Archive for June, 2022

Striving for the Mastery – Part Six

“Know you not that they which run in a race run all, but one receives the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.  

I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beats the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”  (I Corinthians 9: 24 – 27)

In 1992 Derek Redmond was at the height of his running career. He was a 400-meter record holder about to compete in the Barcelona semi-finals. He even had his dad in the stands to cheer him on.  Derek was running smoothly and confidently when he hit the back straight during the race. Suddenly he felt a burst of pain. His hamstring had torn and he fell to the track. He wilted to the track. Once he  got back on his feet, he started galloping and then slowed to a hobble as officials on the track sought to get him medical treatment. 

When the medical crew arrived with a stretcher, Derek told them, “I am not getting on that stretcher. I’m going to finish my race.” He lifted himself to his feet, ever so slowly and carefully, and he started hobbling down the track.

His father, Jim Redmond had never coached his son, but instilled in him the kind of self-belief he used to great advantage as a 15-year-old immigrant to Great Britain. That same sense of purpose spurred Jim to leave his seat in the top deck of the stands and make his way down onto the stadium floor and the track without being deterred by some of the track officials.

Derek said, “Soon as I realized it was my dad, I shouted at him, ‘Get me back to Lane 5, I have to finish,’” Redmond said. “My dad says, ‘We’ll finish together,’ and right away he got me back to a walk again. I owe him a lot.” With tears in the eyes of both men, the Redmonds finished the race.

Such support is characteristic of the kind of spirit and support often given and received by most people.  Who hasn’t needed such help in finishing a task?

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (I Thessalonians 5: 11)

We are instructed to “serve one another humbly in love.”(Galatians 5: 13)

Scripture implies God keeps a record of our deeds and rewards them.

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” (Hebrews 6: 10)

When growing weary of serving and helping others remember each occasion is an opportunity to please the Lord. May this reality motivate and energize you. Again the Bible contains this exhortation, “grow not weary in well doing.” He won’t forget. 

Scripture uses a colorful metaphor to illustrate aid given saying “I beseech you,” parakalo, primarily means “to come alongside.” This is a positive offer of encouraging help. It is physically illustrated by the response to an injured teammate in athletics. Suppose a leg or ankle is injured. A teammate comes alongside, puts his shoulder under the injured friend’s arm and supports him. The word “beseech” speaks of tenderness. Give it and don’t grow weary in doing so.

Judas Iscariot

Matthew 10:1-4

Jesus Christ chose some very unlikely individuals to follow Him. The question of why He chose Judas Iscariot lingers unanswered. A question that troubles me even more is why Jesus chose to save any of us? Why did He chose me?

The answer can only be found in His love for us.

He did not choose Judas to betray Him, but His choosing of Judas gave to Judas occasion to betray Him.

Obviously Jesus loved him and the apostles trusted him. They made Judas, not Matthew the accountant, their treasurer.

Judas must have had many outstanding qualities. He was the only apostle chosen who was not from Galilee. He was from Jude. This may have caused him some awkwardness. The others had the common bond of being indigenous to Galilee, the same region as Christ. Instead of making him feel inferior it should have made him feel special.

Little is known about his background. There may be a clue to his inclinations in that he is listed with Simon the Zealot. The name Iscariot was likely an adaptation of the Aramaic word for “dagger-man.” “Ish” means “man of.” “Sacarii” was the word for “dagger.”

There were two primary revolutionary groups in the time of Christ. One was the Zealots. Simon was a member of this group. The other, the Sicarii. They were a group of devotees who refused to submit to the Romans. Under the leadership of Menahem this group seized Masada with its cash of weapons. The Sicarii slipped into the Temple and helped lead the revolt that led to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman general Titus.

A remnant of this group was the core group that held Masada against the Romans for three years before committing suicide.

Consider that mentality as a member of your social club!

The question as to why Jesus chose Judas has four basic answers.

One, he had no choice. Though it is true someone had to betray him Judas did not have to be that one. He chose to be. He acted of his own free will.

Second, Judas betrayed Jesus because of his great greed for money. He was indeed a man of greed. When Mary anointed the feet of Jesus with the expensive ointment Judas protested (John 12:4,6). He insisted it would have been better to be sold and the money given the poor. Jesus reminded us that we have the poor with us always. The moment at hand was a fleeting opportunity to do something special.

It should be noted Judas wasn’t the only apostle who questioned the economic practicality of using the ointment in this way. All the apostles did: “But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, ‘Why this waste?’ For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor'” (Matthew 26: 8, 9).

Judas obviously wasn’t a black-cloaked villain some represent him as being. At this stage he and the other apostles were thinking alike.

It wasn’t until years later that John realized Judas had been a thief all along. Evidently they did an audit after the resurrection. Then it was revealed: “This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it” (John 12:6).

All along Judas had been betraying Jesus as well as his fellow apostles. In little acts of pilfering Satan was grooming him for his grand dastardly deed.

In selling Jesus for thirty pieces of silver Judas was a fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah 11: 11 – 14. Even the amount was foretold.

Greed may have had a part but it was not the primary motive. The Sanhedrin had already determined to kill Jesus. They would gladly have paid more than thirty pieces of silver if Judas had held out. He could have named his price. If pure greed had been the only motive he would have held out.

The third reason is a romantic one popularized by author Thomas De Quincey. He postulated Judas was a misguided patriot who loved Jesus. He had seen Jesus perform miracles and believed Jesus was a bit shy. He thought Jesus wanted to ignite a revolution but needed pushing. Therefore, he reasoned that if he had pressure put on Jesus He would assert Himself.

De Quincey held that Judas only committed suicide because he was heart broken that his plan to help Jesus failed. This is a feeble attempt to make a hero of Judas.

The fourth possibility lies in the complex personality of Judas. Judas like all of us had an old sin nature. For three years he had the good fortune of traveling with and listening to Jesus. He had every opportunity to make the right choices.

Even at the last minute in the upper room Jesus made a last overture to Judas. There Jesus gave Judas the “sop.” It was a symbol of honor.

What the other apostles thought of Judas is revealed in the upper room also. When Jesus said one of them would betray Him they all asked, “Is it I?” No one asked, “Is it Judas?” They respected him and had no suspicion regarding him.

They all knew they had no intention of doing it but that they were capable of it. That is the very reason Judas did it. He was capable of doing it. He was also capable of not doing it. He chose to do it. His dark nature emerged and he exercised his will to betray Christ for thirty pieces of silver knowing it would result in his death. Judas made a choice.

Judas asked, “Rabbi, is it I?” (Matthew 26: 25). Jesus replied, “You have said it.”

Then Judas knew he was known. What a moment!

Imagine during that evening meal Judas sat there contemplating his treachery with Jesus humbly washing his feet.

First, “And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him” (John 13:2). The idea, the concept was engendered by Satan. At this stage it was just a thought. Judas willfully responded to that thought. When he did – – –

“Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve” (Luke 22:3). Satan can gain no such entry without the person willfully allowing it. What happened happened in Judas. We never know what is going on inside a person. It is expedient that we deal with our inner feelings and desires in a Christ honoring way.

Only two people knew the heart of Judas. Judas was one, Christ the other.

Christ said, “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled” (John 17:12).

Further revelation let Judas know Jesus knew his heart. “Jesus answered them, ‘Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?'” (John 6:70).

Judas left the upper room and went to consummate his deal with those plotting Christ’s death. He led them to Gethsamene where he knew Christ to have often retreated.

In the Garden of Gethsamene is a cave. This aspect of the scene has long been overlooked. Archaeologist have only recently unearthed this cave.

There are two words for coming out of. One means to come out from within an enclosure. This cave was in the garden and Christ was within it. He came out from within the cave to be greeted by Judas and his new allies.

Judas stepped forward and kissed Him. Tradition says Jesus and His cousin John looked so much alike that many could not tell them apart. Judas wanted to prevent any such possibility.

It is as though there is a hiss in that kiss.

In that era servants kissed the feet of their masters. Students kissed the hand of their Rabbi. Equals kissed on the cheek. He who should have kissed Jesus on the feet as well as hand kissed Him instead on the cheek.

Note the response of Jesus: “‘Friend, why have you come?'” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him” (Matthew 26:50).

The betrayal by Judas was complete. He had completely betrayed — himself.

Judas was filled with remorse, that is, regret. He tried to return the thirty pieces of silver for which he had sold not Christ, but himself. When it was refused he acted out of remorse. Unfortunately what Judas felt was remorse not repentance. Christ would have even forgiven him.

Peter denied Christ. That too was a terrible sin. Peter’s remorse led to repentance. As a result he was forgiven. We need to respond to our sin as Peter did not Judas.

The Scripture says Judas hanged himself. “Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself” (Matthew 27:5).

Further depiction of what happened seems to conflict with this account.

“Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out” (Acts 1:18).

Some critics of Scripture say he is represented as hanging himself in one text and as falling down and bursting open. He did both. He hanged himself over a cliff and the rope or limb broke and he fell to his death.

Did Judas come to repentance? He did realize he had betrayed “innocent blood.” He knew Christ to be sinless. The great enigma regarding his eternal destiny is summed up in the expression “he went to his own place.”

I am persuaded it was not the place Christ said He was going to prepare for those who love Him.

Peter said of Judas, “he was numbered with us” (Acts 1:17).

That is the disgrace of the modern church. There are those on church rolls who are “numbered with us” yet their behavior is not becoming of a follower of Christ. They disgrace the church as Judas did the role of apostle.

As an apostle Judas staked out his claim but never worked it.

Former British Prime Minister, Disraeli, once described some elder statesmen as “extinct volcanoes.” May it never be true of us.

“The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born” (Matthew 26:24).

Judas should inspire each of us to engage in introspection and purge our life of the seed of betrayal.

We should each be motivated by him to aspire to be all that Christ believes we have the potential of being.

Striving for the Mastery – Part Five

“Know you not that they which run in a race run all, but one receives the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.  

I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beats the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”  (I Corinthians 9: 24 – 27)

If an athlete didn’t follow the rules in striving for mastery, he became disqualified. If he did strive for mastery and became a winner, there was a reward. Why would one go through nine months of agony?  Why would one be willing to box in such a fight?  Because of the award awaiting.

They didn’t give medals. They gave leaf crowns. In verse 25 it is described as a “perishable crown.” That was only part of the award.

The Olympic Games honored Zeus, also known as Jupiter. The wreath was made of olive branches, a tree preferred by Zeus. At the Isthmian Games, which honored the Greek sea god Poseidon, the wreath was made from the god’s sacred tree the spruce.

Before the contests the wreath was placed at the feet of the statue honoring the god of the games. At Olympia it was Zeus. At the Isthmian Games it was Poseidon. This was referred to as “the joy lying before them.” A similar term was used of Christ enduring the cross because of the “joy lying before Him.”

The victorious competitor was then taken back to his home town for a celebration. If the city was walled, as most were, a hole was cut in the city wall in the profile of the athlete. After he entered through it, once again it was sealed. 

A parade followed in which the athlete rode through the city in a chariot. The people threw flowers in his path. Women splashed perfume on him.

The parade led to the center of the city where he was greeted by the equivalent of the mayor. There the city poet read an ode to him about himself. Next, the mayor presented him with a citation which in part gave him a life-time exemption from income tax. Now you know why they were willing to compete!

If they did all that for an corruptible crown, how much more we should be willing to strive for an incorruptible crown! That is a term referring to a heavenly home with our Lord.

The reward awaiting all faithful citizens of the kingdom who go through agony in obedience to the Master is a heavenly home. That makes it all worthwhile.

In the Book of the Revelation is given another depiction of the honor given a winner. It has a spiritual application.

“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” (Revelation 3:21)

That is the ultimate reward awaiting the person who will spiritually “compete for the prize,” that is, “strive for mastery.”

Striving for the Mastery – Part Four

“Know you not that they which run in a race run all, but one receives the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.  

I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beats the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”  (I Corinthians 9: 24 – 27)

Every competitor in the Isthmus games had to be a COMPETITOR.

The expression “I fight” means I will compete to the best of my ability.

The figure of speech now changes from a runner to that of a fighter. In 684 B.C. the Olympic Games were expanded to include boxing. 

“Thus I fight not as one who beats the air…”

This is a description of a person shadow boxing — pretending. The Christian life isn’t a pretend world. It is for real.

To gain an understanding of what was involved in boxing in the Isthmus Games let me share these insights.

The boxer wore only oil and a pair of potentially lethal gloves. That’s all.  These gloves were known as “Caestus.” They consisted of leather thongs set with metal knobs of lead or iron. Round one began with the competitors towing a line and starting at a given signal. Round one ended when one of the boxers had been knocked out or killed. Round two began when the boxer who had been knocked out was revived. He was then given a certain amount of time to resume the fight. A line was drawn and he had to tow the line within the time limit. When he did, round two began. The fight ended when one had either been killed or beaten senseless.

We, too, have to toe the line for Jesus.

There was a technical term employed in boxing used in the text. The decisive first blow was the “fist blow under the eye” known in the Greek as the HUP-OPIAZO. “Hupo” meaning “under” and “ops” meaning “eye.” It was the term of that era comparable to our term “knock out.”  In our text it is used in the Greek and translated “I buffet” or “I discipline my body.”

Like such a boxer we must mentally use our spiritual resources to control our bodies if we are to be spiritual victors. Fight “not as uncertain.”

If you want a victorious spiritual life it requires being spiritually focused. The word in verse 26 translated “uncertainty” is ADELOS and it means “I do not run without clarity.”

No athlete has come to these games without clarity of purpose. Each knows in what he or she is to compete and is focused on that. Be certain of your role.

What is your goal in life?

Isaac and Ishmael: A Portrait of the Middle-East Today 6/14/98

Genesis 16:1-16, 17:15-21, and 21:1-21

JESUS CHRIST’s birth was the fulfillment of numerous prophecies. One was that He would be a descendant of Isaac. That was a most unlikely reality. By man’s standard an impossibility.

Who was this man Isaac? On the pages of the Bible he stands out on history’s horizon like a mole hill between two mountains. On one side was the summit of his father Abraham. On the other the peak of his son Jacob. Compared to them his life seems insignificant. Yet, as with all things great and small God had a plan for him.

Of him God said to Abraham, “Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac: I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him” (Genesis 17: 19).

Let the story tell itself, and then let’s draw from it some vital conclusions. READ: GENESIS 16:1-16; 17:15-21; 21:1-21.

God’s plan became man’s parody when Sarah decided to devise a plan to do what she did not trust God to do. The Code of Hammurabi stated:

If she has given a maid to her husband and she has born children and afterwards that maid has made herself equal with her mistress, because she has born children her mistress shall not sell her for money, she shall reduce her to bondage and count her among the female slaves.

Sarah, Abraham’s wife, was a strong willed woman who wanted to exercise her rights when her plan failed.

Hagar, Sarah’s Egyptian maid, “despised Sarah” and “mocked Isaac.” Obviously she was also a strong willed woman with a bad attitude.

God promised Abraham he would have a son by Sarah through whom He would bless all mankind.

Consenting to Sarah’s wishes Abraham at the age of 86 had a son by Hagar. Later God’s promise of a son through Sarah became a reality. These two half- brothers were Isaac, his son by Sarah, and Ishmael, his son by Hagar. Isaac was the son of promise.

I. TWO SIBLINGS: JEWS AND ARABS IN PREVIEW
A. God promised to bless the child of Sarah and make her descendants a blessing. The lineage of the Jewish race began with Abraham and was perpetuated through Isaac and his son Jacob.

Matthew and Luke in tracing the genealogy of Jesus, from a human perspective, note this fulfillment.

Most Americans are aware of this promise and marvel at God’s blessings on the Jews (Gen. 17:19). This is appropriate. However, most of us seem to think the Arabs are God’s outcasts. Not so. God also promised to bless the child of Hagar, Ishmael and his descendants (Gen. 17:20). God said of Ishmael “I will make him a great nation” (Gen. 21: 18). It was through the line of Ishmael that the Arab nations developed. These descendants have also been blessed. Note who constitutes the oil cartel in the middle-east. It is the Arab nations.

Ishmael was born before Isaac. He was conceived of Hagar an Egyptian slave girl whom Sarah gave to Abraham for the purpose of conception. When he was born, Abraham prayed that he would be the child of God’s promised blessings (17:18). The expression “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!” is a plea for him to be the heir apparent.

Evidently these two siblings contested each other on a regular basis. The scripture says that Ishmael was seen “scoffing” at Isaac. The verb tense used means he was always scoffing. Galatians 4: 29 reveals this scoffing involved “persecution.”

The descendants of these two are still antagonists. The perpetual conflict within the West Bank and Gaza as well as the constantly contested borders of Israel is an outgrowth. The Arab-Israeli conflict began in Hagar’s bedroom.

II. TWO SPOUSES: JEALOUSY AND ANGER IN PURVIEW
God never condoned polygamy; nor did He ever bless it even in the lives of some of His servants who violated His command regarding one wife.

Abraham and Sarah both had sacramental names given them by God. Abraham originally was called Abram meaning “honored father.” God renamed him Abraham which means “father of many nations.” God gave him this name when he was old and had no children. Sarah’s name had been changed from Sarai. Her old name meant “princess,” indicating that in her home land of Ur she was a member of royalty. Her new name meant “to rule.” She was to be the royal line by which God’s promise would be fulfilled to Abraham.

Strange as it may seem the first Jew was a Gentile. Abraham who came from beyond the Euphrates was the first person called a Hebrew (Gen. 14: 13). The word Hebrew means “the immigrant.” Sarah was the first female Hebrew, the fountainhead of the Jewish race.

God’s plan was for Sarah to conceive and bear a son.

Sarah amended God’s plan for Abraham to have a son by her young Egyptian maid, Hagar.

Things always go wrong when we decide God can’t keep His word and we have to do for Him what we don’t have faith to believe He can do.

When Hagar conceived, she chided the childless Sarah. Sarah became very jealous of Hagar. The mistress and the maid couldn’t coexist it appeared. Sarah dealt “harshly” with Hagar (16:6) so Hagar fled. In doing so she was violating the law which forbid a bondwoman to leave the service of her mistress.

God sent a angel messenger to Hagar on “the way to Shur.” Knowing Sarah had wronged her the angel nevertheless told her to return to Sarah. Two wrongs don’t make a right. She obeyed and returned. This is a beautiful illustration of submissiveness.

At the well where Hagar encountered the angel she used a beautiful name for God which means “You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees” (Gen. 16:13). The well where this encounter with God occurred she called “Beth-lahai-roi,” meaning “The well of Him who lives and sees me.”

When Hagar submissively returned she and Sarah grew to be even more jealous of one another and eventually this flared into anger. Finally Sarah pulled rank and demanded that Hagar and her son Ishmael be banished. Notice that this caused discord between Abraham and Sarah. Discord consequents when we disobey God. Having two spouses causes conflict.

Reluctantly Abraham complied and sent them into the desert with limited provisions. Poet and artist alike have sought to capture Hagar’s anguish in the desert when their supplies ran out. One of the finest masterpieces in the Dresden Gallery is a painting called “Hagar in the Wilderness.” The child is depicted lying on his back, dying of thirst, while his beautiful impoverished mother lifts her eyes to heaven and prays, “Let me not see the death on the child.” God answered her prayer and opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. God spared them both in keeping with His promise.

Ishmael grew to be a desert-dwelling archer. Our last glimpse of Hagar was her act of securing an Egyptian wife for Ishmael. She found for him a wife from her own land of idols and worldliness. Untaught faith in Jehovah by Abraham and influenced by a pagan wife, a different lifestyle and code of beliefs emerged. This is an illustration of the fact the extension of the faith is only one generation away. If one fails to pass it on to another, it is lost.

When Abraham was 100 and Sarah 90 she conceived and gave birth to Isaac, the child of promise. Sarah is the only one in the Bible whose exact age is given.

God kept His promise to them because Abraham believed (Rom. 4: 19 – 22).

As Isaac grew into manhood he went to dwell at Beth-lahai-roi, the place Hagar had lived. She impacted his life dynamically. She was his nurse and doubtless held him spellbound with stories of the Nile, pyramids, Pharaohs, and crocodiles. Had it not been for the strong and longer lasting influence of Abraham, Isaac might well have followed Hagar instead of the faith of Abraham and Sarah.

The child of Hagar is described as “scoffing” at Isaac, the child of Sarah. He had to learn this from his mother. Hagar had “despised” Sarah from the moment of her conception of Abraham’s son (16: 5). For Ishmael to have ridiculed Isaac would have been to mock all the promises of God inherent in him. This scoffing continues. From the lineage of Isaac came Jesus Christ and the Christian faith. From the lineage of Ishmael came Mohammed and the Moslem faith.

All of this happened because Sarah decided to do things her way rather than waiting on God. Does this same trait ever get you in trouble? The experience of Sarah is a caution against hasty action in times of trials and difficulties. It appeals for trust.

Sarah could not have anticipated that her single, disobedient decision would originate a rivalry which has resulted in the bitterest hatred through the ages which not even an ocean of blood can quench. We should always weigh the consequences of our decisions. They are often made in a moment with a lifetime of consequence. Sarah’s decision has endless consequence.

Likewise, a decision to receive or reject Christ as Savior has eternal consequence.

III. TWO SYSTEMS: JESUS AND ALTERNATIVES IN REVIEW
In Galatians 4: 22 – 31 there is an allegory using Sarah and Hagar to distinguish the difference in law, that is works, and grace. In verse 24 the account is described as “symbolical.” The word means an allegory which is an illustration.

HAGAR represents the Old Covenant of the law, a system of works.

She was a bondwoman. Her son, Ishmael, was “born after the flesh.” Ishmael was born the natural way; according to nature.

Hagar and Ishmael represent what is known as the “flesh principle,” rejecting God’s promise, rejecting the way of faith and trying to fulfill the will of God on your own terms. Persons operating on the flesh principle are trying to merit, earn, or deserve, by their works, what God gives freely.

Hagar represented “Jerusalem which now is,” meaning in bondage to the law.

SARAH represents the New Covenant fulfilled in Christ.

She was a free woman. Her son, Isaac, was “born through the promise.” Isaac was born the supernatural way; despite nature.

Sarah represents “the Jerusalem that is above” — “our mother.” This represents true faith originated salvation with heaven as its source. This depicts salvation by grace.

This account is included in the Scripture to let us know we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and not by works of the law. It has always been so. We are saved by grace not genes. The true line of descent was Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

This is the line of faith. Abraham had two sons. One, Isaac, had faith. The other, Ishmael, didn’t.

Isaac had two sons, Jacob and Esau. Jacob had faith in Jehovah God and Esau did not.

It is the faith line that represents faithfulness. It still is.

Galatians now list three consequences of being a child of promise, that is, a saved person:
1) Persecution from non-believers, legalist (Vs. 29). As Ishmael persecuted Isaac, so the non- believing world persecutes believers.

2) Inheritance of a priceless, spiritual nature results (Vs. 30). Isaac was the sole heir. No one outside the covenant of grace, a non-believer will inherit what Christ has in store for all who believe.

3) Obligation is inherent in the inheritance (Vs. 31). The rest of the book of Galatians illustrates this.

If you are willing to live free, you can expect all three of these. The eternal nature of the inheritance makes it all worth while.