Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “ Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. – Gal. 4:6-7 NIV.
The scripture for today’s devotion is one that seemed to form the core of the message of the Apostle Paul to the gentiles – Rom. 11:13. He indeed took his call to take the gospel to the gentiles very seriously as expected and was indeed, with the help of the Holy Spirit, very successful but all his success was been threatened by the infiltration of false apostles and adherents of the Jewish faith who seemed to constantly come after him, to preach another message different from the foundation he had laid.
Doctrines such as the compulsion to receive physical circumcision (Rom. 2:25-29) and the need to support Christianity with traditional acts of worships (Col. 2:6-23) being thought by all these apostles and teachers, were threatening the foundation he had laid in all those churches and his letter to the Galatians is one of those efforts of his to battle all these threats aiming to pull down all the good works he had done. Just as in his letter to the Romans (Rom. 8:15-16), he needed to let the converts to the new faith realise their new status once they took the decision to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. He made the new converts in Galatia realise that their decision to put their faith in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ automatically made them sons (and daughters) of the Almighty God. This transition occured the minute they experienced the water baptism which signified the dying with Christ when they were dipped into the water and their resurrection with him when they came out of the water – Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12. It was a physical experience that had deep spiritual significance which changed their spiritual status and gave them the right to call the Sovereign Lord, “Father” and they starting to see themselves as sons and heirs of the kingdom. As far as his argument goes, there was no difference again amongst all those that went through the experience of water baptism and so should no longer be viewed from the physical perspective of tribe, sex and social status. They were all to be considered as Abraham’s seed and heirs to all the promises made to him by the Sovereign Lord – Gal. 3:26-29.
However, beyond being heirs, they needed to be conscious of their rights and indeed exercise it, else they will continue to live the life of a child prince who is yet to mature sufficiently to be able exercise the full rights of his royal status. According to the Apostle Paul, such may truly be a prince but will not be able to live a life different from that of a slave living in a palace. In truth, a slave does live in the palace but cannot exercise the rights of one who lives in such an environment as he/she remains a slave – Gal. 4:1-5. The Apostle Paul however does not want the Christian to live that life as that is not the life that is befitting of one in the class of a prince and heir of the most high. He informed them that as part of the transformation process that occurred during their water baptism, the Sovereign Lord input the Spirit of sonship into them that gave them the authority to address the Almighty God as father and enjoy the advantage of being heirs to His kingdom – Gal. 4:6-7. What a huge Grace that the simple but powerful exercise brought, not only to the Galatians and the Romans, but to also all Christians.
To the Christian today, one may then ask, “what kind of life are you living?”. That of a son or a slave?. The Apostle Paul makes it clear that a slave may live in the palace but lives in fear and may not be confident to exercise any rights but that is not the case with the prince and heir to the throne. For as long as he/she continues to accord to the king who is his/her father the deserved respect, so long he will continue to enjoy the full rights of a son and an heir. The nature of the Spirit that was introduced during the water baptism was explained better when Paul was addressing the same issue with the Romans – Rom. 8:15. To them, he made it clear that the spirit is not one that makes the Christian continue to exercise fear but one that bestows confidence to approach the throne of grace, which again was referenced in the biblical book of Hebrews – Heb. 4:16.
Why then do you still entertain all those fears about what tomorrow will be like when you can with your lips, and in that your status of being a son and an heir, shape what that tomorrow will be. The king in reference here is not a king with limited boundary of influence but the king that reigns over the entire universe. That is the Prince of whom you are. Exercise your rights as His prince by making those requests with confidence and because his influence cuts across the entire universe, you can rest, assured that all that you asked for will be granted, of course in due time. Unless your water baptism was improperly done or you have slipped back into deliberate sin after that great spiritual exercise, then only do you have to entertain fear else stop living in fear and begin to live the life of a matured Prince of the Most High. May God grant you the grace to discover your true identity in Christ Jesus. Amen.