“…for in Christ Jesus, you are all sons of God, through faith.” (Gal. 3:26)
They were no longer under a guardian because they had obtained their mature status, sons of God. This verse sets forth three important considerations. How this came to be is not discussed here but is in the next verse. Before we look at how it happened let’s take a look at what happened.
First and foremost we are sons of God. Not in the sense that we have earthly parents but we have been adopted. God chose us to be His children. This is, of course, a result of the promise made to Abraham and through him, we become heirs of the promise. If we belong to Christ, then we belong to the promise made to Abraham. This separates us from those under the law. The law made no provision for son-ship. But the promise does because it brings Christ who is the Son of God and once we are in Him and vice versa we too become the sons of God. Think for just a moment what it means to be able to call the God of the universe, father. Not just father in the formal sense but Abba father. The close informal form of speech. Family speech, child speech.
Secondly, this son-ship comes through our relationship with Jesus, God’s Son. We are considered as children of God not on our own merit but on the merit of Jesus. It is because we are in Jesus that we have the relationship with God the Father that we do. Like justification, son-ship is not possible for mankind to obtain on his own actions. We have no claim of our own to the Son relationship. We were not born a son as Jesus was. No, we had to be reborn into Jesus to qualify for a son-ship similar to His. Through Jesus, we were pre-ordained to be sons. Not through our works or goodness but through His obedience. (Eph. 1:5)
Jesus had to redeem those under the law so that they could become sons. That could not be accomplished by the law (Gal. 4:5). Let’s also look at what Paul told the Romans in 8:15. In this section of his letter he is talking about the Spirit and in verse 15 he connects the Spirit with our adoption. “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” ESV
Then, third and last, all of this happens as a result of faith. This is Paul’s argument. Not by law but by faith. The true children of Abraham are the true children of God and that is through faith. Without faith, the Hebrew writer tells us you can’t be pleasing to God. Paul adds sons of God to the faith requirement. Want to be a child of God? It must be a product of faith. In Christ, we are sons of God because of our faith. As a child of God, we become a sibling of Jesus and heir to the promises of heaven.
Task for Today: Want to be a child of God? Want to be as His Son? Do you desire the treasure of heaven? Believe and obey the gospel of Christ. Do not go back to the ways of self-obtained righteousness but accept that which comes from God as a result of your faith. The next verse will explain the secret to this arrangement, how do I get in Christ?