but just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. but what does the scripture say? “cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” so, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman. [galatians 4:29-31]
are you living as a child of the slave? or of the free?
we’ve been hearing and discussing much about our identity as children of God. talking about God’s love being lavished upon us. talking about our adoption through the blood of Jesus. so what now? how should we live as children of God? as bearers of his name? as free men and women who are co-heirs with Christ? what will it look like?
like we are free from condemnation- rom 8:1
if you knew you had the approval and love of every human being on the earth, think of how you would feel out and about, meeting new people, interacting with peers and bosses, coaches and teammates, parents and spouses. you would be filled with confidence and joy because there would be no risk of rejection or disapproval. all of your failures would be lifted up, every sin met with forgiving hugs, and every victory celebrated. \
this is how we CAN walk around and interact with others. we proclaim the excellencies of Christ, knowing our heavenly Father’s wrath has been spent on Christ, the one and only Son, leaving none for us, his children. all that is left is steadfast and abiding love. we can draw near to him with confidence, and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need. we can come to him freely in sin, in sorrow, and in victory, with thankful worship. we should live as the most joyful people on the face of the earth. are you living like a child of the free?
like this world is not our home- phil 3:20
we are no longer citizens of this world. although we are offered all of the same luxuries, comforts, entertainment, distractions, sensualities, opportunities for fame, notoriety, and status, we can gladly and joyfully set these things aside, knowing that we are heirs of an everlasting and so much more satisfying inheritance in the presence of God.
we often live as though heavenly satisfaction is something we cannot experience now. that we might as well experience as much earthly pleasure as we can get away with and still receive heaven at the end. but God’s kingdom is here! the Spirit lives within us! Christ will never leave us! it is true, we cannot know him now the way we will then. but how much more time are we spending seeking satisfaction in the things of this world instead of seeking satisfaction in him? are you living like a child of the free?
like the Spirit of God dwells within us- gal 5:22-25
- love- loving the unlovely with God’s love
- joy- finding joy in salvation in the darkest of times
- peace- full trust in the Lord amidst the chaos
- patience- being quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger
- kindness- using time and energy to bless others
- goodness- setting affections on things above, not the things of the earth
- faithfulness- remaining steadfast in dry seasons or temptation
- gentleness- not reacting harshly to the attitudes of others
- self-control- the love of Christ controlling us, turning our eyes from sin to the Son
this is not a christian to-do list. this is a very short list of the very character of God. he promises to conform us to the image of his Son, and so he promises to be growing this character in us through his Spirit. are you living like a child of the free?
Father, you have made us your own. undeserving, rebellious, and dead in our sins, you poured out your love to bring us into your family. thank you for this unimaginable love. show us how to live as children of the Most High, citizens of heaven who are free from condemnation and filled with your Spirit. we long to be more like you. amen.
~ arwen eastman