“Freedom From Our Minority” ( Galatians 4: 4-5, NEB ) by Carley Evans


Paul writes of a minor being under the guardianship or tutelage of a trustee “until the date fixed by his father.” (Galatians 4:2) Until that date, “the heir” “is no better off than a slave, even though the whole estate is his.” (Galatians 4:1)

 

Then Paul announces, “And so it was with us.” (Galatians 4:3) Paul says that like the minor heir, we were under the control of “the elemental spirits of the universe” until “God sent His own Son” “to purchase freedom” for us. (Galatians 4:4, 5) God’s Son, Jesus is “born of a woman, born under the law” so that He is able to set us free from “our minority” “in order that we might attain the status as sons.” (Galatians 4:4,5) We are set free from the law of sin and death, having “put on Christ as a garment.” (Galatians 3:27)

 

If we are sons clothed in Christ, says Paul, “then [we are] also by God’s own act [heirs].” (Galatians 4:7)

 

“Now that [God] acknowledges [us] — how can [we] turn back to the mean and beggarly spirits of the elements? Why do [we] propose to enter into their service all over again?” asks Paul. (Galatians 4:9,10)

 

Paul continues, “You who are so anxious to be under law, will you not listen to what the Law says?” (Galatians 4:21) He goes on to discuss in great detail the difference between the two sons of Abraham, “one by his slave and the other by his free-born wife.” (Galatians 4:22-23) We are of “the heavenly Jerusalem” which is “the free woman; she is our mother.” (Galatians 4: 26) We are “children of God‘s promise.” (Galatians 4:28) “Christ sets us free, to be free men. Stand firm, then, and refuse to be tied to the yoke of slavery again.” (Galatians 5:1)

“The World Is Passing Away” (1 John 2: 15 – 16, ESV) by Carley Evans


“The world is passing away along with its desires,” writes the author of 1 John.
The author of Hebrews writes of Christians of great faith who “acknowledge that they [are] strangers and exiles on earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland… As it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared for them a city.” (Hebrews 11: 13 – 14, 16)

Therefore, exhorts the author of 1 John, do not love the world. Why love the world which is passing away – why want the world and its desires?

“By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. By faith, Moses when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharoah’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.” (Hebrews 11: 23 – 26)

1 John’s author says, “For all that is in the world — the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions — is not from the Father but is from the world.”

Paul states, “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish…that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3: 8, 11)

God has prepared a city for us, for those of us who have left behind the world to actively wait for our inheritance — even the salvation of our souls.

“Lay Hold Of God’s Power” (Ephesians 1: 18, ESV) by Carley Evans


Paul prays in thanksgiving for his Ephesian brothers and sisters in Christ. He has heard of their faith in Jesus and of their love for one another. He wants each to know that he prays constantly that “the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints.” (Ephesians 1: 17 – 18)Paul wants us to know, to experience the hope, the richness of our calling, of our inheritance. He wants us enlightened, wise, and knowledgeable of Christ. He prays we will know that God reveals Himself fully to us. Paul prays we will know we are a family, that our inheritance is “in the saints.”

Paul prays we will know “the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe.” (Ephesians 1: 19)

Paul knows that if we lay hold of God’s power, if we believe God is on our side, if we trust our knowledge of Him and the revelation and wisdom He gives us; then we will be able to stand until that day. We will stand in His presence and we will glory in His goodness, mercy, love toward us. We will praise and thank Him, knowing God “made us alive together with Christ — by grace [we] have been saved — and raised us up with Him and seated us in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2: 5 – 6)