Rescued by Grace
No longer slaves
Scripture Text: Galatians 4
Slavery is talked about all through the Bible. Not because it’s ok, but because it’s a reality of our broken world. We’ve seen over the last few weeks how Paul uses slavery as an illustration of our bondage to sin, and as we’ll see today, because of Christ we are no longer slaves.
Let’s begin by looking at a verse we’ve already talked briefly about.
Read Galatians 5:1 & pray
What does it mean to be a slave?
Slavery is one of the darkest evils this world has allowed to exist. It’s hard to understand how one human being can justify owning another, but that’s just the surface. Slaves are often snatched from their families, sometimes as children, and forced to do unspeakable work in the worst of conditions. Slavery means belonging to someone else, having no say over your life, possibly enduring severe abuse, and living in fear for your life until you are no longer needed by your owner which may lead to the end of your life.
As Paul wrote to the Galatians about the condition of those who would try to be justified by the Law the Holy Spirit lead him to write that they are slaves. We’ve seen already that Paul said those who sought to persuade the Galatians to obey the Law were seeking to steal their freedom and make them slaves.
The Law leads to bondage to sin – Romans 6:12-14
The Law leads to bondage to guilt & shame – Hebrews 10:1-2
The woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11)
The Law couldn’t free her from her sin. It only revealed it.
The Law couldn’t free her from her guilt. It only prescribed a punishment.
Jesus set us free – verse 4:4-5
Only Jesus could set her free. He is our only hope as well. Jesus’ sacrifice was what was required to set us free from the law, sin, and shame.
Read verse 4-5
Jesus was able to set us free because:
He is fully God and fully man
He lived a perfect and sinless life
He died in our place
He was raised again and still lives
The woman at the well (John 4)
The Law couldn’t free her from her sin. This is probably the reason why she jumped from relationship to relationship.
The Law couldn’t free her from her guilt. So she was an outcast.
Jesus set her free. She ran to tell the others in her city, and many of them were saved because of her testimony
From Slaves to Sons – verses 4:4-7
Kyle did a great job a couple of weeks ago pointing out that when Christ died for our sins He also declared us innocent. He described it to us as a courtroom scene where we were on trial for our sin. He reminded us that the Bible teaches that when Jesus died on the cross our sin was paid for and that through faith in Him we are actually credited with His righteousness. God actually declares us as innocent because of Jesus.
Thinking of our passage this morning JI Packer wrote that God didn’t stop there. After declaring us innocent He stepped away from the Judge’s seat, took off His robe, and took us by the hand and adopted us.
Read verses 4-7
It wasn’t enough to make us free and declare us innocent. God wanted us as children. That’s why we were created, and that’s why He went to such great extent to bring us home.
He didn’t just make us children, though. The Bible says that we are sons. He chose that wording on purpose. Not because the Bible has a chauvinistic point of view, but because sons had different rights during Paul’s time, and God chose to give those same rights to all of His children.
We can come to Him as Father
We are heirs
Slavery and adoption – Paul used these as illustrations to explain our relationship with God, but they are also real life issues that the church should address. Do what you can to make a difference. We’re called to take up for those who are mistreated, and to care for orphans. It’s part of being the church.
Be free in Christ – Faith in Christ sets you free. I hope you will choose to place your faith in Him today, if you haven’t already. Once you are free don’t ever let yourself slip back into bondage.