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Galatians 4: 21-31 - 5: 1-21 - Corps - 1983 - Part 1

Format: mp3
Publication Date: 11-16-1983

Walter J. Cummins graduated from the Power for Abundant Class in 1962.  

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Ohio State University in 1968 and his Master of Education degree in Secondary School Administration in 1978 from Wright State University.

He was ordained to the Christian by The Way International in 1968. He has studied at The Way International under Victor Paul Wierwille and K.C.Pillai. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he was director of the Research department of the Way International  and served as assistant to the president. 

Galatians 4:21-31; 5:1-12
4:21 After they knew the law, they craved to be back under the law. To adhere to the law – circumcision.
“hear the law” – hear what the law says.
The reason they desired to be under the law was because of those people back in verse 17 who perverted the gospel and were zealous of their allegiance. They wanted them to adhere to their beliefs which were the law.
“under” – indicates subjection.
“hear” – to hear to the end of understanding.
“do ye not hear the law” fig. anacoenosis – an appeal to others having interests in common.
Paul was raised in the law and now they were into the law, so it was a common interest. So this was an appeal to that common interest.
fig. erotesis – a rhetorical question rather than stating a fact.
(literal according to usage)
Tell me, you who desire to be subject to the law, don’t you hear and understand what the law says?
(Verses 22 – 27 are a parenthesis, which is an allegory –a figure of speech)
4:22 “bondwoman” – (Gr.) paidiske, (not doulos or any form of it); a young girl servant, a maidservant; the word used in the gospels as a young maid (vs. 23, 30, 31).
“freewomen” – (Genesis 16:1 – 5). They worked this out “sense knowledge wise” because Sarah was barren. Now the way Abraham is going to have a son is for Abraham to have it by somebody else, Hagar, the maid servant. Was this the promise of Genesis 12:1 – 3, and 15:5? No. Their sense knowledge got in the way (Genesis 21:1 – 4) and so on. Now Sarah conceived the promise. Hagar is the maid servant, Sarah a free woman.
(literal according to usage)
It is written [in the law] that Abraham had two sons, one by a maidservant and one by a freewoman.
4:23 “after the flesh” – according to the flesh (sets the standard). It was the sense knowledge reasoning that we read that Abraham and Sarah did, because they figured it out that they could have a son by Hagar, because Sarah was barren. That was not by revelation and that was not according to the promise.
“promise” – (Aramaic) mulkana; the declared promise; the declaration (confirmed by a covenant) (Genesis 12)
11-16-83 Galatians 4:21-31; 5:1-12
(literal according to usage)
The one from the maidservant was born according to sense-knowledge standards, but the one from the freewoman came by the promise declared [to Abraham].
4:24 “allegory” – Aramaic noun, Greek verb; to speak allegorically
“these” – (feminine) refers to the woman.
“are” – fig. metaphor – a comparison by representation. (This is an extended metaphor where the comparison is by representation.) A simile extended is a parable; a metaphor extended is an allegory. These women represent the two covenants. There is one main point brought out by this figure; whether it is a simile, metaphor or hypo-catastasis.
Hagar (representing Mount Sinai) gendered bondage and the law which came by Moses. What was the other covenant to Abraham originally that came through Sarah? – Seed (Galatians 3:17). The promise was the first covenant. Then there was a further covenant made which did not replace the first one, it was only a necessary step. This second covenant was with Moses (430 years later, see Galatians 3:19, 25). Sarah represents the promise (seed) to Abraham and Hagar represents the promise (the law) to Moses. Why does he just talk about Hagar and not Abraham? One reason for that is because the Church is not under a covenant. The covenants are to Israel, but we received that promise made to Abraham. The promise was made even before it was made a covenant! We got it by the promise. The law did not invalidate the first covenant. So when Christ came and fulfilled the law, now it goes back to that first covenant. There you have it: The covenant pertains to Israel; that is why it is an allegory.
“gendereth” – to give birth, fig. personification, to attribute human characteristics to an inanimate object.
“bondage” – (related to doulos) slavery.
“Hagar” – became an Arabian name for Mt. Sinai.
(literal according to usage)
Now this speaks allegorically, for these [women] are two covenants. The one [covenant] is from Mt. Sinai, which gave birth to slavery. This is Hagar.
4:25 “Sinai” – Southwest corner of Arabia; Damascus was west of Arabia.
“answereth to” – (Greek) corresponds with, (Aramaic) agrees with. It comes from a word that means to be at peace with. This agrees with or corresponds with the present Jerusalem now.
“Jerusalem” – fig. metonomy, one noun is put for another noun. Here, Jerusalem is put for its people, its religion, etc.. (Judaeaism).
“is in bondage” – is in slavery (related to the word dou1os)
11-16-83 Galatians 4:21-31; 5:1-12
“with her children” – is the Greek. Aramaic makes much more sense: “She and her children are in slavery.”
(literal according to usage)
Hagar, which is Mt. Sinai in Arabia, corresponds to present Jerusalem [Judaeaism] for she and her children are in slavery.
4:26 “Jerusalem” – the future Jerusalem. (fig.) metonomy – which is above is free, this is future Jerusalem. The future Jerusalem is to Israe1 and not the Church. But these things represent for Israel. It is an allegory but not for the church.
The Jerusalem which is above does not represent the present one, but the one coming in the future. Hebrews 11:10 (addressed to Israel, talking about Abraham); He looked for one but never saw it! Hebrews 12:22, the new covenant applies to Israel. Revelation 3:12, 21:2,10; the new heavenly Jerusalem coming down in the future – that is why it is from above in Galatians here! The allegory does not represent anything in the Church but to Israel.
“mother” – used idiomatically of the source of whatever follows from it. It is used of cities. II Samuel 20:19 – “a city and a mother” – a mother city (was like a capitol). In Galatians, the new Jerusalem referred to was the capital city, though not to the church of the body.
“all” – omit. Not in Aramaic and most Greek texts.
(literal according to usage)
But the exalted Jerusalem [future Judaism] is the freewoman which is our mother city (our capitol) (for Israel).
4:27 fig. gnome – citation (Isaiah 54:1)
fig. paeanismos – expression of feeling by calling on others (he’s calling on the barren). "Rejoice”, “Break forth and cry" – saying the same thing twice here.
fig. epimone – repetition where it dwells on something in order to impress it. (Matthew 12:31,32).
“barren and those that travail not” – fig. personification, where things are represented as persons.
In the context of Isaiah, it’s the nation that has been desolated by the Assyrian army that is represented by a woman without a husband (a childless woman). A nation cannot literally be barren; having no children, so it is the figure of speech “personification”. Also, for a “desolate”, a person not having a baby or not able, which is having more children than she who has a husband, there is a little foolishness there, but it is really wisdom. And when something is a wise saying that sounds foolish it is a fig. oxymoron.
11-16-83 Galatians 4:21-31; 5:1-12
The context of Isaiah 54 is interesting. Isaiah 53 shows the prophecies of the sufferings of Jesus Christ, but then in chapter 54 it starts with this verse written in Galatians 4:27, taken from Isaiah 54.
Isaiah 54:1 – “for more are children of the desolate (that can have children) than the children of the married wife”. A woman that is with her husband, or a favored wife, is one who is at the moment favored because she is able to bear children.
Now think about it. Hagar was able to bear children, Sarah was not, and yet the children of Sarah were more, or would be more, in the future than Hagar’s. In Isaiah 54:2 – 7, Israel was separated like a woman without a husband. God is going to come back to them in the future. God has forsaken them. Christ left Israel, but he is coming back for Israel in the future.
(literal according to usage)
It is written, “Rejoice, barren woman who bare no children. Burst forth with rejoicing, you who have never been in labor with child. Remember that the desolate woman shall have many more children that the favored wife.”
End of the parenthesis; Now we go back to talking about the Church.
4:28 “Now” – as Isaac was. It doesn’t say we “are” (fig. simile – a comparison by resemblance). It’s a very weak comparison. It only resembles us. We are children of the declared promise as it only resembles the allegory set before us.
“promise” – mulkana (Aramaic) – declared promise (initial promise to Abraham)
(literal according to usage)
My brothers, we are the children of the promise declared [to Abraham], as Isaac was.
4:29 “as” – fig. simile As Ishmael persecuted Isaac, there is a resemblance there between the law of “do – gooders” persecuting those who are free in Christ today. It only resembles it.
“But” – is “And” in Aramaic.
(literal according to usage)
And as he [Ishmael] who was born according to sense-knowledge standards persecuted him [Isaac] who was born according to the standard of the Spirit [God] at that time, so it is today.
4:30 “nevertheless” – but, fig. gnome, Genesis 21:10. You cannot have law and grace at the same time. Throw out the maidservant who represents the law.
Why is that a contrast with verse 29? Verse 29 says “as.” But does that mean you are to put up with that persecution? No. What you ought to do is throw it out! You cannot have two standards at the same time (grace and law together), and most church people want to do that. Law has no place with grace!!!
11-16-83 Galatians 4:21-31; 5:1-12
(literal according to usage)
But, what does the Scripture say? “Throw out the maidservant and her son, for the son of the maidservant shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.”
4:31 We are free children – It is answering the question, "How were you made perfect? By the law?" No, we are sons of the free; we are like Isaac and yet were persecuted by the legalizers, those that want the law. And they say, this is how you are made perfect after you received the spirit by grace. Baloney! You are made perfect by believing, walking by believing.
(literal according to usage)
So then, my brothers, we are not sons of the maidservant, but [as the son] of the freewoman [by resemblance].
5:1 “Stand fast” – stand firm, unmovable.
“in the liberty” – fig. anadiplosis – it ends the verse before. See the word “free” in 4:31. This verse in the Greek starts with the word liberty or freedom. Besides that, you have freedom repeated in Christ has made us free. It is a different form, but the same root word which is a fig. polyptoton. He’s saying “Don’t get strapped into law again!”
(literal according to usage)
Therefore, stand firm in the freedom with which Christ has set us free, and do not be strapped in again with the yoke of slavery [the law].
(Verses 2 – 4 are a parenthesis, the negative side.)
5:2 “behold” fig. asterismos, exclamatory word.
“profit” – law vs. the walk by the spirit (circumcision will profit you nothing).
(literal according to usage)
Now look, what I Paul, am saying to you is this: If you become circumcised [out of legal constraint], Christ shall be of no profit to you at all.
5:3 “do” – (gr.) pleroo – Christ fulfilled the law. But if you want to get circumcised you have to do the whole law.
(literal according to usage)
I testify again to every man who gets circumcised, he is under obligation to fulfill the whole law.
5:4 “justified by the law” – tendential idiom: you tend to do it. They seek to be justified and whom you do that, you are fallen from grace.
11-16-83 Galatians 4:21-31; 5:1-12
“fallen” – used of people who are banished from office; of seamen who were thrown ashore, kicked off the ship. It is used of actors hissed from the stage. Here you are hissed from grace.
(literal according to usage)
Your association with Christ is rendered inoperative when you seek to be justified by the law. You have fallen away from divine favor.
5:5 “We by the spirit” indicates God working in you, energized. We energize it by our believing which enables us to patiently wait for the Hope. That law, we are made perfect.
(literal according to usage)
For we [standing firm in freedom] whose spirit is energized by the Spirit [the power of God, not the flesh], and which we exercise by believing [not the law] patiently wait for the hope of righteousness.
5:6 “in Jesus Christ” – in Christ Jesus (Aramaic and Greek) because when you are walking by the spirit in fellowship, you are in Christ Jesus and you are identified with Christ. At that moment on Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything.
“avai1eth” – (gr.) ischoo – Philippians 4:13; I can do. I have the power and strength. The real strength is believing.
“faith” – believing
“worketh” – (gr.) energeo – is energized by
“love” – (gr.) agape – the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation.
The real strength is believing, energized by the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation. That’s how we are made perfect. That’s why we can patiently wait for the hope of righteousness... Christ’s return!
(literal according to usage)
In Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision can do anything. The real strength is believing, energized by the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation.
5:7 “you did run well” – athletic term. To athletically cut across somebody else’s path to hinder them, jostle them and throw them out of the way.
(literal according to usage)
You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and caused you not to obey the truth?
5:8 “persuasion” – your beliefs.
(literal according to usage)
This persuasion (your new set of beliefs) did not come from Him Who called you.
11-16-83 Galatians 4:21-31; 5:1-12
5:9 (literal according to usage)
A little leaven leavens the whole lump.
5:10 The ones that are trying to get you under law again, they’re going to bear their judgment today in that there will be no blessing of God upon their lives. Secondly, they’ll bear judgment in the future because there will be no rewards for them!
(literal according to usage)
I have confidence in the Lord towards you that you will take no other view. Whoever is agitating among you shall bear judgment, no matter who he is.
5:11 Rhetorical question, I Corinthians 1:21, stumbling block of offense. The cross is a stumbling block; the cross does not mean a wooden cross, it is a fig. metalepsis, a double metonomy. The cross is put for the death of Christ and the death of Christ stands for its accomplishments. The preaching of the accomplishments would cease to be a stumbling block to the Judeans, if Paul were now preaching circumcision. He would not be persecuted.
(literal according to usage)
My brothers, if I still preach circumcision, then why am I persecuted? Then the cross has ceased to be a stumbling block [to the Judeans].
5:12 (literal according to usage)
I wish those seditious agitators who want to circumcise you would emasculate themselves.
Paul ends with a very blunt saying. Galatia was near Phrygia and the great worship of that part of the world was of Sybil. It was a practice that priests and really devout worshippers of Sybil mutilated themselves by castration. Paul says here that “If you go on in this way, of which circumcision is the beginning, you might as well end up by castrating yourselves like these heathen priests!” It is a grim illustration at which a polite society raises its eyebrows, but it would be intensely real to the Galatians who knew all about the priests of Sybil.