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Today we end our study of Galatians 4:1–7 with the final verse: “So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”

In this passage we see a change from the plural (“sons” in v. 6) to the singular “a son.” Paul brings his argument down from an address to the Galatians in general, to individuals in particular. The doctrine of God’s adopting grace is deeply personal.

In this passage God is making eye contact with you! He is looking into your eyes because he wants you to be certain of his love for you. He wants you to be convinced of his adopting grace. He wants you to receive his love, experience his love, and rest certain in his love.

But I am not worthy of his household, you may say. True, you are not. I am not! No one can be a son through human effort or merit. We can be his children only “through God,” only through his initiative and sovereign grace.

Here we conclude our study of adoption: by looking to God. Adoption is not about drawing attention to ourselves, it is about God and his activity, his initiative, and his love. He sent his Son to die for us. And he sent his Spirit to dwell within us for the purpose of convincing us of his love.

Reaching Back

Our sinful condition was not unlike orphans prior to adoption. They are destitute and without hope. They can not initiate a relationship with their adoptive family. They do not ask to be adopted. They cannot conceive of adoption. In fact, they may be afraid of being adopted and taken away from what they knew.

Orphans cannot earn adoption. And neither can we. Yet we are tempted to reach out, to reach back, to grab at the familiar life of sin. Yet God, in his mercy, has adopted us.

And he is taking us home, to a place of unimaginable beauty and pleasures forever.

This post is part of a series of posts exploring and celebrating the adopting love of God, entitled Adopted.