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You were created to be free.

You were created to be free.

FEBRUARY 10, 2021

/ Programs / Key Life / You were created to be free.

Steve Brown:
You were created to be free. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.

Matthew Porter:
Welcome to Key Life. I’m Matthew, executive producer for the program and our host is author and seminary professor Steve Brown. The church has suffered under, do more, try harder religion for too long. And Key Life is here to proclaim that Jesus sets the captives free.

Steve Brown:
Thank you Matthew, let me, we’re going to be talking about freedom and slavery, and how some people have religion that makes them a slave rather than free. And when you see that happening, something is skewed. Something is way off. And Paul was making that point and this text. Now I’m just going to read some portions of it, but it’s the fourth chapter and it’s starting at the 21st verse down to the end of the chapter. And he says this, and you just trust me.

For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave, and one by free woman. But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, and the son of the free woman through promise. Now, this is an allegory: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. And Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.

And then he says, dropping down now.

We brothers, like Isaac are children of promise. But at that time, he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the spirit, so it is now.

And then he says.

But what does this Scripture say? “Cast out the slave and her son, for the son of the slave shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.”

And you think, what’s that about? What in the world is Paul talking about? Well, let me show you. And I went through a lot of trouble to find out for myself. So, stay with me just a little bit. It’s going to be a bit dull. You need to know two things about what Paul is doing here. First, you need to know, that what he was doing was perfectly understandable to the first century Jew. He was using a rabbinical methodology in his argument. While that methodology may seem rather obtuse and obscure to us, to the people to whom he wrote it was clear. And then the second thing you ought to see, is that you need to know something of the historical situation. In Genesis 16 through 17, you’ll find that situation. You’ll remember that Abraham had been promised that he was going to be the father of many nations. He believed that was true. But as he got older and older and older, he wasn’t so sure anymore. Finally, he decided that if he was going to have a son, he would have to do something about it and take this situation in hand, his wife Sarah suggested that Abraham have a relationship with their servant and their slave Hagar. He did. And she got pregnant and her son’s name was Ishmael and he became the father of Islam. Now Abraham was 86 years old when Israel was born. But God told Abraham when he was 99, that he would have a son by his wife and Abraham got the giggles. He said, Lord, that’s a great compliment, but at 100, I’ve got a serious problem, and Sarah’s 99 years old. And the romance frankly, has gone out of our marriage. Did you hear about the old couple that went to the divorce lawyer? That they wanted a divorce, they were in their nineties. He said, good heavens, you’ve had, you’ve had eight children and dozens of grandchildren and great grandchildren. What do you want to divorce for? And they both said in unison, enough is enough. Well, Abraham said, well it’s not in the text, but that’s what he’s saying. There’s not a lot of romance going on here right now. But God honored his promise to Sarah and Abraham and their son Isaac became the father of Jacob. Who was the father of the 12 tribes, and then the many nations followed their birth and then Jesus was born. Now this is the point. Ishmael was the child of the flesh of the slave woman. Abraham tried to act on his own when he felt that God wouldn’t come through, Isaac was the child of promise. God honored his word. And it is exciting in what he was doing, now Paul in Galatians tries to take that story. In fact, he does take that story and it says this, there are two kinds of religion in the world. One is a religion of slavery. It’s like Ishmael, the child of a slave. And the other is a religion of freedom and promise, as was Isaac, the child of promise to Abraham and Sarah. Have you ever been in a church where it looked like Death Valley and everybody there reminded you of why you wish you had never become a Christian? Have you ever been around Christians who make you feel dirty and condemned all the time? Like something that the house dog drug in? Have you ever been in the presence of Christians who looked like they had been given a miserable pill and commanded to medicate the entire world? Have you ever been around Christians who were so intense and so uptight that they reminded you of prison guards at Attica? Well, if you’ve been around that kind of Christian, you’re seeing an illustration of exactly what Paul was talking about here. He was using allegory, an illustration and he said it’s an illustration about two covenants. One will put you in slavery, will make you miserable. And the other will set you free. It’s the covenant of Jesus. You think about that. Amen. Sometimes when I have a little time, I take the time to answer one or two questions and of course, Pete will be in on Friday, and we will spend the entire broadcast on Friday, just doing Q&A. And we love to get your questions. You know, you can pick up your phone anytime ,24 seven, and call 1-800-KEY-LIFE and record your question. And we sometimes put your voice on the air, asking the question. You can send your question to

Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
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If you live in Canada, it’s

Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
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Or you can email us at [email protected]. And incidentally, all of those places are places where if the spirit moves you could help us financially. If you can’t, we understand. If you can. I promise that we’ll be as faithful with your gift as you were in giving it. And by the way, I haven’t mentioned this before. It’s kind of new, you know, you can give on your smart phone, remember this and check it out, you might like it. It’s called, you can text Key Life at 28950, 28950 and follow the instructions, and you can give there. And I hope some of you will do that. It’s really easy to do. And as I said, we’ll squeeze every dime for the glory of God. And we understand when you can’t. Alright, let’s turn to one or two of these questions. I believe, this is an email. I believe that God elected two peoples to be his own Israel and the church. Did God choose Israel and the church or just the church? Well, you have moved into a very complicated area and we could spend three or four broadcasts just on this question. One of the great scholars at Westminster Seminary, said this when in his commentary, John Murray, in his commentary on Romans. And he said,

I don’t understand everything that Paul says in Romans, but whatever he’s saying, he’s not saying that God is through with Israel.

And dear friend. I believe that with all of my heart. Now, there are a lot of other addendum’s and things that one could add to that. Is Jesus the only way of salvation? Yes, and the Bible is clear about that. Does Jesus hug weird people? Yes, he does. And they don’t get to choose. Does God’s covenant cover a lot of things beyond the church? Well, yeah, that’s what Paul says in the book of Romans, but the implications of that are very hard to discern. And what Paul writes in that place is pretty, is pretty, not clear. So, I decided I’d leave it up to God, but God never withdraws the covenant and yes, he did call his ancient people, Israel. And yes, he did call the church, the people of the new covenant. How that it all works out, I’m not sure, but I do know that Jesus is at the very center of it. This is an email, why are churches still teaching on the tithe from the book of Malachi to the congregation, and not from the book of Deuteronomy? The book of Malachi is directed to the Levites, the priest and the pastors, etc, and not to the people. Well, it’s taught there because God doesn’t change his mind. And there are certain ways that he operates and certain things that are true and certain things that are important. And the tithe is one of them. Now I don’t think we can apply that legalistically, but I think it’s legitimate to see that this 10% is a principle that God teaches in a great variety of circumstances, like 10% of the crop and 10% of the salary. Does it mean you can’t be saved if you don’t give 10%? No, it doesn’t mean that. But it is a good guide. I have a friend who says he’s glad for the tithe, because if it weren’t for the tithe, his wife would give away the house. Oh, that’s enough. There’s a lot more needs to be said about almost everything, but I got to go. But first, Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.

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