It was very serious business for the Galatians to be removed from Paul’s
gospel by those who insisted that all believers should keep the Law.
Paul said of the Galatians, “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye
should not obey the truth?” (Galatians 5:7). The hinderers were the
Extremist Christian Jews. How could the Galatians turn to “weak and
beggarly elements” (i.e. the Law) which would bring them into bondage
Paul uses an allegory to teach a truth concerning the Justified Ones and
the Born Again Ones. When a speaker or writer uses an allegory an exact
similitude is not employed, but rather, one thing is written or said,
but something different is meant. The Companion Bible notes, “Allegory;
or, Continued Comparison by Representation (Metaphor) and Implication.
Teaching one thing by substituting another for it which is unlike it.”
Notice what Paul says:
“Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye 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 he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an
allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai,
which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai
in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage
her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother
of us all” (Galatians 4:21-26).
The two covenants are: The Law given at Mount Sinai, illustrated by
Hagar, the bondwoman, and the new Covenant, illustrated by Sarah, the
freewoman. The old Covenant makes those living under it in bondage to
it. It is after the flesh. The new Covenant did away with the old and
its’ shackles of bondage.
The “Jerusalem which is above” refers allegorically to the Kingdom of
God [ i ]as being the mother-city in which her children are free and not
slaves of the Jewish Law. This is not a reference to “New Jerusalem” as
found in the Book of Revelation. We thought it was, for many years, but
have since concluded since this is an allegory, Paul is simply saying
our [the Justified Ones] mother is free.
This is Paul’s way of saying the Justified Ones could be a continued
comparison by representation and implication as Isaac, whose mother was
a freewoman, in contrast to the Born Again Ones, whose mother was a
bondwoman. The implications are very interesting. The Justified Ones are
outnumbered by the Born Again Ones.
“For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth
and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more
children than she which hath an husband” (Galatians 4:27).
We have pointed out in this series that the Justified Ones had a higher,
or more noble, calling than the Born Again Ones. This is in harmony with
what the Lord Jesus taught.
“So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but
few chosen” (Matthew 20:16). See also, Matthew 22:14.
The Justified Ones were the ekletos (the chosen or elect). The Born
Again Ones were the kletos (the called). You can note the difference by
comparing Strong’s number 1588 for “chosen,” and his number 2822 for
A good illustration of this is found after the Lord Jesus spent all
“And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples [the many]: and
of them he chose [the few] twelve, whom also he named apostles;” (Luke
In Christian terms, they were all “saved.” But, out of the many who were
saved, He chose certain ones to be His elect. The elect, or chosen ones,
in any dispensation were marked out for special service in relation to
the administration at the time. That’s why we’ve used the expression of
“a higher calling.”
“Now we, brethren, 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” (Galatians 4:28-29).
Those “born after the flesh” [the Born Again Ones] persecuted him [the
Justified Ones] who was born after the Spirit. Even so it is now!
The Apostle concludes the allegory with the remedy:
“Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her
son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the
freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but
of the free” (Galatians 4:30-31).
This is very caustic language which Paul used as he, under inspiration,
quoted Genesis 21:9-10.
As Bible Mountaineers, we should not be surprised, as we trek upward,
that those who stay behind may very well be the many who are “called”
and are not part of those who are “chosen.”
] During the Acts of the Apostles, beginning at Acts 2 through Acts 28,
believers experienced a foretaste of the Kingdom of God: “For it is
impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the
heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have
tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,”