The law was a harsh schoolmaster designed to drive sinners to Christ; now, through faith in Christ, all who believe enjoy the privilege of being familially related to God Himself by adoption.
Scripture: Galatians 3:23-4:20
- This passage presents us with a challenge of personal identity, a question we all wrestle with at some time.
- Our identity changes with the changing roles and responsibilities in our lives.
- Our new identity in Christ changes our relationship to all other identity markers in our lives: job, family, academy, sports fan, etc.
- Paul has spent the entire letter thus far disputing against the religion of good works. Good works are a fruit of God’s prior grace in our lives, not vice versa.
- Like Private Ryan, many people are plagued by the question of whether they have lived well enough to earn their salvation.
- It is God who has done the work for us – He has given us His identity, purchasing us by the blood of Christ.
- The Heidelberg Catechism states that our only comfort in life and in death is that we belong to Christ, body and soul.
- It is a great blessing and privilege to call God our Father.
- The law and gospel were never in conflict; in the gospel we’re freed from bondage to sin and given grace to obey the law.
- The faith of the Christian is the faith of Abraham, but, for us who look back to Christ, there is a new fullness, finality and power.
- The law was a harsh schoolmaster to drive us to Christ; now through faith in Christ, all who believe become sons of God.
- We must dispense with the idea that God is everyone's father and that there is some sort of universal brotherhood of man.
- It is a privilege to call God our Father and to know that God delights in our prayers and dependence upon Him.
- God does love all people for He has created them in His image. But until they are set right in Christ and adopted as sons, God does not have a fatherly relationship to them.
- Each Christian becomes personally and intimately related to God as Father.
- To redeem us from sin and to adopt us as sons was a costly purchase, forfeiting God the Son’s life.
- In Christ we have been freed from the pagan delusions of the gods’ power over the natural world (cf. Romans 12:2).
- Galatians 3:28 doesn’t remove God-given distinctions, but it does mean that all believers are brought into one body of Christ and one family of God.
- Paul concludes positively and with confidence: being known by God, we receive God’s grace as sons and daughters.
- We can’t lose God’s grace and favour because we didn’t deserve it in the first place (cf. John 6:44).
- How does Christian faith affect one’s relationship to every area of life, and subsequently change one’s identity?
- What did it cost God to adopt us as sons and daughters?
- How does God show His Fatherly love for His children?
- Why was the law given, and how does its purpose change when we become Christians?
- What is the answer to those plagued by the question of whether they have been good enough to “earn it”?