Slave or Free?

freedom in the sand

In Galatians 4, starting in verse 21, Paul speaks of a contrast in the Old Covenant of law and the New Covenant brought by Christ. It is a figurative representation of the marriage of Abraham to Hagar and to Sarah and the difference in the sons in which they gave birth. Galatians 4:24-25 reads, “These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children.” Then we jump down to verse 28-31, “Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise. At that time the son born according to the flesh persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.”[f]Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.”

As Christians, we are no longer bound by law, but we are bound by Christ. We are bound by the freedom, joy, and peace of Christ. There are no more boxes to check off in church attendance, the sound of our prayers, the hours we spend doing good deeds, etc. I don’t say this because there is no importance in the above. Being around other believers is vital to our growth as follower of Christ, prayer is our most important communication with God and good deeds are a fruit of our obedience to Christ. However, we are not slaves to these things, but as children of promise, we freely take part in them to bring glory to Christ.

If we don’t freely worship Christ for His power and His promises then we are missing the point. If our response is to abide a list of laws, then we are trying to please God by our actions instead of His one action on the cross pleasing us. Our “goodness” is a result of obedience to Christ; Christ is not a result of our obedience to “goodness.” Lets think about the WHY of our Christian life? Why do we believe what we believe? Is it because we are slaves to the law or because we are free in Christ?

Romans 7:6 – But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

Written by Eric Nelson

I am a recipient of God's grace. I am a PE teacher to elementary students. I am a coach of baseball to high school students. I write to hopefully encourage and inspire others in their walk with Christ.

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