TEXT: Galatians 4:21-5:13(NKJV)
4:21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?
4:22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman.
4:23 But he [who was] of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise,
4:24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar --
4:25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children --
4:26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.
4:27 For it is written: "Rejoice, O barren, [You] who do not bear! Break forth and shout, You who are not in labor! For the desolate has many more children Than she who has a husband."
4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac [was,] are children of promise.
4:29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him [who was born] according to the Spirit, even so [it is] now.
4:30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? "Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman."
4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.
5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
5:2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.
5:3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.
5:4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who [attempt to] be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
5:5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.
5:7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?
5:8 This persuasion does not [come] from Him who calls you.
5:9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump.
5:10 I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.
5:11 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased.
5:12 I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!
5:13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not [use] liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
STUDY: Since we are still in the mood of Independence Day celebration of our great nation, we cannot but continue to bring to our awareness what we are in Christ Jesus. When an animal stays on a leash for so long and is eventually loosed, it takes the animal some time to realise the leash is gone.

Paul the apostle, in our text today gives a clear and explicit explanation about the bondmaid and the free woman. In verses 21-24 of our text, he terms the expression an allegory, in other words, the bondwoman is the law from Sinai, born of the flesh and gendered to bondage while the free woman is Jerusalem which is above and is free (Gen. 16:15). He therefore calls us to live a life of freedom by standing fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free (Gal. 5:1). This we can do by embracing the grace released upon us by virtue of Christ death and resurrection.

As a nation, we must go beyond counting the calendar year of independence and rather go ahead to live our freedom through developmental and infrastructural projects that validate our freedom and ensure that we don't live as slaves in our own land. Let us pray for our leaders that they may champion our reality as free citizens. As Christians, we must realise that we have been called to liberty in Christ. Therefore, we should live accordingly.

PRAYER: O Lord, be merciful to our nation and grant us grace to enjoy the reality of our freedom and independence; that we may serve you

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