Thursday, September 1, 2011

Galatian 4: I do not call you slaves, I call you children

My beloved Galatians, for the fourth time I appeal to you as a father correcting his wayward children, as a mother who would endure the pain of childbirth for a second time if it somehow would give them a second chance. The judaizers call you servants - slaves - of the law, but you are NOT slaves! Indeed your life before I introduced you to the Spirit of Christ was slavelike enough, and will be again if you follow the enslavers. But you were never slaves by nature or calling - you were children slated to inherit everything from a loving Father. He knew that one day you would be called Sons, you would call him Abba, Father. He would give you everything that was His, and you would stand at His side in love and freedom, partners in the family vineyard. And now you are Sons of His inheritance, even if you are a woman. Or a slave, or a Viking, or a Republican, or a Quadriplegic, or a Gaul, or a Yankee fan, or a Roman Centurion, or a Jew.

Don't you remember the thrill of calling God Father for the first time? The thrill of your grateful spirit as it uttered those intimate endearments to Abba Father? To a Master, a Slave is only "good" for the work he does. The same Master who says "good slave" would, if asked, refuse to set that same slave free. And he would howl in disbelieving laughter if it was suggested that he and the slave shared the same bloodline and spirit!

What is true in Rome was true in Israel. The slavegirl Hagar's son was not the chosen seed. It was the son of Sarah, daughter of promise, through whom Messiah came. Earthly Jerusalem is under the law and enslaved. In heavenly Jerusalem there is grace and freedom. Mansions of inheritance await you. Slaves don't live in them. Sons do!

Start living like sons, my children. The Spirit you have inherited - walk in it. Your loving Father's hand of help and protection extended to you - grasp it. Life is a vineyard - rather than labor in it under a harsh taskmaster, walk in it with your father. Give me no more reason to fear that my beloved children will endure an eternity of slavery.

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