Slaves, or Heirs?

Galatians 3:19-4:7 (ESV)

Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one. Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. 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, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

What a wonderful thought; children of and heirs of God!

Years ago, I learned that the purpose of the Law written in the Pentateuch (the five fifths of the Law) the first five books of the Bible, was to show us that we could not be worthy of God by obedience to it. The Ten Commandments would be hard enough, especially as Jesus expounded upon them, but then there were over 600 laws that Moses passed on to the Israelites, from further conversations with God. There is no way to be obedient to all those laws. Fortunately, once a year the priest would lay his hands on a goat, say a prayer to transfer all the people’s sins that they did not even realize they had committed to that goat (called a scapegoat) and set it free to roam in the desert. Whether it lived or died was in God’s hands.

So we look at the laws, and the bondage we are under as God’s children, and then we realize that because of Jesus, and His death on the cross, we are no longer slaves. We are accepted as heirs of the promise of God. We are truly redeemed. Now the problem is, we are not fully perfected yet. We make mistakes. We still sin.

But, you will ask, if we have the Holy Spirit, how can we still sin? Because we have to learn to listen to Him. And it is easier to just do things as we always have. It takes practice. It takes self-denial. It takes effort. Jesus said that if anyone would come after Him, he(the person) must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Him(Jesus)!

We all know what Jesus meant by take up His cross. Jesus’ cross was His death...

So to die to ourselves is the trick. We must listen for the Spirit. We must check our thoughts and especially what we THINK the Holy Spirit is telling us against the KNOWN SCRIPTURES. God has said that many false prophets and false teachers were in the world even back when the Apostles were still here. But God does not contradict Himself. So check the Scriptures. Study them. Test all spirits. If it does not align with the Canon of Scripture, it is false.

Then die to yourself. Live for Christ. Love others as you love yourself. May God bless you as you start your work week.

by Virgil Stripes

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