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“The Adoption of Sons” (Gal 4:1-20)
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2012
Posted by: The Gospel Church | more..
1,650+ views | 80+ clicks

“Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. (vs3-5)

First, we are sons and daughters, equal children in the family of God. In our former religion, we were under the curse and rules of men. We thought our fasting and praying, denying ourselves pleasures, and keeping man-made and twisted rules would save us, but God gave us no peace. Now, we know the gospel of grace, and we have come to faith in Christ. Now, it is OUT with the old way of thinking, and it is OUT with the condemnation and all thoughts of improving our standing before God (Rom 5:1-2). He saves us graciously, not because of our righteousness, and by faith, we have ALL of the righteousness that we need. Do not go back, so that the gospel means nothing to you. But, keep pressing forward and walking as someone TOTALLY forgiven, righteous, and accepted!

When you first came to Christ, then you saw His love and favor. You saw that you had straight A’s on your report card, by faith, because Christ obeyed God. The Son’s blood, rather than our merit, is the payment for grace. Now, will you leave the gospel of acceptance to establish your own righteousness? You were fully received, when you cried out to God as a Father, not a judge. Now, what is it that you need? Do you need more obedience, patience, and good works? Do you need joy and love in your heart for others? Do you need peace, or perhaps you want spiritual knowledge of your freedom and acceptance? It doesn’t matter what you need. Go to God as a Father and get it freely, bringing nothing but faith in Christ, as the reason. “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’ Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ” (vs6-7). Walk as someone loved by Christ and pleasing to God, with sins forgiven and righteousness credited to you. We cannot walk with God any other way.

Secondly, it is possible to labor in vain, and this happens when people leave Christ’s gospel and bear no fruit (vs8-11). He says, “You observe days and months and seasons and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain”. They may start out very well, but if they turn from grace to earning things, if they turn from Christ’s sufficiency to their own efforts, then they won’t be saved. We are not preaching to hear ourselves preach or merely to say something. We preach to be heard, so that others may be saved, and we labor for it, desiring it in our hearts, being unsatisfied with fruitlessness.

You and I don’t plant a vineyard for the exercise! We want fruit, and so it is with gospel preaching. Do not leave the finished work of Christ to add your own performances, but rest in Him. Don’t make up rules about the Sabbath or holy days, as if one day is more holy than another. God doesn’t say “Today is Christmas. My people have special access to Me”. No, Christ is our access every day of the year, never our works, but always simple faith in Him. Do not start in forgiveness and then leave for rules. Don’t start out like a champion, only to be tricked away from the prize, going to hell with a bible in your hand. Grace isn’t a beginning; it is EVERYTHING to God the whole race through. Christ isn’t enough at the start, but always. Stay in the gospel and bear fruit, or all is vain, and we labor to make sure that people do.

Finally, what do we do when we stand in doubt of others (vs12-20)? Paul said, “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, I would like to be present with you now and to change my tone; for I have doubts about you”. We may rightly question someone’s profession of faith, but we must LOVE the erring brother back to Christ and lovingly reprove the sinner. We are not saved by our intelligence, and we know that we have unfaithfulness in our own lives. This doesn’t make us say, “It is OK to forsake the gospel and live in sin”, but it does cause us to be gracious and humble, as we teach other people. We read elsewhere, “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Tim 2:24-26). Paul knew that the Galatians had problems, and he was unsure of the reality of their faith. Yet, he loves them and does them good. He told them the truth and risked all for Jesus Christ, yet he is also tender, gracious, and kind. He didn’t go behind their backs or use coded statements, but he speaks to us sincerely, openly, and to God’s glory.

You were a sinner when God saved you graciously, and He commands us to be gracious to others, helping them in their need (Gal 6:1-2). The TRUTH is more important than our friendships, but the truth without love… the truth coldly and harshly spoken… is not the truth in the hands of God the Holy Spirit. If your brother is wrong, correct him, but if he repents, forgive him, even as Paul, even as you’re forgiven by God (Luke 17:3-4). Do not stand in doubt of people who’ve heard the gospel in a standoffish way, but draw near to them in love, by your own example, and even in secret prayer. No one is perfect, and you need people to graciously instruct you. Do the same for others, never forgetting that GRACE is the rule of our life: God’s gracious to us, and we are genuinely gracious to men. Their sins are an occasion to prove the sincerity of our love, even as God proved His love to us, justifying us and saving us, dying for us even, while we were yet sinners!

Heshimu Colar Heshimu Colar

Heshimu Colar, Pastor of The Gospel Church, faithfully proclaims the saving message of Jesus Christ, continually exalting Him in God's word as the Savior of...

Category:  Galatians

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