‘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’ Gal 4.23 NIV.
Paul spoke of the children of the slave woman. These were fellow Jews who refused the gospel of the Kingdom in favour of the religion of their fathers. Paul tells them bluntly that in doing so they are unable to fill their destiny and they disqualify themselves from their inheritance as sons and daughters of God. They remain sons in name only – but not in spirit and in truth. Sons of the slave woman and Abrahams ill-conceived attempt to bring about the promise in the flesh, they remain as workers and slaves – not outside salvation but outside the Kingdom of God.
‘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. Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children’ Gal 4.24-26 NIV.
Such is the status of all who insist on an old covenant religion while denying themselves what is theirs: Their new covenant inheritance in which Christ is their life and they are in God and in fellowship with the trinity. They are like the dwarfs in Lewis’s Last Battle who when in prison refuse to eat the food because their eyes construe what is on offer as scraps of muck. In reality the food was a luscious banquet of delights resulting from the Spirit of the Lord.
CROOKED PATHS STRAIGHT
The new covenant is not a continuation of the old with ‘Jesus adjustments.’ The Sabbath is not our ‘grace’ and the law is not our Messiah. The health message is not a substitute for our life in the Spirit and divine rest for human restless is not the Sabbath but the person of Jesus. It’s not your life work to ‘do enough.’ Jesus for you is more than enough. It’s not good enough to have a holy Sabbath yet live a disfigured life.
CHRIST’S FINISHED WORK
The work of Jesus for you is complete. There is nothing we must add – no work of our own to fill some gap left in an unfinished atonement. Jesus Christ is the entire chain of being that connects you to God, makes you one with God and situates you in the fellowship of heaven. You need not work to ‘keep close to Jesus.’ He is always with you and in you.
Fortunately, being outside the Kingdom does not mean exclusion from salvation. But it does means we are not competent to minister the new covenant spirit and life of God. It means drops of water rather than rivers of living water flowing from our being. You can live from the law and the lesser Christ of the Desire of Ages who is lesser because he is under the law and as such not really God. We can purvey the regressive gospel that places us back in Adam’s world of the knowledge of good and evil. But this leaves us as dead men walking, dead women talking and collectively dormant in our spirit.
A MISERABLE GOSPEL
‘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’ Gal 4.30 NIV. What is your inheritance? It is to live in the Spirit of Sonship in fellowship and intimacy with God.
‘In misery are they who interpret Jesus through the law. Full of life and joy are all who perceive the law through Jesus.’ There are gospels that impede the new creation and the one gospel that is resurrection and life. All who take the name of Jesus will enter eternal life. But with ‘another gospel’ we will make our way to heaven in the goods van instead of the first-class section of the train.
‘For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law’ Gal 3.10 NIV.