講題大綱分享 Galatians 4:21-31

Claim heavenly Jerusalem our Mother

Galatians 4:21-31

D-160 Mu-tien Chiou

TOB Galatians 4:21 ¶ Dites-moi, vous qui voulez être soumis à la loi, n’entendez-vous pas ce que dit cette loi? 22 Il est écrit, en effet, qu’Abraham eut deux fils, un de la servante, un de la femme libre; 23 mais le fils de la servante était né selon la chair, tandis que le fils de la femme libre l’était par l’effet de la promesse. 24 Il y a là une allégorie: ces femmes sont, en effet, les deux alliances. L’une, celle qui vient du mont Sinaï, engendre pour la servitude: c’est Agar 25 – car le mont Sinaï est en Arabie. Et Agar correspond à la Jérusalem actuelle puisqu’elle est esclave avec ses enfants. 26 Mais la Jérusalem d’en haut est libre, et c’est elle notre mère: 27 car il est écrit: Réjouis-toi, stérile, toi qui n’enfantais pas; éclate en cris de joie, toi qui n’as pas connu les douleurs; car plus nombreux sont les enfants de la délaissée que les enfants de celle qui a un époux. 28 Et vous, frères, comme Isaac vous êtes enfants de la promesse. 29 Mais, de même que celui qui était né selon la chair persécutait alors celui qui était né selon l’Esprit, ainsi en est-il encore maintenant. 30 Eh bien! que dit l’Écriture? Chasse la servante et son fils, car il ne faut pas que le fils de la servante hérite avec le fils de la femme libre. 31 Ainsi donc, frères, nous ne sommes pas les enfants d’une esclave, mais ceux de la femme libre. 

Introduction: Harold Bussell’s book "Why Cults Lure Christian?" suggests it’s often the sloppy and nearsighted interpretations that paves the way for the cultist.   

Illustration: what distinguishes historic Protestants from Roman Catholics? Is the distinction still clearly observable today?

Proposition: The Bible as counsel of God has great significance for our life if only we understand its history and literature in their own terms, by this we know how to live like people of grace.

Organizational sentence: Proper understanding (I) of the Scripture entails discernment in its historical (II) and literary (IV) contexts. Both yield significance of conviction (III) and guidance (V) for our life application.

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  1. Proper understanding and interpretation of the Law (vv 21): When Paul speaks of the Law he does not merely have particular Mosaic stipulations in mind, rather he includes the entire Torah and is aware of all its historical and literary context. So shall we carry the Scripture in this light.
  2. The History (vv 22-23): the history is a series of facts. But more important is its significance for us. avllhgorou,mena: as the Judaizers would certainly identify themselves as sons of Abraham, they lose the points (significance) behind this historical facts—they are sons of promise. By worshiping the Law, they behaved if they were Hagar’s sons. They had the right father, but the wrong mother.
  3. The Significance (vv 24-26): Two covenants and cities. Our mother is the heavenly Jerusalem that gives us birthright of freedom.

    Application: Today we know Jesus in history has been the incarnated Christ; he served, persecuted, died, and resurrected. But as his followers and disciples do we really grip the significance behind this? This means God’s grace for us by which we are no longer slaves of our fleshly sins (if we were sons through Ishmael’s line). Let’s lead a life accountable to God and His amazing grace.domini~1

  4. The Literature (vv 27-30): The Scripture also reveals divine counsel of God, sometimes in prophetic sayings. By bringing Isa 54 and Gen 21 into play, Paul makes it clear that Christians must not interpret nearsightedly. Our eschatological hope will help us in looking texts (text of Scripture; text of life) in big picture.
  5. The Significance (vv 27-31): The Galatians must obey Christ since they have two convictions for action.
    1. "The son who was conceived in a natural way persecuted the son conceived in a spiritual way" (v 29): Such a life of grace would very likely entail persecution. Expect it!
    2. But those in slavery to the law will never share God’s inheritance with those who have received freedom and salvation in Christ. So the Judaizers are false teachers and should be cast out just as Hagar and Ishmael were.

      Application: There is a warning against legalism. We expect persecution but do not tolerate unceasingly. Today there are churches that promotes a certain form of worship (cults) to the extent of subordinating Scripture as the source for Christian life. If this is the case, committed believers must warn against it before members regretfully depart.

 

Application: We who acknowledge Christ as Lord, receive His grace by faith and claim the heavenly Jerusalem. This does not mean that we ignore that reality for present life. Rather we apprehend the significance of the Scripture. The history and literature of it both lay a solid foundation that shapes and undergirds our life conducts. We spare no room for false teaching or legalism in our church.

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