MKCC Messages

Galatians - Sons and Heirs

July 17, 2023 Milton Keynes Christian Centre
MKCC Messages
Galatians - Sons and Heirs
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

When we talk about inheritance, we often think of what's left behind when someone, especially a parent, passes away. But guess what? We've got something even more incredible than worldly wealth!

Each one of us has a spiritual inheritance that goes beyond material possessions. And we're heirs to this amazing inheritance, all thanks to what Jesus has done for us.  Find out more in this message from our series on the Book of Galatians.

Mark Sherratt (00:00:07) - Well, as Jon said, it continued in our series in Galatians and back in the in the first century. The Apostle Paul, we know, planted churches around in numerous cities and he preached the gospel of grace alone. He preached the gospel of faith alone. He preached the gospel of Christ alone and to the glory of God alone. That was his message. But some Jewish people, we've learned through this study in Galatians, came into that region of Galatia from Jerusalem claiming to be believers in Christ, sent by the church in Jerusalem. And their message was very clear that believing in Christ was not enough. And they actually said, you must be circumcised. According to the law of Moses, you must adhere to the prescriptions that are in the Mosaic Law. That's what you need to do. Salvation. They said, is a matter of faith. Faith plus works. That's what they were saying. And Paul addresses this in the book of Galatians, stating, It's a distortion of the true gospel. It's a distortion of the true gospel.

Mark Sherratt (00:01:22) - And we would do well to hear that. Last week we heard that we've been justified through faith. Right. Which is a really important thing. And because we've been justified by faith, by believing in the truth of God's word. Romans five one says, We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Not you might have. Did you pick that up? But you have it. Can I hear an amen? You have peace with God. God is not angry with you. He loves you, right? You have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. This is really, really, really important for us to embrace and to lock in on. And so today we arrive in Galatians chapter four, and Paul continues contrasting man's condition as he's under the law doing all the legalistic things that he had to do with the position now in Christ as he receives God's promise and is transformed, if you like, from slavery, that which is the picture we have is slavery to the law, to having to perform, to having to do all this stuff, to freedom that's now available in Christ because of his mercy and grace towards us.

Mark Sherratt (00:02:47) - And let's face it, the Bible says, and in whom the sun sets free is what is free. Free indeed. So for context, let me just jump back and read a few verses before Galatians chapter four from Galatians 323 to 25, because it's kind of sets Galatians four up before this coming of this faith. We were held custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was come would be revealed. So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we no longer under a guardian. So in Christ, you are all children of God through faith. For all of you who were baptized into Christ, have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew or Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are. I love these statements. You are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise. Then we jump into Galatians four.

Mark Sherratt (00:04:07) - What I mean is this, or I mean that the heir, as long as a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father in the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the element three principles of the world. And Paul kind of starts Chapter four by stating clearly that the person who follows the law is like a young child who is an heir of a great inheritance, but he's too young to actually reap its benefits, right? He's too young to do that. However great the legacy might be until the child actually comes of age, he's no better off than a servant. That's what he's saying. He says that the law is like a child minder. It's like he's teaching and training an immature youngster. But the law can never make a young child or pupil into a fully grown man. It can't mature him, and it can never justify a sinner. In fact, all the law, as John spoke about a couple of weeks ago, the it identifies our sin.

Mark Sherratt (00:05:29) - It shows us clearly what we're like. It shows up our sinful acts and actually condemns us in the sight of something that is so holy and pure. It reveals our need to be saved. And Paul's actually saying how foolish, in fact, how arrogant it is to choose to be enslaved by the law and slave by works of the law, remaining an immature child who is not entrusted with the glorious inheritance that God has promised to you. How crazy to choose to live like that. And then Paul goes on to explain the pivotal moment in all of history when God's plan of redemption was filled. He says in verse four, When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his son, born of a woman born under the law. In other words, he's saying it's the perfect time, just at the right time, God's perfect time, when the fullness of all things had come to pass, God sent Jesus Christ his Son, into the world. And Paul says in Romans eight, verse three, For what the law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God actually did.

Mark Sherratt (00:06:54) - God did this by sending his own son. This is really important because it tells us that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of God's plan, not the law, not us alone, but Jesus was God's answer. The law couldn't save the law, couldn't bring forgiveness. The law couldn't remove the death sentence. The law could remove hell from us. But three. Jesus. The Bible shows us very clearly that we can be saved, that we are forgiven, and that we receive the gift of eternal life with Christ forever through Jesus. Then verse five kind of just rolls on and actually it gets to the heart of the matter. This is what Galatians Chapter four really is all about why God sent Jesus, why Him? And he said so that he might redeem those who are under the law and that they sorry, we might receive the adoption as sons. It gives us two clear things why Jesus was sent, one to redeem, and the second is to adopt us. I want you to really get a hold of this today.

Mark Sherratt (00:08:17) - To redeem means to set free from slavery by the payment of of a sin. And so if you go back into the Old Testament, you can see there that you redeemed a slave by paying the purchase price. And then he was set free. He was freed. Now, suppose that in addition to freeing the slave, you also said to him, Come with me. Come come home with me. I want you to live with me. I want you to legally join my family. I want you to take my name. And I want you to share all my inheritance with my family. How amazing does that sound? As amazing as it sounds, that's exactly what God did for us. The moment that you put your faith in Jesus, the moment you trusted Him, the moment you said, I believe he set us free. In other words, he redeemed us. He paid a price for us by dying on the cross, paid for our sin, paid for the penalty. And he set us free from slavery of sin with the purchase of his own blood on the cross.

Mark Sherratt (00:09:34) - And then he brought us into his family. And the Bible actually tells us he gives us the full rights as his sons or daughters. When we use the word sonship or I use it this morning, I'm talking about sons and daughters. Right? Don't don't go cold on me, girls. And when Paul talks about adoption here, he's referring to the Roman law of the day. Wealthy, childless couples often practice the adoption to provide a legal air for their wealth. That was just a natural process that was taking place. They would adopt a slave and bring him into their family so that their wealth could be passed on to the next generation. And the Roman law made it very clear that an adopted child had exactly the same full inheritance rights as the other children in the family. And there could be no sibling rivalry at all, because what the authority of the father set in place was actually standing legally. Now, this is really important for us to understand. The New Testament uses the word adoption to describe how we also came into God's family and into an inheritance.

Mark Sherratt (00:10:54) - What our Father, our Heavenly Father, has actually set in place, I want to tell you, stands legally. It stands legally. Ephesians one, verse five tells us, for he that's God chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ. Can I hear an amen? He saw you before you were created. He chose you and he predestined us to be adopted as his son in accordance with his pleasure and his will. In other words, he. He is excited about this. He gets pleasure at the thought of sharing his inheritance with his sons and daughters. He he delights in that. In fact, the Bible reveals it's his will to to the praise and the glorious, his glorious grace which he has freely given us in the one He loves. And so he takes pleasure in receiving glory from this taking place. Romans eight, tells us for those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God, the spirit you received does not make you slaves so that you live in fear again.

Mark Sherratt (00:12:17) - Rather, this spirit you receive brought about your adoption to Sonship. And by him, that's the spirit we cry. ABBA Father. The spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. In other words, you know in yourself, when you believe, whether you're a Christian or not, you, whether you're a son or not, something happens inside of you that is birthed by the Holy Spirit, that testifies with your spirit, that I am saved and I am His. I belong. The Greek word for adoption is literally placing as a son. Can I say this? You didn't place yourself anywhere. God placed you. It was all his doing. God chose you. He protest in you and He placed you as a son and daughter. With an incredible inheritance. So as children of God, we are no longer slaves to sin and the law that's before Christ. We as believers are now in Christ and our identity is radically transformed. Radically transformed. We are sons and daughters of the most high.

Mark Sherratt (00:13:37) - God, you are loved, you are forgiven, you are accepted, and you are chosen by him. And our status as heirs grants us an inheritance that includes eternal life forever with him as well as it does to all the promises of God are. Yes and amen. Isn't that incredible? William Barclay said this. It is Poole's picture that when a man became a Christian, he entered into the family of God. He does nothing to deserve it. God, the great Father, in his amazing love and mercy, has taken the lost, helpless, poverty stricken, debt laden sinner and adopted him into his own family so that the debts are cancelled and the glory inherited. How amazing is that? And you didn't deserve squat. It's all been given to you freely. Our adoption guarantees to every believer that you are a full member of God's family, that you have full rights and privileges in heaven. You have immediate access to God. You belong to his family. You bear his name. You have a full share in the inheritance that he's promised to his children.

Mark Sherratt (00:15:00) - And Satan has no claim on you because you are no longer part of his family. You're part of God's family. Can I hear an amen? That's. That's a little bit of who you are. This is good news. I want to encourage you to make a decision in your heart to say that I'm no longer getting ripped off, reduced or reversing backwards to anything before I'm pressing on with Christ. I'm not going to live under the tyranny of trying to earn God's favor or in anything that God has already given to me because He has. I resist the lies of the devil, the world, and my flesh sometimes gets in the way, right? And I fully embrace through faith who God says I am. I am a child of God. I am. I remember seeing a sign in the US once that said, You're a chosen guy. Sorry, girls, this was a guy sign. You're a chosen guy. Unless guy in the States means guy and girl probably does, doesn't it? I am a chosen guy and adopted by God himself.

Mark Sherratt (00:16:16) - Nothing in capitals. On Earth can change that. I thought I was really good. Nothing on earth can change that. Who shall separate us? The apostle Paul said from the love of Christ. Who? What? He goes on to debate. I love for him in Christ alone, especially the last verse. It says this No guilt in life, no fear in death. This is the power of Christ in me. From life's first cry to final breath. Jesus commands my destiny. No power of hell, no scheme of mine can ever pluck me from his hand till he returns or calls me home. Here in the power of Christ, I stand. What a great song. What great truth. What great assurance. You know, friends, let me suppose that one of my two sons. I have a picture of both of my handsome boys. One of them does something wrong and feels really bad about it and comes to me that I'm so sorry. Which they do, believe me. Dad, I'm so sorry.

Mark Sherratt (00:17:33) - You know, I'm going to try better. I know I shouldn't have done what I did. I've done wrong. And. And I want to try and be better. I want to be a more of a son to you. You know, my kind of response to that has often been and will continue to be. I'm really glad that you've come and been able to say sorry. I think that's a beautiful thing, don't you? Thank you so much for coming and saying saying sorry in such a way. And I know that you want to do better. And and I respect that. But I want you to know also. That what you do? Or whether you do it or you don't do it, you'll never be more to me than a son that you are right now. That's who you are. Being my son has nothing to do with what I do. Right or wrong, actually. It's got nothing to do with you, my son. By virtue of being part of my family, nothing that you do can change that, right? In fact, I pushed the bar even further than that.

Mark Sherratt (00:18:45) - That even if one of my boys rebelled against me, against everything I've taught them. Maybe move to some distant place. Maybe lived a horrible kind of life that is so far removed from what I believe is right. I want to say this. Yes, I would be heartbroken. Yes, I would. And hurt. But no matter what he does, he will always be my son, right? He will always be my son. And I will always love him, because that's what God has asked me to do. Once a son, always a son. And nothing that my boys can do can ever change that. Do you remember the prodigal son? He was always a son. He might have been lost, but he was always his son. And when the father saw him from a distance, look at his reaction. He ran to him. He clothed him. He put new shoes on him. He put a ring on his finger. He kills the fattened calf. He squandered the father's inheritance.

Mark Sherratt (00:19:50) - But he was always a son. In fact, again, in his love, Jesus is reaching to the viruses and the Sadducees as he speaks about the prodigal son. He's even trying to draw Israel into himself. He's not saying your time is done. It's all up. He's trying to bring them in, in his love and in his grace and his mercy. He doesn't want to live like the oldest son who's outside in the field, missing out on all the rejoicing. He wants him in his house. You know, the same is true of our relationship with God or standing isn't based on our performance. And I think that's good news for me because, you know, I'm going to fail at some point. I know a will or standing is based on God's grace, which means it doesn't depend on us once the child. Come on. Always Just remember that once a child, once you're in, you're always a child. We may do things that displease our Heavenly Father. And yes, he disciplines us.

Mark Sherratt (00:20:53) - The Bible says God comes to you and he'll discipline you as his child. But for me, that's never been about punishment. It's always a proof of my salvation. That God accepts me. Which Father doesn't discipline his? Some son. Come on. You can't just live in my house and live how you want. You live by my rules, right? That doesn't mean I don't love my sons. Get a life. Paul goes on to say, And because you are sons, God has sent his spirit. So he sent his son. The second thing he does is send the Holy Spirit. He sends the Holy Spirit of his son into our hearts, crying ABBA Father, because we are son, God sends His spirit into our hearts, giving us the assurance that we are His children. That still small voice speaks to us. And he says to me, You are my child. You are my child. I hear this in my heart, and that same Holy Spirit is at work in us. Cries out in Mark.

Mark Sherratt (00:21:57) - Share it in your life. ABBA Father you now Jesus taught us to to talk to God as our Heavenly Father. The Spirit inside of us crying out ABBA Father. This changes your prayer life radically because you're coming and talking to Father. ABBA is the defined term for father in the Aramaic language spoken by Jesus, spoken by Paul, and is an intimate term to characterize their relationship with God, father and son. That's what it was there to do. And it's the Holy Spirit works in is I can guarantee this, that as he works in as you'll experience the same intimate relationship, this closeness, this personal relationship with your perfect Heavenly Father. See, it's always been about relationship. It always has. It's a father and child relationship. Do you know there's only one person on Earth? That I called my father. This is him. That's my dad. He died ten years. Some ten years ago. And I knew when he was here, I always had access to him. Didn't matter any time, any place.

Mark Sherratt (00:23:23) - I knew I could get help, support, advice. I got bucket fulls of love. No matter what he was there. He was always interested in what I was doing. He was attentive to everything and he would sit with my mom in this church with tears in his eyes looking at me. And I know he was so proud. Now, the same is true for my two sons. Right. They've got a very unique relationship with me as their father. No other child has that relationship. It's something that's unique. It's something that is special. It's a unique relationship. So it is in the spiritual realm. If you know Jesus as your Savior, God is now your Heavenly Father. And we come to him in prayer anytime, anywhere, for any reason. Come on, someone try and enter into this spirit of this a little bit. When you're in trouble, when it feels like the world's turned against you, when you're discouraged, when you feel like giving up, when you're confused about what to do next and God help me, I often find myself there.

Mark Sherratt (00:24:47) - And I'm remembering the Holy Spirit works in me. Crying out, Father. Father. Like a little child. Father. And he's always there. Time, any place, at any moment. Who is listening and attentive. And that's why the apostle Paul says in verse seven, So you are no longer a slave but a son. And if a son, you are an heir to all of this relationship, you get God. You get this incredible relationship that's going to go on throughout eternity. You get God as as we have access to the abundant promises of God, the riches of His kingdom, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the assurance of eternal life. It's all ours to claim folks to believe. And I would encourage you today as I close. To live in the reality of your sonship. If you are a believer, if you're a Christian, don't listen to the lies of the enemy. It would seek to rob and steal and take that away from you. Try and make you proud and arrogant, thinking you can save yourself by all your righteous acts.

Mark Sherratt (00:26:08) - There's no one that's righteous. Well, there is only one. Jesus Christ who came and died and fulfilled the law. So I want to encourage you to fully embrace the grace of God. Let's do something positive. I'm going to fully embrace the make a confession today. I'm going to fully embrace the grace of God. I know I didn't deserve it, but I'm going to embrace it. I know my works and efforts are useless, so I'm going to just rest in Your Grace. I'm going to receive that grace. I'm a child. I'm your child. You My dad. I'm going to walk in freedom, right? I'm no longer a slave. I'm not going to live with the tyranny of the law. I'm going to rely on God's grace. And this sonship liberates and liberates me. And from bondage and legalism and striving. And I believe that with this freedom comes an empowerment through the Holy Spirit to live this holy and righteous life, to be guided by the Holy Spirit, to keep in step with him and have this incredible love for God and for others.

Mark Sherratt (00:27:21) - It's all available. And I'm going to walk in that freedom. Can I hear an amen? I'm going to figure out how I can love God more and serve God more and become happy in Jesus. And though all the circumstances might conspire against me to take me backwards and reverse or do something somehow that I can earn God's favor. How arrogant that is. I'm not going to do that. I'm going to rest in God. I'm going to walk in the freedom that he's given to me. I am who he says I am and I'm going to reflect and radiate God's love, extending grace and forgiveness and compassion in my words, in my action. Because grace changes us. It doesn't leave us the same. That is a false doctrine. It changes us. It's just God's transformative power in our lives. And Jesus said, You are the light. Of the world. So embrace your biblical sonship, everyone, because this is what Paul is alluding to. I haven't got time to finish the rest of the chapter, but it just enforces this, comes back to it and tells us, Don't go back.

Mark Sherratt (00:28:32) - It shouts at us, Don't go back. Go forward in Grace. Amen. Thank you. Don't live like a slave. Live like a son. In Jesus name.


The distortion of the true gospel
Justification through faith and peace with God
Redemption and adoption as sons
The assurance of our identity as children of God
The unchanging love of God for his children
The intimate relationship between believers and God as Father
The importance of walking in freedom
The transformative power of grace
Moving forward in grace