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A Spirit of Adoption

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A Sermon on Galatians 4:4-9

But when the fullness of time had come, 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 you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Paul’s Concern for the Galatians

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? (ESV)

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Do you ever feel like you are trapped by something, even though you know you aren't? If you're a Christian, do you still sometimes feel like you are in bondage? In this sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones walks through Galatians 4:4-9 as he helps us understand the reasons for this feeling and the truths that help us correct it. What are some reasons that people have this feeling even though they have been freed from sin? Dr. Lloyd-Jones says that some of this can be attributed to poor teaching within the church. Additionally, some people know it intellectually but have not applied it. This all brings the believer back to understanding why Jesus came. First, to redeem those who are under the Law since we cannot do this ourselves. Second, so that we could be adopted as his children. Those who believe in Jesus have been adopted into his family, meaning that they have received the inheritance that comes with being a child of God. How does this “spirit of adoption,” as Paul refers to it, manifest itself? First, we are delivered from this bondage that we still sometimes feel trapped by. Second, we are known by God. And third, our relationship with him is personal, like a father to his son. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones encourages us to persevere in our walk with Jesus and throw off the chains of sin that often entangle us.


Additional Scripture Translations

Galatians 4:4-9, New American Standard Bible

4But when the fullness of the time came, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons and daughters. 6Because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba! Father!” 7Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.

8However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are not gods. 9But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles, to which you want to be enslaved all over again?

Galatians 4:4-9, King James Version

4But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

8Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. 9But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?


About Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.