Galatians 4:6


1. Christ revealed the fatherhood of God. Mohammedans think of "Allah" as an omnipotent autocrat, and Jews regard "the Eternal" as a righteous Lord, but Christians know God as "our Father in heaven." It is not that the idea of the fatherhood of God was not conceived before the time of Christ, for Hebrew psalmists found comfort in it (Psalm 103:13), and even Homer sang of "the father of gods and men." But

(1) Christ gave prominence and supremacy to an idea which before was only co-ordinate with, or even less regarded than, other Divine attributes; and

(2) he revealed for the first time the richness and tenderness of this the inmost character of God.

2. The fatherhood of God is to Christians a relationship of love and gentleness. God is not regarded, like the Roman father, as one who might be a terror to his children. The "Abba, Father" in the old home language - the language of the nursery - suggests the feelings of little children to their father, and may we not say their mother (see Isaiah 49:15)? The type of the citizen of the kingdom of heaven is a little child; a little child's affection for his parents is the pattern of the purest Christian devotion. Nevertheless, this childlike confidence does not conflict with the rightful authority of God. The father is not weak because he is gentle. The trust of love is an obedient trust.

3. From trust in God's fatherly love the Christian life grows into a habit of aspiration. The yearning of the soul for God is met only to be deepened and intensified, so that the Christian learns to press on ever nearer and nearer to God, the burden of his heart's desire finding utterance in the cry, "Abba, Father."

II. THIS GRACE GROWS OUT OF AN INSPIRATION OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD'S SON. Christ reveals the fact of the fatherhood of God; but the mere knowledge of that fact which we may derive from studying the words and life of Christ will not enable us to realize the spirit of trustful sonship. It is little to know that God is a Father if we do not experience the love and close relationship of his fatherhood. So great a change is required before we can do this that nothing short of a Divine inspiration can make it possible. Indeed, it is Christ's Spirit in us that utters the cry, "Abba, Father." Thus the yearning of the soul for God is itself the result of God's visit to the soul. All aspiration springs from inspiration. Because Christ lived in trust and communion with God, his Spirit entering us enables us to do the same. He is the true Son, and therefore his Spirit gives to us the grace of sonship.

III. THE DIVINE INSPIRATION DEPENDS ON OUR RELATION OF SONSHIP WITH GOD. Though God is naturally the Father of all, it is not every one who can cry, "Abba, Father." The mingled trust and aspiration of such a cry are only possible to those who are sons indeed, reconciled to God and restored to the family home. The Spirit that inspires the cry is not given to all. We must be receptive if we are to receive it. The Spirit of God's firstborn Son is given to the true sons of God. The sonship, St. Paul teaches, is the consequence of our own faith, and the inspiration follows. Therefore the consciousness of trustful aspiration towards God as our Father is a proof of sonship. The Spirit thus bears witness with our spirit that we are sons of God. - W.F.A.

And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts.
I. THE DIGNITY OF BELIEVERS. Adoption gives us the rights of children; regeneration gives us the nature of children: we are partakers of both of these, for we are sons.

1. This sonship is a gift of grace received by faith.

(1)Faith brings us justification.

(2)Faith sets us free from the bondage of the law.

(3)Faith is the mark of sonship in all who have it.

2. Adoption comes to us by redemption.

3. We now enjoy the privilege of sonship. Not only sons, but full-grown sons.


1. Here is a Divine act of the Father.

2. He comes as the Spirit of Jesus.

3. He takes up His residence in the believer's heart. Coming into the central fortress and universal citadel of our nature, He takes possession of the whole.

4. This wonderful blessing is fraught with marvellous results. Sonship sealed by the indwelling Spirit brings us peace and joy; it leads to nearness to God and fellowship with Him; it excites trust, love, and vehement desire; and creates in us reverence, obedience, and actual likeness to GOD.


1. It is the Spirit of God that cries.

2. It is literally the cry of the Son.

3. This cry in our hearts is exceedingly near and familiar. A cry is a sound which we are not anxious that every passer-by should hear; yet what child minds his father hearing him cry?

4. How earnest a thing is a cry.

5. The most of this crying is kept within the heart, and does not come out at the lips. At all times and in all places we can lift up our hearts and cry to God.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

By adoption God gives us

(1)a new nature (2 Peter 1:3);

(2)a new name (Revelation 3:12);

(3)a new inheritance (Romans 8:17);

(4)new relations (Romans 8:15, 16);

(5)a new hope (1 Peter 1:3).

(John Bate.)

1. Derivation of nature from God (John 1:13; James 1:18; 1 John 5:18).

2. Being born again in the image of God, bearing His likeness (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Colossians 3:10; 2 Peter 1:4).

3. Bearing His name (1 John 3:1; Revelation 2:17; Revelation 3:12).

4. Being the objects of His peculiar love (John 17:23; Romans 5:5-8; Titus 3:4; 1 John 4:7-11).

5. The indwelling of the Spirit of His Son; who gives an obedient spirit (1 Peter 1:14; 2 John 6), a spirit free from sense of guilt, legal bondage, fear of death (Romans 8:15, 21; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 5:1; Hebrews 2:15; 1 John 5:14), a spirit elevated with a holy boldness and royal dignity (Hebrews 10:19, 22; 1 Peter 2:9; 1 Peter 4:14).

6. Present protection, consolations, and abundant provisions (Psalm 125:2; Isaiah 66:13; Luke 12:27-32; John 14:18; 1 Corinthians 3:21-23; 2 Corinthians 1:4).

7. Present fatherly chastisements for our good, including both temporal and spiritual afflictions (Psalm 51:11, 12; Hebrews 12:5-11).

8. The certain inheritance of the riches of our Father's glory, as heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17; James 2:5; 1 Peter 1:4; 1 Peter 3:7), including the exaltation of our bodies to fellowship with Him (Romans 8:28; Philippians 3:21).

(A. A. Hodge.)

1. Men generally adopt when they have no children of their own. But God had a Son, His dear Son, His well-beloved Son. He also had angels.

2. Men generally adopt such as they think deserving; God adopts criminals, traitors, enemies.

3. Men adopt living children; God, those who are by nature spiritually dead.

4. Man generally adopts one only: God, many.

(G. S. Bowes.)

By adoption —

1. God the Father is made our Father.

2. The incarnate God.Man is made our elder Brother, and we are made

(1)like Him;

(2)intimately associated with Him in community of life, standing, relations, privileges;

(3)joint-heirs with Him of His glory.

3. The Holy Ghost is our indweller, teacher, guide, advocate, comforter, sanctifier.

4. All believers, being subjects of the same adoption, are brethren (Ephesians 3:6; 1 John 3:14; 1 John 5:1).

(A. A. Hodge.)

A Jew entered a Persian temple, and saw there the sacred fire. He said to the priest, "How! do you worship fire?" "Not the fire; it is to us an emblem of the sun and of his animating light," said the priest. Then asked the Jew, "Do you adore the sun as a deity? Do you know that he also is a creature of the Almighty?" The priest explained that the sun was to them only an emblem of the invisible light which preserves all things. The Israelite continued, "Does your nation distinguish the image from the original? They call the sun their god, and kneel before the earthly flame. You dazzle the eye of the body, but darken that of the mind; in presenting to them the terrestrial light you take from them the celestial." The Persian asked, "How do you name the Supreme Being?" "We call Him Jehovah Adonai; that is, the Lord who was, and is, and shall be." "Your word is great and glorious; but it is terrible," said the Persian. A Christian approaching, said, "We call Him Abba, Father." Then the Gentile and the Jew regarded each other with surprise, and said, "Your word is the nearest and the highest; but who gives you courage to call the Eternal thus?" "The Father Himself," replied the Christian; and with that he proceeded to expound to them the plan of redemption. Then they believed, and lifted up their eyes to heaven, saying, "Father, dear Father;" and, joining hands, called each other brethren.



1. There are Three Persons in the Godhead who are often mentioned together as here (Matthew 3:16-17; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 John 5:7).

2. The Spirit is the third Person because He proceeds from the Father and the Son (John 14:26; John 15:26; John 16:15, and here).


1. God sent His Son (ver. 4).

2. By the mediation of His Son. He sent the Spirit too (John 16:6, 7; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4; Acts 2:1).

III. WHY?, Because ye are sons.

1. All believers are God's sons (John 1:12).

2. There fore, because they believe, and so are His Sons, God gives them His Spirit.

IV. WHITHER? Into your hearts.

1. Because the heart is the fountain of life (Proverbs 4:23).

2. The seat of true grace.


1. To be a pledge of Christ's presence (John 14:16-18; Matthew 28:20).

2. To teach us all things needful (John 14:26).

3. To guide us into all truth.

4. To comfort us (John 15:26; John 16:7).

5. To seal our redemption (Ephesians 1:13, 14; Ephesians 4:30).

6. To uphold us under all afflictions (Psalm 51:12).

7. To witness our adoption (Romans 8:15, 16).


1. Examine yourselves whether you have this Spirit.(1) He is a convincing Spirit (John 16:9-11)

(a)of sin in ourselves,

(b)of righteousness in Christ,

(c)of Christ's power and judgment to come.(2) A renewing Spirit (Titus 3:5; John 3:3-5).

(3)A quickening Spirit (Romans 8:2; John 6:63)

(4)A leading Spirit (Romans 8:1, 14).

(5)A praying Spirit (Romans 8:15, 26).

2. Use all the means to get the Spirit in your hearts.

VII. MOTIVES. Consider —

1. Till then you are not Christ's (Romans 8:9).

2. Can do no good thing (John 15:5; Romans 8:26).

3. Are exposed to all sin.

4. In continual danger of hell.

5. Can have no true comfort.


1. Pray to God for it (Luke 11:13).

2. Frequent all public ordinances (Acts 2:1).

(Bishop Beveridge.)

I. THE WORKER. The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of the Son because —

1. Of His eternal procession from the Son.

2. He was given to the Son as Head of the Church for the unction, consecration, and sanctification of His human nature.

3. He is communicated through the Son to all believers.

(1)Authoritatively, by virtue of the covenant of redemption (Acts 2:33; Acts 5:32).

(2)Formally, in that all the graces of the Spirit are derived by us from Him (Colossians 1:19; Colossians 2:19; Colossians 3:1-4; Ephesians 4:16).

II. THE WORK. He enables God's adopted children to behave themselves suitably to their state and condition.

1. Not as strangers, foreigners, or even servants, but

2. as children and heirs by becoming in them the Spirit of power, love, and sobriety (2 Timothy 1:7).


1. Freedom of access to the "Father" is secured.

2. He becomes to us the Spirit of grace and of supplications,(1) by exerting graces and gracious affections in our souls in the duty of prayer: especially those of faith, love, and delight;(2) by enabling us to exercise those graces and express those affections in vocal prayer.

(J. Owen, D. D.)

I. The first, a Hebrew word, and the second, a Greek, signifies THE UNION OF JEWS AND GENTILES IN OUR CHURCH. In Christ the corner-stone both are joined by becoming sons: circumcision from one place, wherefore "Abba" — uncircumcision from another, wherefore "Father" is named, the concord of walls being the glory of the corner-stone.

II. The word "Abba" is retained because it is full of affection; but "Father" is added not only to expound the same, but the better to express THE EAGER MOVING, the earnest and vehement desires and singular affections of believers in their crying unto God.

(Brooks.)You are to look unto your experience, and try and find out whether there there be not working with your soul, working through it, working beneath it, distinct from it, but not distinguishable from it by anything but its consequences and fruitfulness — a deeper voice than yours — a "still, small voice." No whirlwind, nor fire, nor earthquake, but the voice of God speaking in secret, taking the voice and tones of your own heart and your own consciousness, and saying to you: Thou art My child, inasmuch as, operated by My grace, and Mine inspiration alone, there rises tremlingly, but truly, in thine own soul the cry Abba, Father."

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)It involves that the Father and the child shall have kindred life — the Father bestowing, and the child possessing, a life which is derived; and because derived, kindred; and because kindred, unfolding itself in likeness to the Father that gave it. And it requires that between the Father's heart and the child's heart there shall pass in blessed interchange and quick correspondence, answering love, flashing backwards and forwards, like the lightning that touches the earth, and rises from it again.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

I. THE DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CHILDREN OF GOD. Believing Christians enter into a higher condition. The servant becomes a son. Everything which would obstruct the view of a God of love is done away in Christ.

1. A spirit of filial confidence, as opposed to servile fear.

2. A spirit of holy love, as opposed to the bondage of sin.

3. A spirit of ready obedience, as opposed to the gloomy spirit of servitude. As love is the most powerful and self-devoted passion of our nature, it explains the character as well as the principle of Christian obedience. It is self-denying; for we no longer live to ourselves, but to Him who died for us and rose again (2 Corinthians 5:15). It is soul-absorbing; for it is not so much we that now live, as Christ that liveth in us (Galatians 2:20). It is devoted, for our will is swallowed up in His, and the cry of the heart is, "Lord, what wouldst Thou have me to do?" Hence the bold assertion of St. Paul, "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Romans 8:3, 4).

II. WE NOW PROCEED TO CONSIDER SOME OF THE DISTINGUISHING PRIVILEGES OF THE CHILDREN OF GOD. It will be at once acknowledged that the characteristics which we have mentioned are also exalted privileges. To have a satisfactory sense of sin being pardoned; to walk in the light of God's countenance, with a secret assurance of His love and favour; to be freed from the degrading bondage of Sin, and the servile fear of a holy law; to possess the moral power of holy obedience, and to have this heavenly principle pervading the soul; these are distinguishing gifts of Divine mercy. Whilst the "spirit of a son" has its characteristic endowments, the condition of a child has its peculiar prerogatives. The one is the family genius, the other the family privileges.

1. The child of God has a part in the Father's love and care.

2. The child of God has a filial resemblance to his heavenly Father. In the households of earth there is what is termed a family likeness. Some distinguishing trait of feature often marks the countenances of all the offspring. However varied may be the form and hue of their faces, there is some identity of expression which makes them like their parent, and like to one another. So it is with the family of God, Being born from above, they possess the characteristics of a heavenly nature. They differ in the proportion and intensity of their spiritual graces, but they are all marked with the lineaments of virtue. One is more eminent for faith, another for zeal, another for wisdom; some excel in patience, or meekness, or fervid hope, or gentle love; but all have the fundamentals of these holy principles. They all bear the marks of a noble lineage. You might see in each of their hearts the peculiar traits of royalty. You might readily perceive that each inherits his Father's holiness. He is the child of a King, a prince of God (1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6).

3. Children of God have the privileges of family communion and fellowship. It is not now granted to man to hold conversational intercourse with angelic or sainted members of the heavenly family. He must be satisfied with knowing that they have some communion with his spirit. This is often alleged in the Scriptures, And who can tell what benefits we receive from holy thoughts, counsels, and promptings, whispered to the soul by hovering spirits of an ethereal nature? But we are privileged with the "communion of saints." We may associate with the wise and good, the saints that are in the earth, and the excellent (Psalm 16:3). Above all, the Christian has access to the throne of grace, and holds communion with the Father, through the Son, by the Holy Spirit.

4. Children of God have a share in the family provisions. There is a common stock of mercies, of which all the children have a right to partake. A certain property in blessings belongs to the household of faith. Exceeding great and precious promises have been provided by their heavenly Father. There is a fulness in Christ out of which His Church are permitted to receive. Every one is exhorted to take largely of these Divine gifts. Unlike property of an earthly nature, these riches never diminish by using. There could, therefore, be no reason for withholding them from any seeking soul. All are at liberty to "ask and receive, that their joy may be full."

5. Children have a title to the future inheritance. "If a son, then an heir of God through Christ;" or, as the apostle writes in another place, "If children then heirs," etc. "Heirs of God" — it is a strange expression! What does it mean?

(R. M. Macbraire, M. A.)

I. IN WHAT DOES ADOPTION CONSIST? It is the translation of a person out of one family into another. The act of grace by which God takes the children of the wicked one out of the world, and makes them the sons and daughters of His spiritual family.

1. Points of similarity between natural and spiritual adoption.(1) In adoption we cease to have our former name, and are designated after the name of God, who adopted us; then sinners, now saints; then enemies, now reconciled; then aliens and rebels, now brought nigh and the friends of God.(2) In adoption we change our abode. Once in the world, in the kingdom of darkness, in a far country; now in the Church, in the kingdom of God's dear Son, in the household of faith, and family of heaven.(3) We change our costume. Conform to the family dress.

2. Points of difference between natural and spiritual adoption.(1) Natural adoption was to supply a family defect. Because there was no son. God had hosts of sons — the angels, etc.(2) Natural adoption was only of sons. God makes no distinction as to sex, race, etc.(3) In natural adoption there was only a change of condition; the child never became really the son of the adopter. But God makes His children partakers of His own nature, and imprints on them His own image.(4) In natural adoption only one was adopted; but God adopts multitudes.(5) In natural adoption only temporal advantages were derived; but in spiritual, the blessings are eternal.


1. Internal (see Galatians 4:6; Romans 8:14-16). The Spirit will produce within us

(1)peace of mind,

(2)comfort of heart,

(3)spiritual joy.

2. External.(1) Language. Conversation such as becometh the gospel of Christ.(2) Profession. We shall appear as the sons of the family of God; have the family badge, be enrolled in the family book, be found in the family circle, and sit at the family table.(3) Obedience. God's family has its laws, its specific rules for the government of itself, and for the direction of its conduct towards those who are without,


1. Deliverance from all the miseries of our pristine state. Poverty, rags, misery, ruin.

2. Investiture into all the benefits of Christ's family on earth.

3. A title to the celestial inheritance which Christ has bought and prepared for all who love Him.Application:

1. Learn the essential importance of this blessing. What would pardon and regeneration be without it? Let us seek the good of God's family. We are in it to labour as well as enjoy.

2. Invite strangers to become the sons and heirs of God.

(J. Burns, D. D.)

Great indeed is the rank and privilege of a son of God. The son of Adam, that is taken to be the Son of God, is taken out of the company of the rebels against God, into the company of those that adore and bless His name with thanksgiving, and perform His service with diligence, in His glorious presence. But he always remembers whence he has been taken; that if as a son of Adam he was taken from the comparatively vile dust of the earth, as a son of God he has been taken into a spiritual nature out of the comparatively much viler fleshly nature. He remembers that he is not a real son, but an adopted. Now a real son is always a son to his father, happen what will. And having been born and bred in his house, he knows all that is required of him, and does naturally all the duties of a member of the family. But very different is the condition of an adopted son; he has been born and bred in another family, and therefore under different rules; and hence, however respectable his family may be, he cannot accommodate himself so freely and fully as he could wish, nor sufficiently know the mind of a father, whom he has not known from childhood. Much more then if he be taken out of a family whose habits are quite contrary, and disreputably contrary, to the habits of that into which he has been adopted, he must be in continual fear and perplexity. All is quite strange to him, and let him be ever so willing to accommodate himself to his new situation, still he is in continual doubt as to what he should do, and what he should not do, and is continually, notwithstanding all his watchfulness, letting out the secrets of the corrupt habits of his old family. But on the very account of this natural infirmity, God hath put him under an instructor, to give him the proper knowledge, to form his habits, to influence his will, and by such a thorough change, to qualify him for the duties of the new station to which he has been admitted. And this instructor is the Holy Spirit, called also, from this His very office amongst us, the spirit of adoption, as in Romans 8:14, 15.

(R. W. Evans, M. A.)

Death, like the proud Philistine, comes marching out in his hideous shape, daring the whole host of Israel to match him with an equal combatant. The atheist dares not die for fear non esse, — that he shall not be at all; the profane dares not die, for fear male esse — to be damned; the doubtful conscience dares not die, because he knows not whether he shall be, or be damned, or not be at all. Only the resolved Christian dares die, because he is assured of his election; he knows he shall be happy; and so lifts up pleasant eyes to heaven, the infallible place of his eternal rest. He dares encounter with his last enemy, trample on him with the foot of disdain, and triumphantly sing over him, "O death! where is thy sting? O gravel where is thy victory?" He conquers in being conquered; and all because God hath said to his soul, "I am thy salvation."

(T. Adams.)

In 1768 Mr. Wesley visited Glasgow, where the greatest part of the members had found peace with God. Three years before Thomas Taylor had been sent there, and had for his first congregation two bakers' boys and two old women. He kept off preaching, and his hearers increased also to two hundred, but for want of means he never kept so many fast days in his life. He hired a room, formed a society, and paid a precentor fourpence for each service to lead off the psalms, but the money falling short, he had to dismiss both the psalms and the precentor; but he left a society of seventy members. One of these was old Janet, of whom John Pawson records this anecdote. Meeting the minister of the kirk she had long attended, she was thus accosted: "Oh, Janet, where have ye been, woman? I have no seen ye at the kirk for long." She replied, "I go among the Methodists." "Why, what gude get ye there, woman?" "Glory to God!" said Janet; "I do get gude; for God, for Christ's sake, has forgiven me a' my sins." "Ah, Janet, be not highminded, but fear; the de'il is a cunning adversary." "I dinna care a button for the de'il," said Janet; I've gotten him under my feet. I ken the de'il can do muckle deal, but there is ant thing he canna do." "What is that, Janet?" "He canna shed abroad the love of God in my heart; an' I am sure I've got it there!" "Weel, weel," said the minister, "If ye have got that there, hold it fast, Janet, and never let it go." Benefit of assurance: — Latimer writes to Ridley, "When I live in a settled and steadfast assurance about the state of my soul, methinks I am as bold as a lion; I can laugh at all trouble; no affliction daunts me; but, when I am eclipsed in my comforts, I am of so fearful a spirit, that I could run into a very mouse-hole."

I. THE TRUE POSITION OF THE CHRISTIAN. "Sons." Many fail to see it. They admit "believers," "Christians," "disciples," "soldiers," "servants." True. Each has a truth. Just as "Jesus," "Christ," "Master," "Lord;" but "Emanuel" reveals a new connection. So with the believer. "Son." Christ took our nature, and we receive His in degree (2 Peter 1:4). This is often urged in Scripture. Romans 7. plainly describes "law of nature" and "law of grace." Why urge this?

1. Because of privileges, of which we shall speak soon.

2. Because it is a necessity of life. Many fail in efforts. They "try to be good," and fail. Because they begin wrongly. Must be so. Ostrich cannot soar as eagle. Nature is fitted to habits. So in grace. God requires great things. A new life begins. How? Not by laws or precepts — it is a new gift. Adoption transfers from Satan's family to God's, and then a new nature is given.

II. THE POWER BY WHOM THIS ADOPTION IS WROUGHT. By "God's Spirit." In every aspect — redemption, sanctification, preservation, fruitfulness — the believer is a Divine work. Often forgotten. We are surrounded by human instruments, and the agent is not seen. Insufficient. Only the statue, not the man. Form without life. Both solemn and assuring.

III. THE NECESSARY RESULTS OF THIS INDWELLING. "Whereby," etc. Immediate connection between life and action. The means may lie dormant, but the grace never. What results?

1. God is known. In daily life such knowledge must be imparted. Very true of spiritual things. This knowledge surpasses that imparted by Scripture or human teachers. Examples: 1 Samuel 3:7; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Galatians 3:16, 17. Samuel and Paul both taught by man, and yet they were spiritually ignorant. So, however much we may study, prize, increasingly value the Bible, each must go beyond it.

2. Confidence is enjoyed. Point of argument lies in "son" and "slave." The difference, the unwavering confidence of "son." So boldness in prayer, conflict, work, is believer's privilege. The Father never deserts His child.

3. Consistent life. A great name should never be disgraced. What so noble as this? where else is such honour entrusted? "Be imitators of God."

(H. T. Cavell.)

Agar, Galatians, Hagar, Isaac, Paul
Galatia, Jerusalem, Mount Sinai
Abba, Calls, Cry, Crying, Enter, Forth, Hearts, Saying, Sons, Spirit
1. We were under the law till Christ came, as the heir is under the guardian till he be of age.
5. But Christ freed us from the law;
7. therefore we are servants no longer to it.
14. Paul remembers the Galatians' good will to him, and his to them;
22. and shows that we are the sons of Abraham by the freewoman.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Galatians 4:6

     1250   Abba
     1511   Trinity, relationships in
     3015   Holy Spirit, divinity
     3025   Holy Spirit, personality
     3110   Holy Spirit, titles of
     3203   Holy Spirit, and assurance
     3221   Holy Spirit, and prayer
     3248   Holy Spirit, conviction
     3278   Holy Spirit, indwelling
     3281   Holy Spirit, inspiration
     3293   Holy Spirit, witness of
     4018   life, spiritual
     5015   heart, and Holy Spirit
     5263   communication
     5374   languages
     7382   house of God
     8105   assurance, basis of
     8164   spirituality
     8603   prayer, relationship with God

Galatians 4:1-7

     5701   heir

Galatians 4:4-6

     1513   Trinity, mission of
     2424   gospel, promises
     6717   reconciliation, world to God
     7142   people of God, NT

Galatians 4:4-7

     2078   Christ, sonship of
     5110   Paul, teaching of
     5682   family, significance
     6710   privileges
     6723   redemption, NT
     7115   children of God
     7388   kinsman-redeemer

Galatians 4:5-7

     1040   God, fatherhood
     7024   church, nature of

Galatians 4:6-7

     6611   adoption, privileges and duties
     6670   grace, and Holy Spirit
     6679   justification, results
     6704   peace, divine NT
     8106   assurance, nature of

May 7. "I Travail in Birth Again Until Christ be Formed in You" (Gal. Iv. 19).
"I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you" (Gal. iv. 19). It is a blessed moment when we are born again and a new heart is created in us after the image of God. It is a more blessed moment when in this new heart Christ Himself is born and the Christmas time is reproduced in us as we, in some real sense, become incarnations of the living Christ. This is the deepest and holiest meaning of Christianity. It is expressed in Paul's prayer for the Galatians. "My little children, for whom I
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Fourth Sunday in Lent
Text: Galatians 4, 21-31. 21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? 22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, one by the handmaid, and one by the freewomen. 23 Howbeit the son by the handmaid is born after the flesh; but the son by the freewoman is born through promise. 24 Which things contain an allegory: for these women are two covenants; one from mount Sinai, bearing children unto bondage, which is Hagar. 25 Now this Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II

The Allegories of Sarah and Hagar
We shall attempt this morning to teach you something of the allegories of Sarah and Hagar, that you may thereby better understand the essential difference between the covenants of law and of grace. We shall not go fully into the subject, but shall only give such illustrations of it as the text may furnish us. First, I shall want you to notice the two women, whom Paul uses as types--Hagar and Sarah; then I shall notice the two sons--Ishmael and Isaac; in the third place, I shall notice Ishmael's conduct
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 2: 1856

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

God's Inheritance
GAL. iv. 6, 7. Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. This is the second good news of Christmas-day. The first is, that the Son of God became man. The second is, why he became man. That men might become the sons of God through him. Therefore St. Paul says, You are the sons of God. Not--you may be, if you are very good: but you are,
Charles Kingsley—The Good News of God

Luther -- the Method and Fruits of Justification
Martin Luther, leader of the Reformation, was born at Eisleben in 1483, and died there 1546. His rugged character and powerful intellect, combined with a strong physique, made him a natural orator, so that it was said "his words were half battles." Of his own method of preaching he once remarked: "When I ascend the pulpit I see no heads, but imagine those that are before me to be all blocks. When I preach I sink myself deeply down; I regard neither doctors nor masters, of which there are in the church
Various—The World's Great Sermons, Volume I

The Faithful Steward
We are now prepared to present in detail that general system of beneficence, demanded alike by Scripture and reason, and best fitted to secure permanent and ever-growing results. While universal, it must be a system in its nature adapted to each individual, and binding on the individual conscience; one founded on, and embracing, the entire man,--his reason, his heart and will, including views and principles, feelings and affections, with their inculcation, general purposes and resolutions, with corresponding
Sereno D. Clark—The Faithful Steward

"Ye are not in the Flesh," Says the Apostle...
"Ye are not in the flesh," says the apostle, "but in the Spirit"; but then he adds, as the only ground of this, "if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you"; surely he means, if so be ye are moved, guided, and governed by that, which the Spirit wills, works and inspires within you. And then to show the absolute necessity of this life of God in the soul, he adds, "If any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." And that this is the state to which God has appointed, and called all
William Law—An Humble, Affectionate, and Earnest Address to the Clergy

Here are Two Most Important and Fundamental Truths Fully Demonstrated...
Here are two most important and fundamental truths fully demonstrated, First, that the truth and perfection of the gospel state could not take place, till Christ was glorified, and his kingdom among men made wholly and solely a continual immediate ministration of the Spirit: everything before this was but subservient for a time, and preparatory to this last dispensation, which could not have been the last, had it not carried man above types, figures and shadows, into the real possession and enjoyment
William Law—An Humble, Affectionate, and Earnest Address to the Clergy

But one Sometimes Comes to a Case of this Kind...
24. But one sometimes comes to a case of this kind, that we are not interrogated where the person is who is sought, nor forced to betray him, if he is hidden in such manner, that he cannot easily be found unless betrayed: but we are asked, whether he be in such a place or not. If we know him to be there, by holding our peace we betray him, or even by saying that we will in no wise tell whether he be there or not: for from this the questioner gathers that he is there, as, if he were not, nothing else
St. Augustine—On Lying

Introductory Note to the Epistle of Barnabas
[a.d. 100.] The writer of this Epistle is supposed to have been an Alexandrian Jew of the times of Trajan and Hadrian. He was a layman; but possibly he bore the name of "Barnabas," and so has been confounded with his holy and apostolic name-sire. It is more probable that the Epistle, being anonymous, was attributed to St. Barnabas, by those who supposed that apostle to be the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, and who discovered similarities in the plan and purpose of the two works. It is with
Barnabas—The Epistle of Barnabas

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

How Can I Obtain Faith?
May the Spirit of God assist us while we meditate upon the way by which faith cometh. This shall be followed by a brief indication of certain obstructions which often lie in that way; and then we will conclude by dwelling upon the importance that faith should come to us by that appointed road. I. First, then, THE WAY BY WHICH FAITH COMES TO MEN. "Faith cometh by hearing." It may help to set the truth out more clearly, if we say, negatively, that it does not come by any other process than by hearing;--not
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 18: 1872

The Blood of Sprinkling
Our apostle next tells us what we are come to. I suppose he speaks of all the saints after the death and resurrection of our Lord and the descent of the Holy Ghost. He refers to the whole church, in the midst of which the Holy Spirit now dwells. We are come to a more joyous sight than Sinai, and the mountain burning with fire. The Hebrew worshipper, apart from his sacrifices, lived continually beneath the shadow of the darkness of a broken law; he was startled often by the tremendous note of the
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 32: 1886

"But Ye have Received the Spirit of Adoption, Whereby we Cry, Abba, Father. "
Rom. viii. 15.--"But ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God," 1 John iii. 1. It is a wonderful expression of love to advance his own creatures, not only infinitely below himself, but far below other creatures, to such a dignity. Lord, what is man that thou so magnified him! But it surpasseth wonder, that rebellious creatures, his enemies, should have, not only
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

"For as Many as are Led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God. For Ye have not Received the Spirit of Bondage
Rom. viii. s 14, 15.--"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." The life of Christianity, take it in itself, is the most pleasant and joyful life that can be, exempted from those fears and cares, those sorrows and anxieties, that all other lives are subject unto, for this of necessity must be the force and efficacy of true religion,
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

The Moral Reactions of Prayer
The Moral Reactions of Prayer All religion is founded on prayer, and in prayer it has its test and measure. To be religious is to pray, to be irreligious is to be incapable of prayer. The theory of religion is really the philosophy of prayer; and the best theology is compressed prayer. The true theology is warm, and it steams upward into prayer. Prayer is access to whatever we deem God, and if there is no such access there is no religion; for it is not religion to resign ourselves to be crushed
P. T. Forsyth—The Soul of Prayer

Christ's Humiliation in his Incarnation
'Great is the mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh.' I Tim 3:16. Q-xxvii: WHEREIN DID CHRIST'S HUMILIATION CONSIST? A: In his being born, and that in a low condition, made under the law, undergoing the miseries of this life, the wrath of God, and the cursed death of the cross. Christ's humiliation consisted in his incarnation, his taking flesh, and being born. It was real flesh that Christ took; not the image of a body (as the Manichees erroneously held), but a true body; therefore he
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Her virginity Also Itself was on this Account More Pleasing and Accepted...
4. Her virginity also itself was on this account more pleasing and accepted, in that it was not that Christ being conceived in her, rescued it beforehand from a husband who would violate it, Himself to preserve it; but, before He was conceived, chose it, already dedicated to God, as that from which to be born. This is shown by the words which Mary spake in answer to the Angel announcing to her her conception; "How," saith she, "shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" [2031] Which assuredly she would
St. Augustine—Of Holy Virginity.

But if Moreover any not Having Charity, which Pertaineth to the Unity of Spirit...
23. But if moreover any not having charity, which pertaineth to the unity of spirit and the bond of peace whereby the Catholic Church is gathered and knit together, being involved in any schism, doth, that he may not deny Christ, suffer tribulations, straits, hunger, nakedness, persecution, perils, prisons, bonds, torments, swords, or flames, or wild beasts, or the very cross, through fear of hell and everlasting fire; in nowise is all this to be blamed, nay rather this also is a patience meet to
St. Augustine—On Patience

Therefore at that Time, when the Law Also...
27. Therefore at that time, when the Law also, following upon the days of the Patriarchs, [2010] pronounced accursed, whoso raised not up seed in Israel, even he, who could, put it not forth, but yet possessed it. But from the period that the fullness of time hath come, [2011] that it should be said, "Whoso can receive, let him receive," [2012] from that period even unto this present, and from henceforth even unto the end, whoso hath, worketh: whoso shall be unwilling to work, let him not falsely
St. Augustine—On the Good of Marriage

Letter xiv (Circa A. D. 1129) to Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln
To Alexander, [15] Bishop of Lincoln A certain canon named Philip, on his way to Jerusalem, happening to turn aside to Clairvaux, wished to remain there as a monk. He solicits the consent of Alexander, his bishop, to this, and begs him to sanction arrangements with the creditors of Philip. He finishes by exhorting Alexander not to trust too much in the glory of the world. To the very honourable lord, Alexander, by the Grace of God, Bishop of Lincoln, Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, wishes honour more
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

Eighth Sunday after Trinity Living in the Spirit as God's Children.
Text: Romans 8, 12-17. 12 So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh: 13 for if ye live after the flesh, ye must die; but if by the Spirit ye put to death the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For ye received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but ye received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

No Sorrow Like Messiah's Sorrow
Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Behold, and see, if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow! A lthough the Scriptures of the Old Testament, the law of Moses, the Psalms, and the Prophecies (Luke 24:44) , bear an harmonious testimony to MESSIAH ; it is not necessary to suppose that every single passage has an immediate and direct relation to Him. A method of exposition has frequently obtained [frequently been in vogue], of a fanciful and allegorical cast [contrivance], under the pretext
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 1

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