3:26-4:7 The Gospel Of Grace Makes Us Children Of God
Memory Verse: Galatians 3:26，4:4-5
3:26 The Apex Of The Gospel: Children Of God
- 3:26a From the beginning of Galatians until now, Paul has been defending the true gospel showing we are justified by faith and not by obedience to the law. He has used several illustration or examples to make his case. He just finished explaining that our salvation is by promise of God and the law was never meant to change that promise. The law existed to point out our sin and point us to our need of grace. We accept this grace by faith in Christ Jesus. This results not only in freedom from the law, but it completely changes our identity, for God now see us as His children. This is the apex of the true gospel applied to the life of a sinner. We are no longer enemies of God but are part of his family.
- 3:26b Sinners becoming God’s children is a new reality and was part of God’s plan since the beginning. Every person in a sense is considered to be the offspring of God because we are made in His image, but the “father-son-relationship” is only given to those who have faith in Jesus. Every person is not automatically given this new relationship, but it is offered to everyone to accept through faith. We are given a chance to have a close and personal relationship with the God of heaven. God wants to adopt you.
3:27 The Application Of The Gospel: Jesus Clothes
- 3:27a Paul continues to explain how the gospel of grace through faith has changed our lives. He uses baptism as a metaphor—baptized into Christ—meaning those who are spiritually “immersed into Christ” through His death and resurrection are those who have “put on Christ”—meaning they are now positionally righteous to live out this new reality. Because of Christ we wear the clothing of salvation and righteousness. Again, clothes here are a metaphor that points out our new identity—as we “wear” Jesus: he covers our nakedness (sin); He becomes our uniform (identity); he becomes part of our daily lives and we start to act like Him; He is always with us.
Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:3-11; 13:12; Isaiah 61:10; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:12
- 3:27b Please note: Baptism here clearly does not point to water baptism as a condition for “putting on Christ” or for being “in Christ,” because that would void the whole letter Paul is writing. We should understand it as those who have “faith in Christ” have “spiritually identified with Christ” therefore, they have “put on Christ.”
3:28 The Equality Of The Gospel: We Are All One
- 3:28a The next great truth the gospel of grace has brought is that in Christ we are all one. In Christ we are free from racial, society and gender inequality. In Christ it doesn’t matter what nationality you are, what part of society you are born into or end up in, nor does it matter if you are male or female, because as believers we all wear the same righteous clothing and have the same value as children of God. (The law divided the Jews and the Gentiles but now that division is gone.)
- 3:28b “All one”—this is referring to “value” in the in the eyes of God and not to destroying all “distinction.” The Bible still promotes the distinction between men and women, the differing roles in the church and the cultures of people, but it does mean that God does not value you any different based on those distinctions. Everyone becomes a child of God through the same way—faith. Practically, it also means that we are believers first—therefore, we are not separated over gender, class or culture. We are to love in the same way that God loves—without distinction.
Ephesians 5:21-6:9; Colossians 3:18-4:1
3:29-4:7 The Ancestry Of The Gospel: Sons of God
- 3:29 Another great truth the gospel of grace brings is we become part of the ancestry of God—part of Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise. This verse has a few implications: (1) We belong to Christ—if you have believed in Him. (2) We are Abraham’s seed—meaning God’s people are those of faith; not by earthly descent—it doesn’t matter if you are Jew or Gentile by physical birth. (3) We are heirs of the promise God made with Abraham. God adopted us as His sons, thus we will get the inheritance—eternal life.
- 4:1-3 Paul continues using the example of an heir to help us understand our new position in Christ. He says that an heir doesn’t differ much from a servant when he is a child. The child is the owner of everything because he is the son of the father, and when he is old he will inherit everything, but he is currently under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. This means as a child he is not much different from a servant. Here are the implications of this illustration: (1) Even though God made the promise to Abraham, they were under the law until Jesus came, so they didn’t get to fully experience the freedom that the gospel of grace brings. The time before Jesus came they were like the child. (2) Before salvation, we are in bondage under the elements of the world (and the law) until we heard and believed the gospel of grace.
- 4:4-5 Then when the fullness of time came according to God’s plan, He sent Jesus to redeem those who were under the law (mankind) so that they might receive adoption as sons. The waiting period was over and God revealed the gospel of grace through Jesus. God is now offering to adopt us as grown sons who will be given the inheritance—eternal life. This is possible because of Jesus. We learn a few things about Jesus from these verses: (1) He is God’s Son—100% God. (2) He is made of a women—100% man. (3) He is made under the law—tempted in the same manner as we are but without every sinning. (4) He came to redeem mankind—His mission was our freedom.
- 4:6-7 If we believe in Jesus, we become sons. God will adopt us. We are part of His family. He loves us like He loves Jesus. The implications are as follows, because we are sons: (1) God sent the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of His Son) into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father. This means we can address God in personal terms—like daddy—just as Jesus did. It signifies the close relationship God wants with us. When we pray, we can come to God just like a child comes to their parents—not in a mechanical impersonal way repeating the same words each time. We can pray anytime, anywhere. (2) We are no longer servants—we get all the privileges of a son. (3) We have the right to obtain the inheritance—abundant and eternal life. It is a gift from the Father to His sons.
- What is the apex of the gospel?
- What is the application of the gospel?
- What is the equality of the gospel?
- What is the ancestry of the gospel?
- Has God adopted you? If so, what does this mean?