The Making of a Christian
My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, ~Galatians 4:19
What’s your goal for your Christian life? Sometimes, we can mistakenly think that activity or association is the goal. In our scripture this morning, the Apostle Paul shares his heart with the believers at Galatia. These believers had gotten off to a good start, but false teachers influenced them to think that salvation by grace through faith in Christ was not enough. Paul patiently and lovingly explains to them the gift and goal in salvation. So, Paul peels back his heart, and exhorts the believers that the goal is “Christ be formed in you.”
We see an agonizing preacher.
“My little children, of whom I travail in birth again…” Paul is unbundling his heart to people he loves. They have regressed in their relationship with the Lord. Paul desires more than anything that they resume their zeal in loving the Lord and growing in him. So, Paul uses the process of travail to share how he feels for them. He says, “Of whom I travail in birth again.” The birthing process is agonizing pain. Paul is fighting to bring believers he previously won to Christ back to accepting their relationship with the Lord. Because of what they went through, he is burdened and stressed that they move forward in their relationship with the Lord. Be thankful this morning for someone who might be travailing in birth for your spiritual success.
We see the amazing power.
“To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” As Paul shares his heart, he reminds the believers that salvation is a work of grace. No good works on our part will bring about the New Birth. The New Birth is all about the power of God at work in us. The Holy Spirit is the agent in bringing about the conversion of a sinner. This power forgives us of all of our sins, gives us the gift of eternal life, and makes us sons of God. Salvation is immediate. Salvation means we have no sin debt that we owe to God. Salvation means we are accepted in the beloved. What an amazing power!
We see the adopted privilege.
“And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” We are given the blessed privilege as sons of God. We are adopted in God’s family. As adopted sons, we have all the legal rights of a son. Thus, we become heirs of God. Nothing is held back from an heir. There is no exclusion of an heir. An heir can approach the throne of God without hindrance. As a son, God is our Father! As a son and heir, nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.
We see the absolute person.
“My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you…” Paul is not going to let these believers fail. The goal that he has set their eyes on was that they would become “the perfect Christian.” The “perfect Christian” is an ongoing developing process. It is Christ being formed in us. It is growing in our faith through discipling, decisions, and increasing in the increments of grace. It is in effect becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ.
The making of a Christian is when Christ is being formed in us. Eph. 4:13 explains it as becoming “the perfect man, unto the measure and stature of the fullness of Christ.”
Is Christ being formed in you? Do you sense your Pastor’s burden for you to become more like our Lord Jesus Christ? Don’t be stagnant or go backwards: let Christ be magnified in your life!
Have a growth-driven God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Matthew 11-12