Gal 4:21-25 “Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.”
There are times in our lives when we need to be called on to examine our choices and consider whether they are in line with the liberty that is in Jesus Christ. When our actions show we would prefer some other law to the perfect law of liberty (Jas 1:25), then we need to be sure we understand the origin and purpose (hear) of that law. We must realize that we are in bondage to the law we serve (2Pe 2:19). If that law binds us to any way that does not declare Christ the end of the law for righteousness, then we need to seek God’s guidance to disentangle ourselves from that way.
Paul again turns to the scripture to call attention to the root and truth of the choice the Galatian brethren were making. Paul makes a clear distinction here. He plainly declares to them (and us) that the son of the bondwoman was born after the flesh. We often read a declaration like this and immediately our thoughts turn to people who don’t know God. We dismiss this as having anything to do with God’s people because it is dealing with those “born after the flesh.” We need to take note that Paul is teaching about the two covenants; one of law and the other of grace.
The son born of the bondwoman, born after the flesh, is an example of the first covenant (not of unregenerate sinners who don’t know God). Paul plainly declares that the one from Mount Sinai brings forth (gendereth) to bondage. He further states that this covenant corresponds (answereth) to physical Jerusalem as it was in Paul’s day. It was still the seat of the high priest and the counsel; it was still represented a covenant where there was no place for the Gentiles; it was a place that was in bondage and her children (those that followed the law) were in bondage with her.
If it is our happy lot to be of Him who was by promise (Jesus), then we are free born. This was a privilege that men were willing to pay a great price for and was deeply treasured by those who could claim it by birthright (Act 22:28). Paul’s question to the Galatians was “Why are you seeking the son of the bondmaid when you have been called to life by the son of the freewoman?” When it has pleased God to draw us into this covenant of grace, which abides in our Lord, Jesus Christ and is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit, why would we want to be in bondage to something else?
May we, by God’s grace, rejoice in being a servant of Jesus Christ for there is no greater liberty in the world!