Heir or Slave - Choose Wisely

Galatians   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  33:03
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We choose our level of Spiritual maturity bythe spiritual food we consume. Choosing faith in God means choosing to be a child of God instead of slave to sin.

Regardless of how old we are, going home should bring about emotions
Hopefully you have warm thoughts and feelings about home
I’ve been blessed to live in many places
From very small and unimpressive apartments in the city setting
All the way to a pretty nice ranch property
The look and smell of each was different to my senses
But the feeling of home is always the same
There is a warmth and comfort
A sense that THIS is where I belong
That is the feeling I have here at Grace Church
I hope that is the feeling you have when you worship here
Likewise, I feel like returning to the book of Galatians is like coming home
We took a little break when we finished chapter 3
So I want to give a “lay of the land” reminder
to make sure we all recall what was going on at the time
The book of Galatians was written by the Apostle Paul to the church of Galatia
A church that Paul established
Paul was calling on the church to stay true to the basic teaching
To not ADD to the message of the Gospel
To not fall back on “the Law” of Moses for justification
That the Gospel of Jesus Christ was sufficient
That the law was there to guide us toward Jesus
not to disrupt our relationship with Jesus
Where we left off in Galatians 3 last time,
Paul said this is Galatians 3:29
Galatians 3:29 ESV
29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
This question of being an heir of Abraham, even though not a blood-relative
That’s what Paul was describing in our core text today
Paul was describing what it meant to be an heir in that time
It sounds confusing, but in context of the time I think we can handle it
Galatians 4:1 ESV
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,
“Heir” and “Slave” sound like they are very different things
“Heir” seems simple enough, right?
Lexham Theological Wordbook κληρονόμος

κληρονόμος (klēronomos). n. masc. heir. Someone who will inherit the possessions from a parent.

That’s what we would expect, but hold on the the term “will inherit”
in the original Greek, the term we translate as “slave” is doulos
Which isn’t necessarily the same meaning we think of as “slave”
Define “doulos”
δοῦλος (doulos).
Servant, slave.
Refers to someone who is the property of another
One of the reasons I like teaching one verse at a time is that it forces me to slow down
At a quick read, I didn’t give enough importance to the tense issue between heir and slave
The heir has the promise of getting something of value or importance
In the culture at the time that means when they “came of age” they would get their due
Or, like now, when their benefactor passes away, then they get the stuff to which they are entitled
But, until the time is right, we are no different than the slave
I think of that JG Wentworth commercial
“It’s your money get it now”, or something like that
In our spiritual life, we can’t accelerate God’s plan
This includes the receipt of our inheritance
Let’s break tor lives up into a timeline
Our Timeline in Life
Chosen but slave to sin
This is our life before Jesus
God has chosen us, but we are born into slavery
The Jewish people were born into Mosaic law
We were and are born into sin and still living in and for this world which is sin
Regardless of our religious practices, the good works we try to do, even our kindness
We are not capable of living without sin in our hearts
We are dead in sin and trespasses
Here’s an illustration
If you have a young teenager who is in a wealthy family
One day that teen will inherit great wealth
If the family is wise
The parents will provide a limited allowance
allowing the teen to learn how to handle money
The parents will provide transportation, not a car
The teen wants to drive on their own
But parents will drive them where they need to go
The parents will take them to outings with friends
But have structure around who, when for how long and who will chaperone
When the time is right,
Perhaps there is a credit card
Maybe even a car for their use
And they can go out with friends without a chaperone
If we’re talking about a true “boy-girl date”
Well, our child might be able to do that just before they get their AARP card in the mail
Only if they were REALLY good, though
All the while, they are heirs with a promise of greater things to come
That’s how it was for the nation of Israel
Bound by the precepts of the Mosaic Law
Only a piece or remnant of Israel will still be in the inheritance when God’s plan completes
It is the spiritual Israel that will be included
The ethnic Israel, those who do not claim Jesus as the Messiah,
They are not a part of this love story because they reject Jesus
Just like our teenager example, there are overseers and rules and discipline in place
These a re the are the “Guardians and managers” referred to in Galatians 4:2
Galatians 4:2 ESV
2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father.
It is the job of the guardian to provide direction and encouragement
Until the time God sets for us to decide for ourselves
That is the day WE get to choose to be heirs to the promise made to Abraham
I’m getting ahead of myself
It’s easy to get off track in our Spiritual journey too, if we don’t remind ourselves that God already has a plan
Romans 8:30 ESV
30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
God called us which means we are
Already justified
and we will be glorified
we WILL receive our inheritance
But, there’s always a “but”
Notice the tense in Romans 8:30 is present tense
Paul has no doubt or equivocation
Paul is really speaking the future into the present, though
Because we aren’t ready for the inheritance
Our Timeline in Life
Chosen but slave to sin
Jesus redeemed = heirs
When Jesus redeems us , we become heirs through His Spirit
All according to God’s promise and timing
Galatians 4:4 ESV
4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,
That phrase “fullness of time” is just weird
That refers us to Mark 1:15
Mark 1:15 ESV
15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
This is our Spiritual coming of age
When God has us at the right place and we have accepted the invitation to accept Him
Then we have grown in spiritual maturity
That’s when real blessing start to pour out
That’s when the responsibility of our spiritual lives is more fully upon us
Now that we KNOW the Gospel Jesus brought
Now that we have been guided by the law on living a righteous life
Now God allows us a freedom to make a declaration
This would be like the teen in the example earlier
That first time you let them drive the family car for a group date
Mess it up and expect consequences
Even though sometimes the guilt and repentance is so great that the punishment is withheld
Jesus came,
The purpose of the law was being fulfilled by believers
Then God wrote that inner law into our hearts
That’s how we know right from wrong in our hearts
Whether we choose to act righteously or not
Since Jesus came and redeemed us, Galatians 4:5
Galatians 4:5 (ESV)
5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
says that we MIGHT BE adopted,
Because we have a choice to make
It’s not as if we are entered in the drawing for a winning number
If we choose to be heir instead of slave to sin
Then our adoption is complete
Remember that I said God wrote the law in our hearts?
God also gave us the Holy Spirit to keep us on-track
and it is the Holy Spirit who will keep us comfortable in the knowledge that we are redeemed
If you lack comfort in knowing for sure that you are already redeemed and therefore heir
Please see me about your prayer life
We all need to know the Holy Spirit is with us
even to help us pray with purpose and belief
Galatians 4:6 tells us that as sons, the Holy Spirit is in our hearts Romans 8:15 and it happened for a purpose
Romans 8:15 ESV
15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
When we fully rely of God the Father
Then we should never fall away in fear and lack of trust or understanding
When we call on God, it is God who answers
The same God who is the creator of the universe
God is able and willing to save us
So much so, that He has already saved us for all eternity
Maybe not the WAY or WHEN we wanted
But we are eternally saved
Which brings us to our third point in our timeline
Our Timeline in Life
Chosen but Slave to Sin
Jesus Redeemed = Heirs
All Heirs Inherit
We should have great peace about this
All Heirs inherit
Galatians 4:7 ESV
7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
We may be like the teen who is wanting their inheritance early
thinking they should be able to drive the BMW and fill it up with a credit card on the way to a date
But, unlike that example we know the heirship will end in us actually inheriting the gift of eternal life with God
All through God
All by His perfect method and timing
I won’t to conclude with additional hope
Recall the parable of the Prodigal’s Son
The Son took his inheritance early and wasted it away
When He returned, His father went out to meet him
His father restored him with a robe and celebration
The son’s inheritance was still intact
Jesus is waiting for each who have strayed away
You have NOT lost your inheritance
Do not delay, turn back to Jesus
Let Jesus bless you with the inheritance that is forever
Let Jesus welcome you BACK into the family of faith
That we may all praise and glorify God together
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