“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” — Galatians 3:28
What a great reminder of how God offers adoption to everyone regardless of race, sex or any religious affiliation!
In this chapter of Galatians Paul rebukes the church at Galatia for mixing works in with faith alone for salvation. He reminds them that Abraham was justified by faith alone and that God promised to justify the heathen as well because of His promise to Abraham. These Galatians are Gentile (Greek) Christians.
You see, the Galatians were going back to the Law for salvation. So Paul points out that: “… no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.” (Gal 3:11-12) He goes on to explain what he means by the Gentiles being justified through Abraham.
In this famous chapter Paul explains the purpose of the Law; that it was to be our “schoolmaster”. That is to say that the Law is there to teach us of our need for a Savior… our need to believe that Jesus died to pay our sin debt (Rom 3:24; 6:23). Then once we believe (once faith has come) we no longer need the Law and indeed we are no longer under the Law (schoolmaster). Just like when we attend school. When we are in school we need a teacher to guide us through our studies and then when we graduate from school we no longer need that teacher because we have learned the requirements for completing our school work.
Paul uses this 3rd chapter of Galatians to share the good news that everyone has the opportunity to accept God’s gift of grace. It does not matter where we come from, who our parents are, the color of our skin or even our nationality. We are all the same and we all have the same opportunity to be “one in Christ Jesus”. This is the best news that any human can receive… the Good News. Paul’s letter to the Galatians recounts the history that God’s original chosen people are the Jews (as established with a covenant to Abraham in Gen 17:7). And since the Jews continually rejected the message, salvation was offered to the Gentiles (non Jews see Romans 11). In addition, God has blinded the Jews to the truth of the Gospel (Rom 11:7). In the end Jews and Gentiles are all in the same family (of the same seed) when they are “one in Christ Jesus”. And he wraps it up saying:
And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:29)
This is great news and I am so happy that God had holy men write down this stuff in His Word so that we can read it over and over again, recount the blessings from our Father and just plain think on these things. Selah
Things to Think About and Do
1. In Romans 11 we read about how God blinded the Jews. Where in Scripture does it tell us that the Jews will have an opportunity to accept the truth of salvation once again?
2. Find at least one other Bible passage that tells us we are saved by grace and not of works.
3. According to Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, what is the purpose of the Law?photo: photobucket