Spiritual Realities

Paul engaged himself in keeping  the Galatian church focused upon the grace of Christ and to be free from the Law. Therefore, the Apostle used the scripture concerning Isaac and Ishmael as an allegory to make a distinction between Law and grace.

“Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. 23 But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. 24 This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. 25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. 27 For it is written, “Rejoice, barren woman who does not bear; Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor; For more numerous are the children of the desolate Than of the one who has a husband.” 28 And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. 30 But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, For the son of the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the free woman.” 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman.” Galatians 4:21-31 NET2.

Someone has said, “Everyone makes mistakes in life, but that does not mean they must pay for them the rest of their lives. Sometimes good people make bad choices, but it does not mean they are bad. It means they are human.”

This statement and assumption is simply wrong and flawed. Yes, everyone does make mistakes. However the Apostle John writes in 1 John 5:17a, “All unrighteousness is sin…” (I must encourage you to read the 5th chapter in its entirety to correctly understand this phrase.) No one is free from sin in this life, but we have been empowered not to sin because the perfectly sinless Holy Spirit indwells the body of every Follower of Christ. But to say simply that we sin because we are human is an excuse to commit sin ‘just because.’ This is a lie from Hell, ‘period.’ Believers do not sin because they are human, they sin because they are free to make the choice between good and evil.

No doubt, the church in Galatia was struggling with the conflict between the OT Law and the NT Law of Grace found in the Risen Christ. And Paul was giving this church the instruction on how to overcome the Law with the power of the Risen Christ because of His grace extended to them.

The choice is obvious: every Believer can choose between the OT Law or the Freedom posited by the Grace found in the living Christ and the two cannot be combined. These are different as night and day. Paul writes, “ I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ. For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” Galatians 1:6-12 NASB. Paul’s concern for this church is that they had so soon deserted the Christ for a false notion or Gospel teaching that is, indeed, ‘not’ a gospel at all. For this reason the Apostle writes in Galatians 4:31, “So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman.” The fact is obvious to the observer to become a practitioner of faith.

And for this reason alone Paul points to the vast schism between those who live in the Spirit and those who live in the darkness of the flesh, “ But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.” Galatians 5:16-26. NET2.

Observing many who claim to be followers of the Christ reveals their statements to be in conflict with the Word of God resulting in confusion. They, no doubt mean well, but are obviously in error and this indicates sin. The purpose, the Divine intent for every Believer, is to live by the Spirit just as Paul writes.

Jesus is Lord.

About Bob Williford

Conservative Southern Baptist pastor, missionary, and personal evangelist. An avid supporter of Texas Tech Athletics. Enjoy oil painting, writing and woodworking. My wife, children, and grandchildren are my joy. Reading and writing are great for relaxing......
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