We are God's children and heirs

Date of talk: 
Sunday, 22 January 2017
James Noble
Bible verse: 
Galatians 4:1-7

As we continued our series studying Paul’s letter to the Galatians we saw how Paul makes the point (4:1-7 & also 3:23-25) that God’s law both protected but also enslaved the Jews until Christ came. In the same way the Gentiles (anybody who isn’t Jewish) weren’t slaves to the law before they (and we) knew Jesus, but were slaves to the ways of this world.
I likened the Jewish law to a carefully crafted child’s play pen full of all the good things a child needs to be safe. Even though a child can be happy and safe in the playpen, any child would rather be in their parent's arms. V4 describes the moment Jesus breaks in and lifts us all into the arms of the Father that the Jews didn’t even know they had; they knew God was like a Father but they were unaware they could be lifted into a relationship where God would become their actual Father. Of course the Galatians (and us) were not Jewish and so outside the protection of the playpen (the law), but Jesus lifts us too into the incomparable safety of God's arms. We are adopted by God and become His children!
Paul's frustration is that the Jews have become so familiar with the playpen they would rather be there than in their Father's arms and worse than that they are telling the Gentile believers that is where they should be too. But why would you want to get into a playpen when you have been lifted into the arms of the creator by Jesus? Amazingly He has adopted you as His child and desires such a depth of relationship with you that you get to cry to him Abba; Daddy; Father!

For discussion: 

1.     What Paul is trying to show us is that we have been lifted by Jesus into relationship with God; He has adopted us and we are His children. How can we know better the security of His arms where He whispers “my child” and we respond Abba, Daddy, Father?

2.     How does the safety of His embrace enable us to function in the world with all its distractions, dangers and snares?

3.     We are adopted into His inheritance (V7). What does that mean for our relationship with Him?