Paul’s big concern in his epistle to the Galatians was for us to become stable in the freedom that he liberated us with so that we stop being attached to Moses’ Law because we have reached faith. In order to clarify that we have rose through Christ in faith and that we have been justified through Him, the Apostle clarifies that we are saved through obedience for Christ. He also says expressions to indicate that the Jews that rejected Christ are slaves like the city of Jerusalem, and says that Christians – whether they were originally Pagans or Jews – are citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem.

The main proof for the grace and freedom is the Christian experience of a new life in Christ. He urges all those who were under the Law that was read in synagogues to examine the results of adopting the Law instead of the grace as a road for salvation.

To clarify his position, the apostle interprets Ishmael and Isaac’s situations, the two sons of Abraham. Ishmael’s mother, Hagar, was a slave for Sarah, the mother of Isaac who was the son of the promise. The son of the servant was born according to the flesh. Sarah was ninety years old when she gave birth to Isaac. Here, Paul confirms that this was only possible because of faith. This is what he called “the promise”. Ishmael appeared without a promise, without any specified spiritual purpose and he had no contribution in the history of humanity, whereas Isaac’s offspring gave Christ.

Paul clarifies that Sarah and Hagar represent two covenants, one covenant is from Mount Sinai which is a mount in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem; actually, Mount Sinai, which is known up to this day with that name is found in Arabia lands and not in Egypt. Jerusalem, which didn’t reach the freedom of the Sons of God i.e. which stayed in its Jewish slavery is barren and didn’t give a spiritual birth to anyone i.e. stayed in the Jewish disbelief. However, we, who were born from the free Jerusalem, are the sons of the promise whether we descended from Isaac in flesh or didn’t because, through faith, we are the sons of Abraham. Those who didn’t believe in Christ were born according to the flesh, in the lusts of this world. These people persecute those who were born according to the spirit i.e. in the Holy Spirit through Baptism.

What does Paul conclude from the image of Sinai and that of the free Jerusalem? He means that those who stayed with Christ are the sons of the slave woman and do not inherit with the son of the free woman. Paul goes on after that to say that we are not the sons of the slave woman but of the free woman. We got liberated from the ancient Mosaic Law and became the sons of freedom. “You were called for freedom”; it is the freedom that Christ liberated us with not only from sin but also from the Law and made us the sons of love that became the New Law that we revive through. Therefore, we triumphed over the slavery of sin and of Law and our relationship became a direct one with God through the blood of Christ and His Resurrection.

Therefore, you have been liberated from sin in order to become living in the righteousness that comes to you from the faith in Jesus. This imposes on you the Law of love that is above all other laws. Through love, you would be coming from the depths of Christ and you would be sticking to love and love would be sticking to you as long as you are, through your behavior, a son of God.

Translated by Mark Najjar

Original Text: “الناموس القديم والإيمان” –Raiati 50- 09.12.2012