Galatians 4:1-5


Gal 4:1 (KJV)
Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
From a servant - From a slave
Paul now borrows another analogy from what would have been common to the Galatians as well as in our day. From the language here it seems Paul is drawing his analogy from the point of an orphaned child. If both parents die leaving a child behind, that child will eventually become the heir of the entire estate. In Galatia the age of inheritance was 25, and today in different places around the world the age differs for legal inheritance. The point Paul is making is that even though the child will be the owner of the estate, until he reaches that age he is no different than the slaves of the house. He is to be educated and matured in the things of the world so when he takes possession he will not squander his inheritance on foolishness. He will be under the authority of others until the age of inheritance finally comes.
Gal 4:2 (KJB)
But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
Tutors - Guardian, foreman, or manager
Governors - Manager of a household
Time appointed - Set beforehand, prearranged, or fixed or appointed time
As long as the child is under the age of inheritance, his deceased father would have made provision for his childís upbringing. This would mean the house would be under the authority of guardians for the child and household managers to manage the affairs of the estate so the child would have something to inherit. Now the father would have also fixed the date for the time of inheritance before hand. It may have been 25 or maybe later, whatever the father had desired.
Gal 4:3 (KJB)
Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
Elements - Fundamental principles or something placed in a series like ABC etc.
Now Paul brings in the spiritual aspect of what he was building up to. Here the time period is referring to the law being given at Mt. Sinai up till the time Christ came into the world. During that time the Jews were in bondage to the elements of the world. The law had bound them to the world because it took its essence from the world. In other words, the law demanded man to do certain works, it required certain animal sacrifices and certain feasts, all of which were tied to the things of this world. Even though the Jews were the ones who inherited the word of God and the law of God, (the Gentiles did not) yet, they were under the strictest regimen to keep that law. (Isa 28:13 KJV) But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. Here we have an example of what is meant by the elements of the world or the series. The word of God was line upon line and not given all at once. The Old Testament took 1000 years to write and with everything that God wrote from Genesis to Malachi, it caused the Jews to stumble and become disobedient just as Isaiah 28:13 and other passages of Scripture has revealed.
Gal 4:4 (KJB)
(A) But when the fulness of the time was come, (B) God sent forth his Son, (C) made of a woman, (D) made under the law,
Fulness - Something complete or Fulfillment
Sent forth - Send from
(C ) Made - Come
(D) Made - Having come
A) - Paul builds up to this point stating beforehand the analogy of the child who is the heir. At the appointed time the heir receives the inheritance. (Psa 2:8 KJV) Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. When Christ had gone to the cross, all the Elect were His inheritance Here Paul is stating that when the fullness of time had occurred on Godís timetable, Christ came into the world. A little regarded aspect of the coming of Christ at this time was the fact that the Roman empire was at its height and had expanded with roads and bridges making it easy for the Gospel to spread. Roman citizens could go throughout the empire unhindered.
(B) This portion of Scripture is very important to the Christian for the purpose of Gospel defense. There are many today who claim that Christ was created at His birth and did not have a pre-existence. Well this verse offers incontrovertible truth that Christ had a pre-Bethlehem existence in Heaven. How could God SEND FORTH His Son, if He did not exist. Then God would have made another creation in a womb but the verse states He sent forth His Son, meaning that Christ was in Heaven and was sent. It bears repeating, how can you send someone who does not exist?
(C) Then we are told that Jesus came into this world through the birth canal as every other human being did except Adam and Eve. It is known as the incarnation of Christ. This is important because Christ did not possess a spiritual body as some teach but He possessed a physical body which was evident when He bodily rose from the dead. Some teach He only rose spiritually from the dead and that is false.
(D) When Christ came on the scene He came in under the law and was obligated to fulfill the requirements of the law. He was circumcised and attended the feasts. He was bound by the law because he had made himself a human being subject to the law so He could eventually fulfill the requirements of Godís Holy law and redeem the Elect of God still under the law.
Gal 4:5 (KJB)
To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Redeem - deliver, buy back, or rescue
Adoption - Placing one into a family like they were an original part of the family
Here is the reason that Christ came and that was to fulfill the demands of Godís Holy Law on behalf of the Elect of God thus being a substitutionary atonement for them. Those under the law could not keep the law to gain salvation and had to be redeemed from the outside. As we saw previously that those under the law were imprisoned in the law and there was no way out according to the law, except by keeping it perfectly. The only way a person can become saved is by a substitution and that was Christ who redeemed us from the prison of the law and adopted us as if we were members of Godís family from the very beginning. As a member of Godís family, He is now our heavenly Father and we now have all the rights associated with that. We have eternal life, the promises of Scripture are ours according to His will, Satan no longer can touch us as we are eternally secure. As adopted Sons and Daughters of God, we are under His care forever, as if we had always been a member of His family.