Do You See What I See?

Bible Book: Galatians  4 : 1-7
Subject: Christmas; Sonship; Jesus, Birth of

Here we see Christmas through the eyes of Bethlehem.

Paul develops the analogy of a child becoming an adult. He compares the position and privilege of a child to those of a servant with the figures of a child and servant representing life under the law and the figures of adult and son representing life in Christ.

The analogy continues to contrast man before salvation, when, whether Jews or Gentile, he is under God’s law, and man after salvation, when he is in Christ. The central truth of Galatians 4:1-7 are that life under the law is meant by God to be preparation for divine sonship and that trust in His grace brings realization of that sonship.

I. Development For Sonship 1-3

A. A Child Is Like A Servant 1

Using the child/servant (slave) analogy Paul shows that as long as a person puts himself under obligation to the mosaic law, he could never receive a spiritual inheritance. In spiritual life both the provision and the appropriation of an inheritance have been made possible through the death of Jesus Christ.

B. A Child Is Under Supervision 2

The life of the heir or child is divided into 2 different periods of time. The years of supervision by the guardian and stewards and the time of sonship. The pivotal event which separates them is “the time appointed by the father.” The words for stewards is governors- means house laws. The child is under these supervisors who had been directly appointed by the father.

PRINCIPLE: The child did not become an heir through the house laws but through the provision of the father. The house laws were good and holy, but could not make you an heir.

C. A Child Is In Slavery 3

“Even so we” – points out a spiritual analogy to the cultural custom of children under supervision.

Before sonship an heir was under the law of the stewards, before saved (justification) by faith Paul and the Jewish believers were under the bondage of the law.

“when we were children” – this is The time when Paul and the Jews were unconverted.

“were in bondage” (held in bondage)- shows a permanent spiritual condition. For the unbeliever there is potential salvation and fulfillment of the promise but useless until he spiritually “comes of age” through saving trust in Jesus Christ, every unbeliever is a kind of slave and is imprisoned “under the elements of the world.”

These are deceptive human traditions and philosophy. It stresses the ability of man to do something to gain acceptance with his God; keeping the 10 commandments or the Golden Rule as the means of obtaining personal salvation. It’s all about a man-made system of works that makesone acceptable to God.

EXAMPLE: Are you a Christian?

When did you become a Christian?

ANSWER: I’ve always been a Christian.

PROBLEM: In the context of God’s Word that would be the same as always being an adult.


This is where Bethlehem comes into play.

A. Consecrated Event 4

V4 “when the fullness of time had come”

V2 “until the time appointed by the father”

Just as the human father selected a date at which the child would become a son, so the divine Father chose a time when the world would pass from its childhood under legal supervision to a period of spiritual sonship. The events of Christ’s incarnation, death, and resurrection marked the change from the dispensation (period of time) of law to the age of grace.

B. Commissioned Event 4

“God sent forth His Son” – to send away from with a commission; to turn slaves into sons. Christ was God’s apostle to a world of sinners.

1. The Who?

“born of a woman” – speaks of complete and perfect humanity.

Isaiah 7:14 - “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”

Matthew 1:23 - "’Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’" which is translated, "God with us."

He was the promised seed of the woman who would destroy Satan

Genesis 3:15 - “’And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.’"

By the overshadowing ministry of the Holy Spirit, Jesus took on Himself a human nature without receiving a sinful tendency (Luke 1:26-38). Jesus had to be fully God in order for His sacrifice to have the infinite worth necessary to atone (pay the debt) for the sin of mankind. He also had to be fully man in order to represent mankind and take the penalty of sin upon Himself on man’s behalf.

“He had to be God to have the power of Savior, and He had to be man to have the position of Substitute.” John MacArthur

He is the Son of God, born of a woman!

2. The What?

“born under the law” – Jesus was under obligation to obey and be judged by conformity to God’s written law.

GOOD NEWS - Jesus satisfied the requirements of that law by living in perfect obedience to it.

Romans 8:3-4 - “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

3. The Why?

“to redeem those who are under the law”

Galatians 3:11, 13 - “But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "the just shall live by faith. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "’Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’").

“To redeem”- literally means to buy out or buy back and was used of slaves whose freedom was purchased.

4. Now, As A Result Of The Who, What, And Why?

Galatians 4:6 – “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “’Abba, Father!’"

How can a person know that he is a son? There are results here to confirm sonship.

a. The Presence of the Spirit of God 6

“God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts” - This refers to the seat of personality. The entire body of the Christian is by the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 - “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.”

Romans 8:9 - “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.”

I have the Scriptures in Hand

I have the Spirit in my Heart.

Note: V5 “that we might receive the adoption as sons” – no one could be put into a position of legal sonship, unless they were taken out of a status of legal supervision. We have become some who were not His natural children (John 8:44)

b. The Practice of the Spirit of God 6

John 16:13-14

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”

The Spirit of God has come to glorify the Son of God.

c. The Passion of the Spirit of God 6

“crying out, Abba, Father!” – Abba is used 3 times in the New Testament. The Spirit cries out to the Father The Saints cry out to the Father

Romans 8:15-16 - “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”

“Abba” – daddy; term of intimacy, of affection and endearment; indicating closest possible relationship.

Mark 14:36 - “And He said, "’Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.’"

III. Description of Sonship 7

Warren Wiersbe gives the contrasts between a son and a servant.

1. The son has the same nature as the Father.

2 Peter 1:4 - “by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

2. The son has a father, but a servant has a master.

3. The son obeys out of love, but the servant obeys out of fear.

4. The son has a future, but the servant has none.

5. Sonship carries within that relationship heirship. All that belongs to the Father belongs to the Son and all that belongs to the Son belong to the Christian.