Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 1 Study # 6
July 15, 2012
4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
1901 ASV Translation:
4 but when the fulness of the time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
5 that he might redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
6 And because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
7 So that thou art no longer a bondservant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.
- I. God Sent Forth His Son.
- II. The Descriptors.
- A. The sent Son was "born of woman" (see notes for 7/8/2012<187>).
- B. The sent Son was "born under Law".
- 1. The meaning of the phrase is that the Son was born in a condition in which He was subject to the Justice of God so that every detail of His existence as a "born of a woman" person was under the magnifying glass of pure and infinite Justice.
- 2. The rationale for the phrase seems to be that Paul wished the Galatians to understand that God's Redeemer began His "apostleship from the Father" in the position of being under the highest form of revelation regarding "Law": i.e., Jesus did not have to simply live up to His "human conscience"; He had to live up to the detailed scrutiny of Infinite Justice.
- a. Being under the detailed scrutiny would include, as Jesus stated it: "every idle word that a person utters" (Matthew 12:36).
- b. Being under said scrutiny would also include, as Paul taught it: "God's evaluation of the thoughts and intentions of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12) otherwise known as "the secrets of men's hearts" (Romans 2:16) or "the hidden things of darkness/the counsels of the hearts" (1 Corinthians 4:5).
- c. In other words, the slightest deed and the most deeply hidden motive are the domain of Infinite Justice in its "Rule of Law".
- 3. The actual circumstance of "Law" into which the "Sent Son" was born was that of a person born under the national constitution of Israel given at Sinai. No other nation in this world has ever been organized under a more stringent rule of government.
- III. The Purpose: The Adoption of Sons.
- A. As already pointed out, the purpose of the "Sent Son" is partially represented by Paul's "in order that" phrase in the beginning of Galatians 4:5: the redemption of those under law.
- B. But, since "redemption" is a means-to-an-end concept, there is a "greater" purpose: that end to which "redemption" is applied; the adoption of sons, which is also a means-to-an-end concept.
- 1. In our context, the "adoption of sons" concept is not "bringing someone into the family", but, rather, the appointment of "sons" to the position in the household of "lords of all". This is the point of Paul's cultural analogy in 4:1-3.
- 2. There are only five references in Paul's letters to "adoption" (Romans 8:15; 8:23; 9:4; Galatians 4:5; and Ephesians 1:5). Of these five, two are deliberately related to God's "outside of time" deliberations" -- one by use of that "horrific" word "predestination" whereby God retains His identity as God in spite of rebellious "free-willers" who insist that the universe run according to their rules (Ephesians 1:5), and the other our own present context in which God controls human history so that "fulness of time" events are "planned before time", "dominated in time", and "executed at the right time". Of the remaining three, one is pointedly tied to a future event called by the apostle "the redemption of the body" (Romans 8:23), which is another of those "predetermined events that will come to its own fulness of time"; another is tied to the distinction made by Paul between the motivations for behavior (a "spirit of bondage" as opposed to "the Spirit of adoption" -- Romans 8:15); and the final one is a reference to the high privilege extended to Israel by God (Romans 9:4).
- 3. Since "the Spirit of Adoption" is clearly a part of Paul's thought in our context in Galatians (4:6), it must be that Paul is attempting to alter the motivations of the Galatians in their current rejection of grace and its God (1:6) and return them to the "Abba" reality extended to them when "faith" arrived.
- 4. Thus, we conclude that "redemption" is in view of the Large Plan wherein God intends to set up a Kingdom of Righteousness, Peace, and Joy (Romans 14:17), which boils down to a Kingdom of Love in which, and against which, "there is no law" -- i.e., in which Kingdom there will be no occasions for the insertion of "Justice" to "handle" disputes because Love does not produce "disputes".
- C. The Obvious Implication.
- 1. "Redemption" stands at the foundations of "Love". It answers the issue of how the God of Love creates "Love" in His children/sons, and, by that, answers the question of how God intends to produce the requisite commitment by His people to His will.
- a. With this John agrees: "we love Him because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19).
- b. He also pushes this envelope with his further declaration, "everyone that loves Him that begat loves him also that is begotten of Him" (1 John 5:1).
- c. Additionally, Peter agrees so that he claims anyone who does not "love" has "forgotten that he was purged from his ... sins" (2 Peter 1:9). In other words, if God can keep us from "forgetting", He can motivate us to "love".
- 2. Thus, the "Redeemer" was "born of a woman" to address the requirement that the "Redeemer" be qualified to produce a legitimate "redemption" and He was "born under Law" to address the requirement that the "Redeemer" produce redeemed people who are as committed to Love as He is.