Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had. They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set. And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world. But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. (Galatians 4:1–5, NLT)
Slaves. Yes, the Bible does tell us that we are slaves to our sin. The Bible does make it clear that our wills are not nearly as free as we would hope or dream or believe. We’re shackled to sin, and even when the freedom of the gospel comes, we still revert back to the sin-slavery because we can’t image how good things in Christ actually are.
But the good news is that we have a liberator. We have a redeemer. “When the right time came” is a statement full of impact. God wasn’t being lazy or passive in his timing of sending us Christ. He wasn’t procrastinating the work of redemption either historically or personally. Our redemption is always “at the right time.” And at that right time an objective work was done for us; “God sent his Son.” The coming of the Son of God was the perfect aide to our slavery. The Son was sent to redeem slaves. The Son was sent to lay down his life as a ransom for our sins and to take them upon himself. In doing so he liberated us from our slavery.
The story does not end there though as Paul writes. Not only did he free us from our slavery by his life, death and resurrection but he gifted us his family title. He adopted us with full rights and privileges as if we were God’s own firstborn sons. We have been gifted “the sonship.” All the inheritance of the family goes to us in Christ!
Today we don’t live as if we’ve just been freed from sin and so now we have to make it by our goodness or wisdom or cleverness into the family. No, that family status, sons and daughters of God, has been gifted to us in Christ! Freedom and Family! Bought by the blood of Christ and brought into the household of God. This friends, is good news!