28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. 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. 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.” 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.
Can there be any doubt at this point that those who have faith in Jesus are the true heirs of Abraham? Paul has made it as clear as it can be that the law is not of faith and that the children of Abraham are not those who were born into his line in the flesh. Rule-keeping religion is not the way to have relationship with God, period!
Despite the crystal clarity with which Paul has made his point, we still face the battle of religion. It comes as a combination both of our own thinking that condemns us and of the religious expectations of others that judge us. Nothing has changed since Abraham’s time. Paul points to Genesis 21 where we see Ishmael (Hagar’s son) scoffing at Isaac. Sarah was having none of this and she told Abraham, “Get her and her kid out of here! That boy is not heir with my son!”
How should we respond when we feel condemnation, guilt, shame, or judgement? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son!” Get rid of religious thinking. Focus on the message of grace that comes through the true Seed, Jesus. If you are listening to legalistic teaching, stop! If you are tolerating judgmental responses, stop! It’s okay to get that stuff out of your life without hating anyone or even being mean.
It starts with getting your thinking in line with the message of grace. We must accept that no amount of work can make us right with God and that once we receive Jesus as Savior, no amount of mistakes can make us “wrong” with God. Salvation is based on Jesus alone. We can’t earn it, and we can’t nullify it once we receive it by faith. In fact, Paul says in Romans chapter four that the only way to make the promise void is to pursue it according to the law.
Immerse yourself in grace. That’s the purpose of this devotional. Spend 31 days immersed in the grace message and rid your thinking of religion, law, and performance. When you do this, you are casting out the bondwoman and her son. Focus on Jesus and His perfect, finished work that has cleansed you from all sin and forever seated you with Him in heavenly places. In Christ, you are an heir. You are a child of promise. Brave grace!
P.S. – We must take a moment to acknowledge Pastor Joseph Prince here. His teachings have been impacting us for years and so many things that he has said have become second-nature to us. That includes bringing our attention to the thoughts we share in this post regarding Galatians 4:30. We couldn’t be sure when we first heard him discuss this exactly. However, we know that he mentions it in this message clip. Take a few minutes to watch it, and we highly suggest that you make Pastor Prince’s materials part of your regular reading and listening.