Key Verse: Galatians 4:9 “But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?”
Paul’s discussion about the role of law and faith, as they relate to righteousness, continues. He reminds his readers that the promise God made to Abraham preceded the law given to Moses by 430 years (v.17). God, “in His grace”, gave a promise to Abraham (v.18), and it takes priority over any subsequent introduction or qualification of law. The law was introduced purely because those who were inheritors of the promise were so sinful (v.19). it established the standard — a standard which was unreachable, even if it did (in human terms) reflect the awesome status and expected behaviour of those who were heirs of the covenant.
However, the law also introduced despair — for none could measure up. It showed us our moral bankruptcy and eroded hope. But therein lay its genius. In exposing our spiritual poverty, there law “led us to Christ that we might be justified by faith” (v.24). In Christ, we who believe are seen as sons of God rather than slaves of law. There is no discriminatory factors — Jew, Greek, slave, free, male, female are all meaningless distinctions; we have become “heirs” of God.
Jesus the Son, “born of a woman, born under law” (v.4), came to “redeem those under law”, in order that all who believe in Him might “receive the full rights of sons” (v.5). We are now sons and heirs and out relationship with God the Father is so personal and intimate that we can call Him “Abba” (Hebrew for “Daddy”).
So it’s not a case of performance of law determining our relationship with and knowledge of God. Rather, it’s a case of God’s grace, God’s initiative and God’s knowledge of us. There is liberation in the knowledge that we are “”known by God”.