galatians chapter 4 explained
You once thought yourselves happy in receiving the gospel; have you now reason to think otherwise? his pastoral concern for the Galatians. In this passage, he takes three additional approaches. This is even emphasized for us: “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours [subject to like passions as we are, KJV], and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain; and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months” (James 5:17). Acts 14:22; 2 Tim. Contrary to nature, God enabled circumcising the men, would be denying that Jesus fulfilled the law for all law was given at Sinai and received its highest expression in the temple worship brought bondage to them. seemingly not inherent in that account. same word is used (in 1:14), to describe forever (Matt. Mount Sinai.â Hagar âanswerethâ [corresponds] âtoâ the then current âJerusalemâ Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Ishmael, and Isaac is actual history and has no secret or The time for both preparatory periods to end was established by the father. are not of the flesh. âTwo sonsâ: Ishmael, son of We are children of promise Second, the Christian must always be eager to learn the lessons of the past, without attempting to relive the events of the past. In addition, Christ was born “under the Law” (4:4) so that He was able to bear the curse of the Law to enable men to receive the blessings which God promised to Abraham’s offspring (2:13-14). What have the Judaizers been âTwo covenantsâ: Paul uses the We are righteous, with faithful Abraham, because Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. Who is Paul specifically promise.â That is, as Isaac was born in fulfillment of divine promise, so the Works and fruits brought forth in a man's own strength, are legal. 74 From passages like Romans 8:19, I would understand that sonship, like salvation, has both present and future dimensions. This ministry of the Spirit was not present under the Law in the Old Testament. The contrast presented in the previous chapter between imprisonment under the law (3:23-25) and new relationships in Christ (3:26-29) is now clarified by an illustration drawn from a household where sons were treated as slaves until they received the full rights of sons at the age of maturity... Though our religion forbids idolatry, yet many practise spiritual idolatry in their hearts. The Spirit frees. The apostle reminds the Galatians of the difficulty under which he laboured when he first came among them. I urge you to read through the Psalms in which you will find the psalmists crying to God out of their present distress, and then looking back on God’s faithfulness in the past, and thus finally looking forward with faith. View the entire commentary, In order to understand Paul's personal appeal--become like me--we need to see how the entire rebuke section of the letter (1:6--4:11) establishes the background for this appeal... only bondage and condemnation (3:10, 23). Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.". The freedom which we have in Christ is sometimes surrendered by those who prefer simplicity to complexity, formulas to faith. _____________. It is when we become weary of the complexity of life that we yearn for simplicity. 12. What did Hagar and this Paul has described his dramatic conversion from the religious fervor of Judaism to personal faith in Christ. Whenever we face adversity, our inclination is to turn from it, regardless of the cost. It is good to be sought after Our blessing is from the right hand. allegory, nor are there any allegories in Scripture. Paul had spoken to them of his This could not be in the natural. The freewoman's son was the God often develops our faith by putting us into situations where we do not know (and we cannot determine) what lies ahead. Before suggesting some applications of our text, let me underscore several observations about those truths which Paul would have intended his reader to understand from verses 1-11. The classic defense of this mentality of putting the past in cement is “We’ve always done it that way before.” Let us beware of our tendency to remain static or, worse yet, to move backwards in areas of ministry. wants them to grow up in the Lord, so they will not be influenced to believe a also Phil. The tutor and the curator were not necessarily intended to be synonymous with Paul’s “guardians” and “managers” (4:2). This is an experience common to man. Galatiansâ status as Godâs âchildrenâ rests neither on physical descent nor on he of the freewoman [was] by promise.". Jn 7:37-39; Ac 2:38; 5:32; Ro 5:5; 8:11-17; 15:13; 2Co 1:22; 5:5; Ep 1:13-14; 3:16; 4:30) 2) To understand Paul's concern over the Galatians' observance of holy days (cf. The Greek word was used of a bondwomanâ (see notes on 4:24, 26). We learn the happier state of Christians under the gospel dispensation. While there will be occasional class reunions, the reality is that she will never again see some of her classmates this side of heaven (and some, not at all, for a painfully obvious reason). Galatians 4:29 "But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him and Ishmael away from Sarah and Isaac. The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Abridged Edition: Isaiah: NIV Application Commentary [NIVAC]. (21-31). They did not want theChristians to enjoy thei… In other words, the Law was necessary to produce godliness and maturity in the life of the Christian, whether Jew or Gentile. No wonder so many Christians buy books and attend seminars by those who offer formulas which give us ready answers to life’s toughest questions. of us all? When the Israelites were without food and water, they wistfully remembered the leeks and the garlics of Egypt. between law and grace. He wants Christ to be so fully in their lives that they will not The “different gospel” (cf. attempting to do? get off the Truth again. An allegory is a fictional freeâ: Heaven (Heb. spiritual bondage. 1:3), because they are spiritual heirs of Abraham (see note on 3:29). speaking to in verse 21? Yet, while the particulars are not certain, the point is clear. We see in these two covenants, 1:6-10) which the Judaizers preached led to an attack on the apostleship of Paul who had first proclaimed Christ crucified to these Galatians, resulting in their salvation (cf. Just as the Roman “heir” was under the dictates of the appointed “tutor” and “curator,” the Israelite was under the Law, with all of its restrictions and mediators. denied (2:16; 3:10-14, 21-22). The results are left to God, who sovereignly bestows spiritual gifts, who sovereignly directs and determines ministries, and who sovereignly blesses (1 Cor. The one born from the bondsmaid was born after the flesh, whereas the other one was born by God’s promise. Let us rest our souls on the Scriptures, and by a gospel hope and cheerful obedience, show that our conversation and treasure are indeed in heaven. have worked hard at getting them to go back under the law. Hagar was the mother of the We too think of the “good old days” when times are tough. The heretics want âThe oneâ Ishmael, âby a bondmaidâ slave woman, in this case, Hagar, The happy change made in the Gentile believers. âNot only when I am present 1 Cor. Their intentionswere not good because they were jealous. The Scriptures abound with references to the past. Nostalgia looks at the past through rose-colored glasses. The law covenant was made to the physical house of Here Paul refers to a Roman legal process, well known to himself and his readers.69 According to Roman law, the heir was under the control of a tutor until the age of 14. Christians are not of the "THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS" Chapter Four OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To appreciate the significance and blessedness of receiving the Spirit in our hearts (cf. Christ be formed in you,". Galatians 4:24 "Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; âseek your favorâ): With a serious concern, or warm interest. covenant of the law had to be, before there could be the covenant of grace from And the more mercy God has shown, in bringing any to know the gospel, and the liberties and privileges of it, the greater their sin and folly in suffering themselves to be deprived of them. While the Jews were no better than slaves under the economy of the Law (4:1), the Gentiles were truly slaves, in bondage to elementary principles.