Longing for Home: An Advent Journey, 2016 — Day Nineteen

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Psalm 80:1-7
2 Samuel 7:1-17
Galatians 3:23-29

Galatians 3:23-29

Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.

Ah, yes! One of the sweetest passages of all! Paul does such amazing work in these few verses, honing down the gospel truth to this powerful statement. The law was necessary, Paul says — it served as a guard for us, a ‘prison’ of sorts, putting parameters around our behavior. But the law was imperfect. Until the Perfect came and lived among us.

The coming of Jesus brings a special kind of freedom to those who choose to pay attention. “In Christ Jesus, you ARE ALL children of God through faith.” There it is, plain and simple.

But never easy.

Taking in this truth is a lifelong process, learning to believe that we are now ‘clothed with Christ,’ that we are all one, that we belong. Do you catch the cataclysmic shift in thinking/behavior/worldview/attitude/disposition/rule of life that such thinking requires? 

So as I read these words today, in the second half of the second decade of the twenty-first century, I still have to ask the Spirit of God to help me make the transition from the discipline/guardedness of the Law to the remarkable freedom/unity/equality found by living the life of faith in Christ Jesus. 

This is revolutionary stuff, my friends. And if we believe it, if we live it, everything changes. Everything. We can no longer tolerate abusive and disparaging language about any group — any race, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, religious persuasion. If those of us who believe in Christ are one, then every other person on this planet has the potential to be one with us in Him. Period. There is no room for racism/sexism/classism/xenophobia/snobbery/prejudice of any kind. None.

I don’t think we’re there yet. Do you? But I have hope! And I count on the power of the Holy Spirit and the prayers of God’s people to help us move toward this picture painted by Paul’s words in the glorious epistle to the Galatians!

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Comments

  1. This is one of my favorite passages, too, Diana. And now, we’re not there yet, but God continues to grow us in His ways when we lean into Him.
    Blessings!

  2. If the people of God truly lived by the principles of love and unity, racism/sexism/classism/xenophobia/
    snobbery/prejudice would surely be greatly reduced. Yes–Let’s rely on the Holy Spirit to empower us!
    Yes–Let’s pray to that end! Paul did paint a glorious picture of the outcome!

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