Don’t Cheat Yourself

Rudy Ross explains a complicated allegory about Sarah and Hagar in Galatians 4.21-31. Rudy states that Paul can quote the good news of Isaiah 54 because the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 has done his work.

Please take a few minutes to listen to our discussion on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel. Rudy provides an excellent understanding of a difficult Bible passage.

Paul ends this section in Galatians 5.1 where he writes, “For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5.1).

Today’s article focuses on the topic of freedom and the fact that we don’t want to cheat ourselves out of it.

Jesus and Freedom

Jesus came to set people free from the bondage of sin.

John 8.31-32Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

The word “continue” in verse 31 can also be translated as “abide,” “dwell,” and “remain.”

One of the most important messages of Jesus involved abiding or continuing in a relationship with him.

He said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15.5).

Concerning our continuing/abiding in his word, he said: “If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15.7).

Freedom, power, and answers to prayer are all a product of living in an abiding relationship with Jesus.

Cheated Out of a Blessing

The religious authorities took exception to Jesus’ teaching. They refused to believe that they could be enslaved.

They didn’t know what Jesus knew.

John 8.34-36Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.

The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever.

So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

How do we get free from sin? We abide, continue, and make our home in a relationship with Jesus. We immerse ourselves in his life and teaching.

This line of thought describes the opportunity we have to be free from sin.

Paul had a different problem in Galatia.

The Galatian Problem

The new Christians in Galatia were being drawn away by the false teachers, who taught the necessity of observing the Jewish boundary markers.

Circumcision, Sabbath-keeping, Kosher eating, and observance of the many Jewish laws were the markers that defined who belonged to the people of God and who didn’t.

Just as abiding in a relationship with Jesus sets a person free from sin, it also allows Gentiles to be part of God’s family.

If a person were to return to Jewish boundary markers, they would surrender the freedom that Jesus provided them.

In 2022 it is important that we focus on abiding in Christ. There is nothing humans can add to that relationship.

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross and I have produced a video on this passage. It can be seen on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.

Please email your prayer request to bsprad49@gmail.com. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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