‘for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children— but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.’  Galatians 4:25-26 (NKJV)

 

There is an earthly Jerusalem that is bondage, in bondage and brings her children into bondage. This is the Jerusalem that still corresponds to (or aligns with) Mount Sinai, the citadel of laws and regulations. While Jerusalem below may have an elaborate and impressive system of religion, all its systems correspond to bondage because the summation of all its rules and regulations is: ‘do these and it shall be well with you.’ But the Jerusalem above is where Christ seats as high priest. It’s where the Bishop of our Souls has offered the One and Eternally Accepted Sacrifice, earning for us eternal freedom and citizenship in God’s Kingdom. This Jerusalem above symbolizes freedom and brings into freedom, all who believe in the King and High Priest. Jerusalem above is our mother. Jerusalem blow is our captor.

I choose Jerusalem above. The systems of human religion may have an appearance of worth but their value is always tied to your ability to do and do and do. But Jerusalem above offers us the free gifts of eternal blessings and eternal help, once we can believe in Him whom God sent. For the man of religion, it’s not about believing but it’s about doing. The more you do, the more you will hopefully earn your acceptance. So give more. Pray more. Fast more. Preach more. Sacrifice more. And the more you can do, the more you hope you grow in impressing God. But that’s not for my God. It’s good to do these things but they must never be to impress or find acceptance before God. God’s one and only requirement that ushers in acceptance is- believe and you are free. As Paul would summarize in verse 31, ‘brethren, we are not children of the bond woman but of the free’.

‘Lord, may I keep learning that my good works are not what impress you or earn me acceptance. I will not let my life correspond to the Jerusalem below because that will tie me to Mount Sinai. I need to keep my faith and hope on my High Priest who sits in the Jerusalem above. I know I am accepted based on His sacrifice on the cross for me. Keep my heart centered on this and not on the human systems of religion that seek to hold me in bondage to their weak methodologies and human laws. Amen.’

 

Dr. Chinedu Oranye

(Mobilization Director, CAPRO)