ImmerseMessiah NLT - Flipbook - Page 184
though my condition tempted you to reject me, you did not despise me
or turn me away. No, you took me in and cared for me as though I were
an angel from God or even Christ Jesus himself. Where is that joyful and
grateful spirit you felt then? I am sure you would have taken out your own
eyes and given them to me if it had been possible. Have I now become your
enemy because I am telling you the truth?
Those false teachers are so eager to win your favor, but their intentions
are not good. They are trying to shut you off from me so that you will pay
attention only to them. If someone is eager to do good things for you,
that’s all right; but let them do it all the time, not just when I’m with you.
Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for
you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your
lives. I wish I were with you right now so I could change my tone. But at
this distance I don’t know how else to help you.
Tell me, you who want to live under the law, do you know what the law
actually says? The Scriptures say that Abraham had two sons, one from his
slave wife and one from his freeborn wife. The son of the slave wife was
born in a human attempt to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promise.
But the son of the freeborn wife was born as God’s own fulfillment of his
These two women serve as an illustration of God’s two covenants. The
first woman, Hagar, represents Mount Sinai where people received the law
that enslaved them. And now Jerusalem is just like Mount Sinai in Arabia, because she and her children live in slavery to the law. But the other
woman, Sarah, represents the heavenly Jerusalem. She is the free woman,
and she is our mother. As Isaiah said,
“Rejoice, O childless woman,
you who have never given birth!
Break into a joyful shout,
you who have never been in labor!
For the desolate woman now has more children
than the woman who lives with her husband!”
And you, dear brothers and sisters, are children of the promise, just like
Isaac. But you are now being persecuted by those who want you to keep
the law, just as Ishmael, the child born by human effort, persecuted Isaac,
the child born by the power of the Spirit.
But what do the Scriptures say about that? “Get rid of the slave and her
son, for the son of the slave woman will not share the inheritance with the
free woman’s son.” So, dear brothers and sisters, we are not children of the
slave woman; we are children of the free woman.