“No Longer Slaves” ( Galatians 4: 4, ESV ) by Carley Evans

Once we were “under guardians,” under and “enslaved to the elementary principles of the world.” (Galatians 4:2,3) Then, “God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law.” Jesus came “so that we might receive adoption as sons” and no longer be “slaves.” (Galatians 4:5,1)

Paul is weary. He laments, “Now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?” (Galatians 4:9) “Tell me,” he writes, “you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law?” (Galatians 4:21) Don’t you understand that you are now “free children of promise” rather than bond “children of the slave.” (Galatians 4:28,31)

“For freedom Christ has set [you] free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1) Paul warns, “You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.” (Galatians 5:4-5) “Only faith working through love” “counts for anything” “in Christ.” (Galatians 5:6)

“God’s Loyalty” (Deuteronomy 7: 9, HCSB) by Carley Evans

God brings His people “out with a strong hand and redeems [them] from the place of slavery.” (Deuteronomy 7: 8) Moses tells the people of God to “know that Yahweh your God is God, the faithful God who keep His gracious covenant loyalty for a thousand generations to those who love Him and keep His commands.”

“For you are a holy people belonging to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be His own possession out of all the peoples on the face of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 7: 6)

When you prosper, warns Moses, do not say to yourself that “[your] own power and [your] own ability gains this wealth for [you], but remember that the Lord your God gives you power to gain wealth, in order to confirm His covenant.” (Deuteronomy 8: 17 – 18)

When you face enemies, trials, persecutions, challenges, doubts — “understand that…the Lord your God will cross over ahead of you as a consuming fire; He will devastate and subdue.” (Deuteronomy 9: 3) But, “do not say to yourself, ‘The Lord brings me in to take possession of this…because of my righteousness.'” (Deuteronomy 9: 4) Moses says twice that the Lord “is not giving you this good…to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stiff-necked people.” (Deuteronomy 9: 6)

“Keep in mind that the Lord your God disciplines you just as a man disciplines his son.” (Deuteronomy 8: 5)

Moses says to us, “Keep the commands of the Lord your God by walking in His ways and fearing Him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into…good.” (Deuteronomy 8: 6 – 7)