1 Now - To illustrate by a plain similitude the preeminence
of the Christian, over the legal, dispensation. The heir, as long as he
is a child - As he is under age. Differeth nothing from a servant - Not
being at liberty either to use or enjoy his estate. Though he be lord -
Proprietor of it all.
2 But is under tutors - As to his person. And stewards - As to his substance.
3 So we - The church of God. When we were children - In our minority,
under the legal dispensation. Were in bondage - In a kind of servile state.
Under the elements of the world - Under the typical observances of the
law, which were like the first elements of grammar, the A B C of children;
and were of so gross a nature, as hardly to carry our thoughts beyond this
4 But when the fulness of the time - Appointed by the Father, Gal 4:2.
Was come, God sent forth - From his own bosom. His Son, miraculously made
of the substance of a woman - A virgin, without the concurrence of a man.
Made under the law - Both under the precept, and under the curse, of it.
5 To redeem those under the law - From the curse of it, and from that
low, servile state. That we - Jews who believe. Might receive the adoption
- All the privileges of adult sons.
6 And because ye - Gentiles who believe, are also thus made his adult
sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts likewise,
crying, Abba, Father - Enabling you to call upon God both with the confidence,
and the tempers, of dutiful children. The Hebrew and Greek word are joined
together, to express the joint cry of the Jews and gentiles.
7 Wherefore thou - Who believest in Christ. Art no more a servant -
Like those who are under the law. But a son - Of mature age. And if a son,
then an heir of all the promises, and of the all - sufficient God himself.