Slaves to Sons
I recently read a book entitled The Black Count. (Read my review HERE) This biography tells the story of Alex Dumas, the father of Alexandre Dumas*. Alex, was the son of a French aristocratic sugar plantation owner, Antoine, and his black slave woman/wife, Marie Cessette. They made their home together on the tropical island of Saint-Domingue which is now Haiti. Antoine and Marie Cessette had four children together, one of whom was Alex. At that time in the late 1700’s, the French laws had strange provisions for the children of mixed heritage. You could either claim your “mulatto” child as your own true offspring, or you could keep him/her as your slave. Antoine chose to claim Alex as his son, thus ensuring that Alex received the full benefits of being the son of a French nobleman. His other three children, and his wife, were not so lucky. Antoine left them all behind on Haiti while he and Alex returned to France.
In the space of a moment, with a single spoken word you could go from being a slave to being a son.
This story, with its strange law reminded me of a passage in Galatians 4:7 “So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”
All of us were once slaves, slaves to sin and to our own human nature. These things bound and entrapped us and we could do nothing about any of it. Fortunately for us, we don’t need to do anything on our own, instead Galatians reminds us: “when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” Galatians 4:4-5 ESV
As believers we were once slaves, but now, through the sacrifice Christ made for us, God calls us His children. And as God’s children we are His heirs.
Man can be fickle. I’d imagine Alex lived in fear for quite some time that Antoine would not claim him, and would instead leave him behind to be a slave forever. Praise God that our heavenly Father is not fickle. He adopted us as sons and daughters and He will never let us go. In the space of a moment, with a single breath from God, we went from being slaves to being sons and daughters of the King.
For another look at these verses in Galatians, take a listen to the sermon my Pastor-Husband preached: Gospel Standings. Click HERE to listen.
* Alexandre Dumas is the author of The Three Musketeers, and The Count of Monte Cristo, among other great tales.