May 17, 2015

Nothing Second Best

Galatians 3:26-4:7

You are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

—  Galatians 4:7

Some versions of the Bible use the words “a son” instead of “God’s child” in Galatians 4:7. While it does not seem right today to say that all Christians are “sons” of God, that word captured the value of our inheritance as God’s children for people of the first century. At that time people lived in a culture of extreme inequality. Women were often considered property with little or no personal rights. Men and boys, on the other hand, had all the rights and privileges. A son spent time with his father, learned from him, and was expected to grow up and be like him. In a world where as many as one third of the people were slaves, a son was free. A son was an heir and could expect an inheritance.

When Galatians 4:5 says that in Christ “we might receive adoption to sonship,” it was Paul’s way of telling Christians, men and women alike, that there is nothing second best about being a child of God or our future inheritance in Christ. Sonship is the very best position possible, a relationship with the Father full of both love and privilege. The liberating good news is that if you are in Christ, then, regardless of your race, economic status, or gender, you are a child of God and an heir to his kingdom.

Thank you, Lord, for giving us the very best, for clothing us in Christ and giving us the rights of being your children. Knowing that, may we live with true joy and confidence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Rob Jansons

Rob Jansons is the pastor of New Hope Fellowship in Monroe, Washington, where he has served for almost twenty years. He and his wife, Sue, have been married since 1989 and have three daughters. Rob spends time each year in Calcutta, India, working with a Christian ministry to children living in slums. He enjoys hiking in the Pacific Northwest, camping with his family, reading, writing, and being a pastor.

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