Let’s turn in our Bibles to Galatians, chapter four. This is one of those books of the Bible that probably should not have chapter distinctions, because it’s just one continuous thought tying together all the way through. So, when you take it in chapter segments, a lot of times you break the chain of thought by stopping at the end of the chapter. As a general rule you need to go back to the last few verses of the previous chapter to sort of get you up to speed. And the fourth chapter is really no different.
You have to go back to chapter three to catch up to speed with the thought and the thing that Paul is presenting. And so we are all the children of God. And he’s moving into this thought of being God’s children. But we are children of God—how, by our faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. And there is neither Jew nor Greek, bond or free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed. And you are heirs according to the promise.
So, heirs of God, children, heirs of God, but not by the law. We are heirs of God according to the promise. And he’ll close out with that thought at the end of chapter four.
Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; Now here is a child, he is born into the wealthy home. The child is the heir of the family fortune. Yet, while he is still a child, he is under the tutelage of the governors, who are teaching, training, and he does not have the right to the fortune, that is, as far as spending it, when he is just a child. As long as he is a child, he is differing really nothing from the servants, as far as that goes. He lives in the household. He has the benefits of living in the household, but still he doesn’t have the rights of using the financing of the household, though he really is going to inherit it all, in a technical sense. Ultimately it all belongs to him. But it isn’t his to use at the present time.
2But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. He is under the tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. That is, the time in which the father says, all right son, it’s yours.
3Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: Now Paul is making an allegory here. The idea is that as long as the person is relating to God by the law. They, really and Israel, though they were the heir of God and the promises of God, under the law, they weren’t able to enjoy the full benefit of what was theirs and what was promised to them through the Scriptures.
The law, as Paul said in the previous chapter, was the schoolmaster, you’re under tutors and governors, it was the schoolmaster. The purpose of the law was to bring them to Jesus Christ. Now if try to use the law for any other purpose, you’re not using it lawfully. The whole purpose of the law was to bring them to Jesus Christ. Once they had been brought to Jesus, they were no longer under the law, but they had this new relationship with God as sons of God, adult sons, where you now can begin to enjoy the inheritance.
So he is using the child, being under the tutor to emphasize this law as a schoolmaster. That was its purpose to bring you to Jesus Christ. Once brought to Jesus Christ, then you are no longer under the schoolmaster, as far as the basis for your relationship with God.
We now relate to God on a whole new basis. That’s through our faith in Jesus Christ. My righteousness is not of works, not of my obedience or keeping the law. My righteousness is imputed to me by my faith in Jesus Christ.
Now there are always those that say, wait a minute. You take away the restrictions of the law and people, given that kind of liberty will go wild. But as Paul said (Romans 6:1-2), shall we, you know, sin freely that grace might abound? God forbid! How can we who are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
People don’t realize that it’s a new relationship. It’s true, I’m not under the law. I don’t relate to God by the law. I now relate to God in my new life in Christ Jesus, whereas I’ve been crucified with Christ (back to Gal. 2:20). Nevertheless, I live, and yet it’s not I, but Christ is living in me. And the life that I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God. Not by the works of the law, but by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
In reality, my standard of living, under grace, is even a greater standard than under the law. Under the law you are prone to do just what is required and that’s it. Under grace there is no stopping. You know, I mean, it’s delighting to do the work and the will of the Lord. And you don’t look at the law as making me righteous or my works as making me righteous. My works are the result of my extreme appreciation for what God has done for me, bringing me into the family, adopting me as His son, making me the beneficiary of His riches.
So my love, as Paul in another epistle says (2 Cor. 5:14), the love of Christ constrains me! I’m driven by it! I’m pushed by it! This glorious love of Jesus Christ! But I don’t count it as, well, I’ve done this for God and I’ve sacrificed this. I gave up this and I’m doing that, because that is nothing. I do what I do because I want to do it. I love Him and I am living for Him! My life is His! And thus you don’t count it sacrifice. You don’t count it as a hardship. You count it all joy as you are able to just relate to God in this wonderful way.
So the person who comes to the true understanding of what it is to be in Christ Jesus, where there is neither Jew nor Greek, bond or free, male or female, Christ is all and in all. You learn of the joy of just living your life for Him! And for that person there is no law. I mean, there is no necessity for a law.
The law is for unprincipled people. If everybody were living righteously you would need no laws. The purpose of the law is to govern unprincipled people. If you have the right principles, you need no law. And so Jesus brings us into a new relationship with God, where the law is not necessary. It was the schoolmaster. It led us to Jesus Christ. It brought us to Jesus Christ because it showed us our own spiritual bankruptcy. When I realized what God required of me, I realized I couldn’t do it.
In the Old Testament (Micah 6:8), the question was asked, and what does God require of thee. And the prophet answered to do justly, to love mercy and to love humbly with your Lord.
In the New Testament, you say well, I don’t like the Old Testament, it’s pretty tough, you know, God commanded that I keep the law and all, how about the New Testament, what does it require of me? Well Jesus said (Matt. 5:48), be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Now, when I realize what God requires of me, I realize my inability to live up to God’s requirement in myself, I can’t keep the law! In myself, I am far from perfect. That’s even out of the question, I don’t even think of that. But because of my relationship with Jesus Christ, I realize I can’t fulfill the divine ideal, so what is God’s actual requirement of me? The actual requirement is that I believe in Jesus Christ.
They came to Jesus one day and they said, what must we do to do the works of God? And Jesus said, this the work of God that you believe on Him whom He has sent. Ooh, wait a minute! I can do that! That is within my realm. I can believe on Jesus. I do believe on Jesus! You mean, that’s what God requires of me now. That’s the work of God to believe on Jesus. That’s within my grasp.
But wait a minute, it’s not over. When you believe in Jesus Christ, when you put your trust and faith in Him, then He comes and He begins to indwell you. He writes His law on the fleshly tablets of your heart. And that is to say , He gives to you the right desires, the wishes, the wills. It isn’t that God has give up on the ideal requirement, it’s just that I couldn’t do it. So God’s actual requirement is that I believe in Jesus Christ, but as I do, He then imparts to me the power of the Holy Spirit that begins to conform me into the image of Christ, so that now in me, He is fulfilling the purposes of God. It isn’t that God is saying, that you can just live any ship shod way you want, no, no, no! He is saying you can’t do it, but by your believing in Jesus , I will impart to you the power and you will be changed. You will be transformed. And if that change hasn’t taken place, that transformation, then that is a powerful indication that you do not truly believe in Jesus Christ.
John said (1 John 3:6-10), if a person is practicing sin, living in sin, then you are not truly born again. He that is born of God, does not live in or practice sin. You can’t as a child of God. That’s not a part of your new nature. It’s one of those touchstones to find out the reality of the faith that you profess, because there are many people who are professing of faith, but their lives and their actions show otherwise.
So the law, a tutor or governor, it brought me to Jesus Christ, who has place me then, as a son, as an adult son, where I now begin to enjoy the inheritance. So we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the law. We were under the law who was under the tutors.
4But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, But when the fullness of time was come, and this is of course referring to the coming of Jesus Christ, God had promised for four thousand years that the Messiah would come. And that in the fullness of time, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, and you remember how conscious Jesus was of this hour, this day.
The Psalmist spoke of the day (Psalm 118:24), this is the day that the Lord has made. We will be glad and rejoice in it. Save now! Save now! Blessed is He comes in the name of the Lord, the day when the Messiah would arrive.
And as Zechariah said (Zech. 9:9), behold, rejoice ye daughters of Jerusalem, shout for joy, your King is coming. He is lowly, sitting upon a donkey. And that day that Jesus made His entry into Jerusalem on a donkey, was the day that God had promised to Israel.
But, according to the prophecy of Daniel (Daniel 9:26), the Messiah was cut off without receiving the kingdom.
But Isaiah tells us (Isaiah 53:8), that in His being cut off or crucified, he was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities.
So, the whole program was laid out by God in the Old Testament. But through the death of Jesus Christ, we have now righteous provision for the forgiveness of our sins. And we have now a new relationship with God. We are children of God. In the fullness of time, God sent forth His Son. He was made of a woman. Going back to the very beginning (Gen. 3:15) when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, God said the seed of the woman would bruise the serpent’s head or would destroy the serpent, bruise the serpent’s head. Actually, here He is! Born of the woman.
5To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And made under the law, but he came to redeem those that were under the law. Going back to the previous chapter (Gal. 3:13), where Paul tells us that He redeemed us, who were under the law, the curse of the law. Christ has redeemed us from the curse, being made a curse for us, verse thirteen. So to redeem them that were under the law, so that we might receive this being placed as an adult son to the extent that I can now begin to enjoy the privileges of the inheritance that is mine in Christ Jesus.
6And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. As we were mentioning this morning, the word “Abba”, is the Hebrew word for father. The Jewish children will come in and they will say, “Abba”. They are talking to their father. But it’s more like our English word, daddy, because it’s a term of endearment. It’s a term of closeness. It’s a term of coziness. With the daddy, father, can be sort of a formal kind of a relationship. When I think of “father”, I think of sitting straight at the table, you know, and not saying a word, with “father” at the other end. You think of sort of a formal, kind of, don’t speak until you’re spoken to, kind of a thing. Whereas with “daddy”, you think of climbing up on the lap and listening to stories and hugs and things of that nature. And both are proper. There is the balance here in the “Abba Father”.
He desires to have that close kind of a touchy relationship with us, where He touches us and can be touched by us.
But also realizing who God is, the awesome power, authority, the Eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, God. There is always that awe! There is always that reverence and respect that comes with Father. It’s a fine balance. It’s wonderful when a person comes into that. You feel comfortable. You feel at home. You feel close, the “Abba”. But also you have that awesome awe to think, “Father”. So the Spirit of God within us, bearing witness to our hearts, giving to us that innate realization, I am now a child of God, born into the family of God. I’ve become an adult son, an heir of God! And the Spirit in my heart, crying “Abba Father”!
7Wherefore thou art no more a servant, That is, as a servant who doesn’t have the privileges of the family fortunes.
but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. He who was rich, for your sakes, the Bible says (2 Cor. 8:9) for your sakes became poor. That you through His poverty, might know the riches of God. That’s love! That’s the gospel of grace. Jesus, who was rich, the Son of God, as He prayed Father (John 17:5), glorify Me with the glory that I had with You before the world ever existed. He became poor, that you through His poverty, might know the riches of God. What wonderful grace!
8Howbeit then, (Or how is it then?) when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. Now the Galatians were basically pagans. Paul came and brought to them the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. They ceased their worship of Diana and of the other gods, the many gods. They began to worship the true and the living God. So Paul said, how is it then that when you knew not God, still in ignorance, you were serving, which by nature, are no gods? You were devoting yourself to them.
9But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Now the religions of the world always place man in bondage. People are held by fear. The religions, the tendency is to enslave man, to enslave his mind and his life. And people are very devoted to their false gods. They will make tremendous sacrifices for their false gods, which are no gods. Yet, that is the practice of paganism.
Yes, they worship because it’s innate within man to worship. You can’t help worshipping. God has built you that way. In Deuteronomy, it says (Deut. 4:19), when you go out and look up at the stars and you are driven to worship. There is a drive within man to worship. You are going to worship something. And those who worship the false gods are enslaved by their religious systems.
So Paul says, how is it when you didn’t know God, living in paganism, you did service to those, which by nature are really not gods? But now after you have been known of God, and rather are known of God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Why would you go back to the law? You see, Paul brought to them the freedom in Christ. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed (John 8:36). He brought to them a whole new relationship with God through Jesus Christ. They were set free from the old superstition, from the old tradition, from those things that did not profit. And now, this wonderful liberty in Christ Jesus, of knowing God, worshipping God, being a child of God. How is it, Paul said, you want to go back into the weak and beggarly elements, that is of the law? Why do you want to put yourself under the law again, its rules and regulations?
Whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage, 10Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. Because you are starting again to observe days and months and times and years. As of course, the holy days and so forth and months, why is it, Paul said, you want to put yourself in that kind of bondage?
11I am afraid of you, (Or I’m fearful for you.) lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain. After Paul left and he had brought to them the glorious knowledge of Jesus Christ, they had been freed from the old bondage of tradition, then these Jewish believers, who were legalists, who said that you can’t be saved unless keep the law. Faith in Christ is wonderful, but you have to keep the law in order to truly be saved. They came in and they began to put these people again under the law, under the things of the law.
Now Paul questions, why would you want to do that? Why would want to go back under these things?
There are the Messianic fellowships that we have here in the United States. There are many of them. And I don’t really understand why it is that they often tend towards the legalism again. Some of them go so far as to have the curls and you know, and the keeping of the law. They become more legalistic, many times, than Jews. As they turn again to the observances of the law. Paul said, I’m fearful that maybe I’ve, you know, labored in vain, coming to you and bringing to you the gospel, the good news. And now you’re wanting, you’re being turned, your minds are being twisted by these people who are telling you that you’ve got to get under the law to be righteous before God.
12Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all. Be free, as I am.
13Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. When I came to you, I was sick. You remember that.
14And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; (My trial, which was in my flesh, you did not despise nor reject.) but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. Your reception was very warm. I brought you the good news of Jesus. You received me like I was an angel or like I was Jesus, Himself.
15Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me. Now, many believe that Paul is here, giving a hint at least, to what was his thorn in the flesh, in that he said, I bear you record. You loved me so much, you would have given me your eyes. You would have plucked out your eyes for me. They believe that that is a reference that Paul is making to his thorn in the flesh, that it was this Oriental eye disease that caused his eyes to constantly run, with sores and just sort of ugly. But Paul said, you received me as an angel. You would have given me your eyes.
16Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? 17They (That is, the false teachers, who are telling them they have to keep the law.)zealously affect you, (They come in with all kinds of zeal, and you know, dynamics, with a lot of shouting and yelling. They push their persuasion on you.) They zealously affect you.
but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them. 18But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you. So they are getting you all stirred up. But it’s only that they are trying to, you know, say, they are trying to get notches on their own belt. We brought these people into our persuasion and all.
There are those that prey upon the body of Christ. They are really not evangelistic. They are really not out reaching the world. They are only trying to persuade the Christians to their particular doctrinal view or position. And their whole life and ministry is only to change people’s thoughts to agree with their doctrinal position. They consider it a great big prize when they can conscript you into their persuasion. And they are very zealous. They are going around trying to conscript people into their persuasion. They usually talk fast and are like a used car salesman. But they are trying to persuade you in the things that they believe. And of course, that, as Paul said, they are not really concerning your benefit, but that you might affect them. In other words, they can say, well we, you know, brought so many to our persuasion. And it’s good to be zealously affected, but in good things.
19My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, Here is Paul’s heart. Here they are, little children. They are not really well grounded in the faith. Paul wasn’t there that long. And here Paul sees that these false teachers have come in. They are upsetting these babes. They are bringing in heresies. And Paul’s heart goes out to them because they are little children in the faith. Paul says I’m travailing again until Christ is formed in you. It was Paul’s desire to bring them into this full relationship to God through Jesus Christ. Christ in me, Paul said, the hope of glory. And he was desiring to see their lives transformed by the indwelling presence and power of Christ within. And thus in prayer, Paul was travailing to this end. Oh Lord, work in their lives and really work out through their lives, your love, your grace, your truth. He was deeply concerned that they come to this richness in Christ, that he himself had experienced the transformation by the indwelling power and presence within their lives.
20I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you. Now, there is one difficulty with letters and that is the expression of the voice when you say a certain thing. Because you can say something in a tone of voice, you can say something that is rather harsh but it is mellowed because of the tone of your voice. Or you can say something harsh and well, you know, and you can say something nice, but your tone of voice would indicate harshness.
We used to have a very smart dog, but he wasn’t that smart. And he really read more from the tone of voice than what I said. I could say, oh you’re the ugliest, stupidest dog in the world, you know. And he would wag his tail and be very happy, you know, from the tone of voice.
So Paul is saying, I wish I were there so you could hear my tone of voice. I want you to know my heart in this. I really wish I were present. I know that what I am saying sounds like a rebuke and all, but I love you! My heart is torn for you. So I wish I were present with you so I could change my voice because I do stand in doubt of you.
21Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? Do you really know what that entailed? Do you want to go and put yourself under these legal restrictions? Do you really understand what that is.
Then Paul now uses an allegory from the Old Testament. It’s interesting that Paul uses this as an allegory, it shows, as he does in the Corinthian epistle, that he sees the Old Testament as illustrations of God’s truth, in picture form. The experiences of the children of Israel coming out of the bondage in Egypt, through the wilderness, into the promised land, and the aspects of that experience. Paul sees that as allegory. It is like a person who comes out of the bondage of sin into this glorious life in the Spirit, that God has promised, the promised land, the life in the Spirit. And so Paul sees that whole wilderness journey as an allegory. The manna in the wilderness, the rock from which the water came, all of this is a Spiritual allegory to our pilgrimage from the bondage of sin into the full, rich, life in Christ.
Now here he picks up an allegory from Abraham, who had two sons. The first son, Ishmael, the son of Hagar, was the son of expediency, for he was not of faith. He was a demonstration of the lack of faith in the promises of God. He was a product of the fleshly endeavor to accomplish the purposes of God. Now that is something that is quite common and of course, it’s part of the law. It is by fleshly endeavor, endeavoring to fulfill the promises of God and to be pleasing to God by the obedience to the law, relating to God by the law and obedience to the law. That’s the effort of the flesh.
The other son, Isaac, was the son of promise. God had promised to give Abraham a son and thus he is the spiritual son. Now it is interesting that as Isaac grew older, when God said to Abraham, take now thy son, thine only son, Isaac, whom thou lovest. Wait a minute, God, aren’t You forgetting something? There is Ishmael over there. What do You mean, your only son? Ishmael was the son of the flesh, fleshly work, in order to try to accomplish the purposes of God. It’s interesting to me that God does not even acknowledge the works of the flesh.
So those that are endeavoring so hard in the energy and in the efforts of their flesh to please God, need to take note of the fact, that God doesn’t recognize the works of our flesh. Of course with the cults and all, there is always the emphasis upon the works.
These people who come around to your door, the thing that propels them to come to your door, isn’t really to see you come into the rich benefits in Christ Jesus. It is to fulfill their sense of obligation. They are told that they have to do so many works in order for them to be accepted by God. So they are thinking of their own salvation, not your salvation, when they knock on the door because it’s required of them, in order to be accepted by God, to do these things. So they are the works of the flesh, but God doesn’t recognize them.
So Paul uses this allegory of the son of the Hagar versus the son of Sarah, the one being the son of the flesh, which is like the law, trying in the flesh to accomplish the purposes of God. The other is the son of promise, which is likened unto the walk in the Spirit, that we have in Christ Jesus and the glorious promises that are ours.
So with that background, let’s look at this allegory. 22For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid (the slave girl), the other by a freewoman (The other was his wife. The one was a servant girl, a servant of his wife, but the other was his wife.). 23But he (Ishmael) who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. God promised Abraham that through Sarah, shall thy seed be called. So the son born from Sarah was the product of the promise of God.
24Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; The one covenant with Israel by the law. And the other, the covenant through grace, Jesus Christ, when He took the elements of communion, said, this is a New Covenant in My blood, shed for the remission of sins. The second covenant was through Jesus Christ.
So the one from the mount Sinai(that is the law), which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. It brings you into bondage. So Paul is saying that, you know, these things become the religious system, like all religious systems, leading man into bondage, where Jesus came to set us free.
25For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, Go to Jerusalem and you will see it! There they are. They are in bondage. As they are making all of these observances and as they are doing all of these things, in their effort to please God. The works of the flesh that they are offering to God. It is a very interesting thing that they have gone totally in that direction whereas God required a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins. They no longer are even offering a sacrifice.
But what are they offering to God as the basis for the forgiveness of their sins? We are coming up on Yom Kippur, it’s within the next week that we will be coming to Yom Kippur. On Yom Kippur, what are they going to be offering to God for the forgiveness of their sins? No sacrifices. What will they offer? They are going to offer to God their works. Lord, I’ve done this. I gave so much and I did this. You know, I spent so much time. They are going to be offering to God their works, asking God to forgive their sins because of the works that they have done for Him. That’s sad! They are under bondage. He said, Jerusalem, which now is. And how true that is today. They will be endeavoring by their works to appease God and to receive the forgiveness of sins.
To Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. They are under the law.
26But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. So we answer to this new Jerusalem, that work through Jesus Christ.
27For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now he is quoting from Isaiah 54:1, which follows right after that glorious chapter that deals with Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins. He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him. And by whose stripes, you are healed. All of us, like sheep, have gone astray. We have turned everyone of us to own way. God laid upon Him, the iniquities of us all. And it goes on to tell us of the sacrifices of Jesus for our sins. And right into chapter fifty-four, then in Isaiah, you read, “Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not.” So the glorious gospel and there it was of the prophesy of the gospel to all men. So the rejoicing, we Gentiles, who have been brought into this glorious covenant with God, through Jesus Christ, not by the law.
28Now we, brethren (he said), as Isaac was, are the children of promise. And so we are the children of promise, the promised work of the Holy Spirit.
29But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, And so it is now. Ishmael took advantage of his thirteen year seniority over his little brother. He persecuted his little brother at every opportunity when no one was looking. He pinched the baby.
So he said, even so it is now. You see, Paul had gone in and brought the gospel, the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, the forgiveness of sins by the grace of God and by the finished work on the cross and by your believing, you can be forgiven all of your past sins. You can now have a new live and the power of God’s Spirit as you live for Jesus Christ. These people came in, the legalists, and they began to pervert the gospel that Paul taught. They said, oh no, you’ve got to keep the law! And they began to put them under the bondage of the law, persecuting the child that was born of promise.
So we are of Isaac, we are the children of promise. We live by the promise of God. God has promised to forgive us our sins. Praise the Lord! It’s not by works of righteousness, that we have done, but it’s by the work that He has done. That is the basis for our forgiveness.
I’m glad it’s that way! Because if it were predicated upon my works, some days I would make it and other days, I wouldn’t. I would be praying constantly, Lord, please come for me on a good day. But because it’s predicated on the work that He had done, He can come anytime! His work is a finished work. And I am in him, the son of promise, Isaac.
But as then, he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. 30Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. We are heirs of God! Again the theme of being an heir of God. Cast out the bondwoman, the law, because the law cannot bring you into this relationship with God, where you become the heir to the kingdom of God. The law can’t do that for you, only Jesus Christ can bring you into this position of adult son. If you are under the law, you are still under the tutelage of the schoolmaster, the governor. You can’t inherit. It’s only through Christ that we inherit this position.
31So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free. Now as you go into your study, this next week, into chapter five, you will find that Paul becomes extremely strong in his declaration to those who would seek to be righteous by keeping the law. Those who are looking to the law as the standard to live by in order to be righteous and accounted righteous before God. He’ll show you and declare to you in very strong language, that if that is what you are endeavoring to do, you’ve actually fallen from grace. That was the danger of those in Galatia, those that were listening to the false teachers. Those who were beginning by the law to try to relate to God and to please God by the works of the law and no longer did they experience the glorious grace of God in their lives. So chapter five next week, as we continue through the Bible.
Father, we thank You for Your Word. Truly it is a lamp unto our feet and light unto our path. Lord, this week, help us to walk in the light of Your truth, as the Holy Spirit transforms our lives and makes us, Lord, what You want us to be. Not through the efforts of our flesh, but through the power of Your Holy Spirit, Lord, may we see this work of Christ accomplished. And Lord, help us to guard against that tendency towards trusting in the flesh and in our works. May we lean, Lord, upon You and Your finished work. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Transcribed from “The Word For Today”, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #8167, (KJ Version)