Fitting in isn’t Belonging
Ever felt like you do not belong? Fitting in is not the same as belonging. We are finishing the book of Galatians today and Paul reminds us of what that belonging in Christ looks like. Friends, Chapter 4 opens up with an incredible truth. We have been redeemed! We are no longer slaves to sin, but sons and daughters of God! And . . . we are each an heir.
Galatians 4:7, “So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then God has made you an heir.”
From a commentary about heirs:
“The literal meaning of heir is “someone who has been appointed to receive an inheritance.” An heir is a person who receives something of value from a father (see Mark 12:7). The Bible sometimes uses the word heir to describe us as recipients of a gift from God (Galatians 4:7). We are “heirs” of God, and Christ is our “co-heir” (Romans 8:17).
Believers are co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). Meaning, believers have been given the privilege of sharing Christ’s inheritance. As adopted sons of God, Christians are treated as firstborn heirs (Hebrews 12:23). Our inheritance includes salvation (Hebrews 1:14), eternal life (1 Peter 1:4), and even a measure of the throne of Christ (Revelation 3:21).”
Belonging means we are Co-Heirs
Friends, we are heirs of the Most High God! Recipients of gifts that are eternal, not temporary inheritances like on this earth. We who are heirs should not return to the state we were in before we were adopted as an heir of Christ.
Belonging means we are adopted
When I adopted my precious son from Russia, he became my child. He was no longer living according to his former life in an orphanage. When God adopts us, we no longer live according to our old lifestyle. But the enemy of our souls wants to drag us away and discourage us from this privilege of being an heir and a recipient of salvation.
Belonging Means We Live Like We Belong
Paul was admonishing the Galatians to not return to their former lifestyle. Paul talks about the things that enslaved the new believers. Here are just a few:
- Living according to the principles of this world.
- This world system tells us to worship false gods/false religions.
- Enslaved to sin.
- Enslaved to legalism.
Remember from the last time we were studying Galatians, that Judaizers were coming and telling the Galatians that they needed to obey the Jewish laws. These people were jealous of Paul and trying to get these early believers bound by legalism.
In Galatians 5:6, Paul reminds the church that circumcision or any outward act does not make one righteous.
“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision accomplishes anything; what matters is faith working through love.”
Belonging Means We Let Go of Worldly Influences
Paul confronts the influence or persuasion that were pulling God’s people away. We, too, need to confront the influences around us that pull away from our devotion to God. Paul reminds us that we have been set free – free from being a slave to sin. We should not use that freedom to then return to sin.
6:13 “For you were called to be free, brothers and sisters; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love.”
Belonging Means We Walk in the Spirit
Galatians 6:16-18 is the crux of Paul’s encouragement:
“I say, then, walk by the Spirit and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”
- We need to walk by the Spirit, not the flesh.
- People who know they belong to Jesus live a different way.
- They don’t live like unwanted children. They don’t need to rebel against an all-loving God.
Scripture of the Day: Galatians 5:24-26
“24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. 25 Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. 26 Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.”
Friends, you belong. Belonging in this world is hard. I have always felt a bit like a square peg trying to fit in a round hole. Never felt like I fit in. Anyone relate?
Fitting in is not the same as belonging.
Belonging to Jesus has incredible promises and it also has requirements.
Belonging requires a death.
We will need to die to things that were destroying us. Belonging means we crucify passions, desires and jealousies that are of the flesh and put on the passion for holiness and righteousness, a passion for God’s glory, instead.
Belonging means following the Holy Spirit, no longer our flesh.
We who have accepted Jesus as our Savior cannot keep one foot in a sinful lifestyle and the other foot in a righteous one. We cannot have our cake and eat it, too. That cake is poisonous, anyway.
Ever felt like you do not belong? Fitting in is not the same as belonging. We are all misfits, but somehow God fits us into His Kingdom and calls us His kids. Amazing grace, indeed. You belong, friends. Walk in that belonging and calling!
7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan
Day #161: Galatians 4-6
Scripture of the Day: Galatians 5:24-2
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