This study, taught by pastor Barry Forder at our Sunday morning service on Sunday 22nd November 2015 is the forth study in our verse-by-verse journey through Paul’s epistle to the Galatians.
In chapter 4 Paul uses three main arguments to try and convince his Galatian converts that thy should refuse to listen to the Judaizers, and not bring themselves back under bondage by trying to keep elements of the Law of Moses. They were saved by God’s grace alone. they could add nothing to the completed work of Christ by keeping the Sabbath or observing feast days.
The first argument is simply to point our that at that time, and in that culture, a child was no better than a servant until he came of age. But at the time appointed by his father, he became as ‘son’ and heir of all his father had. Jesus had come at the time appointed by His Father, and Paul points out that now they had been adopted as sons and heirs. Why would they therefore want to go and put themselves back in a position where they had no inheritance?
The second argument is a sentimental one where Paul reminds them of their joy at his coming and preaching the gospel of grace to them, how they had received him and loved him. So he now asked quite bluntly, “do you now hate me because I speak the truth to you?”
Thirdly Paul draws an analogy for the historical account of Abraham, with Hagar and Sarah, Ishmael and Isaac, and the earhtly Jerusalem and the Heavenly Jerusalem. Hagar was a slave, Sarah was free. Ishmael was ‘a work of the flesh’, Isaac was a miracle of Grace, the earhtly Jerusalem was (and still is) in bondage, the New Jerusalem is free and eternal. All the former speak of the Law of Moses, in that those under the Law are slaves to it, and have to depend upon their own works, yet will never be free from it. The latter all speak of the wonderful liberty of the Gospel of Grace!
May you be blessed and challenged as you listen to this study.
You can listen to the audio on this web page, or save it for later listening. The PowerPoint slides in PDF format are also available for download.