We are dealing with a profoundly serious issue in this letter to disciples of Jesus Christ and it happens to be a matter not readily read and understood today. We are in Galatians Chapter 3 and verse 21 and moving on into Chapter 4.
Do you see what would have happened if circumcision had come back into the Church of Jesus Christ - and then sitting at separate tables had come back in – and then other legalistic behaviour and rituals had been allowed to creep in? This has actually happened and many are totally unaware of the dangers.
Do not think this to be so very strange and impossible in our day and age! In Cowdenbeath Cairns Church, the Coal Company owners worshipped there. In Cowdenbeath West Church, where I was, the coal miners could worship!
Paul would have roasted that situation. Both have now gone! Interesting!
What is Paul saying here? Do see what happened when you were baptised? You were immersed in Christ, and when you came up out of the water you were clothed with Christ, or wrapped in Christ.
The water enclosed you and Christ enclosed you!
When a Roman boy became a son - not just a child but a son - a young man - father would hold out a new robe - a new toga. It was called the toga virulas - it was like when we were around 12 or 13 and we were allowed our first pair of long trousers!
God the Father is saying - now child - put HIM on - be clothed in Christ Jesus.
Now I do not understand all of this, but I know it to be real. In one sense we are all sons - all engrafted into Israel – all free – because we are the seed of Abraham.
We are one body in Christ. That does not mean we are all free to do the same thing and anything we want. Every part of the body is different - but there is one body.
So what place does the Ten Commandments have today? They are like a guardian leading me to Jesus Christ. I know I cannot keep them, but today we have Jesus who forgives and sets free and imparts JOY.
Look at 3 verse 24 - "the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith." (KJV) The word there is paidagogos - a school master - or a strict guardian - or a nanny - given full control over me – having received delegated authority.
At that time, they got an older slave - to look after their children. They walked the children to school and they had full authority to punish the child until around the age of 13 or 14 - then the father took over.
I am going back to John's Gospel. We have read of Peace, and being set free by the truth of God. Look at Chapter 16:19 to 24. I have never seen anyone become filled with joy through keeping the Commandments, but being filled with the Holy Spirit – Ah, that is different. Galatians is such a practical relevant letter!
“Loving Father, we thank you for Your Holy Word – we thank You for the Bible – speak to us from the pages of Scripture that word we so need to hear.” Amen.
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