We Are Family

November 19, 2018

In Galatians 3:28, Paul emphasizes that three major social distinctions no longer matter in Christ:

  • Ethnicity: “neither Jew nor Greek.”
  • Socioeconomic status: “neither slave nor free.”
  • Gender: “neither male nor female.”

First-century culture was deeply divided along these lines. So was the church. But Paul stressed, “You are all one in Christ Jesus” (emphasis added).

Christians have become children of God through faith, which means we are all in the same family – God’s family. We are no longer divided by ethnicity, social status, or gender, but have become brothers and sisters in God’s family.

One powerful symbol of that new unity is baptism (Galatians 3:27). As part of the baptismal ceremony, a believer affirms the lordship of Christ and his or her commitment to a new way of life. Paul was possibly quoting from a first-century baptismal creed (Galatians 3:28) to remind us of our promise to “put on Christ,” not just in word but also in deed.

In the early Christian communities this meant that both Gentiles and Jews could exercise their spiritual gifts. Both slaves and masters could pray or prophesy. Both women and men could enjoy full membership in the body. “Christ is all and in all” (Colossians 3:11). The breaking down of traditional barriers wasn’t just a future hope. The early church worked to make it a reality.

Which brings us to the question: What walls of ethnicity, status, or gender divide believers today? Are we willing to model reconciliation between different and even antagonistic groups? If not, then is our church truly a sign of God’s kingdom, or merely a human institution?

This commentary is from the New King James Study Bible. With more than 2 million copies sold, it’s no secret that the NKJV Study Bible is a reliable guide for your journey into God’s Word. This Bible provides a complete resource for study, including thousands of notes, articles, extensive cross-references, and features contributed by top evangelical scholars.


Related Articles

Faith in Action: Loving Your Neighbors

As Jesus made clear in His final words to His disciples, the vast majority of mission work takes place close to home, in our local communities. Read More

What Does God Want Us to Understand About Christian Fellowship?

The New King James Study Bible shines a spotlight on the apostle Paul’s call for fellowship and unity in his letters to the Corinthian church.... Read More

Discipleship as Relationship

Everyone is a disciple. The only qualifier to discover is to whom or what are you a disciple. As Jesus concluded His time upon the... Read More

Sign Up for the Latest Blog Posts from Thomas Nelson

By submitting your email address, you understand that you will receive email communications from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (501 Nelson Place, Nashville, TN 37214 USA) providing information about products and services of HCCP and its affiliates. You may unsubscribe from these email communications at any time. If you have any questions, please review our Privacy Policy or email us at yourprivacy@harpercollins.com.

1 reply on “We Are Family”

Families are a divine part of God’s plan. Families are where we can feel love and learn how to love others. Our kids need to see that going to church on a weekly basis is a priority.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *