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Heirs of Christ
by David Thompson
This section of scripture shows each of us that we are in bondage to the law, if we didn't have Christ. For all of the Jews and everyone without Christ, the law was the only hope. It contained so many minuscule items that no one could ever live up to it 100%. No matter how hard someone tried, eventually they would fall short and depression was sure to follow. It reminds me of a spiritual mentor I had in my twenties. His name was Jesse, and he lived an exemplary life in human terms. I would talk to him about what he was doing to increase his walk with Christ, and I would try to do the same or sometimes try to "one up him." However, no matter how many chapters of scripture I read, no matter how long my prayers were, no matter how good I tried to be, he was better. I likened our relationship to a ladder. Every time I climbed a wrung, it seemed to me that Jesse would climb two. I was becoming saddened by the comparison and I found myself falling short in all my spiritual practices. I was feeling defeated because I couldn't live up to him. That was dumb of me back then, but I would think the same could be true for the early Jews and many of us today.
So, let's look at Paul in Galatians 4. He tells an analogy of underage heirs to a family fortune being little better than slaves as they are under the control of teachers and administrators. They had to live up to rules and expectations. It was not until they reach a certain age, considered adulthood, when they were bestowed with all of the rights and riches that were theirs even when they were underage, but they could not access them until they made the agreed upon milestone.
This was then contrasted to being controlled by the world as a non-Christian. When we believed in the name of Jesus Christ, we were "of age." Jesus' death and our belief in Him gave us all of the rights and privileges of an heir of our Heavenly Father. We could now boldly go to the Father as we were now part of His family. We had all the rights and privileges of any other member of the family. We didn't have to play "one upmanship." We do have 100% coverage of all of our shortcomings. And another benefit of this kinship was that we also received the Holy Spirit.
Jesus, thank you for what you did and do for us. Thank you for considering us as your children and ultimately as your heirs. We know we are not deserving of your grace and ultimate salvation, but you love us so much that you do this for us. You sent your Holy Spirit to guide us and help us do your will. We want to be more like you in all we say and do. Thank you...