Paul’s doctrinal argument that began in 3:6 has ended in 4:7.
He has begun an appeal to the Galatians to apply this teaching to their lives.
Beginning in 4:21 Paul is going to use an OT story as an allegory to appeal to the Galatians logic.
4:21 Paul appeals to the Law itself to speak and verify what Paul is saying.
Paul and the Law both say that the Law is bondage.
Wuest: “Tell me, ye that are bent upon being under law, are ye not hearing the law.”
4:22 Paul again goes with Abraham.
Abraham himself had two sons.
So the power was not in Abraham’s genetics, flesh or law.
The power was not attainable except by the promise, the spirit, or faith.
“For” connects verses 21 and 22 and gives the idea, “Your desire to be under the law is not in harmony with scripture.”
4:23 Differences in the two sons (who both had the same father)
1) Mothers – one slave, one free
2) Method of conception – one natural, one supernatural.
“son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise”
or, “through the promise”
“dia ths epaggelias”
a) this teaches that the promise of God called Isaac’s life into being.
b) In verse 4:29 this phrase becomes “by the power of the Spirit.”
4:24 “taken figuratively” means these historical events can be used to teach a truth.
4:25 The word “corresponds” is the Greek word “sustoicei” and means “to file together” or “to be in the same line or row.”
“sustoichei” refers to things that are in the same column such as letters in the alphabet or soldiers at attention.
This means that Paul sees in this story an allegory that has parts that can be taken out and lined up for comparison.
Old Covenant New Covenant
Hagar, the slave, represents the old covenant from Sinai and Ishmael represents
Judaism centered in
Sarah, free woman, represents the new covenant from
Ishmael and Isaac are alike since they both have the same father.
So, Judaism and Christianity arte alike since they both originate from Abraham.
But, Ishmael and Isaac are drastically different:
1- Born of different woman. . . . . . . . . . Law or Faith
2- Born by different means. . . . . . . . . . . Flesh or Spirit
3- Source of origin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Works or Promise
The question for the Galatians is who is your mother and how where you conceived?
The Judiazers recognize that the Galatians believers have a connection to Abraham just as they do.
What they fail to realize is that:
1- Believers are born of the Spirit and live by faith as a result of a promise.
2- Legalist are flesh in bondage to a law because their hope is in their works.
4:27 From Isaiah 54:1
This verse comes after Isaiah 53 which describes the career of the Messiah
The number of supernatural born will outnumber the natural born.
4:28 Now we are like Isaac.
1- We came into being because of God’s promise (word)
2- We have a supernatural birth
3- Our entire existence is the result of a promise, the spirit, and faith
a. Spiritual conception
b. New birth
c. Spiritual growth
e. Rewards (glorification)
4:29 The position of a believer who is spirit born and faith living is persecution by the natural man who lives by works (or, is a spiritual slave.)
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Mt. 5:10
“Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them
you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and
pursue from town to town.” Mt. 23:34
The apostles said:
“For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but
also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you
law I had, and now hear that I still have.” Philippians 1:29-30
“We sent Timothy. . .to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, so that no one
would be unsettled by these trials. You know quite well that we were
destined for them. In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you
that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know.”
1 Thessalonians 3:2,3
“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life In Christ Jesus will be
persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse,
deceiving and being deceived.” 2 Timothy 3:12,13
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though
something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate
in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” 1 Peter 4:12,13
See Genesis 21 Isaac was laughed at and mocked by Ishmael
Isaac was about 2 years old and was being weaned.
Ishmael was 17.
Note: The laughing and mocking came not from the Canaanites but from a half brother.
One with the same father, but existing from a slave woman.
Jews, not the Pagans, killed the prophets in the OT
Pharisees/Priest, not the Romans, crucified Christ
Medieval church, not the pagans, killed the reformers
Woman on the beast, not the beast, drunk with the blood of the saints
4:30 There is no compatibility of fleshly religion and spiritual religion
Genesis 21:10 “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.”
The Jewish teachers would have viewed this verse and this story as God’s rejection of the Gentiles. Paul turns it to be God’s rejection of legalism (including the Jews) and giving the inheritance only the believers (including the Gentiles.)
This allegory must have infuriated the Judiazers.
Point: Get rid of the
4:31 There is a switch to the first person “we” from the second person “you” or “they” because this teaching includes all who embrace the truth.