God sent forth his son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law; so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because we are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
- Galatians 4:4-6
This small section of a letter from Paul of Tarsus, to a region of churches in what is now modern-day Turkey, is packed with life-changing truths about how God views and relates to His people. In fact, this passage explains the heart of the entire Bible, and does so in an incredibly concise manner.
Here are three of those life-changing truths:
Jesus was born to die so that we could be adopted
The answer to the question, “why did the Son of God become a man and die?” is found in the phrase “so that we might receive adoption as sons.” C.S. Lewis articulated the meaning of this verse like this: “the Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.” God first had to punish one “born under the law” with the consequences of breaking the law (Divine wrath) so that He could adopt us. When we think of Jesus, the God-man, dying on the cross, we must see that He was not just paying for our sins; He was bringing us into the family.
The Spirit of his Son in our hearts is God’s real presence with us
Not only did our sin cause us to be desperate for a Divine sacrifice, it also caused us loneliness, because our sin disqualified us from taking part in our most ultimate relationship with God. The fact that Jesus died in our place and gave us His perfect record means that we are now a “holy temple”, if you will, that God can enter into. His real presence with us now is the Spirit of Jesus alive in our hearts. This is amazing! The God of all the Universe, who created the great mountains, the vast oceans, and billions of galaxies: that God is really with you, follower of Christ! When God brings you into the family, He promises to always be there, never leaving, never missing anything in your life, knowing all of your loves, fears, hatreds, and dreams, just as a good father would do.
God the Father really likes and loves you
The Spirit of his Son in our hearts doesn’t just bring God’s presence with us, it also proves that we have the same relationship with the Father as His Son, Jesus. It’s significant that Paul used the Aramaic word “Abba” in the last sentence. The entire letter is written in Greek, the language of the recipients, except for this word. “Abba” is child’s language for “daddy”, and was the same word used by Jesus when He prayed to God (see Mark 14). Paul is telling the recipients that the way Jesus communicated and related to His Father is the same way that they can. This is a life-altering truth! God the Father hears our prayers, our pleas, and our praise in the same way that He heard Jesus’ prayers, which means we have complete and unlimited access to God.
But the relationship doesn't stop there. During His life on earth, Jesus spoke to God and God spoke to Jesus. This is what God said, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” God really loved Jesus, and He was really pleased with Him. Since we are the adopted sons of God, receiving the same relationship as the Son, the words that God spoke to Jesus apply to us as well! God really loves you, and God is really pleased with you. God rejoices over you. He is your biggest fan. He is for you, and He thinks you are awesome! If you ever believe that God is disappointed with you, hates you, or wants to punish you, hear your Heavenly Father say now, “You are my son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”