Galatians 3:29
And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise.
Abraham's Spiritual SeedJ. Henderson, D. D.Galatians 3:29
Believers Heirs of GodGalatians 3:29
Christian PrivilegesW. Perkins.Galatians 3:29
Before and After FaithR. Finlayson Galatians 3:23-29
The Law-School and the Home-ComingR.M. Edgar Galatians 3:23-29
All Children of God by Faith in Christ JesusBishop Hall.Galatians 3:25-29
Jesus the Only SaviourC. H. Spurgeon.Galatians 3:25-29
Liberty, Equality, and FraternityW. Spensley.Galatians 3:25-29
Safety by Trusting ChristGalatians 3:25-29
The Means of Christian SonshipMitchell.Galatians 3:25-29
The Vastness of the Christian FamilyH. W. Beecher.Galatians 3:25-29
True Believers the Children of GodTheological Sketch BookGalatians 3:25-29
SonshipW.F. Adeney Galatians 3:26-29

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!'"

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