TEXT:  Gal. 3:26- 28.

St. Paul was surprised to hear that some members of the Galatian Church were turning to false teachers and were taking to their teachings after all he had done to establish them in the faith of Christ.

The teachers were teaching the Church to comply with the Jewish laws thereby making the law to be superior to faith in Christ.  Such law was the keeping of the Sabbath, observance of Passover etc. (Gal. 1:6-7)

St. Paul therefore, tried to remind them of what faith in Christ had done for them which the law did not and could not do. He as well reminded them of the new status their faith in Christ had placed them.

Law does not justify but faith.

The law came with a curse (vs. 13).  Those who live under it are still under its curse.  But Christ had redeemed us, and delivered us from its curse, by going to the cross.

By faith we become children of God. Those who live under the law are not children but servants.

Moses himself was described as Servant of God. Joshua 1:2

But those who live by faith in Christ are not servants but children of God.

Furthermore, those who are baptized into Christ have put on Christ. The lives they live are lived in Christ. By putting on Christ, they became one with their fellow members in the body of Christ. This could never be achieved under the law.  Law separates.

In the Jewish Temple there is this separation, it has the court of Gentiles. Gentiles have limitation in the level they can stay or reach in the Temple.  This is followed by the Court of Women, Hall of Israelites, Hall of Priests and Holy of Holies for the High Priest.

One of the prayers of a Jewish man is “God I thank You for not making me a woman”

Paul in our text is telling the Church, that going back to the law will do lots of injustice and bring setbacks and disunity to the body of Christ.

Already through their new life in Christ, both the Jew’s and Gentiles meet together at the Lords table to break Bread. In Christ, we are one body.

For by one Spirit, we are all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or frees, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13)

That we are one in Christ does not change the fact that we belong to different social strata.  But this social distinction means nothing to us and that they are immaterial, we are all one in Christ united for common purpose which is to preach Christ and to declare the glory of God.

Unfortunately, the Church has fallen short of this identity.  We are very much divided on different social lines: such are ethnicity, educational and other social classes.

It is evident that we are not yet there and by implication it is a sign that most of us are still in the flesh. One of the works of the flesh is sedition which is incitement against authority in words or action. It is incitement to bring disunity.

Beloved, if we are truly regenerated, it will not be difficult for us to receive other believers in Christ and see them as our brothers/sisters in Christ.  It will not be difficult to love them with the love of Christ and be at peace and in unity with one another.

You may want to ask, what of those who opposes us? They are to be regarded as still in flesh; we are to keep praying for them.

 

Very Revd Adewale Adebiyi Ph.D

The Provost

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