Today you should read: Galatians 4:21-31
Just like we have been talking about Paul is trying to remind the people through his letter that while the law is important, it does not save. Paul has been concerned throughout the book that there was a lack of understanding when it came to grace and the gospel of Jesus. It is about faith + grace not works + the law.
As we turn to Galatians 4:21-31 we see Paul using an Old Testament story, the not-so-pretty story of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar from Genesis 16-17. Paul uses this story for a purpose. At this point the church is under the New Covenant. This means that they no longer have to do things to maintain their intimacy with God BUT they are still living like they are under the Old Covenant.
I think that we do this a lot. I think we do this because it is attractive to do something. Grace is offensive to our pride. We want to be able to say we did it. Also, grace goes against every fiber of our being. We are trained in our world that we earn things… God comes and says not only you don’t earn Him but you can’t. He flips our world for Him.
So Paul uses an allegorical story of Sarah and Hagar to show the difference in the covenants. Hagar and her offspring represented the law. Sarah and her offspring represented God’s promise – the New Covenant Jesus brought.
And here is what Paul says… STOP LIVING LIKE YOU HAVE TO EARN… START LIVING LIKE YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN.
Paul is calling them, and us, to live into our identity given in Jesus today. Because of Jesus I don’t have to impress God… I get to please Him. I don’t have to earn Him… I get to enjoy Him. I can rest in Him and what He has done. I can live today in grace and the truth that I am completely loved and accepted in Jesus. We must let this truth drive us in why we live for Him.
Pray today and lay yourself in surrender at His feet. Thank Him for coming for you so you are free from earning. Ask for His help in living in this truth today.
By: Nick Parsons — Pastoral Ministry Associate – College
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