9th February 2017
GALATIANS 4 v. 27 – 31
‘For it is written: ‘Be glad, O barren women, who bears no children; break forth and cry aloud, you who have no labour pains; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband.’
Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise.
At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now.
But what does the Scripture say? ‘Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.’
Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.’
Paul continues to use the story of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar, of Ishmael and Isaac, to illustrate the two ways of living – by God’s promise(s), or by humanity’s endeavours. To make it personal, Paul tells the Galatians that they are either
‘children of promise’, born of the power of the Spirit, made new to live in His freedom
children ‘born into slavery’, still trapped in the ‘ordinary way’, destined for none of the inheritance Christ’s freedom brings, and jealously intimidating, mocking and persecuting those who are ‘free’.
With these words, chapter four concludes – all that has been written so far will be summarised in the next verse (5 v. 1), and then Paul will spend the remaining two chapters expounding how this freedom translates into everyday experience – what true ‘freedom in Christ’ looks like for the believer / disciple.
‘A new day is dawning, a new age to come
when the children of promise shall flow together as one
a truth long-neglected, but the time has now come
when the children of promise shall flow together as one.’ (Dave Bilborough)
Lord, help me to see myself today,
as You see me,
as a child of promise –
born to live in Your freedom
born to realise the potential You first conceived for me
born to be a light, reflecting Your light, Your glory,
that others may see You
What difference would it make to all of your encounters today, if you prayed the prayer (above) before every meeting, duty, or activity?
Try it – be more conscious today that you are a ‘child of promise’.