What Does Galatians 4:6 Mean?

Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"

Galatians 4:6(NASB)

Verse of the Day

What a wonder of divine love and grace that we, who were once at enmity with God, have been so favoured by the Father that we should be called 'sons': "and because we are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!'"

The 'birth certificate' that confirms this amazing truth is the Person of the Holy Spirit, living in the hearts of all who believe. It is He Who bears inner witness that we are sons of God. It is the Holy Spirit of God's own dear Son Who has been sent into our heart, Who communes with us, and cries affectionately, "Abba! Father!"

The privilege of the permanently indwelling Holy Spirit, began at Pentecost. He takes up residence in the body of every born-again believer, the moment we trust in Christ. His presence within our heart is both the guarantee and proof that we have been made 'sons of God' and joint-heirs with Christ.

Paul had been explaining to the Galatians that following the death and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus, the status of believers changed from that of an underage child with a promise of a future inheritance... to a mature son who has received his inheritance from his father - and the Holy Spirit has been sent into our heart as the confirmation of this glorious truth.

Before the Cross, believers were looking forward with expectation to a promise that was yet to come. The Law that governed their lives was etched on stone tablets that only permitted a distant, external relationship with God, carried out in an earthly Temple through a human mediator - either a prophet or priest appointed by God.

Following Christ's ascension into heaven, it is grace that governs our lives. It is not the Law that was written on stone that determines how we should live. It is the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus that presides in our hearts. It is the indwelling Spirit of His Son in our heart Who communes with us and guides us into all truth. 

Paul describes those living under the Law as underage children who had not yet achieved their maturity nor received their promised inheritance. This included all pre-Cross believers, like Elijah, Daniel, Isaiah, and John the Baptist. However, those who are living under grace have a new, living, ongoing and intimate relationship with the Father, through the indwelling Spirit. This includes post-Cross believers like Peter, James, and John - it includes Christians like you and me. The proof of sonship is the permanently indwelling Holy Spirit of Christ without Whom we would tremble as we approach the Father, but Who cries in our hearts, "Abba, Father."

While pre-Cross believers lived under the Mosaic Law which governed their external relationship with the Father and placed many limitations on their relationship with Him, post-Cross Christians are led by the indwelling Spirit. We are governed by a higher law - a heavenly law - a limitless law: "The Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus which set us all free from the limited law of sin and of death," that condemns every sinner. We are motivated by a law that is not limited by the flesh but one that is empowered by the Spirit of God, in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

What incredible assurance to know that we are accepted by God - in Christ and made sons through the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit. He guides us into all truth through His Word and empowers us with His sufficient strength. What amazing love that He should pour out the wrath that we so justly deserve upon His dearly Beloved Son. He was despised, rejected, and cruelly crucified on our account. He died to satisfy God's righteous justice. His blood paid the price for sin so that we who believe, could be elevated into a position of son-ship and be awarded joint heir-ship with Him, by grace through faith.

Though once children of wrath and disobedience, all who have trusted Christ for salvation have been positioned in Him as children of His love. And by His grace, we have been given the additional gift and guarantee of God's indwelling Holy Spirit Who took up permanent residence within our hearts, the moment that we trusted in Christ for salvation.

No name or title for the eternal, Almighty Creator and Sustainer of heaven and earth, could be more profoundly personal nor intensely intimate than that of Abba - dearly loved Father. Such language of sweet endearment is reserved for the closest of unions, and such was the life experience of the Lord Jesus... and He is our pattern for life. He is our example to follow.

Throughout His earthly life, Jesus showed us how to maintain close, adult fellowship with the Father, and throughout our earthly walk we are to walk as Christ walked and to live as Christ lived, in sweet, mature communion with Abba, our dearly loved Father.

Jesus set aside His glory for a season, and through humble, prayerful obedience, was enlivened, empowered, and animated by the same Holy Spirit Who dwells in us. Throughout His life, Jesus only did what He saw His Father doing and only said what His Father told Him - and we are to pattern our life on His life. Like Him, we will be strengthened and enlivened through His Spirit through the same, humble, prayerful obedience.

It is not trying to copy what Jesus did that gives us this intimacy, but living as Christ lived. It is living in mature, intimate fellowship with the Father. For it is as we maintain spirit to Spirit communion - the human spirit with Christ's Spirit - through the guidance of the indwelling Holy Spirit, that our hearts can whisper in steadfast prayer, joyful praise and intimate communion, "Abba, my Father."

My Prayer

Abba, my loving Father, I realise I am standing on the holiest of ground. Thank You for doing such great things for me. I desire to develop the depth of fellowship with You that is demonstrated through the life of Jesus. May I submit in humble obedience to You so that my inner spirit may commune in godly intimacy with Your Holy Spirit. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.

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