Galatians 3:28 “The Unity”

Meditations in Galatians #20
Galatians 3:28   “The Unity”
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Father, I have always thought of this as a reference to our future resurrected reality. The only other place I know where this subject comes up is when Jesus said to the Sadducees that “there neither male nor female in the resurrection.” And Paul seems to be quoting Jesus here.   

But Paul is saying that to the degree that we are united with Jesus now, in this life, there is nothing that should seperate us. Since we have become children of God through Him, and have “put on” Jesus so that He lives through us, we are to live as if these obvious natural distinctions no longer exist, at least in spiritual things.

I know that when Paul talks to slaves and masters, he doesn’t demand that anything be changed, except their attitudes. Christian slaves and Christian slave owners were to relate to each other through Christ first, and according to the natural world second. And neither Jew nor Greek have to deny their own natural family bloodlines and heritage, but there could no longer be any division between them in their hearts. They are now both temples of the same Holy Spirit.  And even today there is still much tension concerning the association of gender with specific roles in any culture, but I am sure that even Paul would say that we are to relate to each other with such respect and concern and understanding due to our unity in Christ that even the natural biological differences between us must also be secondary. And I can see this applying to any kind of difference we naturally perceive, such as education, intelligence, maturity, wealth, upbringing, age, culture, race, ability of any kind or perceived variation in status. I am also sure that Paul would  never apply this unity to any anyone demonstrating any willful Christ-denying behavior, values or identity.

So our unity is through our common experience of co-crucifixion with Jesus, not through religious values, political values, or even through any kind of general love of humanity. And this even excludes relatives who reject Christ. We must never act disrespectfully toward anyone, but we will never have this kind of unity with those who are still too religious to carry their own cross. Our unity is not with human “selfs” but with Christ in others. This kind of unity cannot be experienced by anything within us that is still mortal. 

Lord, I can see why Paul would want the Galatians to be spiritually re-united as they work they way out of the jam they have gotten themselves into. And perhaps this is one of the keys to any real “revival.”  We become more united in our hearts as we learn or re-learn to “put on” Jesus by our co-crucifixion (spiritual baptism) with Him. This is the only way for us to come to know each other spiritually, and not just with our thoughts and feelings in the natural ways. 

I long to be known this way. I long to know others this way.  Father, this is Your Spirit’s work. I trust You and hope to perceive Your Spirit’s actions as You draw us to You through each other, and to each other through You.