Sep 15, 2019. Galatians 4:21-31, A Tale of Two Covenants

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A TALE OF TWO COVENANTS. Galatians 4:21-31. 09/15/2019 #17 AM.

Galatians 4:21-31 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, 24 which things are symbolic. For these are [a]the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar— 25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children— 26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written:

“Rejoice, O barren,

You who do not bear!

Break forth and shout,

You who are not in labor!

For the desolate has many more children

Than she who has a husband.”

28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. 29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.

  1. Paul uses Abraham. Sarah. and Hagar as examples of old and new covenants
    1. Paul calls his illustration an allegory or a figure
      1. A type is an intentional Old Testament image that foretells a New Testament event (Hebrews 7 Melchizedek as a type of Christ, Matthew 12:40, Jonah in fish; John 3 brass serpent…)
      1. An illustration, figure or allegory using an Old Testament event to demonstrate a New Testament point (Matthew 12:4 David eating the showbread, Romans 4 Abraham; Hebrews 1 angels)
    1. Abraham didn’t take Hagar as a wife to be a type of the Law
      1. Abraham made a decision of the flesh
      1. Abraham colluded with Sarah to fulfill promise his way
    1. Sarah = a symbol 01 effective faith for promise was via Isaac
    1. Hagar = symbol of Law for Ishmael wasn’t promised son
      1. Hagar was a legitimate concubine just at the Law was a proper reflection of God’s holiness
      1. Hagar could not produce the promised son (not her job or fault) and the Law couldn’t give salvation
  2. The Hagar/Sarah allegory was a brilliant illustration
    1. The Law, like Hagar, was a covenantal dead and
    1. The illustration uses the legalizers’ argument against them
    1. Hagar was kicked out like the Galatians needed to do to Judaizers
    1. Hagar represented the world while Sarah represented faith
    1. Ishmael and Isaac both came from Abraham, just as the Law and Christ both came from God, but only Christ gives life
    1. Being the physical descendants of Abraham did not save one
      1. Matthew 3:9 Jews weren‘t saved by birthright
      1. John 8, Pharisees weren’t spiritual! descendants of Abraham
  3. Ishmael and Isaac had two different types of beginnings
    1. Ishmael‘s birth was natural
      1. Like the Law. which always existed since God’s holiness is forever, Hagar gave birth naturally
      1. The Law merely reflected a holiness that existed
    1. Isaac’s birth was supernatural
      1. Sarah was well beyond childbearing years (90)
      1. The Incarnation and Resurrection were supernatural
    1. Ishmael represents things temporal, worldly, and ruinous
    1. Hagar represents earthly Jerusalem and Sarah = spiritual Jerusalem
      1. Paul asks, “Who is your mother?”
      1. To follow the Law makes the slave woman mom
    1. Paul uses Isaiah 54:1: “…there are more children of the desolate woman then there are of the married woman”
      1. More children to the unsaved than the saved
      1. More enriched unsaved, hut in eternity the saved are rich and time exclusively with the Lord
  4. Stand firm
    1. Paul reminds the Galatians that just as Ishmael mocked Isaac (Genesis 21), Christians will be persecuted
    1. Three major pressures on believers:
      1. Harassment {persecution}
      1. Heresy (like Legalism, cults, and speculation]
      1. Hedonism {fleshly worldly, and self-indulgent)
    1. The Galatians needed to stand firm in the face of temptation (from legalizers) and threats (I Thessalonians 3:14)
      1. Threats & temptation are refining fires testing faith
      1. True faith resists temptation and stands firm under fire
      1. Fake faith falters under both (Paul’s concern for the Galatians)