Galatians 4:25-27

In Galatians 4:25-27 Paul continues to explain the covenants God made with us. The first was related to Mount Sinai and corresponds to Jerusalem or the capital of religious Judaism. Most Jewish people in Paul’s day tried to be right with God by trusting in their ability to please God by keeping the law. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.” But that approach falls short because none of us can keep the law and meet God’s requirements to achieve salvation on our own. We only have hope for salvation through the second covenant God gave us.

That is associated with Jerusalem and Mount Zion – but not the Mount Zion of this earth. Instead, it is associated with the Jerusalem above – God’s own New Jerusalem in heaven. Paul makes a third contrast between Christianity and legalism comparing them to heaven and earth. Real Christianity comes from heaven, not what we can accomplish on earth. “But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.” This covenant brings freedom – it is free. It is free because it recognizes that Jesus paid the price, and we don’t have to pay it ourselves. We could never pay the price for our sin – only Jesus can do that.

The new covenant has many children and is the mother of us all. Every Christian for all ages belongs to this new covenant. As believers, we are reborn through the miracle of God’s grace. “For it is written, “Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor! or the children of the desolate one will be more than those of the one who has a husband.” Paul makes a fourth contrast between Christianity and legalism – namely that the new covenant would have more followers than the many who attempted to follow the Law.

Guzik compares ‘The “Ishmaels” – Legalism vs. The “Isaacs” – True Christianity

  • Slavery and bondage vs. Freedom
  • Ishmael: born according to the flesh vs. Isaac: born by God’s promised miracle
  • Coming from the earthly Jerusalem vs. Coming from the heavenly Jerusalem
  • Many children vs. Many more children
  • Persecuting vs. Persecuted
  • Inheriting nothing vs. Inheriting everything
  • Relationship based on law-keeping vs. Relationship based on trusting God’

God knew we needed a Savior as we as humans were incapable of obedience to the Law so we could save ourselves. So Jesus came to earth to fulfill the new covenant and give us salvation through grace – True Christianity!

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