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Galatians; Sons by adoption

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posted on Feb, 12 2016 @ 05:06 PM
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When he was very small, my younger brother once locked himself in his bedroom (by means of a sliding catch on the inside of the door).
This was very inconvenient.
I can still see my mother, standing outside the door, trying to communicate instructions.
“Simon…Open…the door… slide…the catch”.
He took no notice, happily burbling to himself and working his crayons over the inside of the door (as was discovered later).
The outcome was that my father acquired a ladder and climbed in through the sash window, probably breaking it first.
Once he was there, of course, it was easy enough to open the door from inside.
Problem solved.

I find this memory helpful when it comes to understanding what Paul says in Galatians about the intervention of Christ in the world.

I’m continuing my survey of Galatians at the beginning of the fourth chapter.

In the previous chapter, Paul was explaining that submission to law was never intended to be permanent.
He compared it with the tutelage imposed on children.
The coming of faith means that we can cease to be children.
But we’re also told, at the same time, that we cease to be outsiders, and become “sons of God”.
The argument in the fourth chapter continues to use both metaphors.

On the one hand, following on from the “schoolmaster” image, those living before the time of Christ are still to be understood as under-age children.
“The heir…is under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father” (vv1-2)
In this metaphor, nothing but time and the completion of his education would keep the child from reaching adulthood and taking over the estate.

But Paul prepares the way for the other image by describing the under-age heir as “no better than a slave” before he reaches his majority.

Developing this thought, he tells us that we used to be enslaved by the STOICHEIA of the world (v3).
There is some debate about the interpretation of this word, here and in Colossians ch2 v8.
The original meaning was the letters of the alphabet, as ranked in rows.
A secondary meaning was the basic “elements” of the material world, as Greek physical science understood them.
In some modern translations we find “basic principles, elemental principles”.
The RSV gives “elemental spirits”, implying a claim that regulations were being imposed by secondary spiritual powers.
But that “we” necessarily includes the Jews as well as the Gentiles, and Paul has already explained that the Law of Moses, at least, came from God and was part of his plans.
So it is probably better to refer back to the “schoolmaster” metaphor and think of “elementary” in the educational sense.
These are the basic principles of religion, the “ABC”.
Until the coming of Christ, both Jews and Gentiles had been “enslaved” by them.
Insofar as the Law required people to be “doing things”, especially in the ritual sphere, it was as much “of the world” as anything in Gentile religion.

If the understanding is that we were living in a state of “slavery”, that corrects the impression, given by the first metaphor, that the achievement of the “inheritance” would have been automatic, by the mere progression of time.
Something needed to be done to release us from slavery.

The action was taken “when the time had fully come” (v4). The Law had completed its work, and God was ready to complete his plan.

“He sent forth his Son”. This is not just being “sent” in the ordinary way that the apostles or the prophets were “sent” as God’s agents.
This is more emphatic. The Son is “sent out” [EXAPESTEILEN], direct from God or heaven.
But he had to be present in the place of origin before he could be sent out.
So that statement, in itself, implies the pre-existence of the Son, just as we find in the teaching of John.

The Son was “born of woman”. This is an unusual statement, because it seems redundant. We don’t normally bother to specify about any individual man that he was “born of woman”, simply because it would be true about men in general.
When Job says “Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble” (Job ch14 v1), he means “all men”.
When the witches told Macbeth that he could be killed by “no man of woman born”, he took that to mean “no man at all”, and only a typically Shakespearian quibble prevented him from being right.
But in this case “being born of woman” is attached to “being sent forth”.
It implies that there was a time, before being sent forth, when he had not been “born of woman”.
It treats the Son’s human birth as a new stage in his existence.
Here then is the full teaching of the Incarnation; because the information that the Son was “born of woman” presents his humanity, and the necessity of saying so, as describing a new event, points to his pre-existing divinity.

In addition, he was “born under the Law”.
In effect, the Son adopted the same solution that my father found. He got himself “inside”. That is, he placed himself in the same condition as the people he wanted to release.
From that position, he could “open the door from inside” and carry them out with him, just as my father would have done (the inside catch, incidentally, was removed immediately afterwards).

As Paul describes the process, the first stage was that we were “redeemed from the Law”. We were released from the power which it held over us.
Once we were free from the Law, we were no longer in a state of slavery.
If we were no longer slaves, we were free to be “adopted as sons” (v5)

The evidence that we have been adopted as sons is provided by the presence of the Spirit, who prompts us to call out (to “clamour”, just like a child), addressing God as Father (v6)
The calling of “Father” identifies the Spirit as the Spirit of the Son, and shows that we too have become “sons”, in Christ.
He is the natural-born Son, as it were.
But as Christ is in us and we are in Christ, we share his qualities; we are “sons” by adoption.

In consequence, we become “heirs” of the promise to Abraham, completing the argument of the previous chapter (v7).
Which brings us back to Paul’s basic question;
Why should we throw away that privilege, abandoning the relationship with God established by faith, and fall back into the state of slavery under the Law?




posted on Feb, 12 2016 @ 05:12 PM
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Thank you.

May this be read and comprehended by many.



posted on Feb, 12 2016 @ 05:17 PM
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a reply to: wisvol
You're welcome. "Many reading" will have to be taken on trust, but I've done what I can towards "comprehension" of a rather difficult author.



posted on Feb, 12 2016 @ 05:27 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

I'm not a fan of Paul. I think he was destructive towards the work he claimed to support. You did it justice however and for that I applaud you.



posted on Feb, 12 2016 @ 05:31 PM
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a reply to: BlueJacket
Well, the only way I can show he was being constructive is by explicating his teaching and comparing it with Jesus, so this is an on-going process.



posted on Feb, 12 2016 @ 05:33 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Agreed, I do enjoy all of your threads. Thank you, I learn alot.



posted on Feb, 12 2016 @ 05:45 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: wisvol
You're welcome. "Many reading" will have to be taken on trust, but I've done what I can towards "comprehension" of a rather difficult author.



I'd agree with you. A Jewish - religious - lawyer, Oy vey three times!

His long run-on sentences and circuitous reasoning can make it hard going.

Thank you.


edit on 12/2/2016 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 12 2016 @ 05:46 PM
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a reply to: chr0naut
His tendency to use mixed and confusing metaphors doesn't help either.



posted on Feb, 12 2016 @ 05:55 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: chr0naut
His tendency to use mixed and confusing metaphors doesn't help either.



The reason for this exercice de style of Paulie's is threefold (and therefore imho does help a lot):

1. Pearls are not only wasted on swine, if we hadn't given swine gunpowder just imagine

2. translations and censorship of mixed and confusing metaphors are both less effective by far, thus protecting the substantifique moelle

3. prophet



posted on Feb, 12 2016 @ 06:03 PM
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a reply to: wisvol
Also part of the problem is that he was trying to describe things at the edge of our understanding.
In this passage and the end of the previous chapter, he needs a picture that will cover two different situations at the same time.
On the one hand, the Jewish Christians brought up under the Law; on the other hand, the Gentile Christians who are newly acquired members of God's people.
He talks about "children growing up" to cover the first group, and "adopted into the family" to cover the second, and the combined metaphor is a little obscure unless the two elements are partly disentangled.


edit on 12-2-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 12 2016 @ 06:22 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI
May be more of a gift than a problem to be confronted with the edges of one's understanding.

Sons of G. as people who worship are one of the keys to understanding the fundamentals of Christianity.

The term adoption may raise undue distinction in Christian, Muslim, and other sometimes ancient faiths.
Wars and even disputes of religion are always waged by unreligious characters.

One who seeks and finds similarity before contradiction will as written in 道德經 know the way of heaven and earth.

Today, this year, how many died and hated and were hated because they were the wrong brand of worshippers? None. Yet it has been said, repeated and broadcast that this was the reason for such evil.
Defending the rights and freedom of all will cease to be necessary when all of us children of the most high will defend our brothers against those who tell us attack is defence.



edit on 52604v2016Friday by wisvol because: orthography and syntax



posted on Feb, 12 2016 @ 07:21 PM
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originally posted by: wisvol
The term adoption may raise undue distinction in Christian, Muslim, and other sometimes ancient faiths.

"Adoption" simply means there was a time when they had no relationship with the Biblical God, and were not part of his family, but now they do.



posted on Feb, 12 2016 @ 08:17 PM
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"Adoption" simply means there was a time when they had no relationship with the Biblical God, and were not part of his family, but now they do.

a reply to: DISRAELI

Yes.
Although people born in a post-christ Abrahamic faith to parents and grandparents of the same faith may not feel the novelty adoption implies. And from experience I say: any possible way of implying that the book keepers are smug and peddle religion so they're the chosen ones will be walked enthusiastically by surprisingly large crowds who would benefit from humbler points of view.

After all, my point is that a fifty year old Norwegian Lutheran has chronically deeper ties to the biblical God than a Cohen celebrating an earlier birthday.

The bickering may be a subtlety not worth noting, but then again it may be something other.



posted on Feb, 13 2016 @ 01:10 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

2 things to add here.

Paul also covers this adoption process with the olive tree parable of Romans 11. With that parable he compares the family tree of Jacob/Israel to a olive tree. And Gentiles as wild olive branches being grafted into the tree. Essentially a adoption process for Gentiles into the family of God.

Now also in Romans 11 he goes one step farther. He hints as to why this process was set up.

In Romans 11-5 he speaks of a remnant. in 11-7 through 11-11 he also mentions that the majority was blinded.

Verse 8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear
unto this day.

So the question is "What is he hinting at here"?

Look at Isaiah 6 and all of Isaiah and you get the picture. The reason for the natural born Israelites being cut off and blinded is because of a curse! And then the trick was to figure out the curse. And since I already have done that then here is the details of the curse.

In Leviticus 26 you have what Christians refer to as the old covenant. Essentially it's a business agreement. Do good and your people will prosper. Do badly and corrective measures will be taken. Up to and including the destruction of your nation and people. However at the end of the agreement is a restoration clause. No matter how long or severe the punishment the people shall be restored.

Now for the length of the curse. And the reason for it. The curse is actually predicted in the day of Jezreel prophesy of Hosea. The entire book of Hosea is concerned with the curse but here is the 3 verses from Hosea 6 that cover the length of the curse.

Hosea 6
1 Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.
2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

2nd Peter 3
8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

See the meaning there? A 2000 year curse. Followed by a thousand year "day of Jezreel".

So now what is the reason for the curse? Found it in the last 2 verses of Malachi 4 and Matthew 17.

5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Matthew 17
10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?
11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.

John the Baptist wasn't supposed to die the way he did. His death triggered the curse. And that's why the Gentile adoption process came into being. Christians are protected from the curse by being grafted into the olive tree of Romans 11.



posted on Feb, 13 2016 @ 08:26 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Good Job DISRAELI



However I as a Lost Gentiles was never under the law. I was not led to Christ by convincing me I had violated laws that had nothing to do with me i.e. the Ten Commandments. I learned Christ was the saviour of all men buy his Cross upon which he carried not the sin but the penalty of my sin, which according to the scriptures is death Ezk 18:4, 20. And rose again on the third day (it was believed under Jewish customs a body is corrupt on the 4th day) to justify me before God and gave me eternal life. After that my life changed and I was a new person.

Am I perfect yet?

No, but I push forward to the prize laid up for me in heavenly places in Christ.


edit on 13-2-2016 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 13 2016 @ 08:47 AM
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originally posted by: ntech
a reply to: DISRAELI

John the Baptist wasn't supposed to die the way he did. His death triggered the curse. And that's why the Gentile adoption process came into being. Christians are protected from the curse by being grafted into the olive tree of Romans 11.


I believe that what triggered the Gentile adoption process through the ministry of Paul which started in Act 9, was the Death if Stephen at the hands of the Jews Acts 7. It was after that Peter no longer had too or was literally stopped by God from presenting Repentance and Baptism as part of being saved and receiving the Holy Ghost Act 10:44 under the kingdom Gospel, compare that to what he taught earlier in Acts 2:38.



posted on Feb, 13 2016 @ 09:11 AM
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a reply to: ChesterJohn
Peter orders an act of baptism (which is a symbol of repentance) in Acts ch10 v47.
As far as I can see, his teaching in the two episodes is the same, except that he now extends it to the Gentiles.



posted on Feb, 13 2016 @ 09:20 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

there is the lack of in his preaching Repentance and Baptism. Baptism was now practised after receiving the Holy Ghost not before as it was under the Gospel of the Kingdom, notice he tells them to repent and be baptised for the REMISSION of sins. They could not avail the future grace of remission of sins or the gift of the Holy Ghost until they repented and were baptised.

Today under Paul ministry you believe you receive FORGIVENESS (not REMISSION) of sins, receive the gift and the presence of the Holy Ghost in you. Afterwards you may or may not chose to be baptised. No longer a requirement.

Paul never once required Baptism or Repentance as a condition of Salvation. Salvation is now is a gift of God via faith on Christ not of works.



posted on Feb, 13 2016 @ 09:28 AM
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a reply to: ChesterJohn
Men decide when to receive the baptism which symbolises their faith, and God decides when they receive the Holy Spirit.
That's why the order of the two events might vary.

Frankly, I don't see any difference between the forgiveness of sin and the remission of sin.
They both mean "Your sin doesn't count against you any more".



posted on Feb, 13 2016 @ 11:33 AM
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originally posted by: ChesterJohn
a reply to: DISRAELI
Paul never once required Baptism or Repentance as a condition of Salvation. Salvation is now is a gift of God via faith on Christ not of works.


Does that mean, good deeds doesn't matter as long as you trust in God?




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