God's Children

Galatians   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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What does it mean to be a child of God? For many folks, they think of the relationship with their earthly Father. This could be good or not so good depending on what kind of relationship you had with your earthly father. Our study in Galatians comes to a section where Paul tells his readers they are sons of God. He uses the example of a child and being an heir. Let’s look at this passage closely as we see a child of God defined, a child of God described, a child of God demonstrated and a child of God delivered.
Galatians 3:26–4:7 NIV84
26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. 1 What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2 He is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3 So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. 4 But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5 to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. 6 Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.

A Child of God Defined (vs. 26)

Notice something from the very beginning that many cults use to teach doctrine that is false. Verse 26 reads, “You are all sons of God.” They stop right there and teach that this verse and other passages from the Old Testament are saying that we are equal with God and therefore making us gods. Let’s get something straight from the very beginning:
We are sons not gods
Throughout scripture, there are verses that indicate that we are sons of God and there is a Son of God. sons of God vs. Son of God
As a point of clarification, we must make sure that when we use sons of God that don’t think we are like God. God is in us but we are not GOD. We will never be like God. There is no other!
Believers are sons of God by adoption and regeneration. We see it declared by John the Baptist when he was describing Jesus.
John 1:12 NIV84
12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—
You may ask:
(But what about the daughters?)
I am glad you did! The word we have in scripture translated as sons is the Greek word huios and it can be translated as son and it can also be translated as children. So ladies, please understand that the word sons also includes you. You might ask, “Why didn’t they go ahead and translate this to children to include the daughters of God as well?” The culture of the day was man oriented. Even though you know and I know that the women were and still the ones that make things happen! In fact, men, I am throwing you under the bus right now… If it was not for the women of this church, not much would ever happen because we would stand around and just talk about it. I think God for the Daughters of God in this church! So as point of confidence, sons in this passage means daughters too! Notice what else is says in this verses.
We are of God
We are not of the big bang. We are not of evolution. We are not of the devil. Genesis 1:1
Genesis 1:1 NIV84
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
We are of God. And the reason we are of God is because...
We Access God By Faith Through Jesus Christ
In God’s great plan of redemption and mercy, we were given access to Him by faith through Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57
1 Corinthians 15:57 NIV84
57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Do you have access by faith through Jesus Christ? Can you say that you are a son or daughter of God? If you do, let me share how a description of what you would be as a child of God.

A Child of God Described (vs. 27-29)

Verses 27-29 give us several points of a child of God described.
We are outwardly and inwardly changed
The first descriptor is that we are outwardly and inwardly changed. You might say, I don’t see those words in there. You are correct, but what you do see there is the phrase, “for all of you were baptized into Christ.” Baptism is an important part of the child of God’s life. Baptism pictures death and new life. It is the outward expression of ending the old relationship and beginning the new. The old is gone and the new has come. This is the only reference in Galatians about baptism, but Paul is careful to include that baptism is administered in the Name of Jesus. It was the outward and visible sign of admission into the new community.
1 Corinthians 12:13 NIV84
13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
Paul, by the way, was baptized by Annias after his conversion.
Acts 9:17–18 NIV84
17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized,
Baptism is an outward expression of what God through Christ has done inwardly. Notice the next description.
We are clothed in Christ
I found it interesting to learn that in the Roman culture, when a youth became old enough to be considered an adult, he would take off his children’s clothes and put on an adult’s toga. In the same way, the Galatians had laid aside the clothes of the Old Testament law and put on Christ’s clothes of righteousness.
Ephesians 4:23–24 NIV84
23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV84
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
We come to God through Christ. We are clothed with Christ! But we all come to Christ the same way.
We all come to Christ the same way
At the beginning of this message I made a big deal about sons and daughters of God. And reason is because of this next description.
Galatians 3:28 NIV84
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Your gender doesn’t matter. Your race doesn’t matter. Your social status doesn’t matter. The law-free gospel put everyone on the same level before God. Paul puts this in his letter to the Galatians because of a Jewish practice that was common for the day. Jewish tradition held that the Jewish man would pray in the morning a prayer of thanksgiving that he was not a Gentile, a slave, or a woman. The intent was not to be disparaging of the Gentile, slave, or woman, rather, that these groups were disqualified from several religious privileges that were open to free Jewish males. Paul is boldly saying that it doesn’t matter and all these dividing walls have come down.
Ephesians 2:14 NIV84
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,
Oh that we would remember that verse more and more!
We all come to Christ the same way and that is through faith and repentance!
Paul next demonstrates a child of God by illustrating a common custom of the day.

A Child of God Demonstrated (vs. 4:1-4)

This analogy centers around the idea of a child becoming an heir. He uses the word “child” here and it is more accurate to use the word “baby.” The Greek word nepios indicates that it is a baby that is not old enough to fulfill its father’s will and testament. However, that baby is the owner of the father’s estate. So he is more than just a baby.
More than a baby
He is a baby whose name is on the deed, even though he can’t say deed because he is a baby. So the baby is subject to guardianship and trustees until the father’s wishes are carried out. The legally appointed trustees make all the decisions and have the power over the estate, even though the child is the owner. But, often the trustees and guardians were more than just babysitters.
Better than a babysitter
As you can imagine, there were many ways to make this advantageous to others. For example, under Roman law, the heir was under the control of a tutor until the age of 14. This tutor was listed in the Father’s will. Then, until the age of 25, he was under a curator who was appointed by the magistrate.
Another practice that influenced this was the practice of adoption. Roman emperors adopted men not related to them by blood with the intention that they would be named as successors. If the son was not yet of age, the original father would legally transfer him to his adoptive father in a pretended sale. Once adopted, the son was in all legal aspects on a level with those born into that family. If the son was of legal age, the adoption process would involve the equivalent of the Roman chief priest. This process required the presence of 7 witnesses. Their testimony was crucial to prove later that the adoption was valid and had taken place.
Then, however, there was a baby that changed everything!
The Baby that changed EVERYTHING
Right on time, God sent His son, born of a woman, born under law. There are so many implications for us that imply the pre-existence of Christ.
Isaiah 49:1 NIV84
1 Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the Lord called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name.
John 1:2 NIV84
2 He was with God in the beginning.
Hebrews 1:2 NIV84
2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.
Revelation 3:14 NIV84
14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.
Just at the right time, God sent His son. In doing so, the adoption process came changed and illegitimate children became children of God! WE BECAME DELIVERED from all the chains of the law and our sinfulness!

A Child of God Delivered (4:5-7)

Goodness, look at how we have been delivered. First,
We are redeemed
Romans 8:3 NIV84
3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man,
Because Jesus was our sin offering, we have been redeemed!
We are reaffirmed
We are reaffirmed with the full rights of sons. We get to eat at the Father’s table. We can enjoy the Father’s blessings. We are called by our name and told that we are loved. We can come to the Father and call Him DADDY! ABBA is the closest form of DADDY in Aramaic
Romans 8:15 NIV84
15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
We are also remembered.
We are remembered
You are no longer a slave, an outcast, or an illegitimate child but you are a son and daughter of the Father God. That has been God’s plan all along.
Hosea 11:1 NIV84
1 “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.
G. A. Smith wrote, “God’s eyes, passing the princes of the world, fell upon this slave boy, and He loved him and gave him a career.” Of course this quote and the passage of Hosea refer to what God did in the life of Moses. It also is what God can do in your life. He will call us out of our Egypt into His glorious presence and give us purpose. But only through faith in Jesus can it happen!
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