“All the Children of God
“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:26-29)
Under the legal Mosaic dispensation there were many distinctions. The Jews were distinguished above all nation of the world, as God’s chosen people, to whom alone he had given the revelation of his Word. Masters were more highly favored than servants. And men were more greatly honored than women, even in the worship of God. But with the coming of this new, gospel dispensation, all these things were changed.
This change was very
difficult for many in the early church to accept, just as it is difficult for
many of our day to accept. For many it is very difficult to realize that
God no longer blesses the nation of
For others, it is extremely difficult to accept the fact that all of God’s children are equally his sons and daughters. Some suppose that the Christians of the gospel age will have a peculiar advantage over the believers of the Old Testament. Others are of the opinion that some Christians will have greater blessings in heaven than their redeemed brethren.
These erroneous opinions arise because of a failure to understand that all the blessings of God in Christ Jesus are free grace gifts procured for all of the elect by the blood of the Savior. Our standing before God is not one of merit, but of grace. Our rewards are not because of our efforts, but by Christ’s obedience unto death as our Substitute. They are things earned and bought for us by our Redeemer. This is true of saints in the Old Testament as well as those of the New. The reward of Abraham’s faith is Jesus Christ, and he alone is the reward of our faith.
In this age of “political correctness” and “multiculturalism” almost everyone gives lip-service to the notion that all men are one and pretends that he is free of prejudice. But it is nothing more than lip-service. Every nation in the Western world has tried, for the past fifty years, to legislate social oneness, abolishing racial and social barriers between men. But it has not worked. Though most everyone pretends otherwise, the barriers are bigger and the racial and social prejudices in society are worse than ever.
There is only one place in the universe where the color of a
person’s skin, the measure of his wealth or poverty, the amount of his
education or lack of education, is absolutely irrelevant. That place is the
All God’s elect are one with Christ and one in Christ. All are equal before God in him. All are accepted in the Beloved, only in the Beloved, fully in the Beloved, and equally in the Beloved. And all have an equal inheritance in him, secured by the blood with which he obtained eternal redemption for us.
“The Church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord;
She is His new creation
By water and the Word.
From Heaven he came and sought her
To be his holy bride;
With his own blood he bought her,
And for her life he died.
Elect from every nation,
Yet one o’er all the earth,
Her charter of salvation,
One Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy name she blesses,
Partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses
With every grace endued.”
In this third chapter of Galatians, Paul is showing us the advantages of this gospel dispensation over the Mosaic age. Under the gospel dispensation, we enjoy a clearer revelation of divine grace and mercy than the Jews did under the Old Testament economy. More than this, we are also freed from the state of bondage under the law and the terror it imposed. In the gospel age we are no longer treated as children who are minors, but as full-grown sons. And being sons of full age, we are granted greater freedoms and privileges than those of the old dispensation. In the verses before us this Paul shows us our privileges as the children of God.
“Ye are all the children of God.” ― All believers are the children of God. We all have one heavenly Father. We are all redeemed by one great Redeemer. We all have one Elder Brother ― Christ. We are all born again, sealed and indwelt by one Holy Spirit, our blessed Comforter. All who are taught of God live by “one faith.” We are all married to one Husband ― the Lord Jesus Christ. All believers make up one singular body of Christ, “the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”. We are one church universal (John ; Eph. ; Heb. ).
Paul tells us that we are “the children of God.” We are God’s children by adoption (Gal. 4:6-7; Eph. 1:5; 1 John 3:1). Every believer possesses all the rights and privileges of full-grown sons. We were adopted as sons in eternity, in electing love, by the free and sovereign grace of our God, and brought into the enjoyment of adoption when God the Holy Spirit gave us faith in Christ.
We are “the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” Here Paul’s emphasis does not lie in the eternal act of God, but in our receiving God’s gracious gift by faith. Faith does not make us God’s children, it simply receives the gift of sonship (John ). The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirits that we are the sons of God when he gives us faith in Christ (Gal. 4:6). In adoption we receive the title “sons of God.”
Faith in Christ does not make us the children of God. That is
God’s work alone. God the Father predestinated his elect to the adoption of
children, giving us all the blessings of adoption in the covenant of grace
before the world began. God the Son, our all-glorious Christ made a way for us
to receive and enjoy this incalculable boon of grace by redeeming us at
Paul compares the Jews of the Mosaic age to children still under a schoolmaster and believers in this gospel age to children who have reached the age of maturity. We are no longer children under the law as our schoolmaster, but full grown children, led and taught by the Spirit of God. Our Lord Jesus said, quoting Isaiah 54:13, “they shall be all taught of God” (John ; Jer. 31:34). Being taught of God, we no longer need the law as our schoolmaster ((Heb. ; ).
We read in verse 27 ― “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Paul is not teaching that we get to be in Christ by the act of water baptism, or that God’s elect are mysteriously baptized into Christ by the Holy Spirit. The Word of God nowhere teaches either of those things. The simple meaning of this statement is that all who are rightly baptized, that is baptized as believers, looking to Christ alone for all grace and salvation were baptized into Christ and have put on Christ symbolically, professing themselves to be his. All who are immersed in the waters of baptism as believers thereby publicly confess that they are his and that they are one with him.
Believer’s baptism is that which our Lord Jesus commands of all his disciples. It is “the answer of a good conscience toward God” (1 Pet. ). Baptism is rightly performed and its end properly answered, when a person, being conscious that it is the ordinance of Christ and his duty to submit to it, does do so upon profession of his faith in Christ, in obedience to his command, confessing him as Lord and Savior and symbolically confessing his union with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection as our Substitute (Rom. 6:3-4; Col. 2:11-12). By this public confession of faith, all who are baptized are united in one body ― the body of Christ, in one cause ― the glory of Christ, and to one another. It is this union of faith in the body of Christ by this “one baptism” that Paul uses in Ephesians 4:3-6 as a reason why we should ever endeavor “to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
There are certain duties to be performed in the body of Christ. Because of this there are some distinctions in performance. Pastors are given to be spiritual teachers and rulers in the church (Eph. ; Heb. 13:7, 17). Deacons are given to serve the carnal, material needs of the church. Each member Jew and Gentile, male and female, black and white) has his proper function in his own realm of responsibility. Yet, there are no class distinctions to be permitted in the body of Christ. In Christ the old, worldly lines of separation are all blotted out. All who are in Christ are one in Christ and equal before God, possessed of one character; accepted in one way; belonging to one family; under one head ― Christ; and equally entitled to all the blessings of grace and privileges of sonship through him. All God’s church is one person, as it were, “one new man” (Eph ) of which Christ is the head. All, without regard to race, blended into one whole. That is the meaning of Paul’s words in verse 28. ― “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”
“And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and
heirs according to the promise” (v. 29). ― Since we are Christ’s, the
Father’s gift to him, the purchase of his own blood, his by the power of his
grace, making us willing to give up ourselves to him, since Christ dwells in our
hearts by faith, all who are born of God are “Abraham’s seed.”
Obviously, faith in Christ does not make us Abraham’s natural seed. Rather, we
are Abraham’s spiritual seed, the seed that should come, to whom the promises
were made, (, 19). All who believe on
the Lord Jesus Christ make up that one “holy nation” and “royal
priesthood” (1 Pet. 2:5-9) called, “the
Being Abraham’s seed, we are “heirs according to the promise.”
All who are born of God are the children of the promise, which are counted for
the seed. All who are born of God are the promised seed, the redeemed seed (Ps.
; Isa. 53:10-11; Heb. ), and the righteous seed (
The foundation of this union of believers is the blood of Christ (1 Cor. 3; Eph. 2). If we are one in reality, let us demonstrate oneness in Spirit (Phil. 2:1-4). May God our Father give us grace to “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith (we) are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Eph. 4:1-6).
Our hearts in Christian love!
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.
Before our Father’s throne
We pour our ardent payers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one,
Our comforts and our cares.
We share our mutual woes,
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.
When we asunder part
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.”