Scripture: Galatians 3:15-29
Observation: Paul begins by addressing the promise God gave to Abraham and the law that he gave to Moses. He makes it clear that the law was temporary, but the promise is permanent. Once again, he points the Galatians to their faith in Jesus to save them, rather than obeying the law and doing right things. He finishes by explaining that because of our faith in Jesus, we have become children of God.
Application: Alright friends, we’re starting off today by playing “Name That Tune” – you ready?! (Sidenote: Is “Name That Tune” still even a thing?! I’m pretty sure Shazam came along and made that show completely irrelevant.)
“The sun’ll come out tomorrow, betcha bottom dollar that tomorrow, they’ll be suuuuuun.”
If you guessed “Tomorrow” from the hit musical "Annie," then you would be correct.
I’m not sure if it was the phrase “betcha bottom dollar” (which I quickly figured out meant butt #mature) or the fact that I had a soft spot in my heart for little orphan Annie after seeing the musical at our local high school growing up, but I loved this song and the musical it originated from. It’s a classic rag to riches story – we first find Annie in an orphanage, under the care of a very mean-spirited guardian, Miss Hannigan. She eventually finds her way to the home of billionaire Oliver Warbucks. When a malicious couple tries to pose as her real parents, Oliver Warbucks is skeptical of their motives and soon finds out their true identities, having them arrested. He rescues Annie and becomes her adopted father; she begins to call him “Daddy Warbucks.”
(To be real, I remembered about 62% of this story – thank you Jesus for Wikipedia.)
When reading Paul’s words to the Galatians, I instantly thought of Annie’s story and the marked difference between her guardian (Miss Hannigan) and her adopted father (Daddy Warbucks). Here’s how Paul puts it:
“The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith.” (v. 24)
Guardians are necessary – they protect us and keep us safe. They ensure that we survive in this crazy, messed up world. But more often than not, guardians are temporary; they don’t last forever.
The law was the same way. It was temporary – and then one day, everything changed.
“And now that the way of faith has come [Jesus], we no longer need the law as our guardian.” (v. 25)
We don’t need a guardian – not because we can take care of ourselves, but because we have something permanent, something more binding: a parent.
“For you are all children of God through faith in Jesus.” (v. 26)
Through faith in Jesus, we become children of God. And like any good parent, God isn’t content with seeing us survive; he wants to see us thrive. Our God looks down on us with all the love of a father in his heart, protecting, guiding, and pushing us into a rich and fulfilling life where we’re not just safe, but we are free. We are family.
“And now that you belong to Christ, you are children of Abraham. You are heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.” (v. 29)
And the promise is so good.
“’I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.’” (Genesis 12:2-3)
His promise to Abraham is his promise to you. We aren’t orphans anymore.
Prayer: God, thank you for being a father to me. I praise you for adopting me into your family, loving me as relentlessly and recklessly as the best parents do. I pray my identity will be rooted in who you are. Amen.