Sunday, July 24, 2016

Put on Christ, the Son and Heir

J.J. Stark
July 24, 2016
Field Time: Browning, MT
Inductive Bible Study (IBS)
Put on Christ, the Son and Heir
“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” – Galatians 3:27 (NKJV)

Galatians 3:27 comes at the tail end of chapter 3 after Paul has been discussing how justification comes by faith and not the law, how the law was put into place to teach us our desperate need for Christ.  He builds off a series of questions in verses 2-4:

2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?  3 Are you so foolish?  Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?  4 Have you suffered so many things in vain – if indeed it was in vain?

I had to stop and question myself on these.  Is the way I operate in my walk based on doing “good acts” to earn me brownie points with God, or am I doing them because I have faith in the promise of His Holy Spirit?  Definitely a reminder from the Lord to keep Him first in all things, and to speak of the gift of His life-giving sacrifice to all. 
Paul transitions into how we then, through faith, are free from the curse of the law because Christ became the curse to fulfill it.  It brings us into the promised adoption of becoming God’s sons and heirs like that of Abraham, verse 6: ““just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.””  The explanation is given in verses 22-26:

22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.  23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.  24Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.  26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Verses 27-29 become then the crux of it: 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you all are one in Christ Jesus.  29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

I can rest in the assurance of this promise every day.  There is nothing indicating that my walk with Him will be easy, but I know that I am safe in my Father’s hand, and because He is my true Father I can sit as His son in the glory of His majesty.  It is when I choose daily to put on Christ, coming to humbly before the Throne, that God takes and fashions me after His ever-loving heart.  Through that it becomes the life and words of Christ in John 12:27-28, one of empowerment in the Holy Spirit:
““27 Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.  28 Father, glorify Your name.”  Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.””

Application:  Galatians 5:1, “Stand fast in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”

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