Pastor, You Are Not A Child of Hagar

by Chris Thomas December 4, 2015

Galatians 4:21–31 (ESV)—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. 24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 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.” 

28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 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 now. 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.” 31 So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.

Pastor: You are not a child of Hagar!

The awe-invoking, worship-inspiring truth of the gospel is that, in Christ, we have become children of Abraham. Yet as Paul reminds the Galatian church, Abraham had two sons. Both sons have become an illustration of how we may inherit a right standing with a holy God. So let me say it again.

Pastor: You are not a child of Hagar!

So let go of the list you've written and posted on your office wall. Let go of the comparison you carry with you to conferences. Discard the fearful glancing at social media followers. Bury the ambitions based on 'platform' building.

Pastor: You are not a child of Hagar!

Your identity of sonship isn't founded on performance-based assessment. Your standing before God was not procured by strategy or tribal association. Your preaching did not gain you merit, nor your vision give rise to redemption.

Pastor: You are not a child of Hagar!

Instead, you are a child of promise. There is a city above, the new Jerusalem, whose children have been born through grace; this city is your mother. You are a child of freedom in Christ, born into an inheritance given, not earned. Your father is Abraham, the one who believed God's promise and was given righteousness, but unlike the Judaisers, your mother is Sarah, and your brother is Isaac. So cast away the slave mentality from within your midst. Slavery to law-based righteousness has no inheritance in glory.

So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.