Sermon: “ Adoption as Sons” (Galatians 4:1-11)
As Paul writes Galatians, the church in Galatia is on the verge of abandoning their loyalty to the gospel that Paul had preached among them, which they received through faith in Christ alone, and turning instead to the false gospel of the Judaizers. The church had committed to the gospel Paul preached, they experienced the benefits of the Holy Spirit (3:1-5), and they had been formed into a people through faith in the offspring of Abraham, Jesus Christ (3:27-29). But this church was also a young church. They likely hadn’t heard the reassuring declaration from the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15, which still hadn’t been issued, and now their young community was being besieged and pressured by Judaizers who were calling the church to abandon their loyalty to the gospel Paul preached in favor of a message looking to supplement Christ’s work.
Paul’s tone throughout Galatians underscores the gravity of exchanging loyalties from the true gospel to the Judaizer’s gospel. But as much as Paul rebukes in this letter, he doesn’t merely assemble a string of rebuke. He also places before their eyes something better: Adoption. In 4:1-11 Paul reminds the church that Christ redeemed you as sons through faith in Christ alone. Therefore, keep your eyes on this life-giving identity which is yours in Christ, and by doing that see the lifeless message of the Judaizers for what it is. In short, God shows us the handicap of bondage by reminding us of our adoption as sons.