Bond Slave/Free Woman/Church


Galatians Chapter 4

Preached by:  Carolyn Sissom

June 2018


Thursday night I shared how the LORD redeemed me from the legalism of the law, to walk and live in the freedom of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.   But I had one more deliverance to go through before the LORD would choose me to serve him in full time public ministry.


This is the story of how He delivered me from being a bond slave.   The LORD spoke to me that I was a Hagar.  At that time, I was spirit-filled, tongue-talking, devil-stomping, prophesying, Bible scholar.


 I was crushed.  For surely I thought I was a Sarah.


Hagar was an Egyptian her name means “ensnaring, sojourner, stranger, one who fears, flight, fugitive, wanderer.”


Sarah means ‘wisdom, female noble, lady, princess, queen; noble woman, noble lady.”


In Galatians 4, Paul uses the story of Hagar as an allegory.


 4:21-26:  Tell me you that desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?  For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but of the freewoman was by promise.  These things are an allegory; for these are the two covenants; the one from Mount Sinai, which genders to bondage, which is Agar.  For This Agar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.  But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.  For it is written, Rejoice, you barren that bear not; break forth and cry, you that travails not; for the desolate has many more children than she which has a husband.


Hagar stands for Mt. Sinai and corresponds to the present city Jerusalem and the Old Testament (those who are under the law); and those who are in bondage to their children.   Sarah represent the freewoman, the New Testament,  New Jerusalem, Mt. Zion, Spiritual Israel, the Kingdom of God, the Jerusalem that is above is free, which is the mother of us all.. 


Gal. 4:28-29: We as Isaac was, are the children of promise.  But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.


Those of us who have been set free from bondage are like Isaac, children of promise. 


The LORD was revealing to me how I gotten into bondage of being a bond slave to my family.  I had placed my love relations with my family in idolatry over God.  My slavery was to love addiction and a false submission to my loved ones.  I could not have understood, nor would I have believed this if the Lord himself had not revealed it to me.  You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.   This Hagar spirit was ingrained in me from a child.  As a result Hagar gives birth to Hagars.  Like my mother before me, I was training my daughters to become Hagars.  I thought I was training them in submission, humility and meekness.  “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but Spirit gives birth to Spirit”. (Jn. 3:6)


A few years before he revealed to me that I was a Hagar (or dropped that bomb on me) the LORD spoke to me that my children were children of promise.  I realize now the LORD was revealing to me the curse of bond slave was broken off my children.   However, at the time he spoke that to me concerning my children, I had not been delivered from being a bond slave, not only to my children, but to my husband, as well as my family of birth. 


My false submission to what I thought and had been taught was my duty as a “good woman, good mother, good child, good Christian” caused those I loved to lose respect for me.  Instead of a honored mother, wife, and daughter, I had become a door mat.


4: 30-31:5:1:  But as then, he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.  Nevertheless what says the scripture?  Cast out the bondwoman and her son; for the son of the bond woman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.  So then, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled with the yoke of bondage.


In Genesis 16, Abraham, the father of Faith ran ahead of God.  It is one thing to walk with God.  It is something else to run ahead of God.  God gave Abraham a promise.  He became impatient and married Hagar, Sarai’s Egyptian slave girl.  There were immediate bad consequences to Abraham’s unhappy marriage to Hagar.  When we sin, trouble will soon be at the door.


Hagar thinks herself a better woman that Sarai, more favored by Heaven and is presumptuous with regard to the love of Abram.


Women who are loved can think themselves more favored than those who are not loved. 


If we indulge our loved ones as Abram did Sarai against the eternal purposes of God, “He will make the instruments of our trouble whoever we have made instruments of our sin.” (Matthew Henry)


Despite all of this, Hagar receives a visitation from an Angel.  It is the first recorded visitation of the Angel of His Presence in the Bible.  In Abram’s house, she was living in the blessedness of the house of the heir of the promises of God and she heads back to Egypt (her bondage).  Even though she was unloved and rejected, she was going further astray by running away.  Hagar was not stopped until she was in the wilderness.  When we have gone astray, God will bring us to a wilderness and meet us there.


Gen. 16:8:  The Angel found Hagar by a spring in the desert.  He addressed her, Hagar, Sarai’s maid---where did you come from and where are you going?  This would be to humble her.  Remember her attitude of presumption and pride toward Sarai.  Actually she was Abram’s wife and carrying a nation in her womb.  We can say she was a queen because her son was a prince.


The angel of the LORD found Hagar where God finds us all; by the fountain of water (Word of God) in the wilderness.  “Beerlahairoi” is “the well of the living one who sees me.”


The man child of Revelation 12 is born of the freewoman.  Those churches and Christians who are bound with the ways of Egypt, the legalism of the Law, or bond slaves to anyone or anything (spiritual idolatry) cannot produce the Overcomer.


The Holy Spirit of Truth spoke to me and delivered me.


Jn. 16:13: when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears, He will speak.


His witness will always be the Word of God.       


Heb. 4:12: For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.


The Old Testament speaks of the old nature.  The New Testament speaks of the new nature.  The Old Testament carries the spirit of your image of you, while the New Testament projects the Spirit of His image for you, Christ who is the image of God.  The Old Covenant is a history of human effort.  The New Testament delivers us into the Sabbath rest.


As in 2 Co. 3:3, we are all to become living epistles in the image of Christ, written not with the letter of the law but by the Sprit of the living God.  The living word of God is to become life in us and live through us as a revelation of the life of Christ to the world.


In Galatians, Chapter 4:1, Paul begins with his teaching of being delivered from bondage with a metaphor of an heir:   Consider an heir to a large estate.  As long as he is a minor, he is not better off than a slave.  Though he will be the master of all in the day of his maturity, he has to do what his guardians and trustees tell him until he reaches the age set by his father.  So it is with us, in those days when we were spiritual minors.


Twenty centuries passed before the arrival of Abraham promised heir, the SEED. 
If you are Christ’s, then you are
Abraham’s SEED and heirs according to the promise. (Gal. 3:29).   The Law, not the church is the parenthesis in the program of God (Gal. 3: 17-25). The Law brought us to Christ.  The Church is the program and vessel of God to reveal the Kingdom of God.  We are to become living epistles.   When Christ, His Word and His Spirit become the life we live, then we have become an epistle.     


Why did it take twenty centuries before the first coming of Christ?   The world wasn’t ready for Christianity, says Paul.  It was not spiritually mature enough to receive its inheritance, the Holy Spirit of God.


Both Jews and Gentiles had to grow up in schools of religion.  It was slavery.  The Gentiles made gods with their own hands and slavishly served them.  They sacrificed for sin, attempting to placate the wrath of their false deities.  They lived under the threat of punishment.  The Jews became slaves to the rituals and demands of revealed religion, which indeed was a type and shadow of the truth of God’s coming sacrifice for sin. 


Gal. 4:4: but when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his son, made of a woman, made under the law.  To redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.


Man had to face the impossibility of saving himself.  It took time to prepare the world for God’s Son.  That same preparation is going on now for the coming of the Lord in His people and the ultimate defeat of the spirit of antichrist over the world.


Christ’s coming was at the time of the rise of the Roman Empire, the fourth empire, in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, interpreted by Daniel.  Paul points out how in the fullness of time Christ was born and all world events had to come in to place. The Roman Empire with the universal Greek language; and the 1400 years of Hebrew drama of redemption by sacrifice were all necessary preparation for the coming and spread of Christianity.  Jew and Gentile alike contributed to the moral and spiritual expansion which made the world more capable of apprehending and spreading the gospel.  The term, “fullness of time” corresponds to Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.  The promise is to Christ, the Heir of all things (Heb. 1:2).   There is one SEED, which is Christ.   


Today we watch as world events and nations align with scripture and we see that we are coming closer to the fullness of time when all things must come together according to the Lord’s eternal plan.


Jesus entered the human stream by being born to a woman, made under the law, He became subject to the Jewish Law.  This he did to free those trapped under the Law (as well as those in the worldly schools of religion including the Galatians).  Through faith in Jesus, they would be clothed with Him to receive instant adulthood and their full inheritance.


In Luke 3:38, Adam is called the son of God.    When God gave this world to Adam, it was an out right gift.  It was his to enjoy.  Then Adam fell, and the whole world, including all who would come after him passed over to the kosmos. In the fullness of time, God’s plan to redeem his people was to buy them back.   The price was the death of Jesus.  Satan was clever; He knew that Jesus was the Deliverer.  His notion was that the death of the Deliverer would make his kingdom secure.   


4:6-7:  And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son (Pneuma/Holy Spirit) unto your hearts, crying Abba, Father.   Wherefore, you are no longer a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God (Theos/trinity) through Christ.


The Spirit of His Son is the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity.  By this, Paul observes how the same Spirit which animated Jesus in the days of His flesh, now indwells us, causing us to regard God as our Father even as Jesus did.  We are family.  This is the miracle of son-ship.  Before salvation a man is under bondage.  A spirit of fear dominates his life (Rom 8:15a).  God is awesome to him, but once he receives the Spirit and is elevated to son-ship, he feels at home in God’s presence.  He even addresses God as Jesus did, Abba! Father! (Mark 14:36). 


Paul is telling the Galatians that the evidence of the Presence of the Lord is the Spirit’s witness of son-ship.  Submitting to Jewish law would be a return to slavery.  They already have everything there is to have—in Christ.  Slipping into Judaism would be a regression from adulthood to infancy. 


4:8-9:  Howbeit it then when you knew not God, you did service unto them which by nature are not gods.  But now, after you have known God, or rather are known of God, how you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements whereunto you desire to be in bondage?


To know God is a special work of the Spirit known by some theologians as a pre-salvation illumination.  John 6:44: No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draws him: and I will raise him up at the last day.


Thus the Galatians would not have found God had He not first found them.  Now that they know Him, and have son-ship as well as full inheritance, it is unthinkable, says Paul that they could hope to improve on the relationship by going backwards to the empty routines of the pre-Christ traditions.


In our time the former gods are more likely to be family, fame, fortune, science, career, intellect, pleasure and/or religion.   Once we served them devotedly.  After receiving Christ, could we think to add to our wealth in Christ by returning to our former bondage?


4:10-11:  You observe days and months, and times and years.  I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.


Paul speaks of their taking on the Jewish observances.  They had yielded to the Judaizers and were beginning to observe the various holy days and seasons of the Jews.  They were easing dangerously close to circumcision.  It hurt Paul to think they would return to outward and formal worship with an eye to improving their status with God.  He had worked so hard to bring them the simplicity of the gospel.   If they would prosper in Christ, they must banish every vestige of legalism.  Of course it was not the keeping of the days which was evil, but their reason for doing so, i.e. obtaining further merit in the sight of God.


Paul had an attack of illness which forced him to remain with the Galatians.  They were very kind and caring for him in his illness; but when he confronted them with the Holy Spirit of Truth, their attitude toward him changed.


Paul says I haven’t changed, neither has my message.  The answer lies in the fickleness of their hearts as they gave heed to the false teachers.  This is a lesson in wisdom for all ministers.  Fickleness of heart is part of the cost of ministry.  We do not measure the fruit and eternal value of our ministry on how we are received.  We just keep on preaching the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ and change not.


“I know how eagerly those false teachers are trying to win you over, but their intentions toward you are not honorable.  All of their flattery is for an evil purpose.  They would like to isolate you from the fellowship of believers and from me in particular.  These false teachers are out to hurt you, and I must oppose them.”


4:19-20:  My little children of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.  I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.


God used Paul to deliver them from heathenism.  They must continue in Christian liberty and mature after the likeness of Christ.  Spiritual freedom is essential for Christian growth.


To Abraham and his SEED (Christ) were the promises made, the Lord Jesus was appointed heir of all things (Heb. 1:1-3).  We are joint heirs with Him (Rom. 8:17).  The Covenantal promise to Abraham was fulfilled in Jesus and we share the benefits of His finished work.  All the covenants of the bible focus in and find their fulfillment in Jesus, for He is the Heir and the Beneficiary of all things.


We must preach Holiness and Righteousness in these days where many people do not even know what “sin” is.  People are ignorant of the difference between the holy and the profane. 


People disbelieve that God is actively involved in the intricate affairs of man.  When the profane one reached for the prophet Jeremiah, a shriveled arm was drawn back; when the profane congregation reaches toward God, a shriveled church draws back.


Ezekiel 44 addressed the heart of the issue.  The people of Ezekiel’s day were ignorant of the difference between between the holy and the profane.  Consequently, they tolerated the intolerable in their clergy and their religious affairs.  Today the same scenario is in place.


The people perish for lack of knowledge.  It is the ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ who must preach and teach the people.  Ezekiel’s bunch worshipped according to the dictates of the custom of the day and that custom was rife with spiritual pollution.


Their punishment was simple.  God departed from their midst. 


We must become epistles callings things as God calls them (letting the righteousness and the Spirit determine the holy). 


God is raising up a priesthood.  If we are to be priests, we must be in the image of our Great High Priest.


The New Testament writers never lost sight of the true priesthood.


Eph. 5:27: That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be HOLY and without blemish.


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church



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