Galatians 4 – Are You a Child of Promise?

Paul begins by comparing the time when people were under the law to a period when they were like children under the guardianship of rules and regulations. Just as a child is subject to tutors and guardians until a certain appointed time, humanity was under the constraints of the law until the coming of Christ.

Paul highlights the significance of Jesus’ arrival, explaining that through his life, death, and resurrection, believers are adopted as sons and daughters of God. This adoption brings them into a new and intimate relationship with God, allowing them to address Him as “Abba,” an affectionate term for father.

The chapter also delves into the contrast between the old way of living under the law and the new life of freedom and grace through faith in Christ. Paul expresses his concern that the Galatians are returning to legalistic practices, observing days, months, seasons, and years, as if they were still bound by the law. He urges them to embrace the true freedom that comes from being heirs of God’s promise through Christ.

Paul employs an allegory involving two women, Hagar and Sarah, and their sons, Ishmael and Isaac, to illustrate the difference between the two covenants. Hagar represents the covenant of the law, while Sarah represents the promise of grace. Paul explains that those who rely on the law are like children born to Hagar, while those who have faith in Christ are like children of promise, born to Sarah.

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