THE LESSON BACKGROUND. After showing that the true children of Abraham are those who accept Christ by faith (see Galatians 3:26-29), the Apostle Paul proceeded to use an allegory to compare the old and new covenants. He did this by contrasting two women who bore sons to Abraham: Hagar and Sarah (see Galatians 4:21-31). Paul used Hagar (a slave) to stand for the old covenant, or the Law, and Sarah (a free woman) represented the new covenant, or grace. In the context of our lesson, those Galatians who were seeking to be justified by the law were the children of Hagar, meaning they were children of slavery. Those who were seeking to be justified by faith in Christ were children of Sarah, meaning they were free. The verse preceding the beginning of our lesson text says “so then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free” (see Galatians 4:31). Then Paul set out to defend Christian freedom in daily living.
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