Our Bible passage today is Galatians Chapter 4 verses 21 to 31, a strange little interlude in Paul’s argument and appeal to these Galatian Christians.
As I hope most of you know or have worked out, I love the links between the Old Testament and the New Testament, and how the OT foreshadows Jesus and points us to Jesus, and deep down the OT is about Jesus. But yet I wouldn’t have even begun to see the deeper meaning of this OT story about Abraham’s wives unless the apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, had written about it!
I hope you remember something of the story which we looked at in the daily emails during last summer. Ishmael was born to the slave woman Hagar (Genesis Ch.16 vs.1-16) and Isaac to the free woman Sarah (Genesis Ch.21 vs.2-5). Sarah, Abraham’s wife, had previously been barren until her old age, until the Lord promised her and Abraham a son from which the line of the promised blessing to Abraham and his descendants would come.
So Paul is saying that Hagar and Ishmael are a picture of, point us to, Mount Sinai where the Law was given to Moses, and the earthly city of Jerusalem where the temple was, which was the centre of the practice of the Law. But as we have seen the Law doesn’t make us free, but rather holds us in bondage because we cannot obey it fully, and it doesn’t make us right with God.
But Sarah and Isaac born from a promise, point us to the heavenly Jerusalem (Revelation Ch.21) where all things are good, perfect and free, which comes from the free gift of the Gospel of Grace and the gift of the Spirit, which is like a promise from God. A bit complicated, eh??!!
And so for the Galatians the application is that just as Sarah told Hagar to go away in the story in Genesis, so they must tell the Judaisers to go away from the church, and so we might want to keep away from those who try and distort or dilute the pure and true meaning of the Gospel, that we are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ who died for us, and was raised from the dead.
If you want to discuss any of the above because I haven’t been clear enough please feel free. I still have lots to learn and understand as well!
From our church address list please remember in your prayers today,
– Sharon & George- Roger, Sue and Daniel.