23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. 24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.26 For 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, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.
Message: All Sons and Daughters (presented by Josh Swanson, Hope Church, Eastside, August 28, 2017)
Time: Paul wrote to the churches in southern Galatia after having a hand in starting them on his first missionary journey to Asia Minor. Paul wrote the book a few months before his attendance at the Jerusalem Council in AD 49. The Galatians fell away quickly from the gospel of grace Paul had preached to them and their disloyalty to Paul’s authority as an apostle. Paul began the letter defending that very issue. In chapter 3 he begin to get to the heart of their error; namely, that these Galatians sought to be justified by the Mosaic Law. In contrast, Paul presented his argument that justification comes to people by faith in Jesus Christ, not by their works under the Law.
What the Lord is Saying:
The key message of today's text comes from verse 26 - For you are all sons of God
- Before Faith - Israel is confined by laws, ceremonies, rituals.
- But this was temporary
- in Christ, we are full sons of God
- in Ch. 4, we are moved from slaves to sons
- Rich Text - we are heirs, so what does this mean
- In Exodus - children of Israel were brought out of slavery
- Reason you are a son is being united with Jesus
- What is true for Jesus in his relationship with God is also true for us
- Verse 26 says "All" and in verse 28, "all one" (I was reminded of the Sheila Walsh song from the 80s, "We're all one.")
- Adoption as defined in the Greco Roman world
- Families cared for families, specifically Jewish
- But in Greco-roman world adoptions occurred
- 7 or 8 Caesar leaders were adopted; Caesar Augustus was adopted by Julius Caesar to maintain the hierarchy
- Octavion said that Julius thought by Octavion to be one of God's so Caesar Augustus gave him the name son of God.
- Every President of the United States makes a similar claim that he will make America great again
- This is the tone in this world that Paul proclaims his message
- Jesus divests himself to the lowest type of person - "a slave"
- The meaning of adoption in that day was infant exposure or taking a child and throwing it on the trash heap where it would end up a slave or in brothels and have no dignity or worth
- Jesus becomes the lowest class person once again - "We are all sons of God."
- The only recipient of heirs are sons, but God here is making everyone a recipient; this is an explosive message
- This was a radical message
- A whole new community; our new identity in Christ
- But do we show partiality in our faith
- Do we treat each other the same?
- God is forming a new community
- It's a new social movement
- western nations all have dignity and worth (humanistic values)
- equally birthed in Christian movement
- Luke Ferry, philosopher in France wrote - "Christianity introduced concept that all classes of people have equal identity; Christianity was the pre-cursor of modern democracy; "All men are created equal."
- people like equal dignity
- Civil Rights movement is another example
- All these movements ideas, at their core, is found in Jesus Christ's message of adoption of the lowest class of people
- Do we care about everyone?
- A new Vision of God
- In the pantheon of god's you go to a different god to get what you want
- But everywhere Jesus calls him My Father
- He invites us into same relationship
- How do I become a child of God?
- What has God done for us
- God becomes man, a slave, exile, suffers, dies
- Every time Jesus speaks to God he calls him "Father" except for 1, when he is dying on the cross
- Faith is the open hand that receives the gift
- Turn from wandering to welcoming
- Read the prayer of belief
Prayer of Belief: Lord, Jesus Christ, I admit that I am weaker and more sinful than I ever imagined, but through you, I am more loved and accepted than I ever dared to hope. I thank you for paying my debt, bearing my punishment, and offering forgiveness. I turn from my sins and receive you as Savior. Amen.
Promise: We are all full sons of God. We are this way because of our unity with Christ. What is true of Jesus is true of me. I have been adopted. All men are created equal.
Prayer: Lord, it is difficult sometimes to see how we are trained in this world. It is hard to see the messages of church and religion and the separation that takes place between people in society. Lord, thank you that this isn't your message. Lord, you came to save us. You came to make us fellow heirs of the promise. You came to remind us we are all made in your image. Thank you for showing us this about ourselves and seeing such value in us. Thank you for truth. Thank you for making me a son of God.