The idea of being “in Christ” and living in the Spirit was an absolutely revolutionary concept that set Christianity apart from all other religions. Paul spent a large part of the letter to the Galatians explaining what it meant and how it differed from living by the law. If you think about it, the idea that our Creator, the God of the universe actually loves us so much that God enters into our lives in that way is an astounding thought. Paul says we are actually adopted by God. What does it mean to be a son or daughter, and thus heir, of God? We are no longer enslaved to the so-called “gods” of the world; we have been set free!
In 1841 there was an African American man who was a free citizen of the state of New York. He was kidnapped and sold into slavery, ending up in a remote area of Louisiana. He was enslaved for 12 years before being rescued and set free. He describes slavery as “the threshold of unutterable wrong, and sorrow, and despair” [source: Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup (Baton Rouge 1996)]. Perhaps God saw our enslavement in a similar light and thus God’s extraordinary effort to rescue us and restore us to liberty.
It will help you very much to reread chapters 3 and 4 in Galatians in preparation for Sunday.
- Abraham believed God and became an “heir of the covenant promise.” Think about what it means to be an heir. What benefits might be enjoyed?
- Do you think of God as someone you are so close to you can call him “Abba” (Papa)?
Read the Sermon: The Freedom of Belonging