Galatians 4:30


Wednesday, 11 May 2016

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.” Galatians 4:30

Paul, still continuing with his analogy between Hagar/Ishmael and Sarah/Isaac, returns to Scripture to show what New Testament faith in Christ should do with adherence to Old Covenant doctrine. As he asks, “…what does Scripture say?” He purposes that the Galatians make a sound decision based on the very words which pointed them to Christ in the first place. And its words, based on the analogy he has derived from it, tell them to “Cast out the bondwoman and her son.”

This is a quote from Genesis 21:10. These words come from the mouth of Sarah when speaking to Abraham, but Paul ascribes them to the divine Source of Scripture. Like all words recorded in the Bible, the Holy Spirit chose them from among countless words spoken by people throughout their lives. These are words actually uttered by them, but they hold special bearing on the process of redemption and so they are also those words which are used by God for us to understand His purposes for us.

Sarah had told Abraham to cast out Hagar and Ishmael; Paul is asking us to cast away doctrine which applied to the Law of Moses. It should be noted that he is not telling them to cast away the Old Testament. How could someone know what he was talking about unless they had the words of the Old Testament to refer to? Rather, he has equated Hagar/Ishmael with the doctrine of the Law of Moses; doctrine which is now obsolete and annulled.

Continuing on, he explains the reason why, using words still spoken by Sarah. He paraphrases the words for our understanding, but the intent remains –

“…for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman.”

The “son of the bondwoman” includes all who hold to works of the Law of Moses for their justification before God. The “son of the free woman” includes those who have trusted Jesus Christ alone for their right standing with Him. The contrast could not be made any clearer. The Galatians had been duped into heresy by the Judaizers. The Law could never save, it never did save, and it was to be cast away. How is it that some people can’t simply pick up this book from Paul’s hand and accept it at face value?

Life application: In his analogy, Paul says to “cast away” the law as a means of obtaining justification. If you are clinging to the law to impress God, you are failing to do so. God is pleased with the finished work of His Son. For us, our trusting in that is what pleases Him.

Lord God, thank You for the wonderful day which lies ahead. There may be ups, and there may be downs, but through it all, we know that You are here with us. All things will come out as they should. We have a wonderful joy inside of us because we are counted as Your children because of the work of Jesus. What more could we ask? Praises to You, King of Eternity, for the manifold blessings You have given to us through Him. Amen.

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