Here is a sample of one of the devotionals from the book I am currently re-editing for publication: Strength For Today (The New Testament). This book will be the companion edition to the one published in 2016 on the Old Testament. This particular devotional is taken from Galatians 4.
In Paul's day, in Greek culture, minor children were not recognized as their father’s heirs until, when they became of age, he took them down to the forum, answering to our court-house, and there officially adopted them as his adult sons. From that time on, they were no longer considered as minor children, but recognized as adult sons, therefore heirs.
When the Bible speaks of “adoption”, it does not mean what the word does today. Today it signifies a child who is not your biological offspring legally becoming part of the family. But in New Testament times, adoption was when your own child (by birth) became an adult son, and legal heir of the family’s fortune. The Greek word for adoption is “huiothesia” from “huios” (son) and “thesis”, (placing). The term literally means son-placing.
A minor child might someday inherit a vast amount of wealth, but so long as he was a minor he could not exercise any freedom, as an adult, over his inheritance. Old Testament Israel, under the law, was but a child, an immature one who could neither speak for himself, nor govern his actions. Both his person and property were guarded by tutors and governors until the time previously appointed by the father. This is exactly what Paul means in Gal. 4:1-2. As a child waits for his adult-son status, Israel waited for her Messiah.
“But when the fulness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (verse 4-5). This is one of those verses often quoted at Christmas time, and rightly so. Jesus was born at just the right time in history. He was “born of a woman” which is a reference to the fact that it was a virgin birth, apart from an earthly father. Gal. 4:4 and Gen. 3:15 go together. “Born of a woman” answers to “the seed of the woman”.
But notice WHY He was born in this text. “To redeem them who were under the law”, and to make it possible for all who trust in Him as Savior to become the legal adult sons of God. He came into this world so that we, through faith, “might receive the adoption as sons.” Verse 7 summarizes this truth so well: “Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” See Rom. 8:14-17.
The next time you are feeling “down” because you don’t have much by way of this world’s wealth, focus on this truth here in Galatians 4. You are a child of God, a child of the King, an heir of all the wealth in this whole world, because it all belongs to Him, and therefore, it all belongs to you! The Apostle Peter wrote: “Blessed be God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope, through the resurrection of Christ from the dead to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.” (I Pet. 1:3-4).
The hymnwriter put it this way:
“I once was an outcast stranger on earth, A sinner by choice and an alient by birth;
But I’ve been adopted, my name’s written down—
An heir to a mansion, a robe, and a crown.”
I’m a child of the King, a child of the King,
With Jesus my Savior, I’m a child of the King!”