John Lloyd - God's Power

Free in Christ: Study of Galatians

God’s Power Can Transform Anyone

Galatians 4:21-31

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

through promise.

“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

of God.

The Old Covenant The New Covenant

Law Grace

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?