As we have seen in the earlier verses, the Jewish leaders have been trying to convince the new converts to return to the old Jewish traditions. Paul is making the point here that they need to consider the hardships and severity of the law before they turn back to it. He is using the birth of Issac and Ishmael to demonstrate the difference in natural and spiritual things. Those that return to worldly things (the natural Jerusalem) are still in slavery to those things. But since Issac was born to fulfill a divine promise, there is now a choice that we can make. We can follow the fleshly lineage and remain slaves or we can follow the divine lineage, accept Jesus and become citizens of the Jerusalem which is above.
20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.–Phil. 3:20 (NIV)
But one day, New Jerusalem will come down to earth and all those that have chosen the divine lineage (Jesus) will be citizens of the New Jerusalem.
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband—Rev.21:2 (NIV)
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Jesus had instructed Peter to feed His sheep. He was basically appointing Peter as the leader of the church after His ascension. He had also told Peter that satan desired to “sift him as wheat”. That is a metaphor meaning that satan wanted to separate Peter from the others like a farmer separates the chaff from the wheat when he winnows it. By stirring up King Agrippa to have Peter arrested and put in jail, satan was attempting to sift Peter. The leaders of the Jews were recruited by satan and joined by encouraging Agrippa in his acts of persecution. Peter was chained in prison with sixteen guards assigned to do nothing but watch him. God sent an angel to free Peter from his chains and they walked right past all of those guards. Peter thought it was a dream or a vision until the gates to the city swung open of their own accord and the angel left Peter. I can imagine that about the time Peter realized that it was for real, he probably remembered that Jesus also said “but I have prayed for you”. Jesus had prayed, was now at the right hand of God praying and the whole church was praying late into the night. God had a plan for Peter and Jesus had prepared Peter for that plan. The enemy’s plans to thwart God’s plans were defeated because of prayer. All the demons of hell and the earthly recruits were not enough to overcome the prayers of a handful of saints. We need to be prayer warriors and spend more time praying fervently for God to rescue our nation and keep our families safe. God is able to protect us and provide for us when He selects us for Kingdom work. We will not be defeated!
“The closer I get to the end of my life, it seems the only question that matters, Is the life I am living pleasing to God?” – Ken Gire In “Sacred”“
The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
As babes and young children, we submitted to the discipline of our human parents. We accepted their teaching and corrections on a daily basis. Our human parents corrected us using the standards they thought to be best for us. As we grew older and our own personalities developed, some of us tended to disagree with some of the points and rebel to some degree. In some points, we may have been right and in some points, we were probably wrong. As we grow older, we no longer look to our human parents to discipline us. When we became (or become) babes in Christ, we need to submit ourselves to the teaching and corrections of the Holy Spirit. His discipline is always for our good, even though we may not agree with it at the time. We may question the timing and the why of some of the discipline that God allows us to go through. We need to understand that what we are going through is a part of the sanctification process The two big differences in being children of human parents and being children of the living God are these:
1. Human parents are sometimes wrong, God is always right.
2. As humans, we grow more and need our parents’ corrections less and less. We study to get our degrees in various occupation. As Spiritual children, we mature and in that process, we learn that we need Jesus more and more, not less and less. When it comes to learning about God and His Word, I seriously doubt that many of us ever make it through kindergarten, much less earn any degrees.
15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. — 2 Timothy 2:15 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. — 1 Peter 4:4 NLT
God created Adam and Eve in His image. They did not have the advantage of having the Holy Spirit abide within them. After we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we are daily being transformed by the Holy Spirit. As we learn to follow His leadership more closely each day, we become more and more like Jesus. In this way, we can share in His divine nature. It is only as we learn to listen to that still, small voice and heed its teachings that we slowly escape the corruptions that are caused by our human desires. As we grow Spiritually, we become less like the world around us and more like Jesus. We are a part of the body of Christ. He is the head and the same blood that flows through the head flows through the body. So, we are “partakers of His divine nature”. We are forever connected to the Divine source. Just as a branch can produce nothing without the nutrients that flow from the root through the vine to the branch, we can do nothing in and of ourselves. It is only as we drink and eat the goodness of God that we can become more like Him each day. If we are what we eat then we need to feast daily on His word and drink deeply of His Holy Spirit.
The Greek word “sozo” that is translated as “whole” here in this verse appears over one hundred and ten times in the KJV. It is sometimes translated as heal, save, or rescue. If translated properly, it means to deliver out of danger and into safety. The biblical meaning is that God is rescuing us from the power of sin and into His divine safety. When Jesus healed people, the crowd saw the external effects of that healing, but Jesus was actually saying to each of those He healed: “You are made whole”. It was more than a physical healing, it was a complete healing of soul, mind and body. Notice that the word has two aspects. First, it moves you out of danger. This would be the physical healing. But the people still died at a later date, so they were not freed from physical death. Secondly, it moved you to a place of divine safety. The recipients of sozo were not left in limbo. The divine safety was forever. God doesn’t always heal the physically sick. Ask Paul. Those that are truly repentant and call upon the name of Jesus are always delivered from sin and into divine safety. In the resurrection, we will all be made completely whole.
21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23 His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise. 24 These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.—Gal. 4:21-26 (NIV)
As we have seen in the earlier verses, the Jewish leaders have been trying to convince the new converts to return to the old Jewish traditions. Paul is making the point here that they need to consider the hardships and severity of the law before they turn back to it. He is using the birth of Issac and Ishmael to demonstrate the difference in natural and spiritual things. Those that return to worldly things (the natural Jerusalem) are still in slavery to those things. But since Issac was born to fulfill a divine promise, there is now a choice that we can make. We can follow the fleshly lineage and remain slaves or we can follow the divine lineage, accept Jesus and become citizens of the Jerusalem which is above. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.–Phil. 3:20 (NIV)
But one day, the New Jerusalem will come down to earth and all those that have chosen the divine lineage (Jesus) will be citizens of the New Jerusalem. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband—Rev.21:2 (NIV)
22 The next day the crowd that had stayed on the far shore saw that the disciples had taken the only boat, and they realized Jesus had not gone with them. 23 Several boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the Lord had blessed the bread and the people had eaten. 24 So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for him. 25 They found him on the other side of the lake and asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” 26 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. 27 But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”—-John 6:22-27 (NLT)
The people that Jesus had fed the day before came looking for Jesus. Perhaps they thought Jesus would feed them again or perform other miracles for them. But just as we are today, they were concerned about physical welfare and “now”, rather than Spiritual things and eternity. They missed the lesson that Jesus was trying to teach them because of their concerns. Jesus is still trying to teach us this lesson today. But, we are so busy trying to make a “living” that we miss the true life that Jesus wants us to have. Huge crowds still gather to see miracles today. People run here and there to see or participate in revivals and “spiritual movements”. Jesus tells us in John 10:10, that He came that we “might have life more abundantly”. That abundant life is not necessarily a life without problems or a life overflowing with money, It is a life of abundant joy and peace that we can have now in any situation, if we “cast our cares” on Him. Since our Father owns everything and give us the best gifts, there is no reason for us to stress over anything. After all, He has given us everything we need. 3 By his divine power the Lord has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of the one who called us by his own honor and glory–1 Peter 1:3 (CEB)