A Slave and Her Children

A Slave and Her Children
Joe Terrell
Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above [symbolized by Sarah. –ed.] is free, and she is our mother. . . Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman. (Galatians 4:25-2631)

A preacher-friend was once having a discussion with another man concerning wives and the headship of the husband over his wife. The man asked my friend, “Do you allow your wife to do such and such?” (I cannot remember what the “such and such” was.) My friend answered, “I do not let my wife do anything; she is a free woman and does whatever she wants.”

I am certain that the man was startled by such an answer. All men (male and female alike) love to exercise power over one another. Furthermore, men are not trusting, so they feel the only way to assure themselves that others will treat them right is to have power over others to force them into proper conduct. They know nothing of the power of love and the trust it brings. I can testify that I know of no sincerer love, trust and devotion as my friend and his wife have for one another, and from that love and trust, they are able to set each other free.

As wonderful as such marital love is, it is only a faint illustration of the love that exists between the Lord Jesus and His wife, the church. She certainly trusts Him, and is glad for Him to be free to do whatever he wants to: she calls Him “Lord”. And He trusts her. I know that this sounds strange, but consider that His blood shed for her has set her free from the law that exposed and condemned her sin, so that in His eyes, she is unblameable, she has no sin. Furthermore, that new nature within the Lord’s people (spirit) which is created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness, is utterly faithful and trustworthy. All the failures of Christ’s church come from her flesh, and Christ will someday graciously deliver her from that wicked nature. (Romans 7.2425) Yet, she is free even now. The love of the Lord for her has set her free.

Those who do not trust the power of God’s love and grace feel that the church must be held in check with law and threats. We can draw no conclusion but that such churches are like Hagar, the slave, and can produce nothing but slaves. But God’s church is free; and so are her children

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