Galatians, Lesson 12

Lesson 12


Heavenly Father, we acknowledge that You are the Bread of Life, Living bread, Living manna, Living water, and water of Life. We pray for the filling and divine help of the Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Galatians 4: 21-31, Law and grace, flesh and Spirit.

V 21, Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?

Paul asked rhetorical questions. You, who wanted to be under the law, do you know what is in the law? The Jewish Rabbi had added so many oral traditions to the written Mosaic law until it was ridiculous and absurd. By the time of Jesus, there were 613 laws.

VV 22-23, 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise,

Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac. Ishmael was Hagar’s son, and Isaac was Sarah’s son. Ishmael was the son of a slave woman born according to the flesh. Isaac was the son of a free woman born according to the promise of the Abrahamic covenant.

VV 24-26, 24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar 25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children 26, but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.

Greek for symbolic is “allegoroumena”, which means allegorically. Symbolically, Hagar represents Mount Sinai, Mosaic law, and earthly Jerusalem. Sarah represents grace and heavenly Jerusalem.

V 27, For it is written: “Rejoice, O barren, You who do not bear! Break forth and shout, You who are not in labor! For the desolate has many more children than she who has a husband.”

Paul quoted Isaiah 54:1, “Sing, O barren, You who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, You who have not labored with child! For more are the children of the desolate”.

VV 28-29, 28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. 29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh, persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so, it is now.

The Galatians Christians and we are children of promise. We are born again by the Holy Spirit and adopted into God’s family as God’s children. Ishmael, who was born according to the flesh, persecuted Isaac, who was born according to the Spirit. Ishmael, the flesh, waged war against Isaac, the Spirit, Galatians 5:17.

Galatians 5;17, “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish”.

V 30-31, 30 Nevertheless, what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.

Paul quoted Genesis 21. God rejected Hagar and Ishmael but accepted Sarah and Isaac. We are born according to promise, saved by grace and faith in Christ.

Genesis 21:9-10, “But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.”

Genesis 21:14, “Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba”.


There is two nature in every Christian. The flesh and the Spirit. The flesh wars against the Spirit. The works of the flesh are sinful and immoral. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. We are to cast out the flesh and walk in the Spirit.


Heavenly Father, we pray for victory over the flesh through Christ, by walking in the Spirit and by surrendering our lives to You. Empower us by the resurrection power of Christ to walk in the Spirit, in Jesus’ name, Amen.


Dr. Andrew C S Koh, is an author, publisher, blogger, retired cardiologist, and Bible expositor. His first book, Memoirs of a Doctor, told the amazing story of his spiritual journey and full recovery from tetraplegia. Since then, he has authored 36 Christian books, including commentaries on every book of the New Testament from Matthew to Revelation. He studied Theology at Laidlaw Bible College, Auckland, New Zealand. Connect with him at

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