Summary: It is better to live under grace than under the Law
Big Idea: It is better to live under grace than under the Law (legalism vs. Faith)
Big Question: What are you living under?
Text: Gal 4:1-7
Looking over the horses in the stalls, the man studied and looked over the noble beasts that were at the auction that day. He walked up to them and gave them a decent once over then one in particular caught his eye. A big beautiful, Purebred Friesian Mare. The mare looked good, solid, it was a fine, fine horse. Eyes looked attentive though a little dull. The coat was glossy and good, and the gums checked out fine. It seemed to do all the things that a good horse would do, it whinnied, ate, socialized, the man didn’t understand why the horse was up for auction but he decided to buy her.
He didn’t know it but the mare was used to being locked it in a stall for most of her life. She had been let out only to work. Carrying loads, ploughing, and pulling of wagons and carts, but never really shown any care and often was burdened under a heavy load and hard labour. She had been living under a hard, hard rule. The owner, seeing that her usefulness was coming to an end, put her up for auction.
When the mare arrived at its new home, the new owner was a little puzzled. In the stall at the auction the horse looked great, but in the pasture, with all the fresh grass and hay, and other horses around, the mare seemed to shy away. She’d poke her head out and then head back towards her stall. The mare was content to stay in her stall and when she popped out, it was only for short periods of time. After a while, the new owner had it in his mind to lead the horse out to the pasture, to introduce her to what was waiting for her. When he tried to bridle the mare he figured it out. The mare’s eyes upon seeing the bridle, became alert with fear, the mare recoiled and the new owner realized that this horse was living under fear.
It had been so used to doing what it was supposed to and looking like she was supposed to, that when something better was offered, she clung to the old system that she was under.
It seems to me that this kind of goes with what we have been learning about as we walk through Galatians and work through our small group study. We can become Christians, but stay under the old systems of oppressive, heavy-handed rules that dominated our lives, or we can live under this new system; this life-giving, freeing Grace that we’ve been learning about. It’s kind of like the difference between living in the stall and living in the pasture, which do you think is more appealing? Paul outlines in our passage, three things that we can live UNDER and my question to you today is what are you living under?
Let’s open our Bibles as we continue today we will be looking at Galatians chapter 4 verses 1-7. In the pew Bible, you can find this on pg. 1153. Galatians is to the right of Corinthians, and to the left of Ephesians and Colossians. If you’re there say Amen. Could you please join me as we read out loud together.
1 What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2 He is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3 So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. 4 But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5 to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. 6 Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba,[a] Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.
If we break this passage down, we can see that Paul is telling us that there are three ways that Christians can live, Under the Law, Under Christ, and Under the Spirit.
Our fine mare, was living under an old Law, a heavy set of rules and regulations that dragged her down. The horse, like the Jewish people of old, looked good, but she was no better than a slave.
Point 1 (1-3)
Under the Law we were Slaves
Our first segment, verses 1-3, is a picture of a wealthy father who intends to turn over control of his wealth to his son when he reaches maturity. But as long as he is still a child, the son has to obey stewards over him. He is like a slave and is continually told what to do and what not to do. Guardians are in charge of him and even though he is the heir, he does not get full ownership until he has grown up.