Adoption In Paul's Letter To The Galatians

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Throughout Paul’s letter to the Galatians, Paul argues that adhering to the circumcision requirement prescribed by the law will not bring one into a covenantal relationship with God. Rather, receiving God’s inheritance depends solely on God’s actions. By that logic, Paul reasons that the inclusion of Gentiles into God’s covenant is the result of God’s sovereign will the, and the Gentile’s willingness to take on the law’s requirement of circumcision has no bearing on God’s choice to adopt. In fact, the pericope of Galatians 4:1-7 suggests that strictly adhering to the law can impede one from experiencing the benefits of inclusion into the promise because it involves a glorification of human striving rather than a resignation to the sovereign…show more content…
Paul states that God sent Jesus “so that we might receive adoption as children”(Gal 4:5). In addition, he argues that if a person is adopted as a “child then also an heir, through God” (4:7). In other words, adoption allows one to become a child of God, and as a child of God one also becomes an heir. In adoption processes, the adopting party must initiate the adoption process, and similarly, Paul advises the Galatians to understand their covenantal promises as the result of the unilateral action of the divine adopting party rather than the result of their childish…show more content…
Paul states “because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Sod into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.” (Gal 4:6-7). In these verses, Paul argues that a person knows whether he or she is a child “and if a child then also an heir” when they have an internal experience of the Spirit. In other words, Paul’s litmus test for deciding who is included within God’s covenant depends entirely upon God’s activity in human beings rather than the activities of human beings. What’s more, this activity is characteristically foreign and supernatural. When Paul states that the Spirit of God’s son will cry out “Abba!,” the Aramaic word for “Father,” he suggests that one will know that he or she is included into the promise on the basis of a language he or she is unlikely to regularly speak. At the very least, as Greek was the lingua franca and the original language of Paul’s letter, it is safe to assume that many Galatians would be less accustomed to Aramaic. The presence of a voice crying out in a foreign language or largely unfamiliar language would point to the presence of the supernatural or divine. In other words, by arguing that heirs will experience a foreign voice, Paul

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