“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.” (Gal. 3:28)
There is that phrase again, “in Christ Jesus.” So much hinges on being in Christ Jesus. In verse 28 we learn that oneness occurs in Christ. We know for a fact that it doesn’t occur in the natural world anywhere. There is enmity between races, between classes, between sexes and any other difference you care to name. It is only in Jesus that all individual distinctions are unimportant.
Jesus calls all men to Him. He bestows His Spirit on everyone who comes to Him in trusting, saving faith. Righteousness is given by our Lord, not on the basis of who we are or who we know. Skin tone doesn’t matter and neither does social status. Kings and peasants are the same in the eyes and heart of Jesus. And here is an important one, prior status in relation to sin doesn’t matter. Whether you thought of yourself as a Goodie-two-shoes or the world’s worst sinner (like Paul) Jesus accepts you equally the same.
The Galatian churches were like many in the Roman world at the time. Their membership was composed of Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, both sexes and some were probably in slavery. It was a world in which all of these things mattered to the society of Asia Minor. Many of them still matter in our world, unfortunately. They even matter to some Christians, I’m ashamed to say.
The church must adopt the attitude of Jesus. Our fellowships should echo the teaching of Jesus. I’m sure you are familiar with the words of James in the second chapter of his book. “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory,” (2:1). And, “But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors,” (2:9). In between the two verses, James gives clear examples.
Every child of God, regardless of their individual characteristics have the same blessings from the same Lord because of the same righteousness. Each child of God became a disciple of Jesus in the same way. They all manifested faith which led them to die to the old life and live a new life in Christ.
If there is any doubt in your mind about how the Jews, Gentiles, slaves, freemen, rich, poor, males and females became one please go back and read the comments on verse 27. All who are in Christ Jesus got into Him the same way. Otherwise, God would be a respecter of persons and we know that is not true. The terms of God’s gift of salvation are the same for everyone. Faith that saves is the key to righteousness and oneness.
Task for Today: Spend a little time in James chapter two. Keep in mind that all that partiality included us before God made us one in Christ. Remember who you were as you go into the world today and who you have become. Show the same partiality to others that God showed you. All His children are your brothers and sisters.