Sunday, January 19, 2014


I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you. (Galatians 4:20 KJV)

Have you ever taught someone – then discovered they didn’t quite get the lesson? Paul did. So, he wrote them with clarification.  I’ve always liked this particular graphic – even though it has a bound book on the table. I get that he has all kinds of the written word about him for reference – I do, too. For example, Matthew Henry’s commentary on Galatians 4:
In this chapter the apostle deals plainly with those who hearkened to the judaizing teachers, who cried up the law of Moses in competition with the gospel of Christ, and endeavored to bring them under the bondage of it.
He spent time explaining an allegory:

Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. (Galatians 4:24 KJV)

In other words, this subject cannot be covered in a verse, it’s a lesson that must be taught in depth, and the sons of Abraham are the examples – one born in bondage, one free. One was conceived naturally, one miraculously of parents way past child-bearing. There are several differences in these two men, and we must consider that one was born because of three people’s reaction to cultural expectations, the other as God’s plan for the people to carry His story to the world.

Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. (Galatians 4:28-29 KJV)
These things, says he, are an allegory, wherein, besides the literal and historical sense of the words, the Spirit of God might design to signify something further to us, and that was, That these two, Agar [Hagar] and Sarah, are the two covenants, or were intended to typify and prefigure the two different dispensations of the covenant. The former, Agar, represented that which was given from mount Sinai, and which gendereth to bondage, which, though it was a dispensation of grace, yet, in comparison of the gospel state, was a dispensation of bondage, and became more so to the Jews, through their mistake of the design of it, and expecting to be justified by the works of it.
The Law is something that can be discussed, debated, defined by theologians (though they might differ in their definitions) where lines can be drawn between right and wrong. The new covenant returns to the faith – and obedience – of Abraham, where mercy and grace are totally unearned gifts of God.

Where the law confines, faith frees.

Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? (Galatians 4:21 KJV)

Paul doubted that they understood, and he sought to explain. Do we understand his explanation? Where are we? Standing with the Galatians looking for the rules to follow, or with Paul living in faith that God’s grace will provide as we’ve accepted His mercy? Do we read the Bible with the desire to be obedient, or to earn points? Do we look upon our teachers as an enemy – or a shepherd?

Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? (Galatians 4:16 KJV)

Are we seeking the truth? Are we desiring it? Or is it easier to read a list of rules and attempt to not break one? The only answers for these questions come from within ourselves.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post. I rarely hear something like anymore. I used to hear it a lot when I was going to a Bible church and seeking. (Don't you love all the Christianese I just used?)

    Powerful words to ponder.


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