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Sermon Outlines - Galatians 4 Higher Praise Sermons

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                     "THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS"
                              Chapter Four
1) To appreciate the significance and blessedness of receiving the 
   Spirit in our hearts (cf. Jn 7:37-39; Ac 2:38; 5:32; Ro 5:5; 
   8:11-17; 15:13; 2 Co 1:22; 5:5; Ep 1:13-14; 3:16; 4:30)
2) To understand Paul's concern over the Galatians' observance of holy
   days (cf. Co 2:16-17; Ga 5:4)
3) To comprehend the implications of the allegory of Hagar and Sarah
In this chapter Paul continues and concludes his defense of the gospel 
of justification by faith in Christ, in contrast to seeking
justification by the works of the Law.  The previous chapter ended with
Paul making a practical argument, how that by faith they had become the
sons of God, the true seed of Abraham and heirs of the promise, when
they put on Christ in baptism.
The practical argument continues in the first part of chapter four as 
Paul describes the condition of those under the Law prior to the coming
of Christ.  They were "children", and really no different than slaves.
But when Christ came, He redeemed those under the Law and made it
possible for them to receive the adoption as "sons".  A special
blessing of this sonship was receiving the Spirit in their hearts, and
now they are no longer as a slave but as a son and a heir of God 
through Christ (1-7).
Paul then argues along sentimental lines.  After having come to know 
the true God and being recognized by Him, their observance of holy days
is indicative of a desire to return to bondage.  That greatly concerns
Paul, who would have them become like him.  He reminds them of their 
reception of him in the past, and he hopes that by telling them the 
truth he has not become their enemy.  Wishing he could be with them in
person and use a different tone, he feels like a woman going through 
labor again as he seeks to ensure that Christ is formed in them.  All
of this because he has doubts about them (8-20).
His final argument is an appeal to the Law itself, addressed directly 
to those who desire to be under it.  He reminds them of Abraham's two 
sons by Sarah and Hagar, and contends there are allegorical 
implications concerning the two covenants.  Hagar, the bondwoman who
gave birth to Ishmael, represents the covenant given at Mt. Sinai, and
corresponds to physical Jerusalem and the bondage of those under the
Law.  Sarah, Abraham's wife who gave birth to Isaac, represents the new
covenant and corresponds to the heavenly Jerusalem which offers freedom
to all who accept it.  With a reminder that those born of the Spirit 
can expect persecution by those born according to the flesh, Paul 
concludes his defense of the gospel of justification by faith in Christ
by proclaiming that those in Christ are of not of the bondwoman but of 
the free (21-31).
      1. The illustration of an heir (1-2)
         a. While a child, is no different than a slave, even though a
            "master" (1)
         b. Under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by
            the father (2)
      2. In like manner, they had been as children, in bondage to the
         elements of the world (3)
      1. At the right time, God sent His Son, born of woman, born under
         the Law (4)
         a. To redeem those under the Law (5a)
         b. That they might receive the adoptions as sons (5b)
      2. Because they are now "sons" (and not just "children")...
         a. God sent the Spirit into their hearts, crying out "Abba, 
            Father!" (6)
         b. No longer are they as "slaves", but as "sons", thus heirs 
            of God through Christ (7)
      1. They had come to know God, and to be known by God (8-9a)
      2. But they seem to desire to be in bondage again, returning to
         weak and beggarly elements (9b)
      3. Their observance of holy days gives Paul fear that his labor
         was in vain (10-11)
      1. A plea for them to be as he is (12)
      2. A reminder of their past relations with him (13-15)
         a. They had not allowed his physical infirmities to hinder
            their reception of him and his gospel (13-14)
         b. They were even willing to pluck out their own eyes for him
      3. Has he become their enemy because he tells them the truth? 
      4. They are being zealously courted by others, but zeal is good
         only when for the right cause (17-18)
      5. He labors over them again, that Christ might be formed in 
         them, wishing he could change his tone, but he has doubts 
         about them (19-20)
      1. For those who wish to be under the law, will you hear what the
         law says? (21)
      2. For we read Abraham had two sons (22-23)
         a. One of a bondwoman (Hagar), born according to the flesh 
         b. The other of a freewoman (Sarah), born through promise 
      3. These things are symbolic (24a)
   B. THE TWO COVENANTS (24b-31)
      1. The two women represent two covenants (24b-26)
         a. Hagar represents the covenant from Mount Sinai (the Law), 
            physical Jerusalem, and the bondage shared with her 
         b. Sarah represents a new covenant from Jerusalem above 
            (spiritual Jerusalem), which offers freedom to all
      2. As prophesied, the barren woman (Sarah) would have more 
         children (27)
      3. Those under the new covenant are like Isaac, children of 
         promise (28)
      4. Those born of the Spirit can expect animosity from those born
         of the flesh (29)
      5. But the Scripture says that the children of the free woman 
         (Sarah, the Jerusalem above) will be the heir (30)
      6. We are not children of the bondwoman but of the free (31)
1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - Justification by faith:  The practical argument, continued (1-7)
   - Justification by faith:  The sentimental argument (8-20)
   - Justification by faith:  The allegorical argument (21-31)
2) What is the condition of a child, even though an heir? (1-2)
   - No different from a slave
   - Under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the
3) What was the condition of those under the Law? (3)
   - As children, in bondage under the elements of the world
4) When did God send His Son?  Why? (4-5)
   - When the fullness of time had come
   - To redeem those under the Law, that they might receive the 
     adoption as "sons"
5) As sons of God, what do we receive?  What is our condition? (6-7)
   - The Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying "Abba, Father!"
   - No longer a slave, but a "son" and an "heir" of God through Christ
6) What indication was there that the Galatians sought to be in bondage
   again? (8-10)
   - Their observance of days, months, seasons, and years
7) What did Paul fear? (11)
   - That his labor with them had been in vain
8) How had the Galatians received Paul when he first preached the 
   gospel to them? (14)
   - As an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus Himself
9) What were they apparently willing to do when Paul was with them?
   - They would have plucked out their own eyes and given them to Paul
10) What concern did Paul have in telling them the truth? (16)
   - Had he become their enemy?
11) Why did Paul wish he could be with them and change his tone? (20)
   - He had doubts about them
12) For those who desired to be under the Law, what story from the Law
    does Paul relate? (21-23)
   - That of Hagar and Sarah, and their sons
13) What do the two women represent? (24-26)
   - Two covenants
   - Hagar represents the covenant given at Mt. Sinai which gives birth
     to bondage, and relates to physical Jerusalem
   - Sarah represents the covenant in Christ, corresponding to the
     Jerusalem above which gives freedom to all
14) How are Christians like Isaac? (28,31)
   - We are children of promise
   - We are children of the freewoman, not of the bondwoman who
     represents the Law

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