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  • Chad Werkhoven

Galatians 4:1-7 - Complexly Simple

Take a breather: enjoy the peace & comfort given in very simple language.


Galatians 4:1-7 (NIV)

...As long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2 The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3 So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. 4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.

6 Because you are his 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 God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.


Listen to passage & devotional:


Belgic Confession of Faith, Article 17: The Recovery of Fallen Man

We believe that our good God,

by his marvelous wisdom and goodness,

seeing that man had plunged himself in this manner

into both physical and spiritual death

and made himself completely miserable,

set out to find him,

though man,

trembling all over,

was fleeing from him.

And he comforted him,

promising to give him his Son,

“born of a woman,”

to crush the head of the serpent,

and to make him blessed.



Paul here is comparing life in general to the heir to a large fortune. Although the fortune legally belongs to the heir, he often doesn't have access to it until he reaches the age of maturity that his father had predetermined.

In the same way, you are an heir with an ownership claim in the Kingdom of heaven, but as Peter reminds, "This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Peter 1:3-5).

But in order for us to be made heirs, a transaction needed to take place. God sent His Son "to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship (v5)." Notice how many terms related to your salvation have financial overtones: heir, redemption, atonement, ransom, debt forgiveness, treasure in heaven, etc.

Yet the price required for your salvation required something more from the buyer than just the ability to write the check, so to speak. The buyer needed to have standing. In other words, the buyer for man needed to be a man. And so it is that our Savior, God's Son, needed to be "born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law..."

Jesus was made like us in every way, but since He was born of a woman, yet had no earthly father - no tie to Adam, and so was not infected by the disease transmitted from fathers to children called original sin which we read about a couple of weeks ago.

Dig Deeper

The more we unpack our salvation and begin to examine piece by piece, it can seem confusing and overwhelming. We use all sorts of complicated terms that we don't normally use in everyday language, we make distinctions in how and when those terms apply, and on top of all that is the nuance of ideas that are often in tension with one another, like how we understand that God elected us before time began to be saved in Christ, but yet at the same time we must "make every effort" to make our salvation sure.

Although it's good to push ourselves mentally to understand this theology, just as it's good to push our bodies so they remain strong, it's nice to take a breather and enjoy the peace and comfort given to us in very simple language.

Because you are now God's son (yes, even you ladies are considered 'sons' of God), God sent His Spirit into your heart, which causes you to call out to your Father. Paul uses a very tender word to describe your Father here: Abba, which conveys an intimacy between father and child (v6).

So know that the end result of the fantastically complex theological formula required for your redemption is the fact that you have been made a bona fide child of God (v7).

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who sent His Spirit into our hearts that we would call out to Him;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you would not be as enamored with the riches of this world, knowing that you're an heir of the Kingdom of Heaven;



Read the New Testament in a year! Today: Romans 9


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