Book of Galatians Chapter 3
Commentary by Ron Beckham
Verse 1. "You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you,
before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?"
Paul had presented Christ as crucified to the Galatians, and his
teachings were essentially this: Jesus Christ is God's Gift to the
people of this planet. He suffered for you and for me, becoming our
effective Substitute; dying in our place. When we trust in Him, we
become acceptable to God, who receives us because of His Son. We are
given the Holy Spirit of God who lives in us, and subsequently, we
will start to grow, especially in the areas of faith, hope, and
The preceding is the sum total of what the Galatians needed to
know and do, in order to become right with God. Paul is saying that
anything else is external to that information. If you or people you
meet, add to or subtract from these simple teachings, watch out! If
you have Jesus Christ, you have it all, and to "add to" what He has
done is to become foolish. Paul ATTACKED those who had "bewitched"
the Galatians, for all you need is to receive the crucified and
Verse 2. "This is the only thing I want to find out from
you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by
hearing with faith?"
This is a great verse! In it, we are forced to examine –
everything! How do we receive the Spirit of God? Is the Spirit a
requirement for us to be saved? Do we become acceptable to God by
some kind of outward behavior? Are we saved by keeping His commands?
If we are "nice" people, is that enough? Do we please Him through
our intelligence? If we went through some ceremony as children or
adults - is that all we need? Or, do we receive EVERYTHING simply
through faith (trust) in the Son of God and what He has done?
This is so important! Faith does not eliminate "works" - far from
it! But the works are the RESULT of salvation, and not the cause.
Jesus said, "he who believes in me, the works that I do he will do
also" (John 14:12). Paul, in this verse in Galatians, is gently
(well, not so gently) scolding the Galatian believers. They were
made right with God through faith in Jesus Christ. But then, other
people came along and told them, "You need more." It was a lie. They
just needed what they already had - faith in the risen Christ Jesus.
Verse 3. "Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit,
are you now being perfected by the flesh?"
Nobody wants to be thought of as foolish. But we can become fools
in two ways related to this verse: Foolishness in the opinion of
people and fools in the sight of God. Those who give their lives to
pleasing other people, will become fools. The Galatian Christians
had made this very mistake. They trusted in Jesus Christ and
rejoiced that God had received them. They were given the Holy Spirit
of God and knew Him personally.
Everything was fine, but then some authoritative sounding men
came to town and told them, "That's wrong; you have to do things OUR
way, in order to be made right with God." These men happened to be "Judaizers,"
who taught that Gentiles have to become like Jews, but there are
other false teachers who bring many kinds of error. God made it easy
on us (though it was hard on His Son). Jesus Christ did the work we
are unable to do. HE has the righteousness and when we receive Him,
His righteousness is shared with you and me. To think otherwise, is
to become a fool.
Verse 4. "Did you suffer so many things in vain if indeed
it was in vain?"
Paul said about suffering: "we are children of God, and if
children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if
indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together"
(Romans 8:16-17). Some teach that our suffering in life is over, if
we truly believe in Jesus Christ. In a way, that's true, because a
part of our suffering has been caused by resistance to the will of
God. His will is that we receive His Son, Jesus Christ.
But there are other kinds of suffering that may come to us
BECAUSE we follow Jesus. For one thing, our families and friends may
decide they want nothing more to do with us. A good friend and
former roommate from years ago, said we were done for as friends if
I ever spoke about Jesus again. I did speak of Him and this man was
gone from my life. I miss him and that's part of the suffering
alluded to in this verse. Paul asks, why would you suffer such
things for your faith, if faith in Christ is not the way to God? But
He IS the way.
Verse 5. "So then, does He who provides you with the
Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law,
or by hearing with faith?"
The miracle is that we receive the Spirit through the grace of
God, because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross for you and me.
The Holy Spirit of God is ours (as in John 20:22), and we are never
the same again. Another miracle is that God uses us in His service
and equips us, making us able to do His work. This is seen in Acts
2:4, where the Holy Spirit fell on all who waited for the promise of
God. They were given power to love in action, as the Spirit enabled
Additional miracles were done through the ministry of Paul in the
lives of the Galatian people. And of course, through the Holy Spirit
they were empowered to do the works of God. Paul asked, "Why were
these miracles given to you? Was it because you were such great guys
and did what nobody has ever been able to do (keep the Law)?" He
continued, "Or was it because you heard the good news about Jesus
and had FAITH in Him?" There is no doubt that Paul was telling these
people that everything we have in relation to God, is because we
TRUST in Jesus Christ.
Verse 6. "Even so Abraham believed God, and it was
reckoned to him as righteousness.
What was so special about Abraham (Abram)? What is it about this
man that the Bible refers to him as "the father of us all" (Romans
4:16). The key is right here in Galatians 3:6, which quotes Genesis
15:6, "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to Him as
righteousness". Here was an old, childless man, who intended to
leave his considerable estate to a younger man named Eliezer. But he
had something much better than money or children – He had faith in
Abram's wife Sarai was also quite old, and she was past the age
where it was humanly possible to bear a child. It was at that time
in his life that God told him "one who will come from your own body
will be your heir" (Genesis 15:4). Abram's response: He "believed
God." Abraham became the "father" (model) for us all - When we think
we can't, God can, and He often will act at such a time, giving us
the opportunity for faith in Him. NEVER lose hope, for God loves
you, and He will ACT for you.
Verse 7 "Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of
faith who are sons of Abraham."
To read the Bible, especially the Old Testament, is to discover
that God specially created the people Israel, and He has many
wonderful promises for them. The promise is not set aside in Christ,
but instead is made even more alive in Him. We learn more about His
promise in these verses. It was always true that "they are not all
of Israel who are Israel" (Romans 9:6). Romans Chapters 9, 10, and
11, are an excellent discussion of the nature of the people of this
nation called "Israel", and it is valuable to read those chapters.
Some were true sons of Abraham but many of them did not have faith.
Much like within the entity we call the "Church," there are
always those who appear to be one thing but really are something
else. The issue is not simply believing that God exists, for "even
the demons believe" (James 2:19). What's important is to TRUST in
God, and He has decreed that to become a "son of Abraham" is to have
faith in Him through the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no other way.
Verse 8. "The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify
the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham,
saying, ‘All the nations will be blessed in you.’"
The Lord God made promises to Abram (Abraham) for a long time
(from a human perspective). This one is found in Genesis 12:3 ("All
the nations will be blessed in you"), given when the Lord first
invited Abram to "go out of your country" (Genesis 12:1). He
"departed as the Lord had spoken to him" (Genesis 12:4, which was
the hallmark of this man. The Lord spoke to his heart and Abram took
the risk, obeying the Lord even when it was not comfortable to do
Those of Israel who will be in eternity with the Lord, are those
who trust in God (have faith in Him). Many Gentiles (the nations)
will be there also, and the reason will be the same (through faith
in Him). We have faith because we know He is good and He loves us.
He wants to save us. He is ABLE to save us. He has provided the way,
and we are to trust in Him. The Spirit says to our hearts "Go" to
Jesus; that is precisely what we must do.
Verse 9. "So then those who are of faith are blessed with
Abraham, the believer."
The human race has more than it's share of the "if onlys". If
only I was Abraham. If only I had been one of Christ's disciples. If
only I was taller, or shorter, or smarter, or better looking, or if
only such-and-such had happened (or had NOT happened). If only. And
yet, you are "fearfully and wonderfully made," just as you are. Your
parents, whether they were "adequate" or not, were carefully chosen.
The result - is you! For you have been placed into an optimum
setting in order to find that which is important in life - true
faith in God through Jesus Christ.
If you are given grace through faith, you've got it all. Money,
like everything else in this world, is temporary, and will not
sustain you in the day of Judgment. Abraham will receive a "well
done" (Matthew 25:21) from the Lord, as all who know of him agree.
But so will you, if you trust in the Lord as he did. ALL, who are of
faith (in Christ) are "blessed" with Abraham, the believer. Not "the
doer of good works", but - "the believer" will be "blessed" with
Verse 10. "For as many as are of the works of the Law are
under a curse; for it is written, "cursed is everyone who does not
abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform
During four years of active military service, especially in the
beginning, I would periodically be given guard duty. A
higher-ranking person would often drop by, and while I was at
attention, demand that I recite some rule or another about what
guard duty was supposed to be about. This verse kind of sums up
their response if you didn't recite the rule correctly: You would be
under a "curse" from military law. And this was for a very good
reason - lives were at stake. People could die in the future if we
did not become good watchmen.
The Law "kills" us, if we don't abide by it, but it also leads to
life, because it shows us our insufficiency in the sight of God. Did
you ever "covet" (want something or someone that isn't yours)? If
this has ever happened to you, even once, you are a lawbreaker
condemned to death under God’s Law. "Whoever shall keep the whole
Law and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all" (James 2:10).
Success in outward works does not save us, for the Law demands utter
perfection. Down inside, each of us knows we are not perfect.
Something (Someone) More is needed.
Verse 11. "Now that no one is justified by the Law before
God is evident; for, 'The righteous man shall live by faith.’"
In Habbakuk 2:4, the Lord through the prophet compares faith with
pride, teaching us, "Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in
him, but the just shall live by his faith" (NKJV). The verse is also
quoted in Romans 1:17, and you can rely on it that when the Holy
Spirit repeats a concept in Scripture, He wants to be sure you don't
miss it. No one will ever be saved by the "keeping" of a system of
Law. To pretend that we do, only leads to pride and spiritual death.
Jesus Christ is the One we must look to for understanding, and He
offers a wonderful dissertation (within the Sermon on the Mount) on
the meaning of the Law (Matthew 5:17-48). HE is the fulfillment of
that Law (verse 17). Our faith must be in the right Person, and that
Person is Jesus Christ. Verse 48 contains the interesting problem
for those who insist on outward works, that "you are to be perfect
as your heavenly Father is perfect." We are not perfect, and we must
see our need to TRUST in Him.
Verse 12. "However, the Law is not of faith; on the
contrary, ‘He who practices them shall live by them.’"
The Law is both a friend and an enemy to us all. It shows us our
utter need and that is good, but it does nothing else for us, and
that is actually frightening when you think about it. It's like a
sign held up in front of our faces that says, in big letters,
"You're dead!" and then just leaves us there. In Leviticus 18:5,
within a discussion of the Law by the Lord through Moses, we find
"My judgments, which, if a man does them he shall live by them" (NKJV).
The problem is, we cannot keep the Law, and therefore we cannot live
in His sight.
"Judaizers" of the time were visiting new believers in the early
churches, telling them they had to keep the Law of Moses in order to
be right with God. Since we can't keep the Law, we cannot be saved
in relation to it. Paul knew about all that first hand, and is
telling them, telling US - it's impossible for us to keep the Law.
You need to TRUST in Christ. He (Jesus) kept the Law and HIS
righteousness is imputed (given) to you and me, when we place our
faith in Him. That is the only way. HE is the only way. There is no
Verse 13. "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law,
having become a curse for us--for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone
who hangs on a tree’—"
After a discussion in Deuteronomy 21, about what to do with a
rebellious son who just will not respond to his father and mother,
the Lord through Moses raises the issue of a person who does
something so terrible that he must be killed and "hung on a tree."
The purpose of hanging him would be to vividly show the community
that sin leads to destruction for the sinner. However, they were not
to allow the person to remain on that tree overnight.
Christ was killed as though He was a guilty man, when in fact He
was the innocent Son of God, who deliberately became "a curse" for
us. Before receiving Christ, everyone on this planet is under the
curse of God. We may feel like "nice" persons, but it is God who
Judges us; and it’s not that we somehow judge ourselves. Jesus paid
the price that God would require from you and me. Note, by the way,
that by placing Christ into a position where He would be on the
cross (the tree) overnight, His accusers and killers broke the Law.
Verse 14. "in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of
Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the
promise of the Spirit through faith."
What wonderful news! Christ Jesus was given to the Jews and He is
also given to the Gentiles (everybody else), and He is the "blessing
of Abraham." The promise of God to Abraham, "in you all the families
of the earth shall be blessed" (Genesis 12:3) is His pledge to you
and to me. His promise is to "all the families". It was never about
physical lineage, though to be a Jew is wonderful, and believing
Jews also have the promise of the Spirit through faith in Christ.
In Christ Jesus, the blessing of God through Abraham is ours.
Even if we just have a tiny faith in God through Jesus Christ, it is
enough, and the promised Holy Spirit is given to ordinary people
like you and me. It's a promise - do you see that? God Almighty,
Maker of heaven and of earth, has promised! No matter how bad (or
good) you might think you have been. No matter what you have done,
the Holy Spirit is yours, because the promise is based on faith, not
on any kind of works we might think we can do.
Verse 15. "Brethren, I speak in terms of human relations:
even though it is only a man's covenant, yet when it has been
ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it."
A criticism of the Bible by those who don't know His Spirit, has
been that it was written by men. That would include the covenant
(agreement, contract) extended to Abraham, and expressed through the
words of Paul in these verses. And yet, Paul was saying, even a
contract between men (those of mankind), once it is in place, stands
and is legal for all concerned.
The elements of a contract include an offer (Jesus was given for
you and for me), acceptance (your faith in Him), and a
"consideration" (something of sufficient value given). Once a
contract is made, you can go to even a human court and expect to win
your case. The "consideration" in God’s contract, is the precious
blood of Christ. Paul is here leading to the next verse, and he is
continuing the context of the Promise (Jesus Christ) given by God to
us all, expressed though Abraham, millennia in the past but valid
for you and me right now.
Verse 16. "Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to
his seed. He does not say, ‘And to seeds,’ as referring to many, but
rather to one, ‘And to your seed,’ that is, Christ."
That God is extending a contract to the human race, is shown
Scripturally in Genesis 12:3 and many other places. Paul points out
that through the "Seed" (singular) of Abraham (not "seeds" plural),
a blessing is given to the whole world. The "Seed", Paul is
demonstrating in these verses, is Jesus Christ. As stated, there are
no other "seeds" (plural).
The promise is NOT through Krishna, or Baal, or Buddha, or
Ishmael, or Mohammed, or any other pretender to this honor. God
extended a contract to and through father Abraham, and through his
son Isaac. The offer is made (Jesus was given), acceptance is
possible (you can say "yes" to Him), and the "consideration" (see
commentary on verse 15) is the precious blood of Jesus Christ. There
is no other way.
Verse 17. "What I am saying is this: the Law, which came
four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant
previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise."
Everything good In life starts with the grace of God. Our ability
to run, to think, to dream, to work, to love - all comes from His
grace, and without Him, we have nothing at all. Also note that any
accomplishments in this life are only temporary and deep inside, you
hunger for that which is lasting. You need that which is good,
wholesome and just - that which satisfies your soul. All this and
more is provided in Christ Jesus. Yes, we are saved to lives of good
works, but it all started with the grace of God, for we could not,
cannot, save ourselves.
God's promise of grace (unmerited favor) came BEFORE the Law
which was given 430 years AFTER grace was revealed in the life of
Abraham. Grace always comes before Law. All the promises of the Old
Testament are made possible by God on the cross of Christ. The Law
that we cannot keep has its reflection in the New Year’s resolution,
which we can't keep, either. Our standing with God always has been
by the grace of God. That was true for Abraham, David, Moses, and
for everybody else of this human race who ever lived.
Verse 18. "For if the inheritance is based on law, it is
no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by
means of a promise."
Abraham could not have kept the Law, even if it had been given in
his time. God has an inheritance set aside for all who will trust in
His promise, and Abraham certainly placed his trust in the Lord. All
this is possible in Christ, who is our ground of acceptance with
God. Note that the promise given to Abraham was not as clear to Him
as the knowledge we have, and therefore his faith is especially
interesting. God simply told him to "Go" and he "went".
Abraham knew less but he TRUSTED in God. It is very clear that
you are offered the promise of God in Christ. He is your substitute
and what you cannot do (save yourself) has been done in Jesus
Christ. He is your promise and you can either be like Abraham and
trust in God - or not. Rules and regulations (and your apparent
success in keeping them) won't help you - but Christ, your Promise,
will. Abraham had (and has) standing with God, and you can, too.
Verse 19. "Why the Law then? It was added because of
transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of
a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made."
This verse asks the wonderful question: If the Law does not save
you, then what PURPOSE does it serve? The answer is given as well –
The Law was added because of transgressions. It brands you and me as
sinners, in need of the grace and mercy of God! The Law is
wonderful, but what it really does is create a "Wanted Dead or
Alive" poster with your picture on it. We cannot keep the Law, and
it convicts you and me of sin.
The Law established an element of ORDER within the society of
humanity, and it holds forth until the "Seed" (Christ) came. Angels
were a part of the giving of the Law to mankind, and it came through
a mediator (Moses), as we see in the Book of Exodus. When we're
honest, we all know about the Law (even those who have not had it
told to them) for it is written In our hearts (Romans 2:15). We have
no excuse before God, and our only hope is forgiveness in Jesus
Verse 20. "Now a mediator is not for one party only;
whereas God is only one."
"It takes two to tango" is an old saying, and it also takes two
to make a contract. One makes an offer and the other has the right
to agree to the terms and conditions offered. Don Araiza sent an
email quoting John MacArthur, stating God’s contract is unique – We
are given everything in Christ and we have nothing to give in
return. God extended a Promise to Abraham, and mankind, through
Abraham, is offered that Promise. Moses was a mediator when the Law
was given, and Moses, like Abraham, was a "type" of Christ. That is,
their lives each show us something we need to know about the grace
of God in Christ.
We need a mediator. That is the role of a priest, to be God's
representative to his "flock", and also to assist them by taking
their needs to the Lord. Jesus Christ is the great Mediator between
God and man. You are no longer condemned by the Law when you trust
in Him, and He is continually taking your needs to the Father. God
is certainly "One" (there is no divisiveness within the Godhead),
and the God-man Jesus Christ is offering a contract (signed in His
blood) to you right now. You only have to say "yes" to Him.
Verse 21. "Is the Law then contrary to the promises of
God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to
impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on
The Law and the Promise don't nullify each other (aren’t
"contrary" to one another) at all. And that is because they simply
have two very different purposes in our lives. The Law condemns us.
If you have ever "coveted" (simply WANTED something or someone that
is not yours), you have broken the Law of God (the tenth
commandment). And James said, "whoever shall keep the whole Law, and
yet stumble in one point, he (or she) is guilty of all" (James
2:10). There is no such thing as a Law we can keep in the sight of
God, because we are sinners and lawless by nature.
We are like the condemned person on death row, with no
expectation possible except death, for the sentence has already been
pronounced on all mankind. But then, incredible and unspeakable news
comes to you in your death row cell: Someone has served your
sentence for you. He was killed in your place, and since the
sentence has been carried out and the necessary death has occurred,
there is no need to hold you any more - you are free! You have been
given LIFE and this is very different from the sentence of death you
were given before.
Verse 22. "But the Scripture has shut up everyone under
sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to
those who believe."
When you carefully read ALL the Holy Scriptures, written by men
but given by God, we find something that surprises many people: We
are all sinners in His sight. The "good" (there are no "good") and
bad alike are all condemned. "All have sinned and come short of the
glory of God" (1 Corinthians 3:23) and there is no escape for us
through any series of "good" acts we might think we can perform.
But there’s a wonderful purpose in all of this. When you
recognize your sin, you will become drawn to the very God who has
condemned you. You might turn in anger, hope, or raw need, but
sooner or later, you will address Him. If you are really blessed,
you’ll discover these verses at that time. You have a Promise, a
Gift, and His Name is Jesus Christ – You can come to him, confess
your sin and be forgiven. You can trust in Him and receive the
Promise of God by faith in Jesus Christ.
Verse 23. "But before faith came, we were kept in custody
under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be
The Law is like a guardian, a sentinel that keeps watch over you.
When you discover the Law and its precepts, you can’t become quite
the sinner you might have been, if left to your own devices for
society is protected by the Law from people like you and me. There
comes to us a guilt, a hesitant concern, a conscience that otherwise
might be lacking, because we have been under the custody of the Law.
It guarded you for a purpose. Think about the small child for a
moment. If left to his or her own devices, they would quickly get
into trouble. The child will eat the wrong foods, go to the wrong
places, and do the wrong things. Good parents are guardians that
protect children until they will (hopefully) mature sufficiently to
do right in and of themselves.
You and I are those small children in the sight of God. The Law
was given to protect us and lead us to a place where we might grow
to understand we need a Savior, and we have Him – His Name is Christ
Jesus! We were kept for Him. His work has now been revealed, and we
are JUSTIFIED (made just as if we had never sinned), when we place
our trust in Him.
Verse 24. "Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead
us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith."
The "tutor" or "schoolmaster" was a familiar figure to Greek and
Roman children. They were forbidding, stern and unkind, and unlike
today’s teachers, they were permitted to beat the children until
they decided to learn. Typical of them was Tyrannus (the tyrant) of
Ephesus (Acts 19:8), who placed fear into a whole generation of
The schoolmaster had a purpose – he wanted them to learn, as did
the parents, which was why the children were sent to him. The
children were to be removed from ignorance and delivered into a
place where they would thirst for knowledge. Similarly, the Law is
designed to take us out of unbelief and cause us to hunger for
justification through faith in Christ Jesus.
Verse 25. "But now that faith has come, we are no longer
under a tutor."
Faith is God’s gift to you and to me. We think of grace as God’s
work and faith as something we do, but that’s not precisely the way
it works. We are to "(Look) unto Jesus, the author and finisher of
our faith" (Hebrews 12:2), and we find that "faithfulness" is a gift
of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). We did not turn to Him
voluntarily at all, because we COULD NOT TURN, and we didn’t even
WANT to trust in Him.
Faith is unnatural because we want to do all this ourselves. We
want to do some "good" thing that would satisfy God and be done with
all of it. But it is Jesus who did the good thing, and our part is
to receive what He has done. "Yes, Lord Jesus", we breathe, and in
response we are given the faith to believe. And at precisely that
moment, we are no longer under the Law of sin and death (the "tutor"
given by God), for "faith has come" to you and me.
26. “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ
The issue in these verses is all about inheritance. Who can
inherit the promises of God? What are those promises? How do we
attain them? If you are a Christian, a Muslim, or a Jew, and follow
certain rules, will you please God and receive His promise? How
does one attain the Kingdom of God? The answer in these verses is
clear. We please God the Father only through faith in Jesus
Christ. That is, you cannot EARN His inheritance, but instead you
must trust (have faith) in His Son, who is offered as a free gift to
you and me.
Jesus lived a sinless life on this earth, and God the Father
found His life to be ACCEPTABLE. Adam was our original
representative, and when he fell, the whole race went with him.
Through Christ was tempted in all things (just like you and me),
there is a difference - Jesus did not sin. His life satisfies the
Holiness of God the Father, and if you have faith in Him (Jesus),
His righteousness is imputed to you, just as though you lived a
sinless life. That’s God’s grace, and it enables you, male or
female, to inherit as a “son of God through faith in Christ
Verse 27. “For as many of you as
were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
To be baptized is to die. That is the teaching of Romans 6:4 &
context, where Paul wrote, “We were buried with Him through baptism
into death.” We cannot live under water, and when we are thrust
under the waters of baptism, it is a picture of our death to this
life. Then we are lifted back into the atmosphere and we can
breathe once again, which is a picture of the new life we are given
in Christ Jesus. What we were is gone in Christ, for He gives us
new life, like nothing we have ever known before.
We are to “put on Christ.” Similar imagery is given in Ephesians
6:11-17, where Paul examines the armor of the Roman soldiers of his
time and describes our new life in Christ. We must “gird our waist
with truth,” have our “feet shod with the preparation of the gospel
of peace,” and so on. All of that activity is summed up in the
phrase “put on Christ.” Jesus taught in John 15:4, that we are to
“Abide in (Him).” We are rescued from spiritual death through this
new relationship in which we can “abide” in Christ. He is our armor
and we are safe in Him.
Verse 28. “There is neither Jew nor
Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor
female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
This verse is certainly good news. The Jews were justly pleased
with the special historical relationship they had with God. The
Greeks were deservedly happy about their reputation for intelligence
and for the understanding of philosophical ideas. But all have
fallen into sin and all need Christ. There is no ”Jew” or “Greek”
in the sight of God. Some slave away at jobs they don’t like and
others, in some parts of the world, are literally slaves. Others
think of themselves as “free” - but all need the Lord.
Historically and in many cultures, men have taken the place of
privilege and women have been left out. The good news is that we
are all one in the sight of God. Place your faith in Christ and you
have EVERYTHING in Him. God does not see you as “black” or
“Caucasian” or “male” or “female” or anything else. He sees you
just like He sees me – as someone in need of His Son. All who place
their faith in Jesus Christ are equally acceptable in the sight of
God. There is no difference for we all can inherit the Promise of
God; not only in eternity, but right now as well.
Verse 29. “And if you are Christ’s,
then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
The Jews made much of the fact that they were physically
descended from the patriarch Abraham (a.k.a. Abram). He was the
father (the progenitor) of a number of nationality groups, but it
was through his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob, that the Promise
of God was extended. Most of the Jews did not understand the
Promise, for this Promise has a name, and His Name is Jesus Christ.
It is so easy to think, “I am a Jew and that’s all I need.” Or, I
am a member of this church” or that group, and therefore, “I need
Actually, we must be changed inside, in order to become right
with God. What we need is what we are given in Jesus Christ – a new
birth, a second chance; to be “born again” as Jesus said to a
religious man named Nicodemus (John 3:3). If you are Christ’s; if
you have placed your trust in Him, you are indeed “born again”
through faith in Him. And if so, you belong to the Lord, and it
makes no difference who we are. You and I can be Abraham’s seed,
and heirs of God, according to the promise given in Christ.
Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries