Highlights In Today's Reading:
Once redeemed as a son and heir (4:1-7,23,31), why go back to bondage (4:8-10,21-25,30)? Live in freedom through Jesus (5:1,5-6,13-14). Produce fruit (5:22-23) because of the indwelling Spirit of God.
The history of Hagar and Sarah represents two different Covenants — the Law and the Gospel of grace. Hagar represents obedience to the Law, which puts one under bondage. 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. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free (4:30-31; Gen. 25:5-6). This does not mean free to disregard the Law or the Commandments of God, but free from the old sin nature because the indwelling nature of God makes us overcomers. They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (Gal. 5:24). Crucifixion is a slow death. The sinful desires do not die easily. But, when we are determined to be a follower of Christ, the Holy Spirit will make us overcomers.
Sarah represents the grace of God, the gift of a new life resulting in spiritual fruitfulness (4:26-28).
Our new nature (II Cor. 5:17), received from God by faith when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, is inspired by the Holy Spirit to do good works from a heart's desire to please our Lord. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Eph. 2:8-9). Put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts. And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (Gal. 4:22-24). Christians are the spiritual seed of Abraham (3:29). They are not motivated by external rules of conduct that become mere legalism. Our source of motivation is the indwelling life of Jesus Christ.
As we walk in the Spirit, we cooperate with God who leads the way. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh . For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot (in our own strength) do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the Law (5:16-18). Follow the Lord — according to His Word — that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Rom. 8:4).
Thought for Today:
As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12-13).
For Gal. 4:27: See Is. 54:1. Gal. 4:30: See Gen. 21:10. Gal. 5:14: See Lev. 19:18.
4:4 made under the Law =born of a woman as a subject to the Law; 4:6 Abba =Father; 4:12 injured =wronged, taken advantage of; 4:24 gendereth to =leads to; 4:25 answereth =corresponds; 5:19 uncleanness =immoral conduct; lasciviousness =immodesty, vulgarity, unrestrained lust; 5:20 variance =contentious temper, strife; emulations =jealousy, rivalry; seditions =dissentions, divisions; 6:6 communicate unto =share in the financial needs of; 6:12 constrain =compel.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs. Marguerite Buckles • Bible Pathway Media Producer: Rick Hash • Government Officials: Sen. Harry Reid (NV) and Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (NH) • Country: Morocco (28.2 million) on the northwestern coast of Africa • Major languages: Arabic and French • Government very hostile to Christians and missions • 99.75% Muslim (mostly Sunni); .25% Christian (including foreigners); small numbers of Jews and Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: Sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving (Ps. 147:7).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 18:33