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“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’” (Galatians 4:4-6 NIV)
Pip, Jane, Mowgli, Huckleberry Finn, Oliver Twist, all classic tails of orphans show us that the world is a cruel and harsh place, especially to those who do not belong. In many of these tails a child is lost to the goodness of the world and must endure a childhood of scary uncertainties. Time and time again the child has to deal with danger and life as the cruel broken world deals it out to them and then at the climax the child is saved by the kindness of….
In our telling of these stories we center on that which is endured, and our world tells us that is what makes us stronger. Paul does not see it this way. He does start off with the statement “But when the set time had fully come,” but Paul does not dwell there. He is much more interested in telling about what God has done. What He has put into motion to change the tail of us, all of us orphans.
Here in these verses the heartfelt theme is this status change, the change from being human accused under the law to redeemed, to heir, to adoption with the guidance of His Spirit living within our lives. Jesus, born of a woman, fully human, Son of God, fully Devine, to redeem that we may receive adoption out of the cruel, uncertain, broken world of ours before orphaning. Giving us His Spirit and allowing us to cry out "Daddy" in the middle of the scary night and know that He is there giving us our place to belong.
Has your status changed? What are you doing to help others change their status to adopted redeemed heir?