1 I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. 3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
Galatians 4:1-7 English Standard Version
When we limit the Christian life into just an issue of morality, we miss out on what the gospel is really about. The gospel is not about our personal struggles against sin, but rather it is about our sonship and adoption into the family of God.
Our God and our salvation through Christ is way more than just a story about how a holy God made bad people good. God is first and foremost our Father, who transformed spiritual orphans and slaves, redeeming them into sons and daughters. As such, God is not interested in changing your outward good behaviours but rather, He is more concerned about making you whole. There is a relationship between our brokenness and our resulting behaviours. When you receive wholeness from God in all areas of your life, there is no room left to sin and rebel against God’s purpose for you.
The law was given to reveal sin but Jesus came to reveal our sonship and He prompts us to call Him God, “Abba, Father”. Unfortunately, we too often act and live like slaves and orphans even though we have been made sons through the love of our Father. When we fail to recognise the legitimacy of our adoption, we disengage from an authentic relationship with God – one of personal faith and love for God. What is left remains a feeling of inadequacy and failure because we believe that God is unhappy and disappointed with us.
When we know who and whose we are in Christ, we will see ourselves as God sees us. Our true and correct identity frees us from our former bondage to a slavish mentality, and consequently our enslavement to a worldly human effort of getting right with God. Then we experience a contentment that only God can give. This is because we no longer perceive and treat God as someone difficult and impossible to please.
Your inheritance is linked to your union with Christ.
Everything Christ had achieved through his death and resurrection on the cross is yours to righteously and wholly receive in His name. You are right now no lesser than Christ in terms of your status and standing with your Heavenly Father. As such, no accusation and condemnation from the devil or people can be held against you, not when God is on your side.
How does my identity in Christ shape my relationship with God and others?
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
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