Commentary on Galatians 3:23-29
In Galatians, Paul is dealing not with the philosophy of the Gentiles but the legalism of the Jewish followers. Despite the Jerusalem council in which it was agreed that Gentiles did not need to follow all of the kosher laws and traditions, there is still a strong argument being made that the only way to be a "good" Christian is to first be a "good" Jew in regards to the Torah. Paul, however, is writing against legalism and Jewish fundamentalism. For Paul, the sole purpose of the Torah is to reveal sin and the need for repentance. When faced with the magnitude of our sin and the great need for so much repentance, the sinner will be forced to admit that they can not save themselves and need help. It is at this point of conversion that the sinner surrenders to faith in Christ and receives justification. Once the person has accepted by faith Christ's redeeming and justifying grace, there is no need of the law. Why? Because of the person's total dependence not on their own righteousness but on the righteousness of Christ. Faith in Christ means living in Christ. Living in Christ means submitting to the will of Christ to love as we have been loved. There is no law against that love nor is there any cultural or racial distinction between that love. Jew, Greek, slave, free, male, or female all love as Christ has loved them. There is no distinction since all are the Body of Christ. The Law that drove them to repentance is no longer the focus, much like an invitation is no longer needed once the person has joined the party.
Galatians 3:28 “all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”
What separates and divides us today?
Is that which separates stronger than Jesus?
If it appears stronger, is that because Jesus or our faith is weak?
What would it mean if you sought unity because of Jesus?
What would you have to give up in order to find common ground?