Are You A Slave or A Free Person?

Mari Ikeda

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 Are You A Slave or A Free Person? (Galatians 4:21-5:1)


A. What deprives us of freedom
1. The Law (Tradition) (21-25)

21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23 His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise.24 These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children.

2. Sin (29-30)

29 At that time the son born according to the flesh persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. 30 But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” 


B. What gives us a freedom
1. God’s promise (26-28)

 26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written: “Be glad, barren woman, you who never bore a child; shout for joy and cry aloud, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband.” 28 Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise. 

2. Christ’s sacrifice (31-1)

 31 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman. 1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.


As long as we live on earth, we are bound by various limitations. But if we live with Jesus, though we still appear to be bound, not truly so, and we are able to live in freedom. Jesus gave us the freedom to love unconditionally. It is our sin that tries to throw that freedom away. We doubt God’s promise and forget Jesus’ sacrifice for us, and try to live by our own strength. Let’s not become a slave of our sin, but instead live as a servant of Jesus.

For Discussion

1) What limitations do you have? What things do you have no freedom to control?
2) How can those limitations and uncontrollable things be changed by Jesus?