Thursday, December 30, 2010

Children of God

Children of God

Galatians 3: 26-29 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,  for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

 Paul has just got through explaining to the Galatians that they were foolish for going back to things of the Law such as circumcision because if you did, he said, you needed to keep the whole Law and not just one part. He goes on to state that if they did so, then faith would not be of any benefit to them.  This sets up a tension on the need for the Law at all. Paul explains that the Law was necessary in order to shut up sin. The Law was our guardian until grace appeared but once grace has come through faith we are released from the guardianship of the Law.

Then Paul gives us the beautiful pericope. Let us look at this in more detail.

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,  for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

There are people today who believe that we are all children of God because we are all human beings and humans were made by God therefore we are all His children.  While it is true we were all made by God and all of us bear the image of God, albeit deformed and mangled because of sin and its effects, it certainly is not true, Biblically speaking, that we are all Children of God.  This phrase is reserved only for people who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and who have been born again. For example, when Jesus' disciples asked him how to pray, Jesus famously told them in Matthew 6:8-10 "Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This, then, is how you should pray:    Our Father in heaven,  hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,  your will be done,  on earth as it is in heaven'... ."  People also like to call God their 'Father', but that word is reserved only for believers as the Lord's Prayer clearly states. Do not be fooled.  It is a hard thing, but there is a great difference between true believers and their relationship with God and between unbelieving humanity and their relationship with God.  The relationship will be even more distinct during the end of days.  True children of God are distinguished through their faith in Jesus Christ, as Paul points out.

 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Once we have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are equals.  The Jew is equal to the Gentile...the slave is equal to the free person...the pastor is equal to the laity. There is no difference in God's eyes once we become His children. The Cross is the Great Equalizer. And praise the Lord for this! But wait...because we are all equal we must realize that this goes both ways now.  No longer can we point to someone and say, 'They should have been doing this or that..'.  Now it is all our responsibility too to do "This or That". Certainly we all have different gifts, but those to not exempt us from doing the things of the Kingdom.  We must all bear witness to Jesus in our lives to other people.  We must all defend the faith. We must all love one another. No, there is not exemption here.  No easy way out. We must all pick up our cross daily and follow Jesus.

If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

 Oh the promises of God!  All the promises made to Abraham's seed are for everyone who is born again through Jesus Christ.  Why? Because we are adopted into the family! And what a glorious family we have!

Are you part of this family?  Will you enjoy all the benefits of being a child of the Lord of Lords and King of Kings?  If you are not, why not? Well I am, and would certainly love to call you brother or sister!

Blessings All!

--El