Learning to Live Free

Last night I taught Galatians 4:21–5:1, Paul‘s allegory about Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar.

Some commentators call this the most difficult passage in Galatians. First, it is hard because so few people know the Old Testament. Second, it is difficult because the allegory is often hard to follow.

Paul, of course, told us the history and alerted us to the fact that it is an allegory. An allegory is a literary device to emphasize a story with two levels of meaning – – a literal level and a symbolic level.

As Paul confronted those who wanted to ensnare the Galatians with rituals, laws, days, and every kind of regulation, Paul warned the Galatians to live in the freedom that is in Christ (Galatians 5:1).

How were they going to live in that freedom and how do we live in such freedom?

First, determine to live in freedom. Paul asked him the Galatians whether they had learned Christ by works of the law or by hearing in the Spirit? The answer was obvious. Paul wanted them to determine to remain as those who are free in Christ Jesus.

The law didn’t save them so why would they turn to the law?

Second, live in freedom by continuing to trust in Christ. Paul’s argument about Sarah and Hagar had to do with the promise God had made to Abraham.

Since Abraham and Sarah did not trust the promise of God that he would have an heir, they felt compelled to turn in another direction. To give up our freedom is to not trust the promises of God.

This is the real issue for modern day believers. Do we trust God? Are we willing to depend on Him for everything that we need? Are we willing to trust God with our lives and with our future?

These are not doctrinal issues; they are faith issues. We must continue to be people who put our faith in our good, kind, loving, and faithful God.

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Verse of the Day

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. — Romans 5:6-8 (NIV)