Resistance, Rebellion, Law

Our pastor was talking about The Law and parenting.  He said that there is a system of parenting that says if you focus on following the rules and dishing out punishment as appropriate.  He, Scott Chapman, doesn’t buy into that style of parenting.  There is another system, that although it has consequences, focuses on relationship and he does buy into that one.

You know how you are resistant when someone tells you to do something.  This is the kind of result the law brings.  The sinfulness of our heart is revealed because we resist doing what we are told is right and good.  However, because Christians are not asked to do anything to earn their salvation,they truly have a choice.  The choice is exercised for good, because the Christian understands the relational sacrifice that God has made in reaching out to us.  Christians don’t want to rebel or resist because they know that they are chosen by a promise not by a life-killing rule/law.

Galatians 4:21-31

 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. 23His 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. 27For it is written:

   “Be glad, barren woman,
   you who never bore a child;
shout for joy and cry aloud,
   you who were never in labor;
because more are the children of the desolate woman
   than of her who has a husband.”[e]

 28 Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 At that time the son born according to the flesh persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. 30 But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.”[f] 31 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.


  1. Who does Paul use as an illustration of the law and the promise?
  2.  What does his illustration show about the law and the promise?
  3. How do you think that the Galatians would have reacted to Paul’s illustration?
  4. How do you react to someone telling you to do something?
  5. How could you train yourself to see that you freely have a choice and there is no ‘have to’ for you?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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