From Slaves to Heirs – Galatians 3:26-4:7

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Through faith alone in Christ alone we’re transformed from slaves to heirs—heirs of God! God places the believer into the body of Christ. And in that moment, we put on Christ. That’s a profound, new reality. The only alternative to a life without Christ is bondage to something. Sometimes we may not even realize we’re living as slaves. But when we’re adopted by God we not only become His children but also His heirs.

So much confusion revolves around the law (Torah—the first five books of the Old Testament). Do a short study on the role of the law by reading the following passages: Galatians 3:19, Hebrews 8:13, 2 Corinthians 3:7-11, Romans 6:14 and Galatians 5:18. What was the purpose of the law?

How do you become a son (or daughter) of God? Read Galatians 3:26. Why is the baptism mentioned in Galatians 3:27 not water baptism (compare 1 Corinthians 12:13)? What is baptism by the Spirit?

Read Galatians 3:28. How does our unity in Christ break down walls but not destroy our individual identity?

Paul introduces the reality that the believer is an heir of God. What does Paul mean by that in 3:29? How is a Christian related to Abraham?

Read Galatians 4:1-3. Put into your own words the point that Paul is making. What is bondage to the elements of the world (v. 3). How does that compare to the law mentioned in Galatians 4:9?

Read Galatians 4:4-7. How are we adopted by God? The Spirit is given to every believer. Notice what the Spirit cries out. Compare these verses to Romans 8:15-17. What is the difference between an heir of God and a joint-heir with Christ?