Summary: Will you make the Heavenly Father's desires your desires?
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OUR FATHER’S LOVE
This week my son brought home his report card. Thankfully, he received A’s and a couple of B’s. Not every child is expected to get all A’s. But we don’t like to see our children regress academically. When Paul wrote his letter to the Galatians, the Galatians were regressing spiritually.
Because of our Father’s love:
• We have been REDEEMED.
• We have been ADOPTED.
OUR FATHER’S WISHES
Parents want what’s best for their children (basic needs, safety, education, health, etc.). What does God want for His children? Four desires that God, our Father, has for us, His children:
1. Our Father wants us to KNOW Him.
Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God—or rather are known by God (vv. 8-9a).
The Greek word for “know” (eido) in v. 8 means “to know intellectually.” The Greek word for “know” (ginosko) in verse 9 means “to know personally.” The Galatians had progressed from ignorance to intimacy.
It’s important for parents to have bonding time with their children (reading, playing catch, etc.). Sometimes we feel we are too busy. But our Heavenly Father is never too busy for us. Are we too busy for Him?
Are you growing closer to God?
2. Our Father wants us to live like children who LOVE Him, not slaves who FEAR Him.
How is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? (v. 9b).
The Greek word for “turning” (epistrepho) is used in the NT to describe:
• Conversion (repentance + faith). “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out” (Acts 3:19). “They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:9).
• Apostasy (leaving the faith). “It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then of turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,’ and ‘A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud’” (2 Peter 2:21-22).
The Galatians had turned from paganism but now are considering a turn to Judaism (v. 10), which is really “turning back” to the “weak and miserable principles” of their former life without Christ. (“Turning back” is in the present tense. They have not completed the turn.) If they turn to Judaism, they will return to their life of slavery.
A child usually obeys his parents because of the fear of discipline. But the greater motivation is love for his/her parents. God wants us to obey Him because we love Him.
Are you enjoying your position as God’s child?
3. Our Father wants us to LOVE our brothers and sisters.