Galatians 4:1-31. Man of sin, child, under tutor, adult in Spirit, adopted as Son, backslid as man!

Email: Pastor True Gospel

 Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.

 

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1. When we were children, it was bondage under the traditions of churches.

"Galatians 4:1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;" Here we see how a king will raise his child. Even though the child will become Lord or a king, for the time being he will be under a servant, as if he is one among them. "2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father." The child will learn and grow under the tutors and governors until he becomes and an adult Son, who will behave as a son of the king. "3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:" So also, from the beginning of our conversion, until we become Sons of God, we will be under the elements of the world. What are the elements of the world? Many things are in the world. But in our context, it is Judaism or churches with ceremonies, rituals, and traditions are the elements of churches, that is of the world. So, we are in bondage to the traditions of the churches. In a way, it is also necessary since we learn many things from churches. We learn the history of God's people, God's works from Genesis up to now, the commands of God, the laws of Moses, the life history of Jesus Christ, the prophesies about Jesus Christ, and so many other things. Further, church life is a better life than the life of the world, with less crime and more civility. So, as long as we are in the child level in the Spirit, we will be kept under the law, here the law is the traditions of our churches. But this will not give us eternal life, even though it will give a better life in society and on earth.

2. You know God, or known of God, why turn again to beggarly elements.

"4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law," In the appointed time Of God the Father, Jesus, who was God the Creator, being God the Word, became a man of flesh. It is in "John 1:14. It says, the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, ..." And Jesus was born as a Jew under the law. "5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons." He wants to redeem those who are under the law; it refers not only to the Jews, but also to Christians. The law has two portions. 1, the law of Sin or of flesh. 2, the law of the Spirit or of faith. If we are under law of sin or flesh, we will be damned in hell. If we are under the law of the Spirit or faith, we will inherit heaven. Those who are in the law of sin will do religious ceremonies but will not obey God. Those who are in the law of Spirit, may follow ceremonies, and they will obey God. Our redemption is that we are brought from the law of sin to the law of the Spirit. It is in Galatians 3:24-26. "24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." who are under the schoolmaster, the church. This schoolmaster should bring us to Jesus Christ and should withdraw himself. So, when we come to the faith, that is obeying the Lord Jesus Christ, that is we are under the Spirit, we will be no longer under the schoolmaster. That is, we must not be guided by the church anymore, and we must grow above it. Another scenario is that, if we have come to God, in a situation without the teachings and guidance of a schoolmaster, then what shall we do? "Acts 2:42 says, And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers," and learn it from them. That is, they must study scriptures from true teachers, may be from a church set-up or a fellowship of brethren. But nobody can become a Son of God with their own plan. If we come to Jesus Christ, he will give us his holy Spirit to guide us in his ways. "6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." As the holy Spirit leads us, if we walk in his ways, God will increase the measure of the Spirit, and we will become the Sons of God. "Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.... 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; ..." The next verse in Galatians says the same thing that we will be heirs of God. "7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. 8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods." But while ago, we did not know God; were under those who were not Gods. Then through the schoolmaster, who is the law, came to the Lord Jesus Christ; became Sons of God and were made heirs of God. But the next verse tells us a horrible thing. "9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?" After we became the Sons of God in the Spirit, how come some went back to observe the law? If we went back to observe the ceremonies of the law, God will consider us as backslid. Yes, the law brought us to Christ. But now, we must not be under the law, we are supposed to be under the Spirit, and why did we lose our conversion? At those days, the ceremonies are of Judaism, but now at present the ceremonies are of the churches. "10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. 11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain." Now, apostle Paul grieves over them and us if we backslid, saying what all the work he did and the time he spent, was all wasted, and all the labor he put on them is for nothing. He shows his disappointment in Galatians. So also, the Holy Ghost shows disappointment on us.

3. I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: I travail in birth until Christ be formed in you.

"12 Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all." Apostle Paul lived just as a common man among Galatians, but not as dignified. He tells them that they were not offensive to them. "13 Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first." Here, Paul was preaching them with some infirmity in his body, but he did not reveal to us what it was. Bible says that the things that are not revealed, we must leave it alone, as it belongs to the Lord. But preachers make it a big show. They describe that Paul had some ugly eye disease and so on. Probably, he could have some ailments from the whippings, stoning, or such things that he had endured. In the previous verse Paul says that Galatians did not injure him at all; so, the infirmity could have caused by some enemies of the gospel. "14 And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. 15 Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me." The phrase that 'you could have plug out your own eyes and have given me', was a phrase of a common 'figure of speech', people use even this day in eastern countries, to tell you that they love you and even give their life for you. but it does not refer to an eye transplant surgery, as preachers and theologians say. Paul appreciated them for how well they treated him with respect and love, just because he was a servant of God. After he told them about their love, he writes the next verse. "16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?" Now he talks about a kind of strife, or unfriendly tension between them. "17 They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them." Here, the apostle says, "They zealously affect you." They are those who insist that they must do ceremonies behind circumcision for their salvation; for us, they are the same as, who insist on church attendance, which are of traditional law, who persist on ceremonies. They impress you very zealously because they want to capture you. But it will not give them eternal life, even though it will give a better social, religious, and worldly life. But losing the Spirit and heaven will be an extremely bigger loss. "18 But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you." Apostle Paul tells them that they must be affected always, even in his absence, in a good way, that is to attain eternal life, but not to lose it. "19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, 20 I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you." Apostle Paul wants to be strict with Galatians, to be with them, and to bring them back to Jesus Christ. Now their standing position with God is in jeopardy, since they went with religious ceremonies, rather than be guided by the Spirit in the ways of God for salvation.

4. Two covenants; one is born in bondage after flesh, other is born by promise born after Spirit.

"21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?" Assuming that Galatians has an attraction towards the law, which are ceremonial following, rather than obeying God; apostle Paul is going to explain again what the law can do and cannot do. Here, Paul will explain the deeper understanding in spiritual doctrine. So, it will confuse the Gentiles more; but Jewish Christians of that time will understand them easier. So, we are being Gentile Christians, it will confuse us rather than make it easier to understand. However, please use this passage to learn about the doctrine in Judaism. If you like to keep it simple, it is that the ceremonies and worship services of churches will give us satisfaction and they are good for the Christian society. But since God will not consider them for eternal life, we cannot count these things for heaven. In order to gain eternal life, we must obey the commands of God, that is the only way, and every religion is a waste. Now let us come to the doctrine of Judaism. "22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman." It is an analogy that he draws from the old testament, from the story of the children of Abraham. Paul illustrates the two ways, either to be under the law, or to be led by the Spirit, hypothetically by the two sons of Abraham. "23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise." One son is from Hagar, the bond woman, the other son is by his wife Sara, the free woman. The son by Hagar, came by the idea of Sara and Abraham, which was the work of the flesh and God has nothing to do with it. The son by Sara, Abraham's wife, came by the promise of God, after they were too old. So, the son by Hagar is by flesh and the son by Sara is by the promise of God. "24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. 25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all." Again, the apostle is comparing them allegorically with mount Sinai and with Jerusalem. If it is confusing to understand, please remember this; the son of Agar, which is the plan of Abraham and Sara, is compared to traditions of churches, which are the doctrine of men. But the son of Sara is compared to obeying God, which is the doctrine of God, which will give eternal life. "27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband." This verse may be more difficult to understand. It is to say that the doctrine of God will bring more Spirit children, than our own plans and ideas will bring. "28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now." Here again that Ismail, the son of Sara mocked Isaac, the son of promise. It is in "Genesis 21:9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. 10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac." So, the son of bondwoman will not be heir with the son of the promise. It is to say that the church going, ceremonial worshipping Christians will not inherit heaven with the obedient Spirit lead people. God also told Abraham to do what Sara told him to do, to cast out the son of flesh; it is in verse 12; "in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called." The corresponding verse in the new testament says in "Galatians 4:30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman." Son of bondwoman represents those who serve churches, but not God. Here let me remind one very important truth of God. We Christians always consider the churches as the dwelling place of God, and we go to churches to feel the presence of God and to worship him. But the truth of the bible is that the presence of God is not in churches, and their ceremonies are not about God, but about another Jesus, which is fake. Christians do not know this, because a twisted version of scripture is preached to them. This is a big conflict, not only in this century, but it was the case even in the first century. Since it is against the church functionality, preachers will hide it, and so, Christians do not know it. Since I am teaching what the bible says, you may hear it. Now it is up to you to accept it or reject it. However, what God says in the bible is true, and preachers and theologians will hide the truth, to favor their church position. Come to the study again. Sons of free woman represents us that are free, led by his Spirit of God, and to be obedient to God. If the old testament is difficult to understand, just remember that the ceremonial worship will do worldly good, but it will not give inheritance in heaven. We may argue, but how can we argue against God on this. So, it is wise to accept what God says. The obedience to God by the Spirit will make us to inherit the kingdom of God in heaven.

 5. Abraham had two sons, the one is by a bondmaid, and the other is by a freewoman.

 "31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free." The epistle to Galatians tells us, not to be under churches, but to be led by Spirit. However, allegorical explanations from the old testament may complicate the new students of the bible than helping them. God uses many portions of the epistles of Paul as stumbling stones, and God has a purpose in it. It shows that God does not change, even though his style changes. Apostle Peter tells about the teaching of Paul in "2 Peter 3:15 ... even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction." Paul is wise and highly educated in scriptures; and so, it is difficult to understand some of his expositions by new students. However, the leading of the Spirit is simple and easy. However, the old testament says that Abraham had two sons, one is born slave, the other is born free. The son of the slave did not inherit, but the son of the free inherited. It is compared that do we remain slave to the traditions of Churches, or will we break it to live free, and to obey Jesus Christ by our own choice, so that we may inherit the kingdom of God? So, be free and obey only God.

If any point needs explanation, OR, if you find an error according to scripture,
Please write to me in the 'Mail Box' below. I will reply promptly.
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I am a retired pastor of the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India
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