What does Galatians 3:28 mean?
ESV: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
NIV: There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
NASB: 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.
CSB: There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female; since you are all one in Christ Jesus.
NLT: There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.
KJV: 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.
Paul has been making the case to the Gentile (non-Jewish) Christians in Galatia that they don't need to listen to the Judaizers. They don't need to follow the law in order to be saved (Galatians 2:4). By faith in Christ, and by faith alone, they are already full children of God Almighty (Galatians 3:7–9). They have been baptized into God's Spirit (who is in them). They have put on Christ like a robe and are covered by Him. What would they gain by trying to follow the law again?
Now Paul assures these believers that, in Christ, they have been fully united with everyone else who is in Christ. There are no lesser Christians in the family of God. Our earthly identifiers create no value distinction between us in our Father's eyes. Jews do not carry a higher rank than Greeks (non-Jews). Free people hold no greater honor than slaves. Men are not superior to women. No race is a "master race," nor any ethnicity inferior.
How is this possible? Christ holds the most honored position in the family of God, and all Christians are "in Christ." In that way, we are one, we are united. Since none can be higher and none can be lower, we are equal in the eyes of God.
It's important to note that this teaching is not based on the current climate of the culture. It is not liberal, conservative, or political. It is the direct result of the gospel. It is not a statement about the various roles any Christian may be called to fill in this life or the honor we may or may not be given on this side of eternity. It is a statement about our equal value in the eyes of God, and how we should learn to view each other. Since all Christians are in Christ, all of us are one.
Galatians 3:23–29 summarizes the idea that God never intended the law to be the final solution for the problem of sin. Instead, it was meant to ''guard'' mankind, until the arrival of Christ. This freedom from the captivity of the law also transcends all other barriers: race, gender, wealth, health, and culture are all irrelevant to our relationship with the Savior. Anyone who belongs to Christ, by faith, is promised to be an heir.
Paul indicates the Galatian Christians are foolish for believing they need to follow the law of Moses to be right with God. He offers three specific arguments to support this. First, they received God's Spirit in a powerful way after believing in Jesus, but before doing any works of the law. Second, Scripture itself shows God's blessing coming by faith, and His curse coming by the law. Christ paid the price of that curse on the cross. Third, God's covenant with Abraham is like a legal document, and it cannot be revoked.
In Galatians chapter 2, Paul declared that we can only be justified—''made right with God''—by faith in Christ and not by following the law of Moses. In chapter 3, Paul offers three arguments for why that is true. He argues from the Galatians own experience, from the Scriptures themselves, and from the legal standpoint of a covenant contract. Finally, Paul answers what the law is for if it cannot save us from our sin. In part, it reveals our sinfulness and convinces us of our need to be saved by faith in Christ. The following chapter will expand on what it means to be an ''heir,'' spiritually.
Galatians is sometimes called “a short Romans” for its similar themes of justification and sanctification through faith. A group of Christians known as “Judaizers” were preaching a gospel of legalism, rather than grace. Paul’s main purpose in writing the letter to the Galatians was to reiterate the true nature of the gospel: we are justified (made righteous) and sanctified (made more Christlike) through our faith in Jesus Christ alone. This letter was probably written shortly before the church elders in Jerusalem issued their official refutation of the Judaizers, commonly called the Jerusalem Council.
Accessed 2/25/2024 10:12:20 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.