Message Notes1). Ga 4:22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, 24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar-- 25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children-- 26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written: "Rejoice, O barren, You who do not bear! Break forth and shout, You who are not in labor! For the desolate has many more children Than she who has a husband." 28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise.
29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? "Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman." 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.
2). Review ? the birth of Ishmael and Isaac were in respect of God?s promise to Abraham of a land and an inheritance.
a). Ishmael was born first ? apart from faith ? an act in conjunction with a woman from Egypt ? what our scripture calls ?born according to the flesh?
b). Isaac is born second ? through the work of the Spirit ? a sovereign act of God ? this is the son of promise. ?Of promise? ? not only because he was promised, but also because he was the one who would receive the promises ? ?In Isaac your seed shall be called?.
c). It is interesting to note God?s perspective on this in Genesis 22
Ge 22:2 Then He said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac,
d). According to God?s perspective, in relation to the promise of the inheritance, Abraham only had one son ? Isaac ? ?born according to the Spirit?. 30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? "Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman."
3). These two half brothers began in conflict and continue in conflict with their focus being the land of promise and the inheritance.
a). This conflict is measured out in blood, death and misery ? notice the increasing tensions in Gaza at the moment.
4). Now we can see in this conflict a dramatic parallel with ourselves.
a). Note what the scripture says in relation to us - Eph 1:11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,
12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
b). 1Pe 1:3 ? Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
c). And we, according to our foundational scripture in Galatians
28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise.
5). Let?s also remember what Jesus said to Nicodemus - Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." 4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" 5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 "Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'
a). We were all born of the flesh, as a result of natural procreation ? it was an act apart from faith which resulted in us being born in the likeness of Adam - Eph 2:1 ? And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4 ? But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
b). And we have all been ?born again? or ?born from above? ? a sovereign act of God, by the work of His Spirit, through faith.
c). That which was born first, the man of the flesh, as Ishmael will have no inheritance with that which is born second, the man of the Spirit, typified by Isaac.
d). We have then two half brothers, occupying the same territory in conflict with each other with an inheritance at stake.
e). The man of the flesh is bound to this world ? ?according to the prince of the power of the air?, but the man of the Spirit is looking to the world to come and is led by the Spirit. The first birth is associated with death and the second birth with life.
f). This is further typified for us in the sons of Isaac, Esau and Jacob
Ge 25:27 So the boys grew. And Esau was a skillful hunter, a man of the field; but Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents.
6). Ro 7:21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. Ro 8:1 ? There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
a). There is a war going on inside of each of us and although God has assured our victory in Christ Jesus, for many Christians this will not be the reality. And if we are feeling particularly confident right now let us remember what scripture admonishes - 1Co 10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. Nothing in the flesh can please God, because things in the realm of the flesh take place apart from faith and we know form - Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him,
b). And we also know - Ro 4:13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. We will not be heir of anything apart from faith.
7). Ga 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
8). Knowing this, why is it still a struggle for us? If we go back to our original type in genesis we will find the answer. Ge 21:8 So the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the same day that Isaac was weaned. 9 ? And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing. 10 Therefore she said to Abraham, "Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac." 11 And the matter was very displeasing in Abraham's sight because of his son.
a). For many Christians they love the works of the flesh, we can think that our old, sin, nature is really a good guy ? he may be a bit off at times, but once you get to know him, he?s not that bad. This is a lie.
b). Ro 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells
Joh 6:63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing.
c). Our old man, the man of the flesh is not our friend ? he is a suicide bomber. And many of us have allowed him to detonate in our lives and we are still living with the consequences.
d). We need to cast out the son of the bondwoman
9). What does Romans 8 say? - Ro 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."
16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 ? and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
a). Our being born again places us as a result of our second birth as a child of God, but we will only be a joint heir with Christ if we suffer with Him ? put do death the deeds of the flesh ? cast out the son of the bondwoman.
b). Ro 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
c). ?I die daily?? ? cast him out
d). ?I beat my body?? ? cast him out
e). ?For what would it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?? - cast him out.