Galatians 4:7 "So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir." It's a topic that I have studied, written about, and even taught from many different angles, and yet God continues to expand my understanding of it.
From slavery to sonship
When I received Jesus Christ as Savior and He became the Lord of my life then I was transformed out of darkness into light. Glatians 4 says we are no longer slaves, but CHILDREN OF GOD. Jesus said, I know longer call you slaves, but friends. As Christians we are not slaves, we're children.
It didn't take long to find out that though I was a child of God there were many areas that I still lived as a slave. I could identify with the prodigal son who was a CHILD and yet he made decisions which led to him choosing to live with the pigs.
What would cause a child to live like a slave?
I'm going to step on a few toes with the first part here, for some, like the prodigal son, they took the Truth of Grace and used it for their own pleasure. The prodigal son took what was paid for by His father and he went and used it for his delight. Notice it was his, his father had paid for it, but there was and always will be negative effects and consequences of sin. As a child of God, Jesus paid for my sin, it is covered in the blood of Jesus, but if I take that and dishonor Him by abusing what He paid for, there will be consequences. The beautiful part of grace is that no matter how much sin I committed when I'm ready to come running back to the Father, He's willing and ready to greet me.
Luke 15:29 "But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been working like a slave for you and I have never neglected a command of yours"
However, the part I want to focus on is that many times children of God live like slaves because we don't truly understand what Sonship is. We don't understand what all has been paid for and freely given to us when we became CHILDREN and no longer SLAVES.
I recently wrote about the son in the field in this story and how he could have come into the house and had a party whenever he wanted. Then I saw this scripture in new light.
"I have been working like a slave for you"
Here he was a son, an heir, and he was living in slavery just as much as his brother was. Slavery can take on many forms, but this is what I see.
Service without Sonship is just a burden. We see it in churches all over. When you're working because you feel you have debt to pay, when you're working because you're supposed to, then you get the attitude of this son. You feel like a slave, even though God is calling you child. This son was a slave in his mind and therefore never partook of all that was offered to him as a child.
As a daughter of God I choose to do good "works" because I love Him. I'm doing things from my identity as a daughter who loves her Father and knows that He loves me, not from the perspective of an overworked slave.
Like the prodigal son and his brother many of us are children with no understanding of our identity. Mistake identity causes us to live as slaves or perhaps just identify ourselves as a slave in our own minds when God wants us to know He calls us, child.
Be Blessed, J. Tate