Isaiah 28:14-30:11; Galatians 3:23-4:31; Psalm 62; Proverbs 23:19-21
Live Free in Christ
In Galatians, Paul raises the question, “Then what is the purpose of the Law of Moses?” (3:19). Paul explains that the law serves a temporary purpose in order to restrain sin, not unlike a parental guardian restrains unruly children until they reach an age of personal responsibility and self-control (3:24-25). But, since the coming of Christ and the baptism into Him, there is no longer the need for the guardian (3:25).
“…for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” –Gal. 3:26-29
The implication is that those in Christ find their identity and righteousness completely in Him alone and not in the “works of the law.” Indeed, in Him there is no other identity than as heirs of the promise!
So Paul asks, if we are indeed mature adult heirs of the promise, why would we want to go back under the bondage of the guardianship of the law? We have been redeemed by Christ from that slavery in order to receive the full adoption as sons (4:5)! With the privilege of adoption comes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit of adoption. It is to the call to live in the freedom of the Spirit of Adoption that Paul now turns.
Paul desperately wants to see them live into their true identity in Christ through His Holy Spirit. He describes his heart for them as “laboring in the pains of childbirth.” His words for them are painful to write—but profoundly worth the hard labor if they will receive and live the life of Christ (4:19)!
Using an allegory, Paul compares those who would remain under the slavery of the law and the covenant of Mount Sinai to Abraham’s wife, Hagar. Yes, she bears children, but they are children for slavery. The other woman is Sarah, who bore Isaac and the children of the promise, children of freedom (4:21-31)! He challenges the Galatians to find their identity as children of freedom (4:31)!
Prayer: Lord help me to find my identity in my relationship with Jesus alone. Liberate me from the bondage of the battle between flesh and law. Fill me with your Spirit that I may live the life of freedom in Christ.