Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.Galatians 4:7(NASB)
Just as there is a stark contrast between the first covenant of law and the second covenant of grace, so there is a distinct difference between the relationship of a slave to his master and the intimate kinship that exists between a beloved son and heir, and his own dearly loved Father: "And as those who have trusted Christ as Saviour, we are no longer a slave, but a son - and if a son, then an heir of God, through Christ."
As believers on the Resurrection side of Calvary, we are no longer considered to be servants of God but His sons - not because of any righteous deeds that we have done, but only because of what HE did at Calvary on our behalf - for by grace are we saved not of works, lest any man should boast.
A son has many privileges and positions that are denied a slave, for a son is born of his father - bone of his father's bone and flesh of his father's flesh, and not simply employed or legally owned by his master. A son receives the same nature and essence of his father, while the servant remains detached, disowned, and disconnected from family ties - and as believers on the Resurrection side of Calvary, we are partakers of the divine nature by grace through faith in Christ, and as a child of our Heavenly Father we may call Him: "Abba, Father."
A son is both rich and the heir of his father's inheritance because of their close family ties, while a slave is poor and is denied any right of succession or any part in the son's heritage - and we who have trusted Christ on the Resurrection side of Calvary have all the riches of His grace available to us - not because of our godliness but because of Christ's sacrifice on the Cross.
And a dutiful son obeys his father's instructions out of sincere love and deep affection, while a servant obeys his master's commands out for fear of his master's displeasure - and as believers on the Resurrection side of Calvary, the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit and in the power of His sufficient strength, we are enabled to love others as Christ loved us.
The son looks to a glorious future with hope and eager anticipation while the slave has no such joyful expectations, and we who have trusted Christ on the Resurrection side of Calvary have been brought into God's family by grace through faith in Christ's finished work and are now children of God, through Christ.
The day is coming when we will see Jesus as He is, and He will openly proclaim us to be God's sons and joint-heirs with Him. However, for the time being, we eagerly wait for that future day when God will reveal to a waiting world, who His adoptive sons are in this Church-age - but for the moment it has not yet been revealed.
Although we are already God's children, He has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ finally appears - but we do know that when we see Him we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He really is.
Heavenly Father, thank You that by faith in Christ, I have been born into Your family and am no longer a slave to sin, but a born-again son of God. Thank you for the many privileges and promises I have received through identification with Christ my Saviour. Thank You that I am no longer a slave, but a son and heir, through Christ. I pray that I may live as a dutiful child, doing only those things that are honouring to You. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.