Galatiansby Khan Hui Neon
Paul has shown that with Christ's appearance, believers have come of age, and are no longer under the supervision of rules and regulations. What does this mean, and how does it affect the way we relate to God and other people?
Paul points out that when we (Jews or Gentiles) are saved, we are not only forgiven and acquitted of our sins, but also adopted into the family of God. We become His children through a common faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26). This means legally there is a change in our status. We become full-grown, mature children of God-unlike a child who needs a guardian, mentor, or nurse. Being freed from the law, we now live in the liberty of Christ.
Paul reminds his readers of the time when they were baptised, publicly committing themselves to Christ and trusting in Him alone for their salvation. It was at that moment they clothed themselves with Christ (v. 27). It is a sign that they have come of age, much like a Roman male child receiving a special garment from his father when he reaches adulthood. They don't live under a guardian-the law-anymore. They have a special garment to prove it: Christ our righteousness.
But that's not all. The Galatians are now ″all one in Christ Jesus″ (v. 28)-no longer separated by ethnicity, culture, social standing, or gender. All believers are on equal footing in their relationship with God, having the same privilege, status, and value. In Christ, there is one God, one faith, and one people. All former barriers are broken down.
In response to the Judaizers' insistence that Abraham's descendants must keep the law, Paul simply points out that the true offspring of Abraham and heirs to the blessing promised to him are those who exercise faith in Christ (v. 29).
As simple as it sounded, this must have been difficult for the Jews in Paul's day to take in. Their world was divided into Jews and Gentiles. Being Abraham's blood descendants, Jews claimed a special relationship with God that went back hundreds of years. How could Gentiles now claim to be on equal footing with God's chosen people? How could Gentiles, who did not have the law of Moses nor follow it, be their brethren?
Paul's message is clear: We are all of equal value to God because we receive salvation the same way, on the same terms-by faith, and through God's grace alone. There is nothing we can do to obtain righteousness, so there is nothing that can set any of us above another. But just as keeping of the law leads to boasting and accentuates difference, trusting in Christ leads to humility and promotes unity.
What does being adopted into the family of God mean to you? How does it affect your relationship with God and with other people?
Can you identify some possible ″barriers″ that could lead to division and disunity among believers?