Summary: In the opening verses of Galatians 4, Paul shares about our relationship with God and our relationship with others. How do they relate? How important our relationships to God?
It’s All about Relationships
Ben Hooper was born in Newport, Tennessee in 1870 He was born out of wedlock , to Sarah Wade. As a result, He had a tough childhood, being taunted by others. In his early school years , his Grandfather died, and his mother was forced to place Ben in an Orphanage in Knoxville Tenn. At Age Nine, He was adopted by Dr. L H Hooper, and had to move back near his Newport home. At age 12, he recalls going to Church to hear the new Baptist Preacher. Here pick up the narrative, “I would go in late and slip out early. But one day the preacher said the Benediction so fast I got caught and had to walk out with the crowd. I could feel every eye in the church on Me. Just about the time I got to the door, I felt a big hand on my shoulder. I looked up and the preacher was looking right at me. ‘who are you, son? Whose boy are you?’ But as he looked down at me, studying my face, He began to smile a big smile of recognition. ‘ Wait a Minute’ he said, ‘I know who you are. I see the family resemblance. You are a son of God.’ With that he slapped me across the rump and said, ‘Boy you’re got a great inheritance. Go and Claim it.’ “ Years later Ben Hooper would write about that event and add “That was the most important single sentence ever said to me.” God used that preacher to plant the seed of Salvation.
By age 15, Ben Hoover was saved, baptized and a faithful member of that small Baptist Church in the Hills of Tennessee. Years later, He would get married, become a lawer as well as serve as the the first Republican Governor of Tennesse from 1911-1915. Governor Ben Hooper ,a man with a great inheritance and so it is with any child of God . Here in the opening verses of Chapter 4 of Galatians.
I. Our Relationship with God – Sonship (v 1-7)
A. Our Condition under the Law (v1-3)
When a boy was a minor in the eyes of the Law , He might be the owner of a vast estate but he could not make a legal decision. He was not in control of his life. Everything was done and directed for him. That’s why v 1 says he “differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;” V2 tells us that the child would be under “Tutors” and “governors”
Tutor vs. schoolmaster in 3:24
They would be in this position v2 “until the time appointed of the fathers” that age varied in the Jewish, Grecian, and Roman societies.
In the Jewish society, there would be a ceremony of manhood on the first Sabbath after the boy’s twelfth birthday. In that ceremony, the father would have a prayer of dedication and the Boy would recite some vows. There was clear mark, overnight he became a man.
In Grecian society, a boy was under his father’s care until he was 18. then he was considered a “cadet” –for two years he was under the direction of the state, living in a dorm like setting. There again was a ceremony marking this, making a distinct transition from Childhood to manhood.
Under Roman law, there was no fixed year when adulthood would kick in, It was at the fathers discretion. However, it appeared to always be between 14-17. Here to it was marked by a festival /ceremony in which he changed togas . A clear transition to Adulthood.
Spiritually, under the law, we are enslaved under the bondage of sin ( elements of the world v3) until Christ’s redemptive work on the cross Emancipated us from the the shackles of sin .
Notice v4 But (alla,) marking the strongest contrast. V1-3 look at our life under sin’s slavery. But now we Turn and see what God Did.
Notice: v4a- “when the fullness of time had come” when Jesus was born everything was just right for His arrival.
Rome was at peace providing economic and political stability. In addition, a road system was in place that afforded ease of travel over much of the region. Greek was the common language throughout much of the known world. People were Spiritually hungry.
B. Our Position in Christ (V4-7)
Notice Christ was fully human – born into our sinful world and kept the laws and traditions. However he was also divine to redeem us.
1. We are adopted into God’s family
A new mother stayed with her parents for several days after the birth of their first child. One afternoon she remarked to her mother that it was surprising that the baby had dark hair, since both her and her husband had brown blonde hair. The grandmother said “well, your daddy has black hair. “ To which the daughter replied, “but mama that doesn’t matter because I’m adopted.” With an embarrassing smile, that mother said the most wonderful words, her daughter ever heard: “I always forget.”