The Way to Become Sons of God
Pastor Jared Longshore continues his series in Galatians with a message entitled “The Way to become Sons of God” centered on Galatians 3:15-4:11. There is a terrible lie sown deeply into our societal thinking. It declares we must earn what we get. Yet the Bible tells us salvation cannot be earned, it must be received as the gift it is. Jesus alone has paid for it.
Paul wrote this letter to correct error creeping into the Galatian church from the teaching of the Judaizers who taught salvation was contingent on obedience to Moses’s Law. In today’s passage Paul continues to remind the church they had believed in Christ alone and needed to guard that truth.
Paul centers his teaching on three truths. First, the law does not cancel the gospel promise. The promise given to Abraham assuring blessing for the world from his Descendant preceded the giving of the law and was not nullified by that giving. God had made a promise, pledging by Himself to deliver on that promise. God never lies. Paul warns his readers to beware of equating trust and obedience; they are two distinct things. Faith is necessary for salvation while obedience comes as a result, it is not a cause, of faith.
Second, the law serves the gospel promise. The law was given because of transgression. It proclaims transgressors, that is we sinners, are in desperate need of a savior. It makes our sinfulness obvious. In doing this, and in not enabling sinners to overcome sin, the law is only temporary and a system inferior to the gospel. Verse 19 speaks to its temporariness, “until the offspring should come,” while verse 23 speaks to its inferiority, the law serves as a jailor not a giver of freedom.
The third truth is that Christ came to redeem slaves to the law freeing them and making them sons of God. Verse 26 tells us “in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.” God sees us in Christ, forgiven as a result of Jesus’ work, Jesus’ blood applied to our sinfulness. Having “put on Christ” (v. 27) by faith, not by works, we are united to Him. We are no longer “enslaved to the elementary principles of the world” (v. 1-3 of Chapter 4). God has changed us from being slaves to being sons, and if sons then also heirs. We are free in Christ.
There will be no one in heaven who can sing “I Did It My Way.” There is but one way to heaven and that is through faith in Jesus Christ. He has accomplished that which we were unable to accomplish. He lived a sinless life, upholding every last little bit of the law. Thus, not deserving of death He, nonetheless, willingly died that His death might be a propitiation for our death, a death so richly deserved as a result of our sins. We have been set free, a freedom available to every sinner who comes to Christ in faith.