COMMITTED to train men and women
to have minds for the Lord Jesus,
hearts for the truth, and
hands that are skilled to the task.

"Hagar" Tagged Sermons

STOP FENCE STRADDLING

C.S. Lewis in his book THE GREAT DIVORCE wrote these powerful words:
“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.”

C.S. Lewis in “THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS” writes:
“The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts… The long, dull monotonous years of middle-aged prosperity or middle-aged adversity are excellent campaigning weather (for the devil).

Paul comes full circle. Making his point once again that just as Isaac was supernaturally born AS A RESULT OF GOD’S PROMISE, so all Christians are “born-again” as a RESULT OF GOD’S PROMISE that all nations would be blessed through Abraham. (Genesis 22:18).
Not everybody in the church or outside the church likes that truth. Paul wants the people In Galatia to know that this introduces us to a spiritual conflict of major proportion.

Final thoughts
• We should expect to be persecuted by religious people.
It has been this way throughout history, beginning with Jesus himself. The religious leaders of His day opposed, mocked, condemned, and eventually executed the true Seed of Abraham.
The Judaizers made life and ministry difficult for Paul and all those who, like him, took a stand for the freedom that comes through grace.
During the Reformation, Popes and kings brutalized Protestants who took a stand on the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith.
In our own day, legalistic Christians who have never experienced the sweet liberation of grace can make the Christian life a miserable experience for true believers, overwhelming them with an endless, uncompromising list of dos and don’ts.
Therefore when it comes to law and grace, we have to get off the fence. We can’t fluctuate between rules and faith, mixing them in our approach to God. He won’t allow it.

• Man-made religion is incompatible with God’s grace.
Hagar and Ishmael symbolize human attempts to achieve what God only God can do. Just as Hagar and Ishmael were cast out of Abraham’s household, so must works-oriented religions and beliefs be removed from God’s family (Galatians 4:30).
Once we stop fence straggling, we will realize that free life can’t survive the structured demands of rule-centered living. Conversely, law keeping can’t maintain a grip on the truly liberated life. As Christians, we are called to a life of freedom.

God Keeps His Promises

Sarah’s faith was not placed in the promise, but in THE ONE WHO IS FAITHFUL; GOD HIMSELF. Abraham and Sarah made some mistakes, they had some occasional failures in trusting God all the way. However, both of them endured to the end BECAUSE THE BELIEVED GOD. When Isaac finally arrived as promised, ABRAHAM AND SARAH SAW GOD’S POWER AT WORK. Ishmael was an obedient son, UNTIL ISAAC entered the family. It was then when the “flesh” began to oppose “the Spirit”. God gave them the fleshly blessings, the black oil which lubricates the world’s economy.
Isaac, however, received the spiritual blessing, the Holy Spirit, which is symbolized in the Bible with OIL. According to Galatians 4:21-31 Sarah represents grace, (the heavenly Jerusalem) and Hagar represents Law (the earthly Jerusalem under bondage). In other words, law and grace cannot live peacefully together. God’s children, born of the Spirit are to live under the blessings of grace and not the bondage of the law. Hagar gave birth to a slave. Ishmael was a slave. If you decide to live under the law, then you become a child of Hagar, a slave; for the law produces bondage and not freedom.