“So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God” (Galatians 4:7, ESV).
Paul tells the Galatians that they should not live and act as slaves but as the sons and daughters of God, with all the rights and privileges thereof. Their situation was similar to the story of a discouraged new convert who came to talk with Chinese Christian Watchman Nee.
“ ‘No matter how much I pray, no matter how hard I try, I simply cannot seem to be faithful to my Lord. I think I’m losing my salvation.’ Nee said, ‘Do you see this dog here? He is my dog. He is house-trained; he never makes a mess; he is obedient; he is a pure delight to me. Out in the kitchen I have a son, a baby son. He makes a mess, he throws his food around, he fouls his clothes, he is a total mess. But who is going to inherit my kingdom? Not my dog; my son is my heir. You are Jesus Christ’s heir because it is for you that He died.’ ”—Lou Nicholes,Hebrews: Patterns for Living (Longwood, Fla.: Xulon Press, 2004), p. 31.
We, too, are God’s heirs, not because of our own merit but because of His grace. In Christ we have much more than we even had before Adam’s sin; this is one of the points that Paul was trying desperately to teach the Galatian believers, who were fast losing their way.
Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, November 19.