Why Am I Saved?
What Does That Mean?
A Study of Galatians
by David Chadwell
Section 4: Galatians 3:23-4:31
- Before faith in Christ became a reality, the Law kept people in custody [the
concept is that of protective custody].
- The Law served a temporary [but essential] purpose prior to the coming of
- The purpose of the Law was to be our paidagogus to lead us to Christ.
- In English, there is not suitable word to translate paidagogus. [Information
concerning the paidagogus is taken from The Living Word Commentary,
The Letter of Paul to The Galatians, Robert L. Johnson (R.B. Sweet Co.,
Inc.: Austin, Texas), Volume 10, pp. 97, 98.]
- The paidagogus was often a slave who had oversight of a boy from the
age of six to sixteen.
- He was the escort and the disciplinarian who watched over him and took
him to and from school.
- He constantly accompanied the boy to guard him against evil and immoral
- The paidagogus was commonly strict, severe, and a proverb for a sour
- One can see without difficulty how that the Law served all these roles.
- The Law's specific purpose was to watch over us as it led us to Christ.
- The Law could not justify us.
- But it could lead us to the Christ who could justify us.
- Now that the Christ has come, we can have faith in the Christ; we are no
longer under the oversight and control of the paidagogus.
- Faith in Christ Jesus [not Law] makes us God's sons.
- When we are baptized into Christ, God clothed us in Christ.
- When people are baptized into Christ, God removes all distinctions.
- Paul listed the three basic distinctions of that day.
- The distinction between Jew and non-Jew is removed in Christ.
- The distinction between a slave and a person who is free is removed in
- The distinction between male and female is removed in Christ.
- If you belong to Christ, you are Abraham's descendant.
- You are an heir of the promise that God made to Abraham.
- The promise is rightfully yours because you belong to Christ.
- A child and a slave have a lot in common.
- While the child certainly will reach maturity and inherit everything, as a child, he
lives as though he were a slave.
- For example, a child is under the oversight and control of a guardian or a
steward throughout his childhood.
- In that same way, though it was God's plan for us to receive the inheritance,
we were under the basic teachings and principles of the Law.
- When the time was right, God sent His Son by allowing him physically to be
born of a woman and allowing him to be born under the Law.
- He came to accomplish these two things:
- To redeem those who were in slavery under the Law.
- To extend divine adoption to all.
- As those who believe in Christ, you received the adoption.
- If that were not true you would not have Christ's Spirit in your heart.
- Nor would you feel that God is your Father.
- You are God's son, God's heir, and not a slave.
- If you are determined to place yourselves under the Law, consider an allegory
from the Law itself.
- Abraham had two sons, one (Ishmael) whose mother was a slave and one
(Isaac) whose mother was free.
- The son born of a slave was conceived as a result of human design and
- The son born of a free woman was conceived as a result of God's
- The slave mother and the free mother represent two covenants (the covenant
given at Mount Sinai and the covenant given through Christ).
- Consider the slave mother (Hagar) the covenant given at Mount Sinai.
- The covenant from Mount Sinai produced children who were slaves as
- Hagar represents Sinai and present Jerusalem.
- All who are under the control of the Law given at Mount Sinai and are
loyal to Jerusalem are born of a slave and remain in slavery to the Law.
- Consider the free mother (Sarah) and the covenant given through Christ.
- Sarah represents the heavenly Jerusalem where God Himself lives,
where there is true freedom.
- Just as Isaac was born through God's promise, you also are born through
- Just as Ishmael tormented Isaac, these Jewish Christians torment you.
- Please remember: the slave and her son were driven away so that the
slave's child would not be an heir with the child of promise.
- Though you are not Jews by fleshly birth, you are God's sons of promise
through the covenant given through Christ.
- You are not slaves; you are sons.
- Those who are God's sons through faith in Christ are the true children of
promise, the true heirs of Abraham.
- Trust the change of your status before God (Galatians 4:8-20).
- There was a time when you were slaves to gods that do not exist.
- But you discovered the living God, and He came to know you.
- Why do you want to return to slavery by placing yourselves under the
regulations of the Law?
- I am afraid that I accomplished nothing in teaching you.
- Please be like me because I was like you.
- You have not offended me.
- When I first came to teach you about Christ I was quite sick.
- My sickness could have repulsed you, but it did not.
- You received me as if I were God's angel and treated me as if I were
- Have you forgotten how blessed you felt?
- Have you forgotten that you would have given me your own eyes?
- Am I now your enemy because I tell you the truth?
- These Jewish teachers are not trying to include you; they are trying to
make you dependent on them.
- I want to include you, not exclude you or make you dependent on me.
- It would be wonderful if you remembered this when I am there and when I
- I feel like that I am in the process of giving birth to you again.
- The process will not be over until you learn to trust and depend on Christ
in your lives.
- I wish that I could be with you in person so that I could change my tone.
- But you truly confuse me!
Galatians Study Guide (part 7)
Wednesday evening Bible class, 14 January - 3 June 1998
West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Copyright © 1998
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