Yesterday was Mother’s Day – a day devoted to thanking our moms for all that they do for us, and letting them know how much we love them. In light of celebrating our mothers, here’s a question to consider: Who’s your mother?
In other words, God is your Heavenly Father, but are you His child through grace, or His child through the law? Upon which do you rely for salvation – your own good works, or what Christ has done? Do you feel that you must earn relationship with God, or have you come to the realization that it is a gift freely given to all who believe?
Galatians 4:21-31 addresses this issue. These verses explain that Abraham had children by two different women – Hagar, who was a slave, and Sarah, who was free, and was his true wife. It also explains that these two women represent two covenants (or ways of mankind relating to God). Those two covenants are the old covenant of the law, and the new covenant of grace.
Hagar, who is representative of the law, which was given at Mount Sinai, bears children who are to be slaves. In other words, when we base our relationship with God on our good works, and our attempts to keep all of the commandments recorded in His Word, we will end up feeling as if we were His slaves, instead of His children. We will always feel that He is demanding more of us than we are capable of, and will never be able to cease from our efforts long enough to simply enjoy His presence.
Sarah, who is representative of the new covenant of God’s grace, bears children born as a result of a divine promise, not by the keeping of the law. When we rely on God’s grace for our salvation, and relationship with Him, it becomes no longer about what we have done, but rather what Christ has done for us. Because it’s not about us and our performance, we can rest, knowing that we are God’s children, whom He dearly loves.
Galatians 4:31 states that we are children not of the slave woman (Hagar, who represents the old covenant of the law), but of the free woman (Sarah, who represents the new covenant of grace). God desires for us to rely not on the law for our right standing before Him, but rather on His grace. He wants us to feel not as if we are slaves to His demands, but rather children whom He cares for deeply. Therefore, I ask you – In your relationship with God, do you focus on your performance, or on His amazing grace? Are you living under the old covenant of the law, or the new covenant of grace? Who’s YOUR mother?