Who does what God wants?
Paul takes actual categories of social situations and shows us how we can all be equal and one in Christ.
Yet in our day we all create all sorts of categories that define us, and thus divide us. (Therefore, not surprisingly, an “us” vs. “them” will not change people. Jesus changes people.)
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“Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book.” —Marcus Cicero (1st Century AD)
“Jesus says in the gospel that everyone is wrong, everyone is loved, and everyone is called to recognize this and change.”
—Tim Keller (The Prodigal God)
“Yet there is another righteousness, far above the others, which Paul calls ‘the righteousness of faith’—Christian righteousness.
God imputes it to us apart from our works—in other words,
it is passive righteousness, as the others are active.
For we do nothing for it, and we give nothing for it. We only receive it.”
—Martin Luther, preface of Commentary on Galatians (trans.)
Galatians 3:15-29 (ESV)
15 To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. 16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. 17 This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. 18 For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.
19 Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. 20 Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one.
21 Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law.22 But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.