Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
Galatians 3:23-27 (NIV)
Read: Galatians 3
Consider: Did you notice how many times the word ‘faith’ occurred in the verses above. Read them again – you will see that Paul uses the word ‘faith’ five times. Paul tells us that before we believed we were in ‘custody under the law’ (elsewhere in his letters Paul uses the phrase ‘held captive by sin’). Can you see the analogy? It is one of a person being held in prison (because of sin) and being set free (because of Christ). The debt we owe is paid in full by Christ through his death on the cross. Because it is paid in full, Paul tells us we are ‘justified by faith’.
Paul uses another analogy in Galatians 3:23-27. It is one of someone being under the rule of a guardian and then being accepted as a full family member (in this case a child of God). This is something that is hard to comprehend the magnitude of.
The last image Paul uses is of the believer being ‘clothed with Christ’. This carries with it the implication of being reclothed – putting off the sinful nature and putting on Christ’s nature. It also means that God no longer sees us as sinners, but as ‘clothed with Christ’. As Christians we need to fully appreciate how God sees us – as holy and blameless. Look at Romans 8:1 where it says: ‘Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus’. Do you believe it?
How do you feel when you consider these verses? Do you see how you were previously under the law and now have been set free in Christ? Do you see that having believed, you are now a member of the family of God (child of God)? Do you see that as a believer you are ‘clothed with Christ’ and this is how God sees you?
Pray: Father, we thank you that in Christ we have been set free from sin and are now children of God. We praise you that having been forgiven, you have clothed us with Christ. Amen