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. 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. 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.” 31 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman. 5 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.
Every time I think of the last verse in this
passage “it’s for freedom that Christ has set us free”, I think of a particular
worship song that is very catchy and often gets caught in my head after hearing
or singing it. But if I truly think about these words, that Christ has set us
free so that we can live in freedom, I am reminded of how easily I can slip
back into a lifestyle that is dictated by self-imposed rules. I know most
followers of Christ have experienced this paradoxical struggle, the desire to
be a ‘good’ Christian – read the bible enough, pray enough, say think and act
in the right ways all the time. Yet even just thinking like this is an
indication that I am not good enough as I am without Jesus – none of us are! We
cannot ever be good enough for our perfect God, only Jesus can make us right
with Him. I am grateful that because of Christ, we live under a new covenant.
What a good thing to be reminded of today – that we are free because of Jesus,
and that freedom is for us to enjoy each and every day.
Thank you God that you desire us to live in freedom! Help us to stand firm whenever we feel pressure to be ‘good enough’ by obeying rules and standards. Remind us that we are only made right with you because of what Jesus has done for us. Amen.
Written by Ps. Madelaine Tarasenko