Free in Christ: Study of Galatians
God’s Power Can Transform Anyone
December 2, 2018
Coming face to face with the power of God is amazing like when He
transforms a life that seemed hopeless and beyond reach. Often the
greatest hindrance to God moving, is our own natural abilities, beliefs and
strengths which can block us from experiencing His power. I pray that
each of us will see that God can transform anyone!
Galatians 4:21 Tell me, you who want to live under the law, do you know
what the law actually says? 22 The Scriptures say that Abraham had two
sons, one from his slave wife and one from his freeborn wife. 23 The son of
the slave wife was born in a human attempt to bring about the fulfillment of
God’s promise. But the son of the freeborn wife was born as God’s own
fulfillment of his promise.
24 These two women serve as an illustration of God’s two covenants. The
first woman, Hagar, represents Mount Sinai where people received the law
that enslaved them. 25 And now Jerusalem is just like Mount Sinai in Arabia,
because she and her children live in slavery to the law. 26 But the other
woman, Sarah, represents the heavenly Jerusalem. She is the free woman,
and she is our mother. 27 As Isaiah said, “Rejoice, O childless woman,
you who have never given birth! Break into a joyful shout, you who have
never been in labor! For the desolate woman now has more children
than the woman who lives with her husband!”
28 And you, dear brothers and sisters, are children of the promise, just
like Isaac. 29 But you are now being persecuted by those who want you to
keep the law, just as Ishmael, the child born by human effort, persecuted
Isaac, the child born by the power of the Spirit.
30 But what do the Scriptures say about that? “Get rid of the slave and
her son, for the son of the slave woman will not share the inheritance with
the free woman’s son.” 31 So, dear brothers and sisters, we are not children
of the slave woman; we are children of the free woman.
Big Idea: God’s power can transform anyone into a child of God.
I. Without Jesus, I cannot _______________ myself or anyone else.
Galatians 4:21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not
listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a
slave woman and one by a free woman. 23 But the son of the slave was
born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born
“under the law”- “You who are bent on being under law. Your desire to be
under law is not in harmony with Scripture.” vs.22-23 Wuest
Romans 7:18For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.
For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
Two births: Physical birth versus spiritual birth that makes us the children
The Old Covenant The New Covenant
Hagar the Slave Sarah, the freewoman
Ishmael, conceived after the flesh Isaac, conceived miraculously
Earthly Jerusalem in bondage Heavenly Jerusalem which is free
Galatians 4:25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the
present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.
Without Jesus: I will be enslaved. I need to be born again!
John 3:6 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
Our culture opposes transformation and prefers ________________ .
Galatians 4:29 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
Galatians 5:17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the
desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each
other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
II. God opposes conformation but brings _____________________!
Galatians 4:27 For it is written, “Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear;
break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor! For the children of the
desolate one will be more than those of the one who has a husband.”
Cast out what blocks you from God’s power.
Galatians 4:30 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.” 31So, brothers, we are not children of the slave
but of the free woman.
Receive the __________________ of God through Jesus Christ.
Galatians 4:28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise.
(Romans 9:8, Galatians 3:28)
Isaac was born by God’s power! (Galatians 4:29)
Galatians 3:14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come
to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.
John 1:12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he
gave the right to become children of God,
Genesis 18:14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? (Luke 1:37)
Keep seeking ____________ and His will above all else.
Galatians 4:26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.
(Col. 3:1-2, Matt. 6:33). What I seek the most will have power over me.
Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,
or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; (It’s not a ritual. It is a relationship)
Surrendering to God is the beginning of transformation.
God can transform anyone who comes to Him.
Spiritual Growth Questions for December 2, 2018.
Opener: What is the greatest miracle you have experienced?
1. Read Galatians 4:21-31. Describe in your own words what is
happening here. Why is this important? List all the examples of
symbolism you note in this passage.
2. Read Galatians 4:21-26. What are the contrasts between the two
women? Between their two sons?
3. Consider the four types of people (Keller mentions in pages 117-18)
a. law obeying-law relying, b. law disobeying-law relying, c. law
disobeying not law relying, d. law obeying but not law relying. Look back
over your past and trace your spiritual life in terms of the four categories
mentioned above. How have you progressed?
4. Read Galatians 4:23, Genesis 21:3. How does Paul demonstrate that
physical descent is not enough to make someone a child of God? What
is the crucial difference between Isaac and Ishmael? Read Gal. 4:28.
5. Read Galatians 4:23-26 and 4:29, John 3:19-21, Romans 3:19, 2
Timothy 3:12. Why does the conflict persist between followers of the old
and new covenants? “Persecution is opposing a Christian for either
obeying God or declaring God’s will and truth.” McKnight. How do we
experience this conflict in our worlds?
6. Read Galatians 4:27, Genesis 18:14, Luke 1:37. Can you identify with
Sarah in any way? If you can, how does her experience comfort and
excite you? In what ways could you treat your children (either those
you have or those you don’t) as your savior?
7. John Stott shares, “the persecution of the true church is not always by
the world who are strangers … but by our half-brothers, religious people,
the nominal church. The greatest enemies of evangelical faith are not
unbelievers, but the establishment, the hierarchy. Isaac is always
mocked by Ishmael.” How can “free” Christians guard against their
own kind of self-righteousness, feeling superior to legalists? How
do you respond to legalists?