Read Galatians 3:15-29
15Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 16The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed," meaning one person, who is Christ. 17What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.
19What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator. 20A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one.
21Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
23Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.
26You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (NIV)
Paul continues his argument about following the law to obtain righteousness and having faith to obtain righteousness. He again goes back to Abraham. Abraham’s faith and relationship with God predates the law. This is important for Paul in that the promises given to Abraham were not dependent on the law or even required as part of the promise.
But Paul has to answer the question, why then was the Law given – what was its purpose. For Paul, the law was given for one reason only, to point us to our need for Christ who would be revealed at the right time. The law proves that we cannot live without sinning. He states in verse 21 that the law is not opposed to the promises of God, but they do not bring life.
In verse 27, Paul gives an interesting image to what our faith looks like. He says we are clothed with Christ’s righteousness. We cannot clothe ourselves and therefore, we must be clothed in Christ. And this is something we choose.
This is an image that James Dobson uses with raising children. He says that parents spend their whole time children are growing up putting on the parents righteousness. But children when they get older, often reject this “clothing” given them and take it off. His point is that the child will then pick it up again as its own “clothing”, with some changes and the hope of any parent is that it looks like the clothing the parent wanted for the child.
This is what we do with Christ in a way. We pick up Christ’s righteousness freely and it then becomes our righteousness, simply because of our faith in Christ.
And he closes this passage with that wonderful picture that in Christ, we are all the same as “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for [we] are all one in Christ Jesus.” This is what the church needs to demonstrate to the world. It is a message we have lost in our country as people seem to be dividing and fighting so much. We need to take this to heart as we live our faith out, that in Christ, we are one with each other.
The question we must ask ourselves is, “How Am I living out this faith?” “Do people see it in me in the way I live?” “What difference in my day to day life does a faith mean? It is good to contemplate on these questions every now and then. In looking at our faith and our walk, we grow in both.
Blessings and Peace