Galatians 3:29

Liberated from the tutelage of Law through faith and on account of his union with Christ, the Christian is exalted into the condition of a free son of God and enjoys the large privileges of sonship.

I. THE CONDITION OF SONSHIP. God is the Father of all mankind, and all human creatures, even the most ignorant, the most degraded, and the most vicious are naturally God's children. The prodigal son is still a son and can think of "my father." Nevertheless, it is clear that St. Paul often speaks of a sonship that does not belong to all men - a sonship which is the Christian's peculiar condition and is not even shared. by the Jew, a sonship which is not enjoyed by natural birth, but must be received by adoption, i.e. by a special act of Divine grace. What does this mean?

1. Near relationship with God. The son is most closely related to his father. But the disobedient child who forsakes his home is practically dead, for him practically the old relation is severed. It needs to be restored if he is to enjoy it again. The son, too, with St. Paul is not the young child in the nursery, but the older child admitted into the society of his father. The Jew was kept in the nursery separated from God by a "mediator" (ver. 19) and a "tutor" (ver. 24). The Christian is admitted into close fellowship with God.

2. Liberty. This is an idea always associated with St. Paul's description of sonship. The son is no longer the child "under guardians and stewards," who "differeth nothing from a bond-servant." He is a free man enjoying the confidence of his father. Such are Christians; to them the mind and will of God are revealed; they are free from restraints of formal Law; they are put in positions of trust.


1. Through rattle. This is an important point in the apostle's argument. So long as we have not faith we remain in tutelage and at a distance from God. Faith breaks the yoke and brings us into the presence of God. Faith teaches us to realize that God is our Father and to trust him fearlessly, and so to take the position of sons.

2. By union with Christ. Christ is the Son of God. Yet he is not desirous of keeping his privileges to himself. On the contrary, he laboured and suffered that his people might share them. The baptized, that is to say, all of the Galatian people who accepted Christianity as a religion, had happily gone further and really entered into the spirit of it. They had since backslidden, but they were no hypocrites. Living Christianity is "putting on Christ," being clothed with the spirit of Christ. They who do this through faith in Christ become one with him, and, as his brethren, become sons of his Father.


1. Universal brotherhood. We are all one "in Christ Jesus." Here is the secret. The fraternity that sprang from the mere enthusiasm of philosophic philanthropy led to the guillotine. It is only union in Christ that secures true lasting union among men. As all colours melt into one common brilliancy under the rays of a very strong light, all distinctions vanish when Christ's presence is deeply felt.

(1) National distinctions vanish. The old antagonism of Jew and Gentile disappears. Christianity now tends to blend nations.

(2) Social distinctions vanish. Slaves are free in Christ. Free men are servants to Christ. The gospel is the enemy of all caste-feeling.

(3) Even distinctions of sex count for nothing. This meant much in ancient times, when cruel injustice was done to women. Women are under eternal obligations to the gospel, which has freed them from an unworthy bondage and given them their true place in the world.

2. The inheritance of ancient promises. The son of a king is an heir. What shall be the inheritance of a Son of God? To him it is said, "All things are yours." The Jew cherished the promises as a hope. The Christian enjoys the fulfilment of the promises. As yet the fulfilment is but partial, though enough to be an earnest of better things to come for those sons of God who are being made "meet for the inheritance of the saints in light." - W.F.A.

And if ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the premise.
If the life we have in the flesh were all we had to provide for, they might be accounted the happiest of mankind who possess in the greatest abundance the means of sustaining it in health and comfort who can — as one of whom Jesus speaks in parable, proposed to do — take their ease, eat, drink, and be merry, because they have much goods laid up for many years. Who then is to be regarded as truly favoured and blest among the children of men? There is a class, few of whom may have been born to opulence in this world, or have any prospect of ever becoming rich in the goods of time; a class whose peculiar possessions may be little coveted or admired by those around them; for the world knoweth them not. Yet with them, if we were true for ourselves, we would desire to have our lot assigned; for they alone have an inheritance that can supply the wants of the immortal spirit, and endure while its being lasts. They are the persons spoken of in our text. Those who are Christ's, and therefore Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. To be Christ's is to belong to Him, as those who have given themselves to Him, come under His government and guidance, placed themselves at His disposal, and whom He hath taken for His own, redeeming them from all iniquity, purifying them to Himself. But there is more than this. They are in Him, and He is in them, by a spiritual and vital union formed between them; so they may be regarded as members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. He that is thus joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Now, if ye be Christ's in this sense, then are ye Abraham's seed. They have an inheritance. All the promises of God, the promises of the covenant made with Abraham, are in Christ yea, and in Him amen; and they who are Christ's must therefore have an interest in them all.

1. Their inheritance is one which is freely given them of God, or gratuitously bestowed. This may be said of all the gifts of God to His creatures. "For who hath first given to Him, and it shall be recompensed to him again?" Angels do not possess their thrones of light as the merited reward of service rendered to the Great Supreme. Man in innocence, though he held that fair paradise in which he dwelt, and all its happy fruits, by the tenure of his obedience, could not have been said to have won for himself, as due for that obedience, even had he continued in it, that which was justly forfeited by transgression. It is still more manifest in regard to those of his fallen race, who are constituted heirs according to the promise of an eternal inheritance, that the change effected in their state and prospects must be wholly of grace.

2. It is an inheritance which is spiritual in its character. It includes in it, indeed, the means of temporal subsistence; the things needful for the body. But these, only in as far as they may be subservient to spiritual and eternal interests. The good promised, however, does not lie altogether without themselves, in the abundance of the things they shall possess in the land of their habitation. It is rather an exaltation and enlargement of their own being. The Spirit of promise is the earnest of the inheritance now; and there is nothing of an earthly or carnal nature in what He imparts as a pledge and foretaste of its delights. Wisdom, and purity, and love, are His fruits.

3. That it is yet future and unseen. They who are heirs according to the promise have the inheritance in prospect, not in full possession. They hope for what they see not. They are under tutors and governors, until the time appointed of the Father for their entering on the enjoyment of that for which His discipline is preparing them.

4. It will be satisfying and eternal. How striking in these respects is the difference between it and every earthly inheritance! The inheritance of those who are heirs according to the promise is "incorruptible, and undefiled, and fadeth not away." The gold and the silver which are so much coveted here are reckoned by the apostle among corruptible things, but this inheritance cannot be marred or vitiated; neither moth nor rust will ever tarnish its beauty or embitter its sweetness; nothing shall enter into that world, that better and heavenly country where it lies, that defileth, or that worketh abomination, or maketh a lie. Holiness and happiness shall there be felt to be but different names for the same thing, or shall be found in indissoluble and blissful union.

5. It is infallibly secured to those who are heirs according to the promise. He is faithful who hath promised it. He who cannot lie, the apostle tells us, promised it before the world began. We trust you have been already examining yourselves.Yet we may offer a few suggestions further on a subject which at no season can be without its interest to those who would know whether they be in the faith.

1. We may say that they who are heirs according to the promise may be distinguished by the foundation on which they rest their hope of the inheritance. This is not any worth or goodness of their own, not any compensation they have to make for past offences, by contrition for sin and amendment of life, not any gifts or offerings they have to present to God in order to conciliate His favour. It is the promise itself which secures the inheritance to all who are persuaded of it and embrace it. But the promise is in Christ Jesus.

2. They may be distinguished by their regards to the inheritance itself. The character of that inheritance is spiritual, but we are by nature carnal, sold under sin. We have no delight in holy exercises; no desire to know, and see, and dwell with God. A great change must take place in our dispositions before we can derive any satisfaction from the society of saints in light, from fellowship with Jesus, the Holy One of God, from the felt presence of the Father of our spirits. He can no otherwise bless us but by turning us away from our iniquities.

3. They who are heirs according to the promise may be distinguished by the influence which the hope of the inheritance has on their tempers and conduct.

(J. Henderson, D. D.)

I. TO BE CHRIST'S, i.e., to belong to Him as members of His body.

1. The means. Faith makes us one with Christ.

2. The immediate benefits —



(3)protection (Ephesians 5:29, 30).

II. In Christ to be ABRAHAM'S SEED.

1. The Jews and all legalists have despised their birthright and broken away from Abraham.

2. Christ is the true seed of Abraham (ver. 16), and those who are one with Christ by faith become the same through Him. Note

(1)the antiquity;

(2)the nobility of the Christian's ancestry.

III. As Abraham's seed, to be HEIRS OF ABRAHAM'S PROMISE.

1. Of the Spirit (ver. 14), which is the earnest of the inheritance.

2. The full enjoyment of the inheritance in heaven. The Use: Believers should(1) Be content with any earthly estate. In this regard Abraham was content to forsake his country (Hebrews 11:8, 9).(2) Be moderate in their earthly cares, and not live as drudges in the world.(3) Have a care for heaven in comparison with which the things of this world are trifles. This did Abraham (Hebrews 11:15, 16).

(W. Perkins.)

When the Danish missionaries stationed at Malabar set some of their converts to translate a Catechism, in which it was asserted that believers became the sons of God, one of the translators was so startled that he suddenly laid down his pen, and exclaimed, "It is too much: let me rather render it, 'They shall be permitted to kiss His feet!'"

Galatians, Paul
Abraham's, Belong, Christ, Christ's, Descendants, Fulfilment, God's, Heirs, Heritage, Indeed, Offspring, Promise, Seed, Undertaking, Yours
1. He asks what moved them to leave the faith, and hold onto the law.
6. Those who believe are justified,
9. and blessed with Abraham.
10. And this he shows by many reasons.
15. The purpose of the Law
26. You are sons of God

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Galatians 3:29

     1040   God, fatherhood
     1335   blessing
     1348   covenant, with Abraham
     5078   Abraham, significance
     5467   promises, divine
     5701   heir
     5705   inheritance, spiritual
     5724   offspring
     6608   adoption
     6610   adoption, descriptions
     6611   adoption, privileges and duties
     6639   election, to salvation
     7024   church, nature of
     7120   Christians
     7142   people of God, NT

Galatians 3:26-29

     5424   nationalism
     5745   women
     6627   conversion, nature of
     7505   Jews, the

Galatians 3:27-29

     6214   participation, in Christ

Galatians 3:28-29

     7512   Gentiles, in NT

July 8. "Having Begun in the Spirit, are Ye Now Made Perfect by the Flesh" (Gal. Iii. 3).
"Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh" (Gal. iii. 3). Grace literally means that which we do not have to earn. It has two great senses always; it comes for nothing and it comes when we are helpless; it doesn't merely help the man that helps himself--that is not the Gospel; the Gospel is that God helps the man who can't help himself. And then there is another thing; God helps the man to help himself, for everything the man does comes from God. Grace is given to the man
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity God's Testament and Promise in Christ.
Text: Galatians 3, 15-22. 15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men: Though it be but a man's covenant, yet when it hath been confirmed, no one maketh it void, or addeth thereto. 16 Now to Abraham were the promises spoken, and to his seed. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 17 Now this I say: A covenant confirmed beforehand by God, the law, which came four hundred and thirty years after, doth not disannul, so as to make the promise of none
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

The Universal Prison
'But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.'--GAL. iii. 22. The Apostle uses here a striking and solemn figure, which is much veiled for the English reader by the ambiguity attaching to the word 'concluded.' It literally means 'shut up,' and is to be taken in its literal sense of confining, and not in its secondary sense of inferring. So, then, we are to conceive of a vast prison-house in which mankind is confined.
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Lessons of Experience
'Have ye suffered so many things in vain?'--GAL. iii 4. Preached on the last Sunday of the year. This vehement question is usually taken to be a reminder to the fickle Galatians that their Christian faith had brought upon them much suffering from the hands of their unbelieving brethren, and to imply an exhortation to faithfulness to the Gospel lest they should stultify their past brave endurance. Yielding to the Judaising teachers, and thereby escaping the 'offence of the Cross,' they would make
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Uses of the Law
Yet, pardon me my friends, if I just observe that this is a very natural question, too. If you read the doctrine of the apostle Paul you find him declaring that the law condemns all mankind. Now, just let us for one single moment take a bird's eye view of the works of the law in this world. Lo, I see, the law given upon Mount Sinai. The very hill doth quake with fear. Lightnings and thunders are the attendants of those dreadful syllables which make the hearts of Israel to melt Sinai seemeth altogether
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 3: 1857

A Call to the Unconverted
But my hearer, I am solemnly convinced that a large proportion of this assembly dare not say so; and thou to-night (for I am speaking personally to thee), remember that thou art one of those who dare not say this, for thou art a stranger to the grace of God. Thou durst not lie before God, and thine own conscience, therefore thou dost honestly say, "I know I was never regenerated; I am now what I always was, and that is the most I can say." Now, with you I have to deal, and I charge you by him who
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 4: 1858

The Work of the Holy Spirit
This evening, however, I shall run away from my text somewhat. Having just in a few words endeavored to explain the meaning of the whole sentence, I intend only this evening to dwell upon the doctrine which incidentally the apostle teaches us. He teaches us that we begin in the Spirit--"Having begun in the Spirit" I have already illustrated the whole text sufficiently for our understanding if God the Holy Spirit shall enlighten us; and I shall now, I say, confine myself to the thought that Christians
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 4: 1858

The Curse Removed
"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree."--Galatians 3:13 THE law of God is a divine law, holy, heavenly, perfect. Those who find fault with the law, or in the least degree depreciate it, do not understand its design, and have no right idea of the law itself. Paul says, "the law is holy, but I am carnal; sold under sin." In all we ever say concerning justification by faith, we never intend to lower
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 57: 1911

Ephesians ii. 8
For by Grace, are you saved, through Faith; and that not of your selves: it is the Gift of God. I Now come to the Second part of that Design, which I have, for some Time, had in View; viz. to examine particularly the principal of those false Pretences, and mistaken Notions, concerning the Terms of our Acceptance with God, by which Men support themselves in their Continuance in their beloved Vices; and endeavour to elude the Force, and arm themselves against the Power, of those plain Texts of Scripture,
Benjamin Hoadly—Several Discourses Concerning the Terms of Acceptance with God

The Critical Reconstruction of the History of the Apostolic Age.
"Die Botschaft hör' ich wohl, allein mir fehlt der Glaube." (Goethe.) Never before in the history of the church has the origin of Christianity, with its original documents, been so thoroughly examined from standpoints entirely opposite as in the present generation. It has engaged the time and energy of many of the ablest scholars and critics. Such is the importance and the power of that little book which "contains the wisdom of the whole world," that it demands ever new investigation and sets
Philip Schaff—History of the Christian Church, Volume I

Light for them that Sit in Darkness;
OR, A DISCOURSE OF JESUS CHRIST: AND THAT HE UNDERTOOK TO ACCOMPLISH BY HIMSELF THE ETERNAL REDEMPTION OF SINNERS: ALSO, HOW THE LORD JESUS ADDRESSED HIMSELF TO THIS WORK; WITH UNDENIABLE DEMONSTRATIONS THAT HE PERFORMED THE SAME. OBJECTIONS TO THE CONTRARY ANSWERED. 'Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.'--Galatians 3:13. by John Bunyan--1674 ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. This solemn and searching treatise was first published in 1674, a copy of which is in
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

A Case of Conscience Resolved
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

The Substance of Some Discourse had Between the Clerk of the Peace and Myself; when He came to Admonish Me, According to the Tenor of that Law, by which I was in Prison.
When I had lain in prison other twelve weeks, and now not knowing what they intended to do with me, upon the third of April 1661, comes Mr Cobb unto me (as he told me), being sent by the justices to admonish me; and demand of me submittance to the church of England, etc. The extent of our discourse was as followeth. Cobb. When he was come into the house he sent for me out of my chamber; who, when I was come unto him, he said, Neighbour Bunyan, how do you do? Bun. I thank you, Sir, said I, very
John Bunyan—Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners

The Promises of the Christian Home.
"The promise is unto you, and to your children." ACTS II., 39. "Parent who plantedst in the joy of love, Yet hast not gather'd fruit,--save rankling thorns, Or Sodom's bitter apples,--hast thou read Heaven's promise to the seeker? Thou may'st bring Those o'er whose cradle thou didst watch with pride, And lay them at thy Savior's feet, for lo! His shadow falling on the wayward soul, May give it holy health. And when thou kneel'st Low at the pavement of sweet Mercy's gate, Beseeching for thine erring
Samuel Philips—The Christian Home

Retiring Before the Sanhedrin's Decree.
(Jerusalem and Ephraim in Judæa.) ^D John XI. 47-54. ^d 47 The chief priests therefore and the Pharisees gathered a council [called a meeting of the Sanhedrin], and said, What do we? [Thus they reproach one another for having done nothing in a present and urgent crisis. As two of their number (Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathæa) were afterwards in communications with Christians, it was easy for the disciples to find out what occurred on this notable occasion.] for this man doeth many signs.
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Ordinance of Covenanting
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

Letter iv. You Reply to the Conclusion of My Letter: "What have we to do with Routiniers?...
My dear friend, You reply to the conclusion of my Letter: "What have we to do with routiniers? Quid mihi cum homunculis putata putide reputantibus? Let nothings count for nothing, and the dead bury the dead! Who but such ever understood the tenet in this sense?" In what sense then, I rejoin, do others understand it? If, with exception of the passages already excepted, namely, the recorded words of God--concerning which no Christian can have doubt or scruple,--the tenet in this sense be inapplicable
Samuel Taylor Coleridge—Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit etc

Here Therefore These Men Too Evil, While they Essay to Make Void the Law...
9. Here therefore these men too evil, while they essay to make void the Law, force us to approve these Scriptures. For they mark what is said, that they who are under the Law are in bondage, and they keep flying above the rest that last saying, "Ye are made empty [1715] of Christ, as many of you as are justified in the Law; ye have fallen from Grace." [1716] We grant that all these things are true, and we say that the Law is not necessary, save for them unto whom bondage is yet profitable: and that
St. Augustine—On the Profit of Believing.

The Right Understanding of the Law
Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.' Exod 20: 3. Before I come to the commandments, I shall answer questions, and lay down rules respecting the moral law. What is the difference between the moral laud and the gospel? (1) The law requires that we worship God as our Creator; the gospel, that we worship him in and through Christ. God in Christ is propitious; out of him we may see God's power, justice, and holiness: in him we see his mercy displayed. (2) The moral law requires obedience, but gives
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

The Wrath of God
What does every sin deserve? God's wrath and curse, both in this life, and in that which is to come. Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire.' Matt 25: 41. Man having sinned, is like a favourite turned out of the king's favour, and deserves the wrath and curse of God. He deserves God's curse. Gal 3: 10. As when Christ cursed the fig-tree, it withered; so, when God curses any, he withers in his soul. Matt 21: 19. God's curse blasts wherever it comes. He deserves also God's wrath, which is
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

The Gospel Message, Good Tidings
[As it is written] How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! T he account which the Apostle Paul gives of his first reception among the Galatians (Galatians 4:15) , exemplifies the truth of this passage. He found them in a state of ignorance and misery; alienated from God, and enslaved to the blind and comfortless superstitions of idolatry. His preaching, accompanied with the power of the Holy Spirit, had a great and marvellous effect.
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 2

The Impotence of the Law.
HEBREWS vii. 19.--"For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh to God." It is the aim of the Epistle to the Hebrews, to teach the insufficiency of the Jewish Dispensation to save the human race from the wrath of God and the power of sin, and the all-sufficiency of the Gospel Dispensation to do this. Hence, the writer of this Epistle endeavors with special effort to make the Hebrews feel the weakness of their old and much esteemed religion,
William G.T. Shedd—Sermons to the Natural Man

Justification by Faith --Illustrated by Abram's Righteousness
Referring to the chapter before us for a preface to our subject, note that after Abram's calling his faith proved to be of the most practical kind. Being called to separate himself from his kindred and from his country, he did not therefore become a recluse, a man of ascetic habits, or a sentimentalist, unfit for the battles of ordinary life--no; but in the noblest style of true manliness he showed himself able to endure the household trouble and the public trial which awaited him. Lot's herdsmen
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 14: 1868

Adoption --The Spirit and the Cry
The divinity of each of these sacred persons is also to be gathered from the text and its connection. We do not doubt tee the loving union of all in the work of deliverance. We reverence the Father, without whom we had not been chosen or adopted: the Father who hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. We love and reverence the Son by whose most precious blood we have been redeemed, and with whom we are one in a mystic and everlasting union: and
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 24: 1878

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