Yesterday - Galatians 4. It is a chapter about the difference between law and grace. You know, don’t you, that you have a relationship with God either by law or grace. It’s one or the other. If it’s law, God is your Master and you must obey him or be punished. It it’s grace, God is your Father, eternal Daddy, and you have a relationship with him rooted in grace. In this chapter, Paul outlines this relationship with God the Father by grace. By Jesus coming into the world, at just the right time (vs 4), we are adopted into God’s family with all the rights as his heirs for all eternity (vss 4-6). We’re no longer in a “slave” relationship with God but his “own child”, knowing everything he has belongs to us. Since we know this (vs 8ff), why would we ever want to return to a “slave” relationship with God again? We’re free from the law defining this relationship!
False teachers in Galatia kept trying to tell these new Christians it was grace plus circumcision. But Paul knew that if it was grace plus anything then it was grace plus everything in the law, thus, again, making us slaves again (see vs 17ff).
Finally, Paul an example to make his point: Sarah and Hagar. Hagar had a child with Abraham by human effort/law. Sarah’s child came by promise/grace. God’s covenant was with Sarah and the child, Isaac, born by grace. Mt. Sinai represents the law and works, the old covenant. Vs 28: Christians are people born of promise, by grace through faith! Then Paul gives this warning: flesh persecutes spirit. Law persecutes grace. Those who find their righteousness in their works hate to hear grace and go after it (or the person!). Just beware: if you live by grace through faith, you will be persecuted, somehow, some way, by those who live by works.
Nevertheless, with this persecution, who wants to live by law? It’s deadly. You can never obey enough to earn God’s favor. It’s ALL about grace. There alone is freedom...and the Father’s unconditional love and acceptance.
Have a great day, children of the Father by grace!