Summary: All discriminations are destroyed in Christ - racial, class and sexual.

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READ: Galatians 3:26-29 (Text: v28)

The churches of Galatia were facing a grave danger. Certain legalists had come among them teaching that much of the Old Testament Law was still binding upon Christians. They reasoned that God’s promises extended ONLY to Jews, and that gentiles would have to be circumcised before they could fully experience salvation. These "Judaizers" did not deny that faith in Jesus was necessary, but insisted that it was inadequate one must add to faith observance of the Law.

This teaching was in direct contradiction to Paul’s preaching of "salvation by grace through faith alone", that the Galatian churches had been founded upon. And so Paul wrote to the churches this great letter that we call "Galatians". His theme throughout is "The Finality of the gospel: salvation is by grace, not by Law".

What an amazing change had taken place in this man, Paul! Imagine him of all people being sent as the apostle to the gentiles it’s nothing less than a miracle!

Sometimes God’s choice of man or woman is incredible, is it not? If it had been ME choosing an apostle to go to the gentile world with the gospel, my LAST consideration would have been this man Paul! Now, granted, none of the apostles would have felt "at home" in that foreign gentile culture, but ANY ONE OF THEM would be a more natural choice than Paul.

Listen to the background Paul was saved out of: (Philippians 3:5-6) "... circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the Law, a pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the Law, blameless". This man was a fanatical Jewish activist. He had been trained in the Law in Jerusalem (the Holy City) at the feet of the esteemed Gamaliel, and had become a member of the Sanhedrin. He was a PROUD and nationalistic Jew - he believed that they alone were God’s people and that all the other nations were barbarians and dogs.

No, I’d have chosen someone else. One of the humble fishermen who knew little of international politics, or national borders Peter, James or John. I’d have given one of them a burden to go to the gentiles, but not God NO! His ways are much higher than ours His wisdom is past finding out. He chose this man Paul, and turned his life around, and sent him to the very nations he had once despised and he went, not begrudgingly, but with a consuming love in his heart and a passion to win them for Christ.

We read Galatians 3:26-29 a moment ago; let me read verse 28 to you again: [read]. If ever there was a classic statement in evidence of the turnaround in Paul’s life, it’s this verse! As a pharisee, Paul had prayed by rote every single day (as nationalistic Jews do even today): "I thank you God that I was not born a GENTILE, a SLAVE, or a WOMAN." That was their prayer of "thanksgiving" to start each day!

But now, in a direct refutation of all that he had once believed, he writes: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all ONE in Christ Jesus."

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Gregory Hogan

commented on Dec 7, 2007

Thank you for a balanced approach to the issue of equality. I have so many friends in the ministry that equate a woman's role in the church with her function in the home.

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