(From: GALATIANS #4 - 3:23-4:11)
F. 3:23-4:7 CONTRAST OF LAW AND BLESSING OF FAITH IN CHRIST
1. 3:23-25 TEMPORARY SERVICE AND NATURE OF LAW
a. 3:23 LAW RULED TILL FAITH CAME
Pro tou de elTHEIN ten PIstin , huPO NOmon eph-rouROUme-tha ,
But before the faith came, we were kept in ward under law,
sun-kleiOme-noi eis ten MELlou-san PIstin a-po-ka-luphTHEnai .
shut up unto the faith to be revealed.
b. 3:24 So that the law is become our tutor unto Christ, that we be justified from faith.
HOste ho NOmos pai-da-goGOS heMON GEgo-nen eis ChrisTON, HIna ek PIste-os di-kai-oTHOmen.
c. 3:25 But the faith having come, we are no more under a tutor.
exTHOUses de tes PIste-os, ouKEti huPO pai-da-goGON es-men.
2. 3:26-29 FAITH IN CHRIST GIVES US ABRAHAM'S PROMISE OF HEIRSHIP
a. 3:26 For you are all sons of God, through the faith, in Christ Jesus.
PANtes gar huiOI  TheOU es-te, diA tes PIste-os en ChrisTO IeSOU.
b. 3:27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ.
HOsoi gar eis ChrisTON e-bapTISthe-te ChrisTON e-neDUsas-the .
c. 3:28 ALL DISTINCTIONS ARE ERASED IN CHRIST
ouk Eni IouDAIos ouDE HELlen, ouk Eni DOUlos ouDE eLEUthe-ros ,
Thereis neither Jew nor Greek, thereis neither bond nor free.
ouk Eni ARsen kai THElu ; PANtes gar huMEIS HEIS es-te en ChrisTOIeSOU.
there is no male and female; for you all are one manin Christ Jesus.
d. 3:29 And if you are Christ's, then are you :Abraham's seed, heirs according to promise.
ei de huMEIS ChrisTOU, Ara tou A-braAM SPERma esTE, kat' e-pag-geLIan kle-roNOmoi .
3. 4:1-5 NATURE OF SONS UNDER LAW BEFORE ADOPTION
a. 4:1-2 NATURE OF A BABE BEFORE ADOPTION: AS A SERVANT
LEgode eph' HOson CHROnon ho kle-roNOmos NEpiOS es-tin,
But I say that so long time as the heir is a babe,
ouDEN di-aPHErei DOUlou , KUri-os PANton on;
he differs nothing from a bondman, though lord of all;
alLA huPO e-piTROpous esTI kai oi-koNOmous  Achri tes pro-thesMIas tou paTROS.
2but is under guardians and stewards until the father's appointed day.
b. 4:3-5 GOD'S METHOD OF ADOPTING SONS: THROUGH CHRIST
HOUtos kai heMEIS, HOte Emen NEpi-oi ,
So we also, when we were babes,
huPO ta stoiCHEIa tou KOSmou Eme-tha de-dou-loMEnoi :
were in bondage under the rudiments of the world:
HOte de ELthen to PLEro-ma  tou CHROnou, e-xaPEstei-len  ho TheOS ton huiON auTOU,
4 but when the fulness of the time came, :God sent forth his :Son,
geNOme-non ek gu-naiKOS , geNOme-non huPO NOmon,
born of woman, born under law,
HIna tous huPO NOmon e-xa-goRAse , HIna ten hui-o-theSIan  a-poLAbo-men .
5 that he might redeem those under law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
4. 4:6-7 PROOF OF SONSHIP AND HEIRSHIP
a. 4:6 PROOF OF SONSHIP: THE WITNESSING SPIRIT OF ADOPTION
HOti DE es-te huiOI, e-xaPEstei-len  ho TheOS to PNEUma tou huiOU auTOU eis tas karDIas heMON,
And because you are sons, :God sent forth the Spirit of his :Son into our :hearts,
KRAzon, AbBA, ho paTER.
crying, Abba, the Father.
b. 4:7 So that you are no longer bondman, but son; and if son, then heir through God.
HOste ouKEti ei DOUlos , alLA huiOS; ei de huiOS, kai kle-roNOmos  diA TheOU.
G. 4:8-11 TO RETURN TO LAW-KEEPING IS TO RETURN TO BONDAGE
a. 4:8-9 ILLOGICAL DECISION: TO RETURN TO A BONDAGE FROM WHICH NOW FREED!
AlLA, TOte men ouk eiDOtes  TheON
However, then indeed not knowing God
e-douLEUsa-te  tois PHUsei  me OUsi theOIS:
you were in bondage to them that by nature are no gods:
nun de GNONtes TheON, MALlon de gnosTHENtes  huPO TheOU,
9 but now knowing God, or rather being known by God,
pos e-piSTREphe-te PAlin ePI ta as-theNE kai ptoCHA  stoiCHEIa ,
how turn you back again to the weak and poor elements,
hois PAlin Ano-then  douLEUsai THEle-te?
in which you desire to be in bondage over again?
b. 4:10 You observe days and months and seasons and years.
heMEras pa-ra-teREISthe  kai MEnas  kai kaiROUS  kai e-ni-auTOUS .
c. 4:11 I am afraid of you, lest somehow I have toiled over you in vain.
phoBOUmai  huMAS, me pos eiKE  ke-koPIa-ka  I eis huMAS.
NOTE: In Galatians 2:23-25 we have a clear word, revealing the relationship between law and faith. Just as a plant like a potato sheds the seed potato before harvest, so we need to shed law, once we enter into God's Kingdom of faith!
3:26-29. The Holy Spirit baptizes us into Christ, and then Christ baptizes us into the Spirit. The preacher baptizes us into water, usually between these two. Dr. J. Edwin Orr illustrates it this way: Plug up the sink; place an empty glass under the tap. Keep the tap running after the glass is full, till the sink is also full. Then the full glass is immersed in the full sink. Thisis being baptized in the Spirit!
4:1-5 is most important to understand. It merely enlarges on this above thought. It centers around the understanding of “adoption” as practiced in the Middle East, particularly in Israel. The procedure of adoption in our Western Culture does not help us to understand the Biblical procedure.
First of all, it does not relate to adopting someone outside the family to take place legally as if the child adopted had not been borninto that family. Rather, it describes how a youth of Israel born into the family is trained by the servants of his father to become a partner with his father, and eventually take over the business. When the servants are satisfied that they have trained the father's son to this point, thenthey announce to him that “his son” is ready to be “adopted”. Adoptionis a ceremony for one born into the family, but passes on from under the control and training of servants, and nowtakes his place besidehis father, and overthe servants who trained him.
The servants represent the law. Itbrought Israel to the point of “adoption.” Now that faith has come through Christ, we in the church, the “One New Man”, are now overthe law. It has served its purpose. We have moved on! Let us notturn back and place ourselves again under tutors!
Jesus as a boy and young man was under his father and mother. His Bar Mitzvah at the age of 12 did not remove Him from this position. But at the age of 30 when He was baptized, He was “adopted”, became one with His Father in Ministry, and no longer returned to His former position. When His mother suggested He help out at a wedding when the wine failed, He said, “Woman - what have I to do with you? My hour has not yet come.” I have graduated. I have been Adopted. It is now only what My Heavenly Father commands - that I obey.
His Heavenly Father did show Jesus that this was His will! He then performed His first miracle by turning water into wine! Thisillustrates the Biblical and Middle East understanding of “Adoption”. 5 times this word is used in the NT. Each reference has rich insights in its meaning.
4:8-11. In the light of 3:23-4:7 - the Holy Spirit through Paul then makes a resounding conclusion. How can a son who has been freedfrom the tutelage of the law return there again? Inconceivable. Unbelievable. But the “Judaizers” would bring both Jew and Gentile back into law-bondage!
Now Jewish Culture for Jews is notto be taken from them in this light. But “law-bondage” is! A similar illustration can be seen in what white missionaries have often taught our “First Nations People”, the aborigines of America. They have often taken alltheir culture from them. This is wrong. What is not under a curse and condemned by the Bible, can be redeemed and lived in as their culture, just as we live in our culture. Somethings in ourculture should be put out, just as we have required our Indian friends to put aside even legitimate cultural customs. See “Dancing our Prayers” by Richard Twiss. He makes this point abundantly clear. - www.wiconi.com- Phone 360-546-1867
So while we take care not to fall back into law-bondage following our “spiritual adoption”, let us not fall into the opposite ditch, and judge legitimate cultural customs that do not fall under Biblical condemnation. - J.A.W.