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Faith Has Come

Paul finishes up chapter three by giving us the results and benefits of faith in Christ versus being under the law.  This is how he combats the false teachers he has been under attack from.

Paul begins by saying Before faith came.  The first thing we have to determine is what faith he is talking about.  Here Paul is writing about a specific faith.  Paul is saying  that before one comes to know Christ and is part of the Christian faith.

Before coming to the Christian faith, We, by which Paul means the Jews, were kept in custody under the law being shut up to the faith which was later to  be revealed.  It as though Paul is referring to the Law as a prison where he and his fellow Jews were kept and shut up until the Christian faith was revealed through the work of Christ.  It has now been revealed, so there is no reason to be kept up in the prison any longer.  The indication is that now there is freedom in Christ.

Paul uses another analogy to prove his point.  Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ so that we may be justified by faith.  The picture we get from the word tutor is of a slave who has charge of a free man’s child.  They have total control over their well-being.  They take the child to school.  They discipline them.  They are much like a nanny or governess that we would see on television or the movies.  They have total control over the child’s life.  The job they perform?  It is to lead to the point of having faith in Christ.

Paul next describes the new reality of faith.  For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.  If effect what Paul is saying is that since they have come to faith, they no longer need the tutor.  They no longer need to be in custody.  They are now of age.  They do not need what the custody and the tutor brings.  They are free through Christ.

Another result is since they were baptized into Christ they have clothed yourselves with Christ.  Once they have come to faith in Christ, they wear the clothes of a free man instead of a slave.

What does it look like to be clothed in Christ? There is neither Jew not Greek.  In faith, there is no uncircumcised Gentile.  There is no sub-human Jew.  There is neither slave nor free man.  Social statuses are dissolved in faith.  There is neither male nor female.  In faith, one sex is not superior to another.  Why does all of this happen?  For you are all one in Christ Jesus.  None of this means that there are no nationalities, social statuses or sexual differences.  It simply means that in Christ, everyone is equal to each other.  This is a radical thought in Paul’s time.  In many ways, this is radical in our time today.

And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants heirs according to the promise.  Paul emphasizes again that, by faith in Christ, the Galatians are Abraham’s descendants and obtain the promise.  This does not happen by keeping the Law.

What are out takeaways from this?

1.  We are sons of God.  How?  By faith, not Law.

2.  We are one with other Christians.  There is no hierarchy in the faith.

3.  We are heirs.  We inherit, through Christ, the promises made to Abraham.

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