Galatians 4

Slavery or freedom in Christ
Discussion continues about the heir (seed of Abraham). Two analogies are given beginning at v1 and v21. See the main statement at ga0317.
 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;
.2  But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
.3  Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
.4  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
  4 - Fullness of time The time of Christ's ministry, and hence His birth 30 years earlier, were predicted in the prophecy of Daniel da0925. Also lu03note, mr0115.
  4 - Made under the law Christ bore the curse of the law for us ga0313.
 5  To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. "... adoption as sons." (NKJV, RSV).
.6  And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
 7  Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
  5 - Redeem Or "in order to purchase the freedom..." (Weymouth). From the context, we see that Paul is thinking of buying as freeing from legal slavery (See verses 2 and 3). "Along with the more important work of redeeming men from sin, Christ's fulfillment of the types of the ceremonial system also released the Jews from further obligation to that system and from the 'the curse' that came upon all who ever sought salvation through compliance with its requirements." (SDABC). See on Gal. 3:10, 13.
  5 - Under the law Paul writes as a Jew as in verse 3.
  6 - Because ye are sons Though Gentiles, they were as sons and no longer under the bondage as preached by the "Judaizers" (Gal. 1:6-8). Even the Jewish Christians had been released (Gal. 3:4, 5). All were enjoying salvation through the risen Christ (1 John 3:1, 2).
.8 ¶ Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
.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?
 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.
  8 - No gods See, for example, on 1sa0502.
  10 - Observe days Not the seventh-day Sabbath. Sunday worship became popular later. And the change was a "new gospel" ga0108.
  11 - Afraid of you Rather, "afraid for you."
 12 ¶ Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.
 13  Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first.
 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.
 16  Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
  12 - Be as I am He had been a zealous Pharisee ac2605 but had given his life to reach the Gentiles 1co0920. They were going back to what he had given up.
  13 - Through aforetime In spite of his affliction.
  14 - My temptation Probably "your temptation" They may have been tempted to reject him.
  14 - Received me as an angel Paul would not have pretended to have been an angel or Christ but with the courtesy they would have accorded to them.
  15 - Plucked your own eyes Apparently to relieve his visual handicap.
 17 ¶ They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them.
 18  But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.
  17 - Exclude you From Paul's influence or from fellowship while not accepting their teaching of Jewish ceremonies.
.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.
  20 - Change my voice From speaking rebukes.
.21 ¶ Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
 22  For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
.23  But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
 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.
  21 - Under the law See on ro0614, ro0212.
  23 - Two sons ... bondwoman ... freewoman Paul shows that the son without the covenant promise had no hope. This was like being under the condemnation of the law.
  24 - Two covenants For Sarah, was the covenant of faith. For Hagar, it was a futile attempt to earn salvation by works. ez1660, ga0315, ga0317, he0808. Outside the allegory, Hagar and Ishmael had the opportunity to live by faith, too ge2117.
 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.
 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.
  25 - Jerusalem which now is The Jews whom the Galatians were trying to copy were in spiritual bondage.
  26 - Jerusalem ... above The heavenly city represents the Christian church. he1222, 1pe0209.
  27 - Rejoice From is5401. Literal Israel had neglected to share their light with the world is0501. This would now be the opportunity for the Gentiles. They would receive the promises offered to Israel ac1118.
 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.
 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.
 31  So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
  28 - Children of promise They were to inherit the promise neglected because of unbelief he0319-0402.

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