#173 “THE POSITION OF THE CHRISTIAN” (GALATIANS 3:26-29)

  1. 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons (huios, full-grown children) of God, through faith. In 3:23-25, Paul has been addressing the nation of Israel (first-person plural, “we”) being under the Law. He now turns the focus to the Galatian Christians (“you”) and emphasizes three spiritual benefits of being saved by God’s grace through faith. First, we have been justified and are children of God. In the OT, God adopted Israel to be his children. In the NT, we are “in” Christ and a part of his family. Sons of God—In Jewish literature, “Sons of God” was an honorable title given only to the righteous of Israel. Also, the term Paul uses for “sons” signifies a child coming of age and is no longer in need of a guardian (referenced in v. 25). Through faith—We went from being dead in our sins to being made alive in Christ. We went from being enemies of God to becoming his children.
    1. 27 For as many of you as were baptized (baptizo, “to put or place into) into Christ have put on Christ. Paul is not talking about water baptism. Baptized into Christ—Paul’s intimation of “baptism” and being “clothed” is a pronouncement of our identification in Christ. 1 Cor. 12:13, “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.” Put on Christ—Paul gives a depiction of taking off old childish garments and putting on a toga as a sign of becoming an adult citizen. The Bible Knowledge Commentary, “So the Galatian believers had laid aside the old garments of the Law and had put on Christ’s robe of righteousness which grants full acceptance before God.”
      • 3:8-10, “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”
      • 13:14, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
      • 3:1, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”
    2. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. The second benefit of God’s grace is we are one family. In Paul’s time, there were distinct social and gender classes and barriers between ethnic groups and religious systems. However, Paul affirms that there is no spiritual inequality for those are “in Christ.” Christ has broken down these divisions and united his followers as one. NKJV Study Bible, “Racial, social, and gender distinctions that so easily divide in no way hinder a person from coming to Christ in order to receive His mercy. All people equally can become God’s heirs and recipients of His eternal promises (4:5–7). Paul writes in Col. 3:11, “Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free, but Christ is all, and in all.”
    3. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. The third benefit of God’s grace is we are recipients of Abraham’s blessings. Jews saw themselves as Abraham’s children, and as such—they had rights to the covenantal promises and blessings given to Abraham. Likewise, Paul applies the concept of Abraham’s “offspring” or “seed” to the adoption we receive in Christ. Every Christian is an “heir” of the spiritual blessings that are given in Christ Jesus. Paul writes in Eph. 1:3, “who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” As a point of clarification, being a “seed” of Abraham doesn’t mean that Gentiles receive every physical blessing promised to the twelve tribes of Israel. Rom. 9:6, “But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel.”