There has been a change of Covenant between God and man which is not based upon our ability to obey His laws but upon His promise.
When we start being badgered into whether or not we are holy or whether or not we are being obedient to God we are about to be entangled with a heavy yoke of bondage. Beware when the message you are feeding upon is all about how unclean you are and how unholy you are. Beware when the preacher is seeking to make you feel like a guilty sinner. His intentions are good, but all he is doing is bringing you under the yoke of bondage which is part of the OLD Covenant system.
You are forgiven all your sins and trespasses. It is already the case for you. You have been reconciled to God through the blood of Jesus Christ. Have been! Past tense.
The gospel of the New Covenant is about BELIEVING the truth —The Bad news of the Old Covenant is all about doing all the Law–which only leads to BONDAGE.
Hagar was the fleshly choice of an unbelieving heart. Unbelief said, ‘God cannot fulfill His promise to us(Abram and Sarai)for we are too old and barren.’ Unbelief thought that fulfilling the promise of God depended upon themselves and so in looking at their own abilities they failed to see the Grace and power of God. So the obvious choice for them was to use Hagar the Egyptian girl to bring forth a son for Abram.
Of course Hagar was most likely young and attractive, an obvious choice to arouse an old man. No doubt Sarai was full of self doubts about her own age and condition. She assumed that a younger woman would be better for the job.
The result of that union produced Ishmael who later on began to compete with Isaac for the inheritance given to sons. It was at that time when Sarah saw the way Ishmael mocked Isaac in an attempt to exalt himself to number one status as a son, that Sarah demanded Abraham send Hagar and Ishmael away.
Paul makes the point of telling us by the Spirit of God that it cannot be that the OLD covenant followers shall inherit with those of the NEW covenant. It cannot be that anyone shall inherit God’s Promise based upon the works of the flesh. It cannot be that anyone can inherit the Kingdom EXCEPT by being counted as the SEED of Abraham.
Abraham pleased God because he believed….eventually. He believed and therefore received the promised SON –who was a type of Jesus. We too believe and receive God’s promise –a son given to us….so that in believing we receive RIGHTEOUSNESS by faith–a free gift from God.
There is always a choice presented before us. Choose this day life or death. When God holds out the offer of inheriting all things through faith in Jesus…..the other choice will show it’s proud face. That other choice will depend upon your obedience and ability. The other choice will always excite the carnal mind and give us a reason to boast.
Abraham was a liar and a coward. Revelation 21:8 tells us no cowards or liars can inherit. It is obvious that Abraham’s ability to be holy is not what qualifies him to inherit the Kingdom but his faith in God’s ability.
God has promised to be our God and to make us His children–he shall do it…He has done it!
We are the children of Abraham if we have been given faith in Jesus the Son of the Living God. We are the children of Sarah who SENT AWAY HAGAR AND ISHMAEL so that she trusted only in God’s ability to perform His promise. She cast out from her home the mother of bondage knowing that only those who believe and trust God to do it shall inherit.
There are many ways to apply this theme but in the context which Paul the Apostle wrote about it, the Old Covenant versus the New Covenant were the subject. The Old represented by Hagar brings forth bondage. The New represented by Sarah causes us to inherit.
Beware of those who put the onus upon you to make sure you qualify. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you and all your household shall be saved.” Nothing added.
Stand fast in the freedom which Christ has made us free! Do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
Believe! Believe you are already holy, already righteous, already forgiven, already passed from death to life and will not come into judgment. Believe that His blood is enough. Believe that it is God who qualifies you, not you qualifying yourself. It is God’s salvation–not yours to do–but yours to receive.
The yoke of bondage in Galatians 5:1… is also the yoke of slavery to fear in Romans 8:15….it is also the same heavy yoke which Peter said neither we nor our fathers could bear.
Acts 15:10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.”
Our hearts HAVE BEEN purified(Acts 15:9) by faith in Jesus—that is the easy yoke of Jesus.
We have Sarah as our mother–who equates to the Jerusalem which is of the Spirit(above). Grace is of God and heavenly—trying to please God by the works of the Law is earthy and of the flesh. Best to separate from those preaching holiness, for they are preaching the old covenant. If they preach Jesus as your only holiness then that is another thing–that is what the Good news is all about!
May God be glorified and all flesh bow its knees.