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Bracketing—Assignment 10
Praise God, we are free children of his grace! Let us be diligent not to fall into the slavery of relating to God through law.
Published July 25th, 2017
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Main point summary
Main point summary
It would be foolish to put yourself under the slavery of the law, for God has freed you by his grace and given you the inheritance of a free son as he promised.
Galatians 4:21-31
Tell me, you who desire to be under the law,
To those of you wanting to be circumcised and follow Jewish custom
do you not listen to the law?
Have you even read the Scriptures? Do you know what they say?
For it is written
It is written in the Scriptures
that Abraham had two sons,
That Abraham had two sons
e one by a slave woman
One was the son of Abraham's slave
and f one by a free woman.
The other was the son of his free wife
But g the son of the slave was born according to the flesh,
The slave's son was born when Abraham took matters into his own hands instead of trusting God to fulfill his promise in his time
while h the son of the free woman was born through promise.
The son of the free woman was born to fulfill God's promise and his birth was miraculous and a sure sign of God's action
Now this may be interpreted allegorically:
Let's look at this as an analogy of our own situation
these women are two i covenants.
In this analogy each woman represents a covenant
j One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery;
One covenant - the Law given on Mt. Sinai - is the slave woman
she is Hagar.
Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; 1
So, in this analogy, Hagar represents Mt. Sinai
she corresponds to the present Jerusalem,
And she likewise represents the present day Jerusalem and the Jewish customs and circumcision
for she is in slavery with her children.
For the followers of the old covenant -the Law and Jewish customs - are in slavery like Hagar
But k the Jerusalem above is free,
But the new, heavenly Jerusalem, is free, like Sarah
and she is our mother.
And we are children of this new covenant
For it is written,
The Scriptures say
l “Rejoice, O barren one
Rejoice, o barren woman
who does not bear;
Rejoice, even though you are barren
break forth and cry aloud,
Rejoice loudly
you who are not in labor!
Even though you are not giving birth
For the children of the desolate one will be more than those of the one who has a husband.”
Rejoice, because you will have more children than the woman who has a husband
Now you, 1 brothers,
Now, you
m like Isaac,
Are like Isaac
n are children of promise.
Children of the promise
But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh o persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit,
But just like Ishmael, the son of the slave woman persecuted Isaac, the son of the free woman then
p so also it is now.
So now those who are slaves to the law are persecuting you who are free under grace
But what does the Scripture say?
But what was Gid's response in the case of Ishmael and Isaac?
q “Cast out the slave woman and her son,
God told Abraham to cast out the slave woman and her son
for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.”
Beacause the inheritance is for the free son, not the slave
So, brothers, we are not children of the slave
So, we are not slaves
but r of the free woman.
We are free
Likewise, we desire to live under the law because we do not fully trust God, but want to take matters into our own hands and earn our salvation in some way.
True joy comes from recognizing our own poverty and desolation and humbly accepting what Jesus has done on our behalf, not from the world's idea of riches and blessings, such as many children in OT culture
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.