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Summary: A look at the privileges of sonship to God that we have through Jesus.

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The 1860’s were hard years in MO. Being a “border state,” the civilians of MO were often the victims of abuses by both Union and Confederate troops, not to mention the number of looters who just roamed the countryside and took advantage of the general disarray of the country. This went on for some months even after the war was officially over.

It was right around the end of the war, about spring of 1865, that a boy named George was born not 20 miles from here. Though he was a slave, his life would help shape the course of US history. His father apparently was killed in an accident shortly after George’s birth. While he was just a baby, he and his mother Mary were kidnapped and taken to Arkansas. Though George was found and returned, Mary wasn’t. The orphaned slave-child returned home to what was then called Diamond Grove, to the farm of his owners, Moses and Susan Carver.

Though they were slave owners, the Carvers had supported the Union all throughout the war. Sources say they were unconventional in their opposition to slavery, and they treated Mary and her family as their own. Baby George was given the family name, and they raised him as their own son, George Washington Carver.

Given the choice later, do you think George Washington Carver would have preferred to remain a slave? If he had remained a slave, do you think that we would remember his name today as a great agriculturalist and inventor? Do you think he would have risen to the position of professor and teacher? Carver’s a good example of what can happen when an orphaned slave is given a family name and a future.

*v7 key verse. It’s a chapter about contrasts and choices – choices that the Galatians needed to consider – and choices that you and I get to make and need to consider today. We have the opportunity to make wonderful choices…

We have the choice of

I. Privilege instead of Oppression

-receiving an inheritance is a privilege. You don’t earn it; you’re just part of a family and it’s given to you. Even so, if someone is under age, even though he may be part of the family, he can’t touch the inheritance. It’s put into a trust fund or somewhere where he has no access until he reaches a responsible age. You just don’t hand an estate over to a 6 year old! So, really, even though he’s a son and legal owner of everything, he doesn’t live like the owner. With his parents gone, and the laws governing him, he’s more like… a slave.

*vv1-3

In the spiritual sense, even though they were “children,” even though they “belonged to the family of God” they were (v1) no different than slaves (v3) in slavery under the basic principles of the world.

-Different translations put this, “elemental things,” “standards” “rudimentary teachings.” Paul’s talking again about the features of the OT law that some were relying on to create their relationship with God.

-The word appears again: vv9b-10

-all the feasts, all the special days of the OT, had been replaced with something better in Jesus.

(Col 2:16-17) Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. {17} These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

Before God’s plan of privilege came through Jesus, all those things were a mandate; keeping the Law was the only way to come close to being holy.

But we have a choice to not be oppressed by that kind of a schedule anymore. Those things were like the rules given to a child who isn’t old enough to receive his inheritance yet. But now that has changed. We no longer have to live under the oppression. We can choose to embrace the privilege of being in relationship with God.

• If Sunday worship is to you “something I have to do to go to heaven,” rather than a privilege, you’re oppressed!

• If the Lord’s Supper is a “religious feast you have to keep” or else God won’t forgive you, rather than a privilege, you’re oppressed!

• If the privilege of spending time in God’s word is “a requirement you have to meet or God will strike you down,” you’re oppressed!

So we have the choice – the choice to live under the oppression of law, or to embrace the privileges of being in Christ. We have another choice…

II. Sonship instead of Slavery

Joke - Nancy Gibbs, Cordele, Georgia – “When my mother celebrated her birthdays, my kids always asked her age. Year after year, her reply was the same: "29." My 8 yr old daughter, Becky, accepted this answer until my 30th birthday. After I opened my presents, Becky sadly informed me, "Mamma, you're 30, and Grandma is 29. I hate to tell you this, but you must've been adopted."

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