Abba, Father (Galatians 3 v 26 - 4 v 7)
The law and the gospel are not just stages in redemptive history, in God’s plan to save sinners. They are also stages in an individual's journey towards God.
Read Galatians 3:26
• What is true of every Christian (v 26)?
• What do we learn about what this means from verses 26-27?
Pause a moment to think about the image of having “clothed yourselves with Christ”.
• What are the implications of the metaphor?
• What is Paul saying in verse 28?
• How does this flow from verse 26?
Read Galatians 4:1
After God's people received the law, but before God sent His Son (v 4), Paul describes them as being an heir but also “no different from a slave”. God had promised to give them the estate; but they had not yet “grown up”, and could
not enjoy it. It would be theirs, but it was not yet theirs.
It is the same for each Christian. All humans are spiritual “slaves” before coming to Christ, desperately trying to live up to some standard (v 3).
Through the gospel, God makes us “come of age”, because it tells us the God of grace did something to bring us into full sonship, so we could enjoy His estate…
• What two things did God send His Son to accomplish (v 5)?
Many people remember the first of these, but forget the second. If God has only pardoned (or “redeemed”) us, we will now have to live a life which is good enough to maintain God’s favour.
But Christ didn’t only remove the curse we deserved (though that in itself is amazing!) He also gave us the blessing He deserved—”the full rights of sons” (v 5). Our Father God’s ongoing and eternal favour is just as secure as our pardon is.
• What are the privileges of sonship that Paul sets out in verses 6-7?
• What has the Spirit been sent to do (v 6-7)?
“Abba” has no direct translation in English: the closest is “Dad”. It's a familiar, fairly intimate way of saying “Father”. It’s worth just pausing here, to ponder the fact that we call God “Dad”.
How will knowing the Creator as your Abba today make a difference to your:
• obedience to God?
• reaction to something going wrong?
This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.
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