North Anderson Baptist Church
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  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
Let me tell you a story of two moms and two sons. God gave a promise to dad that he would have a son in his old age. But it was hard to believe because of how long it had been since he and his wife had tired to have children because it seemed that she could have no children. But God promised! So, when the waiting was so hard, dad thought, was there another way to get a son other than mom having a child? To make matters worse, mom convinced dad to take the slave woman who was the handmaiden of mom’s and try to have a son by her. Since mom said it was alright, even though dad did not ask God for His direction about this matter, he decided it was okay and he had a relationship with the handmaid and she had a child by dad.

Now dad was happy about the boy that was born from the handmaid but mom was not too happy. Remember, when mom isn’t happy, nobody's happy. After the appointed time God told mom and dad that they were to have their own child, the “child of the promise.” Mom was still a little skeptical, showing it through a doubtful laugh. So God said to name the son laughter after his mom laughed at the thought that she could and would have a son.
When the son of mom, the “son of promise” from God was born, mom was happy and dad was happy but big brother was not and his mother, the handmaid, was not happy either. Why were they not happy? The handmaid’s son was the whole world to dad for some 14 years and now there was another son and dad was beside himself with joy and paid more attention to this new son than his first born. Because the handmaid was a slave, then her son was a slave too. Even though he was dad’s son, he was still a slave and his status would never change. When mom’s son grew enough to be weaned there was a party for him and during that party dad’s first son made fun of and tormented mom’s son, the “son of promise” from God. Mom was furious and told dad that he needed to get rid of the handmaid and her son because of the way the boy treated mom’s son.

Can you imagine the hurt and the sorrow dad felt when he realized that he had to dismiss the two of them and send them away? Both the handmaid and dad’s first son had to go and God agreed. Dad sent them away into the desert and told them never to come back. Mom was now happy that her son would be the sole object of dad’s affection.
How does all of this relate to the scripture in Galatians that was just read? This is the story of two sons, Ishmael and Isaac and of their two mothers, Hagar and Sarah. Ishmael was born of the normal way, representing the physical birth and Isaac was born of the promise, a miracle and representing the spiritual birth. Physical birth brings us into a life of sin and the spiritual birth brings us into a life of righteousness. When we speak of Sarah we speak of a free woman and when we speak of Hagar we speak of a slave woman. So, Isaac is born of a free woman and out of the promise of God, but on the other hand, Ishmael was born by a slave woman and represents a life of sin and slavery to that sin. Paul reminds us of this through using the illustration of these two women and two sons.

Hagar represents the Covenant of Mt. Sinai or the Covenant of the Law and the children of Hagar live under slavery to sin because they live by the Law which was founded at Mt. Sinai. The law became a servant to reveal to mankind the sin that besets us all. Through the law we become conscious of sin. When we think of Hagar and Ishmael we have to think of the law and how we are bound by it and that we need the freedom that only God can promise. The law leads us to Christ. When we try to follow the law or live by the commandments without Christ we find it impossible to live for Christ. We also see that living by the law brings death but if we trust Christ as Savior and Lord we will receive freedom from sin and a relationship with God. Sin brings death but salvation brings life. God has taken us from the life of sin and darkness and into a life of being in the light of Christ. Dear friend, you too can have the chains of sin broken if you will consider trusting Christ as Savior and Lord. Those of us who have chosen to follow Christ were once bound in sin but now we are free to live for HIM! Peter puts it like this,
If you are here today and you are still in darkness, please look up - you will see the Light of Christ shining down pleading with you by the blood of Jesus to surrender your life to Him and receive His mercy through the forgiveness of your sins and then follow Christ.

Life can only be given to us by Christ! So, when we look at Hagar, she can not provide life, but in her son, who should not have been born, we see the sentence to sin, bondage and death. There was no inheritance in God for Ishmael.

Sarah, on the other hand, represents the Covenant of Promise or of Grace. Sarah represents grace, for it is only through Grace can anyone be saved and freed to live the life of Christ for all eternity. (Every Christian is born out of the grace of God through faith in Christ! (Ephesians 2:8-9, 8 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.”) Isaac was born through the Spirit and basically represents faith because of the faith of his father, which was born out the Promise of God.

There is now conflict between those who follow the covenant of the law and those who follow the covenant of grace. As seen in the events of the lives of Ishmael and Isaac, Ishmael persecutes his younger half brother and creates trouble in the family. So too does the children of the law, or those of the flesh, they seek to persecute and cause trouble for those who walk by the Spirit and who believe in Christ by faith alone.

In talking of these two women, Paul uses the physical Jerusalem as a representative of Hagar and says she represents all of her children as slaves to sin. But on the other hand, Sarah represents the New Jerusalem which is above that stands for freedom from sin. You can read the event (Genesis 21) where Abraham finally realizes that the slave handmaid, Hagar, and her son, Ishmael, his first born son, was not be able to continue to live with them but had to be driven out into the desert. The concept presented here is that slavery to sin can no longer be a part of the life of the saved person, who by the grace of God, now has eternal life here and then in eternity in heaven.

Please hear this. When the Bible tells of an event like this and you think that it is awful cruel of Abraham and God to do this to the woman and her son, you must not look at it from your point of view but from God’s. God was not only providing for the Son of Promise and his being raised as a Godly man but God was also telling the spiritual story of how slavery to sin and a righteous life can not live in the same life.

God’s love is the same for all men. Yet, He is sovereign and does as He desires. What we think is fair does not bare on the Father, Creator. There is one thing that we can tell you today, God has told us in His word, whosoever shall believe in Him will be saved. He has planned whereby all who are willing to faith in Jesus believed that died on the cross and was buried and then rose again from the dead, that person will be saved. He put it like this in Romans 10:9-13,
Won’t you believe by faith and be saved?

As a believer, won’t you live by faith and accept the grace and mercy of God in your life daily as you live for Jesus?

Invitation

Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is www.northandersonbaptist.com and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby

http://www.northandersonbaptist.com