[Nederlandse versie]

Paul’s letter to the Galatians, chapter 4, verses 1 – 7

1 What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. 2 The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. 3 So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. 4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

Many Islamic boys’ names start with ‘abd, ‘servant of’. Abdulaziz, Abdulhak, Abdurrahman, Abdussamad etc. Allah has got ninety nine ‘beautiful names’. Muslims more often than not call their eldest son Muhammad. The younger brothers are often adorned with a name that expresses a characteristic of God, preceded by ‘abd. Typically Islamic!

Are Christians servants? Of God they are, yes. Of rules and rituals, they are not. There is nothing wrong when you sing from Psalms 134: “O Come ye servants of the LORD.” Paul urges Timothy to be “a good minister of Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 4:6). Minister indicates that someone who is ‘less’ and hence serves his superior. However, a follower of Jesus is more than a valet or a slave. Jesus tells his disciples: “I no longer call you servants (…) instead, I have called you friends” (John 15:15). As children of Abraham, Christians pass for God’s friends (James 2:23). Even more beautiful: together with and because of God’s only natural Son – N.B. this does not mean ‘God’s biological son’, reportedly Christian’s belief, according to some Muslims – even we are called children of God. Jesus calls us his brothers and sisters (Heb. 2:11).

In Isaiah’s prophecies, when God speaks about his Son who will be human, ‘servant,’ the Hebrew word is ‘ebed. Exactly the same word as ‘abd. What is typically Christian about this? God’s Son became a slave. Hence he can make you from slave to child of God. The Spirit of the Son ensures that you can worship God as a loving Father. Talking about trinity…

Baptised Europeans who become Muslims, often choose a new name. They do not want to be called Paul anymore. John becomes Yassin. Should Muslims need to change their names when they become Christian?
To sing: The Servant King verses 1 and 4

From heaven you came helpless babe
Entered our world, your glory veiled
Not to be served, but to serve
And give your life, that we might live

This is our God, the Servant King
He calls us now to follow him
To bring our lives as daily offering
Of worship to the Servant King

So let us learn how to serve
And in our lives enthrone him
Each others needs to prefer
For it is Christ we’re serving

This is our God, the Servant King
He calls us now to follow him
To bring our lives as daily offering
Of worship to the Servant King

1 antwoord

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] vrienden, broers en zussen [English version] De brief aan de Galaten, hoofdstuk 4, vers 1 tot […]

Reacties zijn gesloten.