Paul now directs us to focus on inheritance. The heir, and in that day it was the male child, whose father has made a provision for him under his will, will inherit when he is of age. Until then a trustee will be appointed. The minor will have the estate left to him by the father and managed by a guardian or trustee for his benefit. But he does not have it yet! So he is no better than a slave because he will follow other’s orders. He is the rightful owner of the property but not yet because he is still a minor.
In Roman law the minor became of age when he was fourteen, and had a curator until he was twenty five. The readers of Paul’s letter may be considering this but Paul is one step ahead of them for he points out to them the fact that it is God who has appointed the historic time for humanity’s inheritance of the Savior Messiah. Until Christ has come we were enslaved to elemental spirits of this world. Their thoughts are turned to Christ!
Paul now makes it clear. The Savior is born of a woman and born under the law so that He redeems those who are under the law and adopts them. All enslaved ( Greek: Stoichela) heirs may receive his or her freedom in Christ Jesus through faith. Is Paul now referring to just the Jews? Note that he says that all of humanity has been enslaved.
Paul is formerly a Jew and preaches Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles– that they have all been enslaved until Christ Jesus has redeemed us! Whether it was the Jewish law or a pagan religion dependent on the elements, the point is that we are ignorant until we receive the revelation of Christ’s Presence given to us on our day of salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
God’s Son has saved us from ignorance. The missionaries who misled the Galatians promoted the law in alignment with the elemental substances– earth, air, fire, and water (2 Peter 3:10,12) and Paul corrects the missionaries misinformation by saying these elemental spirits do not factor in with our faith in Christ Jesus.
Jesus has taken the curse of the law onto Himself and died on the Cross with it (Galatians 3;13). Christ’s Resurrection has given us adoption by God who has sent the Sprit of His Son into our hearts. All of humanity are inheritance-receivers who believe in God’s Son.
All believers enter into God’s family by adoption (parallel Galatians 3:26). God has ushered in a revolution of redemption through His Son Jesus Christ. Through adoption we are counted as God’s own children and now heirs to everything of God’s through Christ. Prompted by Paul, we echo Jesus’ own prayer found in Mark 14:36, “ABBA, Father God.” Undoubtably Paul is Holy Spirit inspired to remind us of how we call out to God in our times of utmost need, like Jesus.
The Holy Spirit in our hearts and minds is true evidence that we have been adopted and are God’s own. Verses 6-7 are parallel in Romans 8:15-17, stressing for us that Holy Spirit is an essential part of our Gospel understanding. Now we have the big picture!! All that is God’s is ours. It is an Amazing Inheritance!
1 My point is this: heirs, as long as they are minors, are no better than slaves, though they are the owners of all the property; 2 but they remain under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father. 3 So with us; while we were minors, we were enslaved to the elemental spirits of the world. 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. 6 And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God. Galatians 4:1-7