Galatians 4:1-7 - Ordinary Charismatics
Being filled with the Spirit isn't just for super-Christians, it's for ordinary believers like you.
Read / Listen
Read Galatians 4:1-7
...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:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 53
Q. What do you believe
concerning “the Holy Spirit”?
A. First, he, as well as
the Father and the Son,
is eternal God.
Second, he has been given
to me personally,
so that, by true faith,
he makes me share
and all his blessings,
and remains with me forever.
The ancient Romans had a far different attitude toward their children than what we do today. Children, like slaves, were considered household property. Even a boy destined to inherit a vast estate grew up in such a way that was no different from anyone else, although he likely was expected to meet higher standards by his tutors than the other children were.
But the day would come when everything changed. When he came of age, this boy, outwardly no different than the rest, would suddenly become an important citizen, with all the privileges and responsibilities that came with it.
Paul uses this example that would have been so familiar to the Galatians to illustrate the change in status that Christians go through. At the time set by your Father, you were pulled up out of the ranks of those enslaved "under the elemental spiritual forces of the world (v3)" and given "adoption to sonship (v5)." Don't get hung up on gender here, as the term 'sonship' is a legal term implying that everything the father has now belongs to the child.
Here's where this is important to our discussion this week about the Holy Spirit. Because God adopted you to sonship, He didn't just give you the 'stuff' He has in His estate (which would be the entire universe); He gave you Himself, in the person of the Holy Spirit.
One of the most common misunderstandings many Christians have today is that only super-Christians are endowed with the Holy Spirit; people who have extraordinary gifts and skills enabling them to publicly praise God through talents - especially music - that the rest of us ordinary folks just don't have, as if plain and boring Spiritual gifts like stewardship, hospitality and service are somehow less Spiritual than more public and expressive gifts.
The very first person mentioned in the Bible to be 'filled with the Spirit of God' is not who you might expect. It's not Noah, Abraham, Joseph or Moses who get described this way. It's a man you've likely never heard of: Bezalel, the son of Uri. He was chosen by God to lead construction of the Tabernacle. This ordinary tradesman is the first to be described as Spirit-filled (Exodus 31).
The point here is that certainly patriarchs like Noah, Abraham, Joseph and Moses were filled with the Spirit, but so was Bezalel. And so are you.
As we've reiterated so often this year, make every effort to experience the Spirit that God has put in you by learning, developing and sharing your Spiritual gifts. This is also the best way for you to experience your only comfort in life and in death, that you belong to Jesus Christ.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who redeemed us from slavery and made us Sons of God;
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God for putting His Spirit in you, and pray for the courage and determination to use the Spiritual gifts you've been given.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Romans 1