Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father. So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world. But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.Paradoxical, it is, but true: we naturally prefer slavery to the liberty that we have in Christ. We want a card of rules. We'd rather tithe by formula than come to grips with the idea that it's all His, every cent and every possession and every family member. Why?
However, at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain.
Well, the rules and regulations provide boundary lines. Maybe 23 hours of the day are God's, but the twenty-fourth is ours, in which we can do as we please. Maybe 10% of my paycheck is God's, but that means 90% is none of His business. Maybe I have a set of rules to obey, but that saves me the labor of thinking about principles and their application, and what I can do in a positive sense to please Him. I might be living under the Law, but at least I have no worries as long as long as the Law's not barking at me. Growing up and entering into Christian liberty is hard, and scary. But He bought that liberty for me, at a very high price. Should I throw it away? Will that please Him? I don't have to wonder; Paul answers the questions succinctly.
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