Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 1 Study # 2
June 17, 2012
Dayton, Texas
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<181> Thesis: The actual experience of "the day set by the father" begins when a person breaks free from being in bondage under the elements of the world. Introduction: In Paul's attempt to get the Galatians back on track so that they can live "by grace through faith", he pulled up an analogy from the culture wherein a child, who was a legitimate heir of the household's privileges, was held in "slavery" until the work of the slaves over him/her had accomplished its purpose of bringing a sufficient maturity in the child so that the father could turn the responsibilities and privileges of the household over to him/her. By doing this, he set up a potential misunderstanding because of the general New Testament teaching that when a person is justified "by grace through faith" he is "born" into the family of God and is a baby who needs the "milk" doctrines of the Word of God in order to grow into maturity. Rarely does anyone think that faith in the Gospel is the final step of maturation; most everyone sees it as the first step. But, Paul's text in Galatians 4 is unambiguous in its declaration that it is redemption that qualifies a person for transitioning out of the bondage of an heir under guardians and managers (NASB terminology) so that he/she can be given the gift of the Spirit and allowed to take his/her place as a son who is no more a servant (4:7). Paul definitively told the Galatians in their significant spiritual immaturity that they were "no more" servants, "but" sons and heirs. This evening we are going to attempt to understand Paul's words so that we can see the significance of his analogy.