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Through Faith We Pass into Adulthood, Becoming Heirs in God's Kingdom
Bible Verse Galatians 4:1-3
Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.
In these opening passages of chapter four Paul now elaborates on the differences between a child who is under the law and a mature believer who is now part of the family of God through faith. Paul first introduced this discussion back in chapter three starting in verse twenty-three. Paul makes the point that the purpose of the law was to prepare us to become an heir in the kingdom of God. However, in these passages the word for child differs. The Greek word "nepios" is used here which means an infant child. So what Paul is telling us is that the law introduced the perfection of God. This was then contrasted against our sins.
The law taught us, we were guilty before a Holy God, and showed us our need for a savior. The result was the law brought us to repentance and thereby prepared us to receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior. And with our salvation comes the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and His work of spiritual growth called "Sanctification." As children, we were under the "bondage of the law." In other words, we were under obligation to the law, however, knowing we were unable to fulfill the requirements of the law. Therefore the law acted as a tutor, bringing us to repentance. And as a result, we learned about our reliance on the promises of God through faith. Knowing we could never be justified by the law.