3:26-29–Paul Explains the “Sonship” of the Believer


VERSE 26:  The Blessing of Adoption
“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”

         “For ye are all the children of God”
         Literally:  “For you are all sons of God.” 

Faith has come to all of you. You are all God's children by faith in Christ. Therefore, you are no longer under the pedagogue. All who bear the name “Christian,”–the converts from among the Jews and Gentiles alike. The idea here is, that they are no longer under tutors and governors; they are no longer subject to the direction and will of the pedagogues.   They have arrived at age, and are admitted to the privileges of adult sons. The language here is derived from the fact that until the son arrived at age, he was in many respects no different from a servant. He was under laws and restraints, and subject to the will of another. When he came of age, he entered on the privileges of heirship, and was free to act for himself. But, under the Law, men were under restraints, and subject to heavy exactions. Under the gospel, they are free, and admitted to the privileges of the sons of God.

         “children of God by faith in Christ Jesus”
         Literally:  “sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus”

         Paul now is going to show in the remainder of this chapter, and in the first part of chapter 4, the benefits that come to us by trusting Christ; benefits that we could never receive under the Law.  The Law could never give a believer the nature of a son of God; but Christ can do that Only faith in Christ can make us sons of God.
         The word children is from the Greek word which means, “adult sons.”  Only faith in Christ can make us legitimate sons of God.  You are made a true son of God by faith in Christ, and that is all it takes.  Not faith plus something equals salvation, but faith plus nothing makes you a son of God.  Nothing else can make you a son of God.

          BY FAITH:
          Literally:  through,” or by means of,  faith.”  
          Jews and Gentiles alike are no longer “children” requiring a tutor, (a pedagogue), but SONS, emancipated and walking at liberty.

         The most damnable heresy today is the “universal Fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of man.”  It is this teaching of liberalism/marxism that has caused this nation to give away billions of dollars throughout the world, and because of it, we are hated everywhere.  They say that all people are the children of God, and so we have sat at council tables and have engaged in diplomatic squabbles with some of the worst rascals the world has ever seen. 
       The Lord Jesus Christ never said anything like that.  He once looked at a group of religious leaders and said to them, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do…” (John 8:44).

“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

          For as many of you”
          Literally:  “For as many.”–
Whether by nature Jews or Gentiles;  all who have believed in Christ as the promised Messiah.

         “as have been baptized into Christ”
         Literally:  “as were baptized into Christ”

Or into  Christ; the same preposition which, in v. 24, is rendered unto Christ. That is, they were baptized with reference to Him, or receiving Him as the Savior.

         All of you who have believed in Christ as the promised Messiah, and received baptism as a public proof that you had received Christ as your Lord and Savior, have put on Christ: that is, have received His Spirit, entered into His interests, copied His manners, And received baptism as a public proof that you have received Christ as your Lord and Savior.
        Many commentators feel that this verse is not necessarily referring to water baptism. Water baptism is ritual baptism, and it is for every believer.  What this verse is referring to is the “washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5).  The baptism of the Holy Spirit places you in the body of believers:  “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one bond, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (I Cor. 12:13).  This means that we are identified, we are put in reality and truth into the body of believers.  God sees you in Christ.  Therefore He sees you as perfect!

         “have put on Christ.”
         Literally:  “you put on Christ.”

          That is, you have received His Spirit, and entered into His interests, and copied His manners. To put on, or to be clothed with one, is to assume the person and character of that one; and they who do so are bound to act His part, and to sustain the character which they have assumed.  The profession of Christianity is an assumption of the character of Christ; He has left us an example that we should follow His steps, and we should, as Christians, have that mind in us which was in Him.
         Being in Christ, a member of His body, a part of the Son, the believer becomes a child of God (compare Rom. 6:3; I Cor. 10:2; Matt. 28:19). The figure of putting on Christ as a new dress afterwards gave rise to the custom of wearing white baptismal garments.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female:  for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

         “There is neither Jew nor Greek”
          Literally:  “There is not Jew nor Hellene.” 

          In Christ there are no racial lines.  Any man in Christ is my brother, and I don’t care about the color of his skin or his nationality.  It is the color of his heart that is important.  There are a lot of white people walking around with black hearts, and they are not my brother.  It is only in Christ Jesus that we are made one.
          Greek, (Hellene) is put here for “heathen,” or “Gentiles.”  Under the Gospel all distinctions are done away, as either helping or hindering; all are equally welcome to Christ, and all have an equal need of him; all persons of all sects, and conditions, and sexes, who believe in him, become one family through him; they are one body, of which he is the head.
          All are on the same level; all are saved in the same way; all are entitled to the same privileges. There is no favoritism on account of birth, beauty, color, or blood. All confess that they are sinners; all are saved by the merits of the same Savior; all are admitted to the same privileges as children of God. This does not mean that all the civil distinctions among men are to be disregarded; it does not mean that no respect is to be shown to those in office, or to men in elevated rank; it does not mean that all are on a level in regard to talents, comforts, or wealth; but it means only that all men are on a level in regard to religion. This is the sole point under discussion; and the interpretation should be limited to this.
          It is not a fact that men are on a level in all things, nor is it a fact that the gospel designs to break down all the distinctions of society. Paul means to teach that no man has any preference or advantage in the kingdom of God because he is a rich man, or because he is of elevated rank; no one is under any disadvantage because he is poor, or because he is ignorant, or a slave. All at the foot of the cross are sinners; all at the communion table are saved by the same grace; all who enter into heaven, will enter clothed in the same robes of salvation, and arranged, not as princes and nobles, and rich men and poor men, in separate orders and ranks, but mingling together as redeemed by the same blood, and arranged in ranks according to their eminence in holiness.

         “there is neither male nor female”
         Literally:  “there is no male and female”

         He can make us one in Christ.  Neither the male nor the female have any peculiar advantages for salvation. There are no favors shown on account of sex. Both sexes are, in this respect, on a level. This does not mean, of course, that the sexes are to be regarded as in all respects equal; nor can it mean that the two sexes may not have peculiar duties and privileges in other respects. It does not prove that one of the sexes may not perform important offices in the church, which would not be proper for the other. It does not prove that the duties of the ministry are to be performed by the female sex; nor that the various duties of domestic life, nor the various offices of society, should be performed without any reference to the distinction of sex.
        The interpretation should be confined to the matter under consideration; and the passage proves only that in regard to salvation they are on a level. One sex is not to be regarded as peculiarly the favorite of heaven, and the other to be excluded. Christianity thus elevates the female sex to an equality with the male, on the most important of all interests; and it has in this way made most important changes in the world wherever it has prevailed. Everywhere but in connection with the Christian faith, women have been degraded. Women have been kept in ignorance; have been treated as an inferior in all respects; and have been doomed to unpitied drudgery, and ignorance, and toil.
        So she was among the ancient Greeks and Romans; so she is among the savages of America; so she is in China, and India, and in the islands of the sea; so she is regarded in the Koran, and in all Muslim countries.  Christ does for women what the so called, “women’s lib” can never do. It is Christianity alone that has elevated women; and nowhere on earth does man regard the mother of his children as an intelligent companion and friend, except where the influence of the Christian faith has been felt.
        Whether at the communion table, or at the foot of the cross, or in the hopes of heaven, women are on a level with man; and this fact diffuses a mild, and purifying, and elevating influence over all the relations of life. Women have been raised from deep degradation by the influence of Christianity; and have everywhere acknowledged that debt of gratitude, and devoted themselves, as under a deep sense of obligation, to lessening the burdens of humanity, and to the work of elevating the degraded, instructing the ignorant, and comforting the afflicted, all over the world. Never has a debt been better repaid, or the advantages of elevating one portion of the race been more apparent.
         With great reason Paul introduces this.  Between the privileges of men and women there was a great disparity among the Jews.  A man might betroth his daughter; a woman had no such power. A man might sell his daughter; a woman could not.  In many cases they were treated more like children than adults; and to this day are not permitted to assemble with the men in the synagogues, but are put up in galleries, where they can scarcely see, nor can they be seen.  Under the blessed spirit of Christianity, they have equal rights, equal privileges, and equal blessings; and, let me add, they are equally useful.

            “for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”
            Literally:  “For you are one in Christ Jesus.” 

         Or into  Christ; the same preposition which, in v. 24, is rendered unto Christ. That is, they were baptized with reference to him, or receiving him as the Savior.  You are all equally accepted through the Lord Jesus Christ; or you are all on the same level, and entitled to the same privileges in your Christian profession. Bond and free, male and female, Jew and Greek, are admitted to equal privileges, and are equally acceptable before God.
         Every man on whom is the image and the blood of Christ, is a BROTHER to every other one who bears that image, and should be treated accordingly. What an influence would be excited in the breaking up of the distinctions of rank and caste among men, what an effect in abolishing the prejudice on account of color and country, if this were universally believed and felt!

“And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

         “If ye be in Christ’s”
         Literally:  “If you {are} of Christ”

          If you have all received justification through His blood, and the mind that was in Him, then are you Abraham's seed; you are part of that real spiritual posterity of Abraham, that other seed, to whom the promises were made; and then heirs, according to that promise, being fitted for the rest that remains for the people of God, that heavenly inheritance which was typified by the earthly Canaan, even to the Jews.
         You belong to the Messiah, and are interested in His work. As Christ is the Seed of Abraham, all in Christ become the spiritual seed of Abraham, and hence heirs of the promise to Abraham's seed. This is the true test, not the accident of blood, pride of race or nation, habiliments or environment of dress or family, whether man or woman.

         “then are ye Abraham's seed.”
         Literally:  “then you are a seed of Abraham”

         Because of the fact that Abraham was saved by faith, and we too are saved by faith, we become Abraham’s descendants. The promise made to Abraham related to the Messiah. It was a promise that in Him all should be blessed. Abraham believed in that Messiah, and was distinguished for his faith in Him who was to come.
        If they believed in Christ, therefore, they showed that they were the spiritual descendants of Abraham. No matter whether they were Jews or Gentiles-whether they had been circumcised or not-they had the same spirit which he evinced, and were interested in the promises made to him.

                “and heirs according to the promise.”
               Literally:  “even heirs according to promise”

              Are heirs of God–“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ…” (Rom. 8:17). You inherit the blessings promised to Abraham, and partake of the blessing he looked forward to. You have become truly heirs of God, and this is in accordance with the promise made to Abraham. It is not by the obedience of the Law; it is by faith–in the same way that Abraham possessed the blessing: before the giving of the law, and therefore one that may include all, whether Jews or Gentiles.
            The promise made to Abraham related to the Messiah. It was a promise that in Him all should be blessed. Abraham believed in that Messiah, and was distinguished for his faith in Him Who was to come. If they believed in Christ, therefore, they showed that they were the spiritual descendants of Abraham, whether they be Jew or Gentile.


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