Galatians 3:23-29 (NLT) God’s Children through Faith
Intro: In our passage today, the Apostle Paul is teaching the Church at Galatia about the law and God’s true purpose for setting it into place—to teach humanity the need for salvation. There is some confusion as to whether or not the Gentiles [non-Jews] have to obey the Jewish rituals and certain laws in order to be saved. There were three categories of laws: Ceremonial law, Civil law, and Moral law. These new believers are struggling to comprehend the difference between faith and legalism, so Paul brings clarity.
23 Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed.
24 Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. 25 And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian [because that is now the Spirit’s job].
26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.
This is meaningful to understand, because we can all make faith about attending church and honoring certain things we deem sacred, but faith is really about becoming the redeemed and obedient sons and daughters of God. By faith [a gift from God], we receive Christ and new life. He brings us freedom from sin and makes us right with God. Because we cannot keep the law [in our own strength], we welcome the Holy Spirit who now writes God’s moral law upon our hearts and brings the power to honor it. Yes, we still need to obey God’s moral law because it reveals our need to wholeheartedly love God and love our neighbors as we love ourselves. We know what is righteous and what is unrighteous because of Jesus—the Living Word of God. Now, we are free to love and serve one another. We can carry one another’s burdens, and we can share life together to help one another grow in our relationships with God. In Christ, we are all the same and share the same inheritance of grace. May we learn to love one another deeply in Christ.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for new life and the new clothes of your righteousness you have prepared for me to wear. Help me to love others deeply and make myself available to help them connect to you and your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.