Galatians 4:26-31
Gal 4:26 (KJB)
But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
The name Jerusalem means “city of peace.” Here Paul is stating that the Jerusalem which is above is free and the mother of all those under salvation by grace alone. The Bible speaks of the heavenly Jerusalem as being the body of believers. (Heb 12:22 KJV) But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, He speaks of it being the mother and a mother gives birth and that is what happens every time one of the Elect becomes saved, it is like a mother giving birth. Here the mother of us all gives birth to another Elect saved by grace. So the earthly Jerusalem is identified with the bondage of the law and the heavenly Jerusalem, otherwise known as spiritual Jerusalem, is identified with the freedom of salvation by grace alone without having to keep any of the tenets of the law.
Gal 4:27 (KJB)
For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
(Isa 54:1 KJV) Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD. Here Paul includes a passage from Isaiah concerning the fact that the desolate will have more children than the married woman. It seems that God is typing national Israel and the law as the married woman. (Jer 3:14 KJV) Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: Jeremiah 3:14 states that God was married to Israel. Israel had the law and with it made a few converts here and there, so the one who was married had less children but in the second part of that verse He speaks about taking one of a city and two of a family to bring them to Zion. Zion is another name for the body of believers. (Psa 102:16 KJV) When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory. Once the Lord has saved everyone He plans to save, then He shall return to this earth as we read in Psalm 102:16. So when God is going to bring one of a city and two of a family, He is stating that He will personally save those who are the elect of God. (John 6:37 KJV) All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. So back to the Galatians verse. Sarah was to rejoice because even though she only had one child, yet it was the child of promise and she will have descendants without number through the line of that child. Those descendants will be the body of believers who will be saved by grace alone.
Gal 4:28 (KJB)
Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
Every true believer saved by grace alone are the children of promise. God promised Abraham that his descendants would be innumerable and every true believer is part of the spiritual lineage of Abraham that came through Isaac and eventually through Jacob who became Israel. The name Israel means “prince with God.” When we became saved, we became part of the true Israel because we are children of God and since God is a King, we are princes and princesses.
Gal 4:29 (KJB)
But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
(Gen 21:9 KJV) And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. Ishmael was doing some kind of mocking of Isaac and Sarah saw this and was livid. So Paul takes this scenario and likens it to the present time in Galatia. Those who are born again by the free grace of God were being persecuted or pursued by those who were under the law. Remember, Ishmael and Hagar represented those who were still under the law. The false teachers were doing their utmost to bring these people back under the law.
Gal 4:30 (KJB)
Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
(Gen 21:10 KJV) Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. Now Paul continues on from Genesis. The result of Ishmael mocking Isaac elicited a response from Sarah and she had ordered that the bondwoman be cast out as Ishmael would not be heir with Isaac. What is being said, couched in allegorical language, is that the those who keep the law will never be heirs with those who are saved by free grace. This is because those who try to keep the law will never attain salvation but those under free grace will never lose their salvation. This is the great inequity in that those under law will never be saved unless God saves them by free grace. So the heirs of promise can never be those under the law since they are unsaved, the heirs of promise are only to those who are saved by grace. This is why when Christ fulfilled the requirements of God’s holy law, it was to be cast out in reference to salvation.
Gal 4:31 (KJB)
So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
So Paul sums it up for us and the Galatians that we are not the children of the bondwoman who represented the law but we are children of the free woman who represented salvation by grace alone. This is why we are to avoid trying to keep the law because even if we could keep it, it would add nothing to our salvation. There is no such thing in Scripture as being more saved because of good works.