Children of the Promise — Galatians 4:21-31
Paul here is making his concluding argument regarding the difference between the Gospel of grace and the opposing Gospel of legalism presented by the Judaizers. This on the one hand is a story of two sons. One is subject to slavery and the other to freedom. One is born according to the flesh in attempt to take God’s blessing. One is born supernaturally through a promise, receiving the blessing by the efforts of the Holy Spirit.
In essence, this is also two covenants, Paul teaches. The covenant represented by Hagar is one falling back into bondage, the bondage offered by the institution of Judaism in Jerusalem during Paul’s day. This is all about keeping rules – something no one can do. The covenant of believers in Christ, however, is one freeing us from these rules and represents the “heavenly” Jerusalem. This spiritual reality demonstrates once and for all that the law was never meant to be the means of our salvation. Instead, it was to point us to the means of salvation – Jesus Christ. Once again, we are saved through the work of the Holy Spirit, not our own efforts!