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Maturing Under Grace pt. 1

Now I say that as long as the heir is a child, he differs in no way from a slave, though he is the owner of everything. 2 Instead, he is under guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were in slavery under the elements of the world. (Galatians 4:1-3)


Paul’s next argument against the Judaizers’ claim that salvation can only be earned through works is found in verses 1 to 7, stating that believers have grown and matured away from the law and are now grown adults that are a part of God’s family. Starting with verses 1 and 2, Paul uses an illustration of a child growing up in their own household. Although the child is an heir and will one day inherit what his parents leave for him, during the time that the child is growing, he functions as a slave, as in, he is still subject under the authority of his parents and does not own that which he will eventually earn. To further explain verse 2, Bible commentator Max Anders states, “Legally appointed trustees make all decisions and exercise all power over the estate even though the child may be the legal owner in cases where the parents have died.”


With that illustration clarified, Paul links this to the spiritual condition of those in Galatia, lumping himself in that initial condition, “we also, when we were children, were in slavery under the elements of the world.” Before believing in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior, Paul and everyone else were enslaved by the law of Moses. Because the law of Moses demands perfection in upholding it, and no one is perfect other than God, everyone was doomed. But, now that the gift of grace is available, believers that accept this gift mature and receive the inheritance, eternal life, all by grace through faith and not of works.




Isaac De Guzman


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