Sunday, June 30, 2019

It's Time to Choose (from the Study on Galatians Series)

For the past several weeks, we've been traveling through the book of Galatians and discussing the freedom we have in Christ Jesus.  Today, we are continuing in Galatians, chapter 4.  The following are my Bible study notes based on one of our associate pastor's sermons titled, "It's Time to Choose."  Our pastor outlines the choice we all have to make according to the message in Galatians 4:21 - 31.

It's Time to Choose

The Bond Woman and the Free Woman

Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. 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. Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. 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.”
And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. 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. 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.”
So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman. - Galatians 4:21 - 31
 You are invited to worship with us as you watch and listen to the entire sermon here.

It's Time to Choose

Everyone must choose between achieving and receiving.

In Galatians 4:22, we learn about two women from the Bible.  One woman is the bond woman (Hagar, the slave/servant woman to Abraham and Sarah) and one woman is the free woman (Sarah, the wife of Abraham).  The bond woman, Hagar, conceived Ishmael by Abraham according to the flesh.  Sara, the free woman, conceived Isaac by Abraham according to God's promise.

In Galatians 4:23, we learn about the two sons born to Abraham.  One of them, Ishmael, was born to Hagar through the flesh.  The other son, Isaac, was born to Sarah through God's promise.

In Galatians 4:24, we learn about two allegorical covenants.  Hagar represents one covenant, bearing children who were to be slaves according to the flesh and Sarah represents the second covenant, bearing children who were to be free according to God's promise. 

In verses 25 and 26, we learn about two locations.  Mount Sinai in Arabia is a land of bandage according to the flesh.  Jerusalem is a land of freedom according to God's promise.

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 How do these verses apply to us?

We must decide whether to try to please God and achieve salvation by being good (which is impossible in the flesh) or to please God by accepting His gift of salvation through Jesus (God's promise). 

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. - James 2:10

SO, if we choose to try to live by the law, meaning that we try to achieve the favor of God by not breaking any commandment, this means that we must not break a single one, EVER.  However, according to James 2:10, if we break one law, any single one, then we are guilty of breaking the entire law.  There is no way anyone can go through life without breaking a single commandment.  I'm pretty sure that I break several every day.  I don't mean to break God's commandments, but I'm an imperfect human.  So are you.  You absolutely cannot live your life without breaking a single law.  I doubt that anyone can get through a single day and say that they lived it perfectly, let alone an entire lifetime.  The only way we can be sure that we will spend eternity in Heaven is by receiving the the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.  HE is the only way.  

 How will you choose today?
It's Time to Choose

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Read all posts in the Galatians Bible study series here.

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