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New Clothes; No Boundaries

New Clothes; No Boundaries

Words of Faith 5-30-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Galatians 3

     [26] You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, [27] for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. [28] There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. [29] If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

 

     What is the result of this fantastic covenant of faith that began with Abraham? The most beautiful thing is that all who believe in Christ become children of God and are clothed with Christ. Pretty incredible clothing, don't you think?

       All who are baptized by His Spirit through faith are clothed with Christ, and this clothing looks the same on everyone. None is fancier than another.

     The Galatians, as believers, were not under the tutoring of the Law and would be moving backward if they went under that inferior status of dependence upon the Law. As "adult children," they were now in a living union with Christ Jesus.

       But there was more to this good news. Believers in Christ Jesus and His finished work of justification are now all one in Christ Jesus. This is the Kingdom of God. No ranks. No special standing. All are of the highest status because of the love and Grace of Jesus. We cannot be esteemed more highly.

       All believers become one with each other in Christ Jesus. The social distinctions that the world thinks of as most important-- race, gender, ethnicity, and economic status-- lose all significance.

       The distinction of Jew and Greek (Gentile) was obliterated by the work of Jesus. This was huge in the ancient world. The position or rank of a person in society was no longer relevant. A believing slave did not rank higher than a believing free person, and a believing man was not superior to a believing woman. This was a necessary change since some Jewish men had regularly prayed, "I thank God that Thou hast not made me a Gentile, a slave, or a woman."

       In the covenant of righteousness by faith, no one is ranked above another. No one is spiritually superior over another. There is not a higher rank for those who once obey the Law and practices Judaism.

       So what is the significance of this for us today?

       Well, we still struggle with this same stuff. The sad reality is that even in the circles of the redeemed, we humans still struggle with divisions, and we tend to assign or claim "spiritual rank" or social standing between people. These prejudices and divisions are not reflective of the Kingdom of God. They are the residue of our broken human condition and an expression of our flesh, our sin nature.

       The truth is that any time that we treat another human being as less than another because of race, age, ethnicity, gender or social "ranking," we are operating in the flesh, and, according to the world rather than the Kingdom. This is not just a text about believers because we never know who God is calling out of darkness to be the light. Any person that we encounter is to be regarded without prejudice or bigotry.

       And within the Body? There are no ranks in the Body of believers in Christ. No one is higher or lower. None is more righteous or less. All are saved only by faith in the Grace of Jesus.

         We are not to show deference to the wealthy or influential. Jesus didn't. He allowed the rich young ruler to walk away rather than compromise the truth (Lk. 18:23-24).

         We are not to give better treatment based upon social standing or play favorites. As James wrote: "If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts (2:3-4)?

         We recognize that the Holy Spirit does not favor some over others. God said: "'In the last days I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy" (Acts 2:17-18).

 

         Father God, help me to live and love by Kingdom values recognizing Your amazing Grace extended to all sorts of people of all different background, ages, and races. Help me to celebrate the wonder of Your love. In Jesus' Name.

 

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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