Galatians 4 - Heirs and Slaves, Grace and Law

Beginning at Chapter 2:15, through Chapter 3, we have been studying the Doctrine of Justification by Faith. In Chapter 4 we continue that study. If we were to outline this study it would look like this:

The Doctrine of Justification by Faith; Galatians 2:15 - 4:31

    1. The Doctrine stated: Galatians 2:15 - 21
    2. The Spirit Received by faith; Galatians 3:1-5
    3. The doctrine illustrated: Galatians 3:6-4:31

 

Almost from its beginning there have been forces at work within Christianity that could have destroyed or attacked The Doctrine of Justification by Faith. Of these three created many problems then and have continued to reappear in other forms today. The table below summarizes the contrasts of these three aberrations to true Christianity.

 

Group

Their definition of a Christian

Their genuine concern

 

The danger

Judaized Christianity

Christians are Jews who have recognized Jesus as the promised Savior. Therefore any Gentile desiring to become a Christian must first become a Jew.

Having a high regard for God's word and His choice of Jews as His people, they did not want to see God's commands overlooked or broken.

Tends to add human traditions and standards to God's Law. Also subtracts from the Scriptures God's clear concern for all nations.

Legalized Christianity

Christians are those who live by a long list of "don'ts." God's favor is earned by good behavior.

Recognized that real change brought about by God should lead to changes in behavior.

Tends to make God's love something to earn rather than to accept freely. Would reduce Christianity to a set of impossible rules and transform the Good News into bad news.

Law-less Christianity

Christians live above the Law. They need no guidelines. God's word is not as important as our personal sense of God's guidance.

Recognized that forgiveness from God cannot be based on our ability to live up to His standards. It must be received by faith as a gift made possible by Christ's death on the Cross.

Forgets that Christians are still human and fail consistently when trying to live only by what they "feel" God wants.

True Christianity

Christians are those who believe inwardly and outwardly that Jesus' death has allowed God to offer them forgiveness and eternal life as a gift. They have accepted that gift by faith and are seeking to live a life of obedient gratitude for what God has done for them.

Christianity is both private and public, heart-belief and mouth-confession. Our relationship to God and the power He provides result in obedience. Having received the gift of forgiveness and eternal life, we are now daily challenged to live that life with His help.

Avoids the above dangers.

 

 

 

  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.  

    In the previous chapter the Law was likened to a "schoolmaster" who led or to a patrolman who "locked up." Now, in Chapter 4, the Law is likened to a "tutor" or "governor" who is in charge of a child until it is full grown.

     

    "Growing up" is a universal operation - no one is exempt from it if he lives a normal life. See the following scriptural examples:

    John 15:15 - The apostles are called "servants" until the day of the crucifixion.

    Isaiah 42:1 - Christ, Himself, is the "servant of Jehovah."

    Hebrews 5:8 - Christ "learns obedience" as a Son even though He was "Lord of all" Colossians 1:15.

    Exodus 4:23 - Israel was born as a "son" when the nation was in servitude as a SLAVE.

    Genesis 24:36 - Eliezer has charge of Abraham's possessions even though all things were delivered to Isaac by his father.

     

  3. But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
  4.  

    The "tutors and governors" of this passage refers to the rules and regulations of the Mosaic and Levitical Law. The phrase, "time appointed of the father" obviously refers to "fullness of the time" found in verse 4.

     

  5. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:

 

 

I don't know about you but the first word my children learned was "NO!"

 

When Sheri was just a tiny little girl, her Mother tells the story of watching Sheri reach out to touch an object on a shelf. As she reached out, she would slap her own hand and say, "NO!" She knew the rules and tried to make herself obey them! This is the kind of "elements" found in Galatians. These "elements" refer to the fundamental ordinances of "touch not, taste not, handle not" (Colossians 2:20-22). These same ordinances are those that are observed to some extent by everyone in the whole wide world. See Romans 2:15.

 

In verses 4 - 7 we are shown Jesus Christ's Incarnation:

Who? God sent forth His Son. See verse 4.

When? In the fullness of His time See verse 4.

How? Made of a woman, made under the law: See verse 4c and Genesis 3:15.

Why?

-To redeem those under the curse of the law: verse 5a

-That we might receive the adoption of sons: verse 5b

-That we might receive God's Spirit and call Him Father: verse 6

-That we might be an heir of God through Christ: verse 7 and Romans 8:17

 

  1. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
  2.  

    Even though Israel as a nation was a "son," her individual members were never "sons of God." There are no "sons of God" in the Bible before Acts 2, unless they are ANGELS (Job 1:1-6; 38:6-7.) In order for an individual Israelite to become a "son of God," God's Son had to come and repeat the history of the nation. This is why Jesus Christ had to be called "out of Egypt!" See Matthew 2:13 - 15.

     

  3. To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

To redeem them that were under the law

The Lord Jesus Christ comes down under the curse of the Law (Galatians 3:10, 13) so He can take the slave's place in the yoke of bondage (Galatians 4:4). To do this, He must know and appreciate the "infirmity of the flesh" (Hebrews 7:28) and learn "obedience" (Hebrews 5:8) exactly as a mortal learns it (Philippians 2:8). He, therefore, is made a faithful High Priest, taking on Him the "seed of Abraham" (Hebrews 2: 9 - 16). Being tempted (Hebrews 2:18) as any son of Adam, He suffers (Hebrews 2:10) in the slave's place!

 

See John 13: 1 - 17

Here the Lord of Glory girds His loins with a towel and washes the feet of His disciples. Notice, He "took a towel" when He could have taken gold lame cloth! He "took a towel" when he could have reached up into the dark sky and taken the night fabric full of stars! No, instead, He took just a plain old towel signifying that He is lowering Himself lower than His disciples, yea, even washing the lowest member and the most filthy part of each of the disciples bodies - their feet! This was the job of the house servant when guests arrived. Peter, seeing his Master behave as a slave must have confused him. He still did not understand Jesus' teaching that to be a leader, one must be a servant.

 

 

He is not merely "born" of a woman; He is MADE flesh, MADE to be sin, MADE to be a curse, MADE a living spirit, and MADE unto us "wisdom, righteousness and sanctification, and redemption"! 1 Corinthians 1: 27 - 30 - 27But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;28And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

 

Paul continues to emphasize that the way to receive salvation is so simple that any person who wants to can understand it. Skill does not get a person into God's Kingdom - simple faith does - so no one can boast that his achievements helped him secure eternal life. Salvation is totally from God through Jesus' death, which made us PERFECT in God's eyes. There is nothing we can do to earn our salvation; we need only accept what Jesus has already done for us.

 

that we might receive the adoption of sons

The Doctrine of Adoption is purely Pauline, and the word adoption occurs only FIVE times in the New Testatment ( Romans 8:15, 23; 9:4; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5). Some theologians give no special treament to the subject of adoption while others regard it as an aspect of justification or they confuse it with regeneration. However, adoption has an area of meaning not covered by either justification or regeneration. To thoroughly understand the significance of the term "adoption of sons" we must necessarily relate them to the cultural background from which they came.

 

Significance of the term "SON" is summarized in the table below:

On the human side -

What we have as "SONS"

 

Reference verses

The family name

Ephesians 3:14,15; John 3:1;

Revelation 2:17;

Revelation 3:12

The family likeness

Colossians 3:10;

Romans 8:29;

2 Corinthians 3:18

The parent's nature

2 Peter 1:4;

John1:12, 13;

John3:6

A family affection

1 John 2:9 - 11;

1 John 3:14 - 18;

1 John 4:7,8;

1 John 5:1;

On the divine side -

What we are as "SONS"

 

Reference verses

Objects of His peculiar love

John 17:22, 23;

John16:27

Subjects of His fatherly care

Matthew 6:32

Subjects of His paternal discipline

Hebrews 12:6 - 11

Subjects of His paternal comfort

2 Corinthians 1:4

Heirs to an inheritance

1 Peter 1:3 - 5;

Romans 8:17

 

  1. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

 

When God sends forth a person or angel or Spirit look for a change in God's dispensation or how His economy will work:

 

Genesis 3:23

Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

 

Exodus 3:12

And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.

 

Judges 6:8

That the LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage;

 

John 8:42

Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

 

Galatians 4:4

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

 

Now look at this transition from The Dispensation of LAW to The Dispensation of GRACE:

 

Galatians 4:6

And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

 

Revelation 5:6

And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

 

The table below summarizes some of the magnificent differences in The Dispensation of LAW to The Dispensation of GRACE:

 

The LAW versus GRACE: Galatians 2:21 with John 1:17:

LAW

GRACE

Believers were "children" under age: Galatians 4:1 - 3.

Believers are "sons" full of age: Galatians 4:4 - 7.

Revealed what God commanded of every man - Do: Exodus 20: 1 - 17

Revealed what God has done for every man - "Tis Done: 1 Corinthians 15:3,4.

Demanded perfect obedience or death: Ezekiel 18:20; James 2:10.

Gives life that we may obey: John 10:10b; 14:23.

Commanded us to love God: Matthew 22:37.

Tells us that God loves us: 1 John 3;16; 4:8 - 10,19.

Commanded us to love neighbor as self: Matthew 22:39.

Fills us with God's love for our neighbor: 2 Corinthians 5:14.

Revealed sin: Romans 3:20.

Reveals Christ: Hebrews 9:24 - 28.

Worked wrath: Romans 4:15.

Shows mercy: Ephesians 2:4.

Curse pronounced: Galatians 3:10.

Blessings announced: Galatians 3:14.

Brought bondage: Hebrews 2:15; Galatians 4:1 - 3.

Sets free: Galatians 5:1.

Exhorted unwilling service of a bondslave: Romans 7:1 - 3.

Wins willing service of a free man : Galatians 5:1; 1 John 4:19.

Said do and live: Galatians 3:12.

Said live and do: Romans 8:2 - 4.

Shut man out of God's presence: Exodus 19:12, 13, 23, 24.

Opens the way to come boldly: Hebrews 4:14 - 16; 10:19, 20.

Made progress impossible: Ezekiel 33:13.

Makes growth in grace possible: Romans 5:10; 2 Peter 3:18.

Made nothing perfect: Hebrews 7:19.

Makes perfect: Hebrews 10:14; 7:19.

Could only condemn, not justify: Acts 13:39.

Justifies freely: Romans 3:24; 5:1; Galatians 2:16.

Had a shadow of good things to come: Hebrews 10:1.

Reveals the very image of good things: Hebrews 10:1.

Is the strength of sin: 1 Corinthians 15:56.

Is the power of God: Romans 1:16.

Demanded holiness: Deuteronomy 6:24, 25.

Produces holiness: Romans 6:14 - 22.

Called forth all energy of the flesh: Romans 8:3.

Puts to death all energy of the flesh: Romans 8:13.

Punished every transgression and disobedience: Hebrews 2:2.

Pardons every transgression and disobedience: 1 John 1:7,9.

Is done away: 2 Corinthians 3:11.

Remaineth: 2 Corinthians 3:11.

 

See Mark 14:36 -

As man, Jesus Christ deprecated his sufferings, that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him (verse 35); or in other words: "This short, but sharp affliction, that which I am now this hour to enter upon, let man’s salvation be, if possible, accomplished without it.’’ In verse 36, we have his very words; Abba, Father. The Syriac word which Christ used is retained which means Father. It is put here to emphasis the importance laid on it by our Lord Jesus, in his sorrows, and would have us to emphasize it too. It is with an eye to this, that Paul retains this word, putting it into the mouths of all that have the Spirit of adoption; they are taught to cry, Abba, Father! Father, all things are possible to thee. Even that which we cannot expect to be done for us, we ought yet to believe that God is able to do: and when we submit to his will, and refer ourselves to his wisdom and mercy, it must be with a believing acknowledgment of his power, that all things are possible to him.

 

Abba, Father! Shows that the gentiles have been adopted into a Jewish setup. It is the cry of a child who is adopted into another family that speaks another language.

 

  1. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

 

 

Paul concludes his argument by adding, "Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and, if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." In other words, now, under the gospel state or in the Dispensation of GRACE, we are no longer under the servitude of the law, but, upon our believing in Christ, we have become the sons of God. We are accepted of Him, and adopted by Him; and, being His sons, we are also heirs of God, and are entitled to the heavenly inheritance. Therefore it must needs be the greatest weakness and folly to turn back to the law, and to seek justification by the works of it. From what Paul says in these verses, we may observe,

 

 

[1.] All who have the privilege of adoption have the Spirit of adoption - all who are received into the number partake of the nature of the children of God; for he will have all his children to resemble him.

[2.] The Spirit of adoption is always the Spirit of prayer, and it is our duty in prayer to eye God as a Father. Christ has taught us in prayer to eye God as our Father in heaven.

[3.] If we are his sons, then his heirs. It is not so among men, with whom the eldest son is heir; but all God’s children are heirs. Those who have the nature of sons shall have the inheritance of sons.

 

God gave us the means in Christ's death to be born into His family; immediately upon that birth He also ADOPTS us to be HIS SONS so we not only have the family name but legally the right to the family jewels!! WOW!

 

  1. Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
  2.  

    In these verses the apostle puts the Galatians in mind of what they were before their conversion to the faith of Christ, and what a blessed change their conversion had made upon them; and thus he endeavors to convince them of their great weakness in listenning to those who would bring them under the bondage of the law of Moses.

     

    He reminds them of their past state and behavior, and what they were before the gospel was preached to them. Then they knew not God; they were grossly ignorant of the true God, and the way wherein he is to be worshipped: and at that time they were under the worst of slavers, for they did service to those which by nature were no gods. The Galatians worshipped a great number of Gods and had many superstitious and idolatrous services to those who, though they were accounted gods, were yet really no gods, but mere creatures, and perhaps of their own making, and therefore they were utterly unable to hear and help them.

     

    Note,

    [1]. Those who are ignorant of the true God cannot but be inclined to false gods. Those who forsook the God who made the world, rather than be without gods, worshipped such Gods as they themselves made.

    [2]. Religious worship is due to none but to him who is by nature God. When Paul blames those who were worshipping such as by nature were no gods, he plainly shows that he only who is by nature God is the proper object of our religious worship.

     

  3. 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?
  4.  

    Paul calls upon them to consider the happy change that was made in them by the preaching of the gospel among them. Now they had known God or rather were known of God; this happy change in their state was not owing to themselves, but to Him. It was the effect of His free and rich grace towards them, and as such they ought to account it as such. Therefore, they were laid under the greater obligation to adhere to the liberty wherewith he had made them free. Note, All our acquaintance with God begins with Him; we know Him, because we are known of Him.

     

  5. Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

 

 

  1. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
  2.  

    Paul had been at a great deal of pains about them, in preaching the gospel to them, and endeavoring to confirm them in the faith and liberty of it. Now they were giving these up. His labor among them was rendered fruitless and ineffectual. With these thoughts Paul was deeply affected.

    Note:

    [1]. A great deal of the labor of faithful ministers is labor in vain; and, when it is so, it cannot but be a great grief to those who desire the salvation of souls.

    [2]. The labor of ministers is in vain upon those who begin in the Spirit and end in the flesh, who, though they seem to set out well, yet afterwards turn aside from the way of the gospel.

    [3]. Those will have a great deal to answer for upon whom the faithful ministers of Jesus Christ bestow labor in vain.

     

  3. Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.
  4.  

    How about some plain English?! "Gentlemen, do what I am doing. You don't see me running around with a palm leaf on the table and ashes plastered all over my forehead. Why, looka here! I became like YOU when I got saved. I dumped all this sacramental-ritual mess. We're both saved sinners, we both got saved the same way; how come you can't follow my conduct in regard to formalism? You haven't messed me up by carrying on like you have been doing! You just messed yourself up!"

     

  5. Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first.
  6.  

    Paul was with the Galatians in the same condition that he was with the Corinthians ( 1 Corinthians 2:1 - 8) and his infirmities ( 2 Corinthians 12:4 - 8) dogged him to the chopping block (2 Timothy 4:6 - 8.) The Beloved Physician (Colossians 4:14) goes with him to the end and his "temptation in the flesh" is most likely the thorn of 2 Corinthians 12:5 - 7.

     

    Paul is getting ready to make a personal appeal instead of a doctrinal appeal (as he has done for the last two chapters.) His idea will be, " You didn't reject me before. You followed me then, even though I was weak and sick; so how come you have turned on me?" Read for yourself verses 14 - 16.

     

  7. 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.
  8.  

  9. 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.
  10.  

    Listen to how earnestly Paul expostulates with them, "Where is then, says he, the blessedness you spoke of?" It is as if he is saying, "Time was when you expressed the greatest joy and satisfaction in the glad tidings of the gospel, and were very forward in pouring out your blessings upon me as the publisher of them. Why is it that you are now so much altered, that you have so little relish of them or respect for me? You once thought yourselves happy in receiving the gospel; have you now any reason to think otherwise?’’

     

  11. Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
  12.  

    Ministers may sometimes create enemies to themselves by the faithful discharge of their duty; for this was the case of Paul, he was accounted their enemy for telling them the truth. Yet ministers must not forbear speaking the truth, for fear of offending others and drawing their displeasure upon themselves. They may be easy in their own minds, when they are conscious to themselves that, if others have become their enemies, it is only for telling them the truth.

     

  13. They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them.
  14.  

  15. But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.

 

Note: Paul says:

 

In other words, Paul is saying, " These people are burning up with enthusiasm in their efforts to get you back under the law, and they do it to cut you off from me and my teaching so that they can glory in your enthusiasm that has been turned in another direction. It is okay to be stirred up with enthusiasm if the enthusiasm is placed in the right thing whether I am around or not!!" See Romans 10:1 - 3.

 

  1. My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,

 

Paul had led them to Christ and he was their "spiritual father":

 

1 Corinthians 4:15 - For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

2 Timothy 1:2 - To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Paul "travails" to bring forth children, exactly as Israel will (Isaiah 66: 8 - 12) and exactly as Sarah and Hagar did (context of this chapter); and then he must travail again for their growth.

 

1 Corinthians 4:15 - For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

Galatians 3:5 - He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Philippians 3:10 - That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

 

Christ IN the believer is not Christ FORMED in the beliver!

Ephesians 4:13-16 - 13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:14That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

 

There seems to be a definite "second work of grace" done in saved sinner subsequent to his conversion.

There seems to be a definite "second work of grace" done in saved sinner subsequent to his conversion. Romans 1:11 - For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;

 

Misconceptions about this work do not nullify the truth of it.

However, where Christ is "formed" in the believer, certain manifestations are bound to follow; for wher Christ is formed in the believer, the believer is "filled with the Spirit" (Ephesians 5:18 - And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; ) and is controlled by the Holy Ghost. (The word "Ghost" - the bodily shape of a dead man!)

 

Such a Christian will:

 

  1. I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.
  2.  

  3. Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
  4.  

    Verses 22-31 show us an Allegory - The New Covenant versus the Old. This allegory contrasts Sarah's son with Hagar's (Genesis 21:9-21). Sarah represents the New Covenant; Hagar the Old. Sarah is gracious; Hagar is Mosaic and legal. The sons, Isaac and Ishmael, are the two children of these Covenants. Each ahs his standing before God - Isaac of the Spirit, Ishmael of the flesh.

     

    It should be noted here that Paul is not discussing the eradication of a carnal nature - :casting out the bondwoman and her son" - but the casting out of the Law, for the allegory is not of the two natures of the believer - the flesh and the Spirit - but of two covenants, Law and Grace (verse 24). The Law gives way to Grace, for if justification comes by the works of the law, then it is no more Grace (Romans 11:6).

     

    See table below for the contrasts between the two covenants:

     

    HAGAR - The Old Covenant

    SARAH - The New Covenant

    Law

    Grace

    Mount Sinai

    Mount Calvary

    Bound

    Free

    Earthly Jerusalem

    Heavenly Jerusalem

    Barren

    Fruitful

    Bondwoman

    Freewoman

    Flesh

    Spirit (Promise)

    Slave children

    Free sons

     

     

  5. For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
  6.  

  7. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
  8.  

  9. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
  10.  

  11. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
  12.  

  13. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
  14.  

  15. 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.
  16.  

    Isaiah 54: 1 - Sing, O barren, thou [that] didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou [that] didst not travail with child: for more [are] the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.

     

    Paul takes Isaiah 54, a passage that MUST refer to the Millennium since the "church age" or Dispensation of Grace was a mystery unseen by the prophets, and applies it to the conversion of the Gentiles in the church age not to the Millennium. In doing so, Paul practices "all scripture is not only profitable for DOCTRINE, but is also profitable for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."

     

  17. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
  18.  

  19. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
  20.  

  21. 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.
  22.  

    Genesis 21:10 - Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.

     

    Remember this is an allegory. It contrasts Sarah's son with Hagar's. Sarah represents the New Covenant; Hagar the Old. Sarah is gracious, Hagar is Mosaic and legal. The sons, Isaac and Ishmael, are the two children of these covenants. Each has his standing before God - Isaac of the spirit; Ishmael of the flesh. Paul is not discussing the eradication of a carnal nature as we have mentioned before, but the casting out of the law, for the allegory is not of the two natures in the believer the flesh and the spirit but of two covenants, LAW and GRACE.

     

  23. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.