Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
Having stated his case, Paul is now moving to the climax of his letter in this section that begins with 3:22 and continues through 4:7. You’ll see his tone change from frustration to concern as we go, but first, you’ll see the grandeur of what it means to be in Christ.
In these three verses, note that Paul is giving an explanation of the role that the Law played as a “guardian.” That’s an interesting way to explain it, don’t you think? A “guardian” isn’t a permanent arrangement, for when the ‘child’ is grown, he or she moves into a new time in their lives. When the time came, God sent Jesus to His people, and Jesus changed everything; their older “arrangement” was ended and a new one began in the form of a new covenant.
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Look at the result of this New Covenant− Wow, how many old traditionalist teachings can you slay in one little passage?
Oh, sorry about that last bit…
Everything is new in Christ! All of us are now children of God, not just the physical relations of Abraham. Now that we have been baptized into Christ, we have been clothed with Christ. We have been baptized into Christ, haven’t we…? There is neither Jew nor Gentile… for the former “arrangements” that created the separation is gone. There is neither slave nor free, for that was also a huge divider of people; we are now one no matter what our station in earthly life might be. Ready for this next one? Are you sure about that…?
There is now no male and female, and don’t waste a moment of your time listening to the old-fashioned culture taught as though it was from the Bible, for it is not from the Bible. In God’s eyes, there is no particular distinction between the sexes, because we are one in Christ. “If you belong to Christ” comes next and is a conditional statement. That is where the new dividing line is; some are “in Christ” and some are not. That’s why we are called to reach out to those who are not, so that they can receive these awesome blessings… thus reaching out is an act of amazing love. If we belong to Christ, then we are Abraham’s seed for the purpose of His Covenant promises.
Funny isn’t it, that some who belong to Christ still want to run back to the Law?
Let’s see where Paul takes it from here next time…