“Don’t You Hear the Law?” ( Galatians 4: 15-21, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


Exasperated, Paul wonders at the Galatians’ desire to place themselves back under the yoke of the Law. He worries over them as they fall victim to Judaizers who wish them circumcised, observant of certain days and specific customs. Paul says “it is always good to be enthusiastic about good;” but he also says he is “suffering labor pains for you until Christ is formed in you.” Paul strongly suggests to the church at Galatia that observing the Law does not and can not make them any more Christ-like!

15 What happened to this sense of being blessed you had? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? 17 They are enthusiastic about you, but not for any good. Instead, they want to isolate you so you will be enthusiastic about them. 18 Now it is always good to be enthusiastic about good—and not just when I am with you. 19 My children, I am again suffering labor pains for you until Christ is formed in you. 20 I would like to be with you right now and change my tone of voice, because I don’t know what to do about you. 21 Tell me, those of you who want to be under the law, don’t you hear the law?

Paul then tells them a story. He reminds the Galatians of the children of the free woman, Sarah and the slave woman, Hagar. Both children come from Abraham, but only one is the true heir.

Rid yourself of the yoke of slavery and take up the cloak of freedom in Christ.

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“We Were Children” ( Galatians 4: 1, ESV ) by Carley Evans


“In Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith,” writes Paul to the church at Galatia. When you are baptized into Christ, you “put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:26, 27) And in belonging to Christ, “you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” (Galatians 3:29)

Now Paul is telling the Galatians that as long as the heir is still a child, he “is no different from a slave.” (Galatians 4:1) This heir, as a child, remains under the guardianship of the “elementary principles of the world” and under the management of the law. (Galatians 4:3,4) But God, at the “fullness of time,” sends His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ into the world “born of woman, born under the law, to redeem” you who are still children. At this point in time, you become heirs, “the owner[s] of everything” God has prepared for you. (Galatians 4:4,5,2)

You become sons of God by adoption. And with this adoption, you become brothers of Jesus Christ and also receive the promised Holy Spirit, who cries in your heart, ‘Abba! Father!’ (Galatians 4:6) “You are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” (Galatians 4:7)

An heir has rights to everything the Father owns. Paul exhorts that there is no reason “to be under the law” for Abraham has “two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman.” (Galatians 4:21,22) You are born of the free woman, so why would you desire to be in the company of the slave woman? What have you in common with the slaves — with those who remain under the management of the law and enslaved to the elementary principles of the world? You, rather, “are children of promise.” (Galatians 4:28)

“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.” (Galatians 4:30)

“The Struggle Against Encumbrances” (Hebrews 12: 1, NEB) by Carley Evans


Moses, Abraham, Sarah, Noah, Abel, Enoch, Isaac, Jacob — “these witnesses in faith” “did not enter upon the promised inheritance, because, with us in mind, God had made a better plan, that only in company with us should they reach their perfection.” (Hebrews 12: 1; 11: 39 – 40)

We are surrounded by men and women of great faith in God yet these ancient “witnesses in faith” required the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ just as we do.

Since we have such colleagues, we must “run with resolution the race for which we are entered, our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom faith depends from start to finish.” (Hebrews 12: 2) We must “throw off every encumbrance, every sin to which we cling.” (Hebrews 12: 1)

Throwing off encumbrances is as important as resisting sin. Encumbrances are weights on our souls, keeping our focus off Christ and on ourselves. Encumbrances are essentially distractions. Martha working to set a table for her Lord Jesus is an encumbrance to the more important task — listening to Him.

Let’s be “too good for a world like this.” Let’s keep our focus on our ultimate goal — the prize who is Christ, our Lord.

“Fully Convinced After A Laugh” (Romans 4: 20, ESV) by Carley Evans


Abram is “fully convinced that God is able to do what He promises.” (Romans 4: 21) Though his body is a hundred years old and his wife, Sarah is post-menopausal; (Genesis 18: 11) yet Abram “does not weaken in faith.” (Romans 4: 19)

“No distrust makes him waver concerning the promise of God.” (Romans 4: 20)

Instead, Abram “grows strong in his faith as he gives glory to God.” (Romans 4: 20)

Giving God the glory is the method through which Abram becomes “fully convinced” and unwavering in his belief in God’s promise to make him “the father of many nations.” (Romans 4: 18)

Both Abram and Sarai laugh as each hears God’s pronouncement that Sarai will bear Abram a son. Abram falls on his face and laughs when God tells him. (Genesis 17: 17) whereas Sarai laughs from within the tent as she hears the three angels announce to her husband that she is to be with child.(Genesis 18: 12)

The Lord challenges Abram, saying, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18: 14)

Sarai denies her laughter, but God reminds her — “No, but you did laugh.” (Genesis 18: 15)

Abram and Sarai change names at God’s command. Abraham circumcises himself at ninety-nine years of age. Sarah bears a son at ninety-one years of age. Through these two people, the new covenant begins. (Genesis 17: 21)

First, a scoffing laughter; then an unwavering belief.