Why Am I Saved?
What Does That Mean?

A Study of Galatians
Part Seven

by David Chadwell

Background Overview Introduction -
Galatians 1:1-5
Section 1 -
Galatians 1:6-10
Section 2 -
Galatians 1:11-2:21
Section 3 -
Galatians 3:1-22
Section 4 -
Galatians 3:23-4:31
Section 5 -
Galatians 5 and 6


Section 4: Galatians 3:23-4:31

  1. Before faith in Christ became a reality, the Law kept people in custody [the concept is that of protective custody].

    1. The Law served a temporary [but essential] purpose prior to the coming of Christ.

      1. The purpose of the Law was to be our paidagogus to lead us to Christ.

        1. 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.]

        2. The paidagogus was often a slave who had oversight of a boy from the age of six to sixteen.

        3. He was the escort and the disciplinarian who watched over him and took him to and from school.

        4. He constantly accompanied the boy to guard him against evil and immoral influences.

        5. The paidagogus was commonly strict, severe, and a proverb for a sour disposition.

        6. One can see without difficulty how that the Law served all these roles.

      2. The Law's specific purpose was to watch over us as it led us to Christ.

        1. The Law could not justify us.

        2. But it could lead us to the Christ who could justify us.

      3. 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.

    2. Faith in Christ Jesus [not Law] makes us God's sons.

      1. When we are baptized into Christ, God clothed us in Christ.

      2. When people are baptized into Christ, God removes all distinctions.

        1. Paul listed the three basic distinctions of that day.

        2. The distinction between Jew and non-Jew is removed in Christ.

        3. The distinction between a slave and a person who is free is removed in Christ.

        4. The distinction between male and female is removed in Christ.

    3. If you belong to Christ, you are Abraham's descendant.

      1. You are an heir of the promise that God made to Abraham.

      2. The promise is rightfully yours because you belong to Christ.

  2. A child and a slave have a lot in common.

    1. While the child certainly will reach maturity and inherit everything, as a child, he lives as though he were a slave.

      1. For example, a child is under the oversight and control of a guardian or a steward throughout his childhood.

      2. 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.

      3. 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.

      4. He came to accomplish these two things:

        1. To redeem those who were in slavery under the Law.

        2. To extend divine adoption to all.

      5. As those who believe in Christ, you received the adoption.

        1. If that were not true you would not have Christ's Spirit in your heart.

        2. Nor would you feel that God is your Father.

      6. You are God's son, God's heir, and not a slave.

    2. If you are determined to place yourselves under the Law, consider an allegory from the Law itself.

      1. Abraham had two sons, one (Ishmael) whose mother was a slave and one (Isaac) whose mother was free.

        1. The son born of a slave was conceived as a result of human design and intent.

        2. The son born of a free woman was conceived as a result of God's promise.

      2. The slave mother and the free mother represent two covenants (the covenant given at Mount Sinai and the covenant given through Christ).

      3. Consider the slave mother (Hagar) the covenant given at Mount Sinai.

        1. The covenant from Mount Sinai produced children who were slaves as did Hagar.

        2. Hagar represents Sinai and present Jerusalem.

        3. 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.

      4. Consider the free mother (Sarah) and the covenant given through Christ.

        1. Sarah represents the heavenly Jerusalem where God Himself lives, where there is true freedom.

        2. Just as Isaac was born through God's promise, you also are born through God's promise.

        3. Just as Ishmael tormented Isaac, these Jewish Christians torment you.

        4. 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.

      5. Though you are not Jews by fleshly birth, you are God's sons of promise through the covenant given through Christ.

        1. You are not slaves; you are sons.

        2. Those who are God's sons through faith in Christ are the true children of promise, the true heirs of Abraham.

    3. Trust the change of your status before God (Galatians 4:8-20).

      1. There was a time when you were slaves to gods that do not exist.

        1. But you discovered the living God, and He came to know you.

        2. Why do you want to return to slavery by placing yourselves under the regulations of the Law?

        3. I am afraid that I accomplished nothing in teaching you.

      2. Please be like me because I was like you.

        1. You have not offended me.

        2. When I first came to teach you about Christ I was quite sick.

        3. My sickness could have repulsed you, but it did not.

          1. You received me as if I were God's angel and treated me as if I were Christ.

          2. Have you forgotten how blessed you felt?

          3. Have you forgotten that you would have given me your own eyes?

      3. Am I now your enemy because I tell you the truth?

        1. These Jewish teachers are not trying to include you; they are trying to make you dependent on them.

        2. I want to include you, not exclude you or make you dependent on me.

        3. It would be wonderful if you remembered this when I am there and when I am away.

      4. I feel like that I am in the process of giving birth to you again.

        1. The process will not be over until you learn to trust and depend on Christ in your lives.

        2. I wish that I could be with you in person so that I could change my tone.

        3. But you truly confuse me!

David Chadwell

Galatians Study Guide (part 7)
Wednesday evening Bible class, 14 January - 3 June 1998
West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Copyright © 1998
Permission is granted to freely copy and distribute with text unchanged, including author's name.
previous next section

Background Overview Introduction -
Galatians 1:1-5
Section 1 -
Galatians 1:6-10
Section 2 -
Galatians 1:11-2:21
Section 3 -
Galatians 3:1-22
Section 4 -
Galatians 3:23-4:31
Section 5 -
Galatians 5 and 6

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West-Ark Church of Christ