Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Inside and outside

Last night at our church prayer meeting I shared a few thoughts from Galatians 3v26-4v7. I wasn't really as clear as I'd want to be about the content of one of my favourite passages in this amazing letter.

By faith in Christ anyone can be a son of God! (v26)

How? Because, v27, you've put on Christ. On the outside you're wearing Christ. So all external differences don't count (28). Moreover, v29, belonging to Christ we become classed as Abraham's offspring. This is very big. Previously Paul made a very big deal over there being only one offspring of Abraham (3v16). That meant all God's promises only came to one person, Christ. But if you're wearing Christ then that's you too! When God the Father looks at the Christian he sees Jesus the Son. So the inheritance of all things comes to Christians in Christ.

Second thing, 4v1-7. By faith in Christ we're sons - by his death that redeems us from slavery to sonship. Being sons God has sent "the Spirit of his Son" into our hearts. The Spirit who says "Abba, Father" which is what sons say (Christians can join in saying the same - see Romans 8 - but here it is the Spirit doing the talking). When God the Father listens to the Christian he hears the Spirit saying what you expect Jesus the Son to say. So the inheritance of all things comes to Christians in Christ.

Inside and outside the Christian is basically Christ. In Christ, by faith in Christ.
Christian, who are you? A son!


  1. I'm really enjoying your blog, thanks for another helpful post. What a wonderful truth, and what wonderful grounds for assurance. Recently I've been musing though... we talk a lot about having our identity in Christ, but how do we in practice fit this together with the idea that God has created us as a hugely diverse bunch of people in his image and is redeeming us through many different journeys of faith (though through the same gospel of Christ)? How do we prevent the tendency to press everyone to become clones in our christian sub-culture?

  2. Good question. I guess I'd want to say that whilst there is now no "jew or greek, slave or free etc" - there obviously is.

    That's to say - the diversities and differences are there but instead of being reasons to bite and devour and divide they are things to celebrate... none is better than another in Christ.

    We don't have to quash the differences, grace allows us to unite and love and celebrate our diversities because we're united in the gospel.