoy the privilege and rights of being God’s children.
- Romans 6:1-11 – Christ’s death has defeated the power of sin that seeks to control our lives.
Key Points and Questions:
1. Children of God: Although we often talk about being God’s children, Biblically speaking that relationship and the rights and privileges associated with it is not something that belongs to the human race by nature. It is only a result of what God has done for us in Christ (see John 1:12). Christ has more than restored what the human race lost in Adam. We are now heirs of God.
2. Coming of Age: Paul compares a believer’s relationship with the law to that of a minor who is not old enough to receive his or her inheritance, but still requires supervision. Paul’s point is not to belittle the value of the law. The law has its time and place, just as little children need rules. But God’s ultimate goal is for His children to mature so He can relate to them as adults. Paul likens the Galatians insistence on circumcision to an heir wanting to become a minor again.
A. How is being under the law similar to childhood, like the minor in Paul’s analogy?
B. While a childlike faith can be positive, what dangers are there for your spiritual life if you fail to grow spiritually?
3. Adopted into God’s Family: Galatians 4:4-7 is one of the most beautiful passages in the New Testament. It highlights God’s initiative in the plan of salvation, the purpose of Jesus’ death, the means by which we become God’s children, and the rights that are ours as children.
A. Why do you think Paul refers to the period of Christ’s coming as the “fullness of time”?
B. What difference does it make in your life that God took the initiative in your salvation?
C. What is the sign and proof of our adoption as God’s sons? Gal 4:6,Rom 8:15-16.
D. How do you relate to God? Do you see yourself as a privileged member of His royal family or as some sort of lowly servant?
4. Avoiding Slavery: The Galatians had lost sight of their position and privileges in Christ as God’s children. By insisting on circumcision they had fallen back into a manner of life that sought to earn God’s favor by their actions. Paul refers to this kind of experience as spiritual slavery.
What practical steps can you take in your spiritual life to avoid reverting back to the weak and worthless elementary principles of this world?