Monday, April 7, 2008

Galatians: the birthright

Nick thought he was a slave at age 14, forced to work weekends and summers in his father’s small business. He learned skills he didn’t want to know, sweating when he wanted to play. He left for college glad to be free.

But a few years later, his father offered him a partnership in the business. This time it was his choice, and he returned to a position that now offered some financial security and great opportunity.

There’s a difference between a servant and son. Nick was always a son but saw himself as a teenage servant for awhile, with no choices and no opportunities.

In Galatians 4:1-20, Paul questioned why the Galatian Christians would shuck their birthright for a servant situation.

“…before you knew God personally, you were enslaved to so-called gods…,”[1] Paul declared.

But now, he continued, you are choosing to go back into slavery. Those who offer only a pack of rules and traditions are luring you to become servants.

Why would these false teachers do that?

Paul explained: “They want to shut you out of the free world of God's grace so that you will always depend on them for approval and direction, making them feel important.”[2]

Paul pleaded with the people to remember their position as children, not slaves. “If you are a child, you're also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance.”[3]

Consider these questions in your journal:

Have you seen situations where people return to the comfort of servanthood?

What does Paul see as the advantages of a child of God, as opposed to a servant?

Have you ever struggled with the lure of rules and traditions? What would Paul say to you?

[1] Gal 4:8

[2] Gal 4:17

[3] Gal 4:7

No comments: