A Contrast Of The Law And Grace

Contrast Of The Law And Grace

Galatians 4:15-31

That word contrast means to show the difference between two separate things of a like kind and like claims.

The Word of God teaches us that Laws bring bondage but that “Grace” brings freedom!

What we will see is the difference between God’s Grace and God’s curse.

Legalism mixed with Grace, teaches us that it is by the Grace of God that we can obey the Laws of God and by keeping the law we will be saved.

Legalism alone teaches that if we cannot keep all the Law and obey all the rules, then we will lose our salvation and be in need of salvation again.

These are only attempts to mix the Grace of God with man made laws, but keeping rules and regulations will never solve the problem of “SIN”!

Laws offer no forgiveness of sin!

It is only by the “Grace of God” that we can be saved!

Legalist see all people as only law keepers or law breakers!

Jesus Christ only sees every person as a sinner in need of a Savior!

Let’s pick up where we left off last week.

*****Gal 4:15 Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me.

When these Galatians had first heard the “Gospel” and believed and were saved, they had had great joy in their salvation and this is the way it should be.

God says this:

Psa 107:2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;

The most important witnessing tool we have is living a life free from the bondage of sin and that new life should be a life filled with joy in our salvation.

That lost person has no interest in preaching.

That lost person has no interest in “Gospel music”.

That lost person can see a changed life that is now full of the joy of salvation!

Jesus also says this:

Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, “that they may see your good works”, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

SO, what had legalism brought to these churches in Galatia? It was not joy!

This loss of joy was so noticeable to the Apostle Paul that he asked them, “where is the blessedness ye spake of when you first got saved”?

**Legalism destroys joy because it makes people feel guilty rather than feel loved!

How had Jesus Christ fulfilled all the Law?

Mar 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

And Jesus added these words:

Mar 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

James the half-brother of Jesus Christ has these words for us all:

Jas 2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:

The “royal law”, which are the Words of Jesus Christ, are fulfilled when we truly love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves!

When the love of Jesus rules in our heart then we are free from the bondage of legalism and of all man-made laws because they become unnecessary!

**Legalism produces hatred rather than humility!

Humility is the act of submission. Salvation means we have submitted ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ!

Submitting means much more than just dedication.

Submitting means much more that a soul revival.

Submitting is a total yielding to the truth of the “Gospel of Grace”!

BUT, Hatred is an aversion to do evil and discounts the love of God!

God says this:

1Pe 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
1Pe 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

**Legalism stresses performing to please God rather than a personal relationship with God!

God is not impressed with our works!

God is impressed with our effort but that effort can only begin when we have that close and personal relationship with our Savior and that begins with “Faith” and then “Love”!

1Co 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
1Co 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; “but the greatest of these is charity”.

Charity(kind, tender, affectionate love) is the greatest of the three Christian Graces!

**Legalism can only show us how far short we have fallen in our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ rather than how far we have grown in the Lord.

2Pe 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
2Pe 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

When we feel inadequate and guilty then we are not living by “Faith”!

These Galatians were feeling inadequate and guilty and had not received the Apostle Paul as they had first received him!

It is this scripture that says that Paul may have had a problem with his eyes. I can attest myself to the fact that as I have grown older my eyesight has to be enhanced with strong glasses. Paul had no such access to such things as reading glasses.

When they first received the Apostle Paul they truly cared for God’s missionary and they would have plucked out their own eyes and given them to him but they had changed and their love for Paul had dwindled as also their love for the truth of God!

**Legalism will cause a hatred for the truth!

*****Gal 4:16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

The God sent, minister of God must proclaim all the Word of God and most all of us have a subject we would rather not hear our Pastor preach on, but we must not become enemies of the truth!

What does God say?

1Ti 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

Those legalistic Jews from Jerusalem had made Paul out to be their enemy and Paul asked these Galatians if he was also their enemy now.

We must not forget why God chose certain men by the Holy Spirit, to preach the “Gospel of Grace”.

Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Eph 4:12 “For the perfecting of the saints”, “for the work of the ministry”, “for the edifying of the body of Christ”:
Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
Eph 4:14 “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive”;
Eph 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

It is only God’s truth that can make us free from the bondage of sin and sometimes the truth hurts our feelings!

Joh 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Legalism cannot bring freedom!

*****Gal 4:17 They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them.

What do false preachers do to congregations?

**They are extremely zealous of their teaching at the expense of the truth!

Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

**They seek as great a following as possible! It’s all about the numbers but it is all for the wrong reasons.

1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1Ti 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

**They were seeking support where the Apostle Paul worked to support himself.

1Th 2:9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.

**They sought to tear down and destroy the God called ministers of the truth. (Many attempts were made on Paul’s life but even more attempts to destroy his ministry)

The Apostles of Jesus Christ were always seeking to benefit God’s children.

**False Preachers only seek to benefit themselves!

What is the difference between a God called Preacher and a preacher of false doctrine?

False preachers seek to focus people on laws, works, efforts, rituals, ceremonies, observances, sacrifices, rules, and regulations, while insisting on all people to do good and to be good in order to become acceptable to God.

The true God called Preacher of the Gospel will focus on God, God’s love, God’s honor, and God’s praise because God Himself provided the only means to become acceptable to Him, by Jesus Christ!

Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

To know Jesus Christ is to know the Living God!

It is not hard to distinguish the true God called Preacher from the false ones.

All we need do is compare what they says to God’s Written Word!

*****Gal 4:18 But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.

Paul said that the church should always welcome those who seek to minister for the welfare of the church and reject all those that seek their own welfare and those that reject the everlasting “Gospel” of Jesus Christ!

Every church is to grow in Christ!

Every church is to make disciples for Christ!

Every child of God is to have the appearance of Jesus Christ!

*****Gal 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,
Gal 4:20 I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.

Paul had personally led many of these Galatians to the Lord.

Paul had helped them all mature spiritually.

Paul had a deep concern for his spiritual children.

This was a special trait of the Apostle Paul because this was a trait of the Lord Jesus Christ and an example for every man of God.

1Th 2:7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:
1Th 2:8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.

Paul travailed for his spiritual children as a mother about to give birth in his effort to return them to Christ Jesus.

**A false minister has no true concern for the child of God!

A true shepherd loves his flock dearly!

A true shepherd agonizes over the growth of his flock!

A true shepherd is more like a mother hen than a strutting rooster!

And again the Lord Christ Jesus is our example!

Mat 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

The true minister will guard the church against the error of leaving the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ, as did the Apostle Paul and will warn the church rather than become a part of that error!

Php 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
Php 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

The true minister will explain the difference between the Law and Grace in as easy terms as possible!

Paul chose a historical moment in time that was verified in the Word of God.

*****Gal 4:21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
Gal 4:22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
Gal 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.

Paul says listen to what the Law really says.

Paul said open up your clogged up ears and listen to what these false preachers are saying.

Paul said get out of the fog and get in the Light of Jesus Christ!

Paul said let’s just look at the Word of God and get our example of the truth!

The Gospel says we are “Justified by Grace” and that we enter into God’s New Heaven not by law, not by works, not by goodness “but by promise”!

So the Apostle Paul goes back to the beginning of the promise to Abraham.

It is only in the Word of God where we can find the truth of God!

We know that Abraham had only two sons while his wife Sarah was still alive.

One son Isaac had been promised by God to Abraham through his wife Sarah but many years had passed and Sarah had gotten very old and Sarah decided that God might need a little help to fulfill His promise to Abraham.

Sarah was wrong, God does not need our help for Him to fulfill His own promises!

Sarah trusted God but she became discouraged with her aged body and she sent her slave girl, Hagar into Abraham and Hagar had a son named Ishmael.

Some 13 years after Ishmael was born, God kept His promise to Abraham and Sarah bore Isaac.

Sarah had laughed at the promise God had made in her old age but God had proven to her that nothing is to hard for God and that He would always keep His promises!

Gen 18:13 And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?
Gen 18:14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

And the truth is:

Num 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

So what can we see about Ishmael?

Ishmael was born through the natural process.

Ishmael was born into slavery being born of a slave girl.

Ishmael was born because of the work, the effort, and the will of Sarah.

Ishmael was born because of the fleshly impulses of Abraham.

We men must beware of our fleshly impulses when we are up in our years!

So what do we know about Isaac?

Isaac was born a free man by a free woman.

Isaac was born because of the promise of God alone.

What are the facts?

Abraham and Sarah were both well beyond the years of childbearing.

Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 years old.

Isaac was then a miracle child who was born because God had done all the works to perform that miracle and because God always keeps His promises!

Isaac was a promised child!

So what is the point?

Ishmael was born by human ingenuity, human energy, human effort and was born into slavery.

Isaac was born a miracle child, by the promise of God.

Isaac was born because of God’s love and because of God’s power and because of God’s promise.

Isaac was born by the “Grace of God” into freedom!

Paul says now we can see the allegory.

An allegory in the Old Testament is the same as a parable in the New Testament.

In this case an allegory is an actual historical event that has a much deeper spiritual meaning.

And let’s allow Paul to explain this allegory.

*****Gal 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
Gal 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

We will see an illustration of the truth between the Grace of God and the Law if we just listen to the teaching of the Apostle Paul.

First it is best to understand that unless God indicates other wise, the safe and proper way to interpret the Bible is to not interpret it at all.

We must always remember that God means what He says and God says what He means!

2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

This goes for the individual and also for any Elder and includes the Pope and any other so-called spiritual leader of any and all denominations.

Now saying that, many times the Bible will indicate when God’s Word is meant to be interpreted allegorically.

But we will also see that even these allegories are built upon the historical truth that is written in the Word of God!

The Biblical story of Sarah and Hagar are historical facts!

We are wrong when we do not accept the Word of God as historical fact!

We are also wrong when we fail to understand why God would use allegories.

We already know the Lord Jesus Christ used the parable in many instances to aid in teaching the disciples.

We haven’t mentioned the different “types” in the Bible for awhile but these two mothers, Hagar and Sarah, represent the two covenants in the Bible in typology.

1) Hagar was a “type” of the old covenant, (The Law) that was between God and man.

Hagar represents the Law which bears children into slavery.

The Law makes demands.

The Law insists on total obedience.

The Law enslaves people to do exactly what it says or suffer dire consequences.

When people try to approach God with their own goodness, by their own works, by their own righteousness, they are in bondage to the Law!

It takes total obedience to the Laws given to Moses and the ever changing laws of man to ever become righteous enough on your own which is impossible!

It is a fact that we are to try our very best to live righteously and morally but by God’s standards and not by man’s standards.

But God says we are not justified because of our goodness or by any self efforts!

We cannot save ourselves!

We are not to praise ourselves for our feeble attempts at good works!

All praise belongs to God!

Hagar is in fact a “type” of all religions that go about seeking their own righteousness while rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ as the only means of salvation!

Hagar stands for Mount Sinai, the Mount in Arabia where the Law was given to Moses.

Mount Sinai is also a “type” of the Law.

God has always intended for Jerusalem to be habited by His own children which are children of freedom!

*****Gal 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
Gal 4:27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.

Sarah was a “type” of the new covenant between God and man, which is the covenant of Grace.

The covenant of “Grace” is the covenant of “Promise”!

Sarah or “Grace” is seen in Jerusalem that is from above or we say the New Jerusalem.

Rev 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
Rev 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

It is life in the New Jerusalem that is promised to all those of true “Faith”!

Sarah was free. Grace is free. The Promise of the New Jerusalem is built for those that are free!

It is only by our “Faith” that we can receive the “Grace of God” and be a part of the Promises of God!

Anyone who thinks these things can be bought at any price is living in a dream world!

So what are the facts?

According to the Word of God their will be many more children of Hagar than there are children of Sarah!

BUT, that will be because they chose the wrong path of works and the Law and rejected the “Grace of God”!

God says why in the world would anyone choose bondage over freedom!

Isa 55:1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Isa 55:2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
Isa 55:3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

The children of “Faith”, that receive God’s “Grace” are in fact just as Isaac the “children of Promise”!

*****Gal 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.

How does Paul describe the believer to these Galatians?

We, brothers and sisters, just as Isaac, are the children of “Promise” because of our “Faith”!

All those that accept the work of the Lord Jesus Christ are birthed into the family of God, which is a Spiritual Birth!

We receive the “Promise” of God because God takes our “Faith” and counts it to us for righteousness just as He did for Abraham!

Rom 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
Rom 4:14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:

So, what can we expect from all those that reject the Lord Jesus Christ and adhere to a works doctrine?

*****Gal 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.

The child of “Faith” will be persecuted by all those that seek another way to be righteous in the eyes of God.

Just as Ishmael mocked and persecuted Isaac, so it will be for the Christian!

Gen 21:9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.

Those that work so hard to try to find a way to please God, will always ridicule those that tell them they are wasting their time and just need to believe.

Understanding these things will also better prepare as we witness for Jesus Christ.

The world sees Christians as weak but God says for us to be bold!

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

A person sold out to works, or rituals, or ceremony will have to admit that they are also weak and most of them will refuse to admit any weakness!

They will refuse to admit weakness and accept the fact that by their own energy, their own effort, their own works, they will never be able to impress God!

And God says we all know this to be true!

1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Jesus says for us to be prepared for all these things.

Mat 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Mat 5:12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

All those that seek to please God by their own works will be cast out just as Hagar and Ishmael.

*****Gal 4:30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.

What actually happened?

Gen 21:10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.

The Law cannot co-exist with the Grace of God!

The son of Hagar(the Law) shall not be an heir with the son of Sarah(Grace)!

Ishmael was cast out so that he could not share in Abraham’s riches which was the sure inheritance of Isaac.

This causes grief many people and it even caused grief to Abraham.

Gen 21:11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham’s sight because of his son.
Gen 21:12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.

God is building His Church and God will never allow anyone who approaches Him by law or works to be a part of His Church!

This is God’s plan and we should never question God’s plan!

Why is this so important?

Rom 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
Rom 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

All those that stand before God using the word “my” will be rejected!

God is perfect and the only One who is, so when you stand before God with your own works, your own goodness, your own righteousness, and a list of all the laws you have kept all the days of your life, you are only presenting your own human effort.

None of these things are important to God because you have not trusted in the truth of what He has written down for us in His Word!

Even the very best of people are disobedient to the Word of God and therefore left to the wages of death!

Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

What is the will of our Father in Heaven?

Mat 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
Mat 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
Mat 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
Mat 7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

And what has God said?

Hab 2:2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
Hab 2:3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
Hab 2:4 Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

When our own self-pride comes between us and God we will lose every time!

What is the only choice we have to make in this life?

We must decide if we are going to be the children of the bondwoman or the children of the free woman?

*****Gal 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

To be free from the “Wages of Death” we must be a child of “Faith”!

If we believe the Word of God then we must believe the Apostle Paul and Paul has explained all these things as simply as they can be explained.

True salvation brings peace of mind and there is no peace of mind in the Law!

Once we have been adopted into the family of God, God then removes the death grip of this world and the works of this world and places us in His hands for safe keeping!

Joh 10:25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.
Joh 10:26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Joh 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

If God is strong enough to save us, He is surely strong enough to keep us saved!

We should just ask ourselves are we going to trust in our own strength or are we going to trust in the Almighty Strength of God?


Let’s Pray!

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