STUDY IN GALATIANS

SESSION 7

GALATIANS 4:21-31

 

 


1)     This is probably the most difficult passage in Galatians – truly probably one of the most difficult in the whole of Scripture

a)     Requires a knowledge of The Old Testament

b)    Especially the History of Abram/Abraham

c)     Three parts:

i)       Historical

ii)     Allegorical

iii)   Personal

2)     V21 – To the Judaisers and those who wish to live them

a)     Do you not know what the Law Says

b)    Are you so desirous to live under that which will judge you and condemn you

3)     VV22-23 Historical

a)     Abraham had two sons

i)       One born into slavery under the normal process of The Law

(1)  Consider the Marriage Contracts of the Day

(2)  Not unusual for a wife to give her slave girl to her husband

ii)     One born into freedom according to the Promise of God

(1)  Born by the Promise of God to a faithful man and woman

(2)  Born by miracle to a 100 year old man and a woman over 90 years old

iii)   Thus to be free descendants of Abraham one had to follow the child of Promise and of Faith

(1)  Again we can refer back to the debate Jesus had with the Jews recorded in St. John 8:31ff

(2)  Discussion concerned freedom in Abraham

iv)   The false lineage to Abraham is literal and physical

v)     The true lineage is figurative and spiritual

4)     VV24-27 Allegorical

a)     Here St. Paul enters into an allegorical discussion

b)    Allegorical meanings are defined as, “having hidden spiritual meaning that transcends the literal sense of a sacred text” (Webster’s Dictionary)

c)     Need to comprehend the Nature of the Two Covenants herein established

i)       A Covenant is an agreement between God and Man

ii)     Hagar is the mother who bore children into slavery

(1)  She is from Mount Sinai – the Mosaic Law

(2)  Arabians are known as The Children of Hagar (descendants of Ishmael)

(3)  Stand for Earthly Jerusalem

iii)   Sarah – a free woman who bore a child into freedom

(1)  Isaac born free

(2)  Isaac a miracle child of Promise

(3)  Through whom all nations will be blessed

(4)  Symbol of the Heavenly Jerusalem

iv)   In v27 Isaiah is speaking of the abundant descendants and fruitfulness following the return from captivity.BUT St. Paul is stating that the true fulfilment of the prophecy is in the Christian Church – the Body of Christ!

v)     Thus, many are descendants of Abraham (Jews, Arabic Tribes) But we have to be concerned about who is our mother (Hagar [Law] or Sarah [Blessing, Freedom])

5)     VV28-31 Personal Application

a)     Christians are the Children of Promise – like Isaac

b)    We are spiritual descendants from Isaac

c)     Prophecy that Ishmael (God Hears) would be like a wild donkey and live in hostility towards (or, east of) his brothers (Arabs today are a constant thorn in the side of the Jewish people)

d)    AND as Isaac (freedom) was persecuted by his half-brother Ishmael (Law) so we must expect persecution from legalists within Christianity as well as “the world”

e)     Sarah desired the abolition of Hagar and Ishmael and God confirmed the same to Abraham. (Genesis 11ff)

f)      Thus, we are the children of the freewoman – children of the Promise of God!

 


NEXT WEEK – GALATIANS 5

 

 

 


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