Welcome to Wednesday’s podcast. Today our passage is Galatians 4: 1-7. The verse we’ll focus on today is vs. 6
Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba,[a] Father.’
I once met somebody once who had inherited a huge amount of money. I mean an eye-watering amount of money. To give you an idea – when I say a lot of money – I mean enough to make his name appear in the Sunday Times Rich List.
So, you may well be tempted to think jammy so and so. All that cash… handed on a plate. All right for some.
I cannot imagine what it’s like to have that much personal resource. To never ever have to think about money again… For the rest of your life.
It turns out this guy had been on a bit of surprising journey. It actually took a bit of working through – why should he inherit this? What he had done to deserve it? He felt guilty, embarrassed and ashamed. He felt judged. It was really weird to hear that. Why on earth would somebody feel like that? The as he talked the penny dropped. There’s something noble about saying ‘I earned this…’ or ‘I built this…’ or invented this and it became successful. I guess if you earn it, make it or invent it – then in some way it’s like you’ve earned the right to live off it.
Didn’t deserve it – he hadn’t earned it. I can tell you that he’s one of the most generous people I know who does an incredible amount of good with what the God has given him.
The takeaway lesson from that conversation was that it was clear to me that this guy had to go through a mindset shift. A mindset that said – from living off earnings (wages) to living off the abundance of an inheritance.
In today’s passage the apostle Paul is driving home, once again, the theme of the book – freedom. Justification by faith in Christ.
And as yesterday (3:26) we landed on the notions that we are all sons (and daughters). The very contemporary notion to the Galatian churches – the Roman practice of adoption.
In today’s passage Paul drives the point home a little more.
In Chapter 4:1 Paul paints the picture of an heir – a child who will receive his inheritance. He’s probably a son – we don’t know where the father, pater is – presumably Dead.
The point is that even though the Son is wealthy (in the future sense) – he currently shares the same status as a slave because access to his wealth is denied until he comes of age. Paul says he’s subject to guardians & trustees. This bit is important. The trustees – like that of a charity today – are appointed by the late father to oversee the finances of the estate. The boy’s guardian is appointed to represent and help the boy. Remember that bit.
To drive the point home even further in verse 6 makes this point – ‘because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit calls out, ‘Abba’…’
This is when things get exciting. Some scholars say that Paul is taking the idea of a guardian in verse 2 and painting the picture that the Holy Spirit – the third person of the trinity – actually moves into our bodies. Whereas the Spirit resided in the temple now God makes his home in us – our bodies become the temple. The spirit, takes on the role of the ‘new guardian’ – but this time not externally representing us but internally – with deep internal connection to God that we may call him the most holy powerful being – Abba, Daddy. It’s an internal work of deep grace. The Father sets it up; Jesus makes it happen and the Spirit advocates deeply within us. He wants us to explore the depths of his grace. It’s a throwback to the Old Testament where Israel was seen as the son and the way things were set up was that they related to the Lord as a good & perfect father.
Paul’s point is that we have an inheritance. We have access to an vast ocean of God’s resources. But do you know- I really struggle with that sometimes.
What stops us? What stops me? A mindset that says I have to earn it. That’s often a marker of a religious mindset – earning – striving – working harder. I have to see it off in me – and if you’re honest – perhaps you do too?
The mindset of ‘father heart of God’ – is to receive. The invitation is to walk in such confidence – that He has everything that we need. Where our nature is to earn, strive – work it out – we’re called to trust & receive.
We are heading into into financial uncertainty. A challenge for business owners; those who are self employed; zero hours workers or those who work in the gig economy. There are big questions about the economy, recession and what recovery looks like. Plus, when will this end? We literally don’t know. And if you like a bit of control in your life – this aint the season for you.
I’m not wearing my white suit and promising you in Christ a life of abundant finanicial prosperity. But if Paul has anything to say to us in this season – it’s to ask the question – am I striving? Am I approaching God with an earning mindset? Or is he perhaps saying something about living with such a peace – that comes from knowing that we have a Father – a Dad we can trust who will look out for us and supply all that we need.
At the start of this podcast – I told the story about a guy I met. I threw in this line: I cannot imagine what it’s like to have that much personal resource. To never ever have to think about money again… For the rest of your life.
And of course, the point is – that’s Paul’s point. That’s the invitation.
Just a thought. I’m in this with you and this applies to me today as much as anyone else.
Hope it helps. We’re praying for you!
Father, may we walk in your inheritance whatever that means.
BIBLE READING: Galatians 4: 1-7
What I am saying is that as long as an heir is under age, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were under age, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 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.