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Sunday School Lesson, February 5, 2017 – Heirs of the Promise

To follow along, visit your local Christian bookstore, and ask for the Bible Expositor and Illuminator

Time:  Probably A.D. 48 – Place:  from Syrian Antioch

Golden Text:  “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).

Heir – Is a possessor or successor. An heir is one who inherits or is entitled to inherit another’s property, title, etc.  A successor is one that is a follower, replacement or candidate.

Promise – God’s promise is present in His Word, which speaks of the blessings He intends to give to His people. It also refers to the Old Testament promise of the coming of Jesus Christ and salvation in Him. The New Testament conception of the Old Testament is that of promise which has been fulfilled. In the New Testament, God continues to be the One who gives promises concerning the blessings He will bestow on His people such as the promise of the release from the power of sin. The promise of the Spirit, the promise that the Holy Spirit would be given.

Apostle Paul confronted the false teachers through his teaching and written of the epistles who were perverting the gospel. These false teachers were seeking to force Gentiles (nationalities other than the Jewish nation) to observe Jewish ceremonies and were promoting the idea that justification and sanctification come by way of works of the law and not by faith in Jesus Christ. Centuries later, false teacher are still rampant, teaching other doctrines that are opposite of the Word of God leading people to religion rather than faith in Jesus for salvation.

Galatians 3:26 – For ye all are the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Believers are not only blessed with sons of Abraham but also as sons of God and God’s heirs. Believers have been adopted by God Himself. Through faith in Jesus Christ, believers have become “the children of God.” Since we have become children of God by faith, we are no longer held captive by those things in the law that brought division. When the division is in the body of Christ, faith is not in action or the doctrine of the gospel. Those who place their faith in Jesus Christ are baptized into Him. This is the baptism of the Holy Spirit which joins all believers to Jesus Christ and unites them with the body of Christ.

Galatians 3:27 – For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. The baptism in this verse is referring to the baptism of the Holy Spirit, not water baptism. Many Christians have been water baptized, but not Spirit baptism. Water baptism is a symbolic act and has no effect on the spirit of man. Jesus’ explanation of Spiritual baptism was being born of the Spirit which refers to a supernatural spiritual birth that comes through the Spirit of God it doesn’t come by just accepting salvation and believe, if so, when the Disciples believed Jesus as the Son of God, they accepted salvation, after Jesus’ death He breathed on the disciples and told them to receive the Holy Ghost (Spirit) (And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost (John 20:22). Here Jesus breathed the Spirit into the disciples, but at Pentecost, the Spirit unified the believers into one body and empowered them to testify of Jesus.  Jesus, Himself also instructed the disciples not to depart from Jerusalem to receive the promise of the Spirit which is the Holy Spirit (And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence (Acts 1:5). 

This is after the resurrection of Jesus when He instructed His followers. So, the teaching of when one receives salvation also receives the Holy Spirit is opposite of what the Bible teaches (But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witness unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth – Acts 1:8). Another scripture also indicates although the individuals believed, they had not received the Holy Spirit ( He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost (Spirit) since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost – Acts 19:2). The Apostles were talking with Apollos and other disciples, Apollos was an Alexandrian Jew, he received the message of Christ but knew nothing of the Spirit’s coming. After hearing the message, they were baptized and received the Holy Spirit (When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them: and they spake with tongues, and prophesied – Acts 19:5-6). Just as we must receive salvation by faith, we also must receive the Holy Spirit by faith knowing according to the Word of God, it is a gift (If ye then, being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them tht ask him – Luke 11:13).

Galatians 3:28 – There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. The context of this verse is justification by faith in Christ Jesus, the fact that Jesus has redeemed all those who believe on Him whether they are Jews or Gentiles. Racial, social, and gender distinction that so easily divide in no way hinder a person from coming to Christ in order to receive His mercy.  All people equally can become God’s heirs and recipients of His eternal promises. While distinctions will be made in this life, and some are necessary, they have no bearing on one’s relationship with Christ. All who come to Christ in faith are united as one in Him. We have to come to Him by faith, every believer is unique and distinct, but all believers are one in Christ.

Galatians 3:29 – And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.  We, therefore, become the true seed of Abraham, and as such are heirs according to the promise. The original covenant with Abraham was intended for the whole world, not just for his descendants. All believers partake of this covenant and are blessed as children of Abraham. The Abrahamic promise that all believers inherit are those blessings that were promised to come to “all families of the earth”. Through Jesus Christ, Abraham’s descendant, believers of all nations receive the blessing of justification and all the blessings that accompany that work of God.

Galatians 4:1 – Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all. Apostle Paul uses the illustration of slavery to show that before Christ came and died for sins, people were in bondage to the Law. Thinking they could be saved by it, they became enslaved to trying and failing to keep it. Paul develops the idea of what it means to be an adopted son of God. In ancient society a child had to wait until the proper time before he could inherit what was his, but with the justification of Jesus Christ, a person don’t have to be a full or mature Christian to receive the inheritance, when he or she comes into the family of God they automatic receive a promise of inheritance.

Galatians 4:2 – But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. “Tutors” were those who served as guardians of children. “Governors” were household managers, such positions often were held by slaves. A child could not receive his inheritance until he matured. He was subject to his guardians. He was a bit better than the father’s servants in his degree of freedom.

Galatians 4:3 – Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. Prior to our acceptance of salvation, we were in bondage and wasn’t aware we were in bondage because our spiritual eyesight had been blinded to the world’s view. Acceptance of salvation through Jesus Christ empowers the believer to have power over sin (According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue – 2nd Peter 1:3).  As sons of God, we no longer have to be slaves to the elements of the world.

Galatians 4:4 – But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law. “The fullness of the time”, is the perfect time in history. A time appointed by God the Father for His Son to be born, and later to die for the sins of the world. At the appropriate time, God sent Jesus to earth, born of a virgin. Jesus entered the world to fulfill the law. This was done to break the law’s bondage.

Galatians 4:5 – To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. “Redemption” denotes the means by which salvation is achieved, namely y the payment of ransom. Ransom usually indicates someone has been held hostage and a payment has to be paid by money or the demand. The demand was our sins could only be forgiven by the shedding of the blood of Jesus, a sacrificial offering to God for the sins of the world. Christ’s redemption enables all who believe in Him to receive the “adoption of sons.” Those who have been born again into the family of God are like heirs who have now reached adulthood and are no longer under a guardian or the law.

Galatians 4:6 – And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.  Just as God sent forth His Son in the fullness of the time in world history, so God has sent forth the Spirit of Christ at just the right time for every person who believes in Christ into their hearts. The transformation of the believer from being a spiritual slave to being a son with full rights. Usually, we can discern whether or not a person has been spiritual changed just by the way they address the Father and the behavior towards sin according to what the Bible calls sin.

Galatians 4:7 – Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Since we are now sons and daughters of God, we no longer need to live as slaves to the world. We have a guaranteed inheritance waiting for us. We are no longer children in the sense of being under age and unable to access our inheritance; we are adults. We have access to all the promises of God now.


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