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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Galatians Chapter 4 

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Paul
Date Penned: (49 AD)
Overview: Paul Refutes the Judaizers (c 1-6)
Theme: Superiority of the Gospel (c 3-4)
Message: Paul's Concern for the Galatians (v 1-31)

Galatians 4 Commentary

(4:1-7) God's Children through Faith - While maintaining that the law was useful, Paul pointed out what a severe taskmaster it could be for those who failed to learn about grace received through faith. At this point in the letter, he shifted from a legal to a familial point of view. Once we have gained a right relationship with God, our dealings with people will be entirely different.

(4:8-20) Paul's Concern for the Galatians - What do Christians mean when they claim to “know God”? As strange as the concept may sound to modern ears, the Scriptures speak confidently of our ability to know God intimately. Paul turned to the Galatians’ seeming denial of their relationship with God. Though they had met God, their present course of action (living by the law) amounted to a sad betrayal of God’s grace.

(4:21-31) Abraham's Two Children - The final paragraph of Galatians 4 records an extended allegory. Hagar and Sarah, Abraham’s wives-in-conflict, illustrate the conflict between law and grace. The Judaizers, indeed all Jews, took great pride in their descent from godly Abraham. However, as John the Baptist and Jesus pointed out, merely being descended from Abraham was not enough to secure salvation (see Matthew 3:9; John 8:37-44). Paul made the same point in this section, though from a slightly different angle.


Dave Burnette's Life Application


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book ofGalatians with Chapter 4 and in our text we see Paul continuing to explain how we are Sons of God through faith as Paul shows his concern for the Galatians and their embracing the false doctrine of the Judaizers who add works to Salvation. In Making application we see today that many still follow false doctrines adding works to grace. The truth is that we are saved by grace through Faith not of works but in retrospect our faith in Christ will produce works as Christ changes us from the inside out. How about you? Are you relying on your works to save you? Let us learn from our text today and the reminder from Paul to us that we are saved by grace through faith in the finished work of Calvary not from works that some would attempt to add to the Gospel. 


Galatians 4

Galatians 4

 1Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;

 2But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.

 3Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:

 4But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

 5To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

 6And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

 7Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

 8Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.

 9But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

 10Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

 11I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

 12Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.

 13Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first.

 14And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.

 15Where 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.

 16Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

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

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

 19My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,

 20I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.

 21Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?

 22For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.

 23But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.

 24Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.

 25For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

 26But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

 27For 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.

 28Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.

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

 30Nevertheless 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.

 31So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.