Lesson 13

The Epistle to the Galatians

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

3:26 For you are all children of God, through faith in Christ Jesus. 3:27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 3:29 If you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to promise.

Today's Lesson 

The Galatians had been approached by people that Paul called the Judaizers. These men, Jews by birth, were teaching the Galatians that in order to fully realize the salvation that Jesus Christ has purchased for us; a Gentile must first embrace the whole of the Jewish law. In effect they were saying that in order to be a complete Christian one must first be a Jew. Paul first uses sarcasm calling the Galatians "foolish" and asking them who had bewitched them. The news that the Judaizers preached to them was not "good news" (or the gospel). Then Paul proceeded to explain to the Galatians the difference between the promise that was delivered to Abraham and the law that was given to the children of Israel through Moses.


Abraham was promised that through his seed all nations of the world would be blessed. This was a significant promise because at the time Abraham was very old and childless. But God fulfilled the promise to Abraham and made him the father of many nations. Now the law was given 430 years after the promise to Abraham was given. The law, though, could not set aside or add to the promise because God gave the promise to Abraham through a covenant. A covenant is a type of legal guarantee and therefore the giving of the law did not alter God's promise. In fact, Paul tells these Galatians that the promise is still available and that through Jesus Christ the promise was opened now to the Gentiles - even to themselves.


So the Galatians have become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. They had come to God in the same way that Abraham was chosen - through faith. The same faith that made Abraham righteous in God's eyes had made them righteous as well. "Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness."


When a man or women comes to God through faith in Jesus he or she is baptized into Christ. Actually, as Paul writes in Romans, we are baptized into the death of Christ. We have put on Christ. We have put on Christ in His death and are raised to life by the power of His resurrection. In Christ, "there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." There is no distinction of persons in Christ, because there is equality among the dead. One person is not any deader than another is. When we accept our utter helplessness before sin, when we accept the sacrifice of Christ for our sake, we are all baptized into His death. We are crucified with Christ.


Jesus took upon Himself not only our sin but also the curse of the law. Sin, death and law stood opposed to us. Through all of these we stood condemned, unrighteous before a holy God. But, He who knew no sin became sin for us. He who was eternal took on death and passed through the veil. He who never violated the law took on the curse of the law. In all of these things Christ triumphed and was vindicated when God raised Him from the dead. When we are united with Christ, we are vindicated with Him. His righteousness, His eternal life, and His freedom from the law become ours.


Abraham's promise was given to all mankind through Jesus Christ. If we are in Christ, then we are Abraham's seed and his heir. There is no distinction. The old walls that separated man from man were destroyed on the cross. Everything that separated us from God was eliminated. How can we now be separated from one another? How can we continue to divide ourselves into groups or sects when God sees us only as a part of His Son?


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