by Harley Howard

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The Epistle of Paul To The Galatians Chapter 4:1-11
(9 of 15)
Harley Howard

1 Now I say, [That] the heir, as long as he is a
child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be
lord of all;

2 But is under tutors and governors until the time
appointed of the father.

Paul reminded the Galatian believers of certain
characteristics of an heir as a minor child (infant,
young child). The child was no different than the
servant in this respect, that the child, though heir
by birthright, owned the whole estate. Nevertheless he
was kept in subservience like a slave in that he
enjoyed no freedom and could make no decisions. In
fact the heir as a child was under guardians who
watched over his person, and trustees who protected
his estate. This was true until he came of age as a
son, an age that varied in the Jewish, Grecian, and
Roman societies.

3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage
under the elements of the world:

All the world, as we saw last time in our study, was
shut up to sin. The law was God’s killing tool in that
it reflected God’s absolute holiness and man’s
absolute unrighteousness. I still believe that
primarily, Paul had the Jews in mind in his
illustrations since the Gentiles would not be familiar
with the Mosaic law unless they were taught. I believe
that Paul is speaking in such a way that he’s showing
the Galatians, that as a Jew formerly raised under the
Mosaic law, that freedom was in Christ and not under
the law.

The Jews were like children, immature, and under the
basic elements of the world. The basic elements is the
law of Moses. The Jew under the law was like that
child, who though was an heir to salvation, were kept
under the law until the coming of age when they would
receive their inheritance, which was salvation in
Christ. This thought is explained in the next few

4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent
forth his Son, ...

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