Monday 9th April 2018 - Daily Reading:
Galatians 4:1-20 - Redeemed and Adopted by Richard Cowling

For today I want us to focus on verses 4 to 7 of Galatians chapter 4. It says "But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, 'Abba, Father.' So you are no longer a slave, but God's child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir."

These verses speak of a right time that came when God sent his Son to be born of a virgin. And it also tells us that Jesus came to redeem those under law. The word 'redeem' is an interesting word. It is used many times throughout scripture, and it basically means 'to buy back' or 'to purchase'. And so what Paul here is saying in the letter to the Galatians is that God sent his Son Jesus to buy back, or to purchase us out of the slave market. We were slaves, however, in Jesus we have been taken from being slaves to being children of God. What a glorious thought! And it was nothing that we could do for ourselves! It wasn't something that we could purchase, but had to be purchased by the blood of Jesus. On the cross, we are aware of those famous words that Jesus spoke, when he declared 'It is Finished'. The Greek word here is tetelestai which can also mean 'Paid in Full'. When Jesus died on the cross, he paid our debt in full! There is nothing we can do, Jesus did it all for us!

And so what does that mean for us then? Well it goes on to say in these verses that Jesus came to redeem us so that we might receive adoption into sonship! It would be enough that we are purchased out of the slave market! However, God's work for us doesn't end there... the Word goes on to tell us that we are then elevated to the place of sons and daughters of God by adoption.

When writing this letter, Paul would have had in mind the Roman custom of adoption. In these times, those who were adopted sons were given absolutely equal privileges in the family and equal status as heirs. Here is what Paul has to say on the subject in Romans 8: "Now if we are children (of God), then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." What an awesome thought!

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