Gal 3:26-29 “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 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. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
In rightly dividing the word of God, it is important to understand that Jesus Christ met every demand of a just God in atoning for our sins. He left nothing for us to do in order to dwell with our Father in Eternity. Eternal life is God’s gift to us (Rom 6:23). Our salvation, and the grace and faith that accompany it, is God’s gift to us (Eph 2:8). Our adoption is sealed by Jesus Christ according to the good pleasure of the Father’s will (Eph 1:5). Paul has established in this letter that all of this has come about by God’s covenant of promise and not by any work that we have done. We are the children of God according to His holy will and purpose.
How is it then that Paul is saying we are the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus? Is there, after all, something that we must do to live with Him in glory? Did Christ somehow fall a little short in securing our eternal salvation? God forbid that we should ever deem the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior as insufficient to accomplish the Father’s will. However, the scripture clearly teaches us that not all those that will live with Him in glory live to serve Him in this life.
All that will live with Him eternally are His children, but those that walk by faith in Jesus Christ here are blessed to manifest that relationship. It was this principle that moved John to write “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called [emphasis, mine] the sons of God (1Jn 3:1).” Paul was not contradicting himself here; by faith in Jesus Christ we manifest that we are the children of God here in this kingdom.
This relationship is made manifest in that we have been baptized into Christ. I am not taking anything away from being baptized with water, but I believe there is a deeper meaning here. It is obvious that we can be baptized into the membership of a congregation by being fully immersed in water, and yet not be fully immersed in Christ. It is in being fully immersed in Christ that we manifest our relationship with God. Being full immersed in Christ makes profound changes in our daily living.
If we have been baptized into Christ, then we have put on Christ. We are arrayed or endued (furnished, supplied) with Christ. We are uniformly clothed with that which identifies us as His disciples and the children of God our Father. When we are clothed with Christ, we no longer see the differences that seem to be so important to the natural man. Once we are clothed with Christ, we cover the difference between Jew and Gentile, bond and free, male and female. Christ cannot hate Himself; Christ cannot be prejudiced against Himself; Christ will not demand more from Himself. Christ is sufficient, and when we are baptized in Him we recognize that sufficiency in ourselves and others!
Being immersed in Christ and clothed in Christ brings us back to Paul’s theme throughout this letter. If we are Christ’s, we are Abraham’s seed. If we are Abraham’s seed, then we are heirs according to the promise that God made to Abraham. We are recipients of the blessing that touches all families of the earth (Gen 12:3). The difference is that the exercise of our faith in Christ (which comes through the Holy Ghost – see Joh 14:23) gives us the comfort of knowing our Redeemer, knowing that He lives, and having the confidence in Him to say so!
May we rejoice in the manifest relationship to God, our Father, through our reliance upon Christ for salvation (see Strong’s definition of the word translated as faith)!