In a world more deeply divided than I can recall in my lifetime, it was a gift today to be reminded that, among those who believe in Jesus, no worldly divisions remain; we are one in Christ.
In Galatians 3 Paul walks his readers through this logic brilliantly:
- We received the Spirit when we believed what we heard about Jesus as our Savior, not by the works we did to comply with the law.
- Those who rely on the law are under a curse because Scripture says, “The righteous will live by faith” (Habakkuk 2:4). The law does not rely on faith, but on actions taken to uphold the law.
- God’s promise was made to “Abraham and his seed,” and that seed, singular, is the person of Jesus.
- God provided the law as a guardian until Christ’s coming, so that we might recognize our inability to comply with it and have hearts softened to receive the grace offered by Jesus.
All that is required to be saved is belief in Jesus. All who believe are one in Christ. We have been adopted as children of God into his family. All the differences that existed among us under the law have been erased.
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.Galatians 3: 27-29
It struck me this morning that this is where change begins.
We who have received this beautiful, new, transcendent identity are called to live it out boldly before a world in darkness. “They will know we are Christians by our love”…but do they?
Far too often we live as if we are still of the world, rather than simply in it; falling back into our former identity in the flesh, rather than living fully as a new creation in Christ Jesus.
I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.Galatians 2:2
So as you dress this morning, be sure to first and foremost clothe yourself in Christ. Remember who you are in Christ and also be mindful of your brothers and sisters in Christ. As we come together as one family, Christ’s light is amplified to shine his peace and light and hope in a dark world. Amen.
Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name–the name you gave me–so that they may be one as we are one.John 17:11