Jesus gives those who trust on Him so many gifts. One of those gifts is freedom. Freedom from earning our place with God. Freedom from fear of being cast away from the Lord. Freedom from serving the things of this world. When we trust on Jesus we are adopted into God’s family as full blown sons and daughters of the One true King. So much so that we are called heirs alongside Christ (Gal 4:7). Paul’s point is that if we are heirs of heaven the surely we are accepted by the Father.
This passage in Galatians relies heavily on the Genesis account of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Ishmael. God had promised Abraham a son through Sarah but Abraham and Sarah decided to earn their way by taking care of things themselves. Abraham had a child with his servant instead of waiting on God to give him the son of promise. The result was that he had a son according to the flesh that was not his heir. The son he had with Hagar, his servant, was then sent away from the family. This is truly a heartbreaking story for everyone involved and that is Paul’s point. Any time we try to earn our place with God, by what we do, instead of trusting the promise of Jesus, that we are God’s children through the gospel, it become a situation as heartbreaking as the one we read about with Ishmael.
What we are offered is a place in God’s kingdom through God’s Son. Isaac did nothing to earn his exalted place in Abraham’s family. There was no reason in Isaac that made him more special than Ishmael. The only difference was that Isaac was the son of promise, that is it. The extent of Isaac’s resume was that he was born. What is it that the Lord tells us to do in order to gain entrance into His family? Be born again, trust on Christ and have our sins forgiven. When we trust on Jesus we are called daughters and sons not because we did anything to earn it but simply because we were born into God’s family!
Galatians 4:6 tells us that through Jesus we cry out “Abba! Father” which is to say daddy, or papa. Because of Jesus we call the God of Heaven and Earth, daddy. We do not have to approach Him with fear that we are not good enough. Jesus has done all that needs to be done to be accepted by our adoptive Father. We simply trust on our standing because of Christ and live free of the guilt and shame that we rightly carried before we were born again into a new family through Christ.
Let’s live free today trusting the good news that we are God’s children and share that good news with the people God puts in our path. In some ways, when we say Merry Christmas what we mean is be happy if you are in Jesus you are a child of the King and if you are not in Jesus you can be set free by trusting on the Son of God.