Summary: Part four of the Symbols of the Covenants series. A look at what it means to be under the old and new covenants.
Slaves vs Heirs
Opening Song: Just as I Am
Scripture: Romans 8:14-17
Review of parts 1 through 3 of Symbols Series
Lets begin in Galatians 4:1 because the whole of chapter 3 and 4 are dealing with the old and new covenants. Paul starts here by giving an illustration.
(read vs. 1) Now lets make this illustration as clear as we can. I am the owner of an estate and I have servants who work on my estate. I also have a child that lives with me on this estate. He is heir to the whole estate, some day he will be running it all. But as a child he really isn’t that different than the servants.
He (read vs. 2) is really just like the servants, he’s got guardians over him, he’s got stewards. He’s got people teaching him telling him what to do. He is doing what he’s told to do just like a servant does.
(read vs. 3) Now isn’t that how it is when you are a child? You don’t obey from the heart, you obey because the laws and rules around you tell you to. We looked at some illustrations last time. When a child is young they brush their teeth because they have to. Maybe because you get them bubble gum flavored toothpaste so they like the flavor. But as they grow up we hope that they get this into their hearts, so they will brush their teeth because it is right. Not because we told them to but because it is right. As parents that is the way it is with almost everything we try to get our children to do. We really want them to do the things we ask them to, because they are the right things to do and it is in their hearts to do them. But while they are children until they come to the time appointed by the father they are “under guardians and stewards and the elements of the world.”
(read vs. 4) Next time we will get more deeply into what it means to be under the law. But briefly right now to be under the law means to be under the curse, under the condemnation of the law. Christ came…
( read vs. 5 and 6) When we transfer from being a servant or a slave to being a son or daughter our heart changes. We begin to love our father. Before that happens we just see him as THE RULER. But when God sends his spirit into our heart we begin to see God as our father and we cry out to him “Abba, Father” we love him.
(read vs. 7) Slaves will not inherit the kingdom; it is sons and daughters who will inherit the Kingdom. And the only way to become a son or daughter is through faith in the Father. And then through the work of the Spirit we will begin to want what is in God’s heart to be in our heart. We know that God’s principles are wise and for our own good. And we will do the things he asks even when he isn’t asking because it is in our hearts.
(read vs. 8) Now that is quit an interesting text. But when you put it in its context. When we don’t know God that is when we are still in that slave realm. Were still serving out of rules. The speed limit sign says drive 65 so we drive 65 because we don’t want a ticket, not because we see wisdom in driving slowly. Conserving gas, making it safe on the road for everybody else. That is what those laws are all about. But when we are slaves we serve out of obligation, we would really rather drive 100 mph on those long empty stretches of highway. If we could get away with it we would. That’s how slaves are. You have slaves in your homes, your children. Sometimes they don’t have it in their heart to do what you tell them to do. And you have to watch them and they are watching you. And when you aren’t at home, when you aren’t around they do what they want to do. They do what’s in their hearts to do. Don’t you worry sometimes? What do your kids do when your aren’t around, and the cops aren’t around? When the cats away what do the mice do? They do what’s in their hearts to do, they play! Hopefully we can get our children to the place, and hopefully God can get us to the place where he can leave us alone and trust us. You know heaven isn’t going to be populated with people who have to have speed limit signs always in their face. It won’t be populated with people who have to always be reminded you shall not kill. You shall not steal, commit adultery, covet, lie etc… Heaven will be populated with people in whose heart it is to do what is right!