Christian Through A Promise
From My Notes by Pastor Ron Campbell
A good friend sent me this scripture by email, with no explanation. So, I began contemplate on what these verses say to us today… and more specifically “What do I or we need to learn from these verses?”
Thank you, Ed. I am blessed by our friendship.
Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman. ~ Galatians 4: 28-31
Christians become Christians through a promise. As Isaac came into this world because of a promise from God, we Christians become Christians and live the Christian life by the promise of God’s grace. Isaac’s birth entirely depended on God, it was completely the work of God and not the work of Abraham or Sarah. In contrast, Ishmael’s birth was the work of human beings.
Grace-oriented Christians are Christians who trusts in Christ alone, by faith alone. They are therefore free to have a relationship with God because of Christ.
As grace-oriented Christians, we should expect opposition from legalistic people. Legalistic people will always persecute grace-oriented people, because grace and legalism are exact opposites.
Grace and legalism cannot co-exist at the same time. Either we try to please God by what we do, or we absorb into our being what Christ did for us, as pleasing to God. It is either one or the other, not both.
Legalism points to self and self-righteousness. Grace points to the finished work of Christ. We have a tendency to get the two confused. They are as different as black and white, yet some Christians try to merge them together. A legalistic view always presents stipulations in order to fellowship with God. However, Grace has no stipulations. If we have one foot in grace and one foot in legalism, we are in bondage.
Remember, Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law. When we go back to the law we diminish Christ’s death for our sin.