I find this chapter extremely difficult to parse down into a few paragraphs. A whole academic paper could be written about this chapter.
- Paul’s letters were directed at subjects brought to him by the civilizations he addressed.
- There is a small jump of subjects starting in Chapter 4, but the law is still Paul’s main concern. He is still fighting to make his point clear that faith leads to salvation, not works.
- He wants to free them from slavery to the law.
- He speaks of his first visit to Galatia. He was under a socially shunning sickness and yet the people did not turn him away, they accepted him and the Gospel with open arms.
- He breaks apart the promise given to Abraham about his offspring and gives examples of why their birthright comes from the son of the free woman and not the slave woman. This example shows that the promise of salvation comes from faith. It was faith that brought Sarah’s child because Sarah was in her old age when she gave birth. Hagar’s child was not born out of faith, but the works of man, because Sarah gave Hagar to lay with Abraham in order to fulfill God’s promise by man made works.
- (Authors Person Reflection) – Often I’m told that I must put into motion that which I ask God for, and that if I don’t do the work then He won’t fulfill the promise. In essence this is true, but my brain and heart screams that if God makes a promise, it will be fulfilled no matter how much I try to influence it with my works.
- NIV Study Bible: (Gal 4)