Faith in the finished work of Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit sets people free to be friends with God and each other.
— Galatians 3.23-24 – Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed.
Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be reckoned as righteous by faith.
Before faith, the law was like a pedagogue. A pedagogue was a household slave, who took children to school and tutored them in their schoolwork.
Even though the children were heirs to the family fortune, they had to follow the directions of a slave.
Humans are destined to inherit their rightful place in creation, which is friendship with God. They could not realize their inheritance until the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, plus the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The law provided key information about how to be friends with God and other humans. Read the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 in the light that they are given to help us be friends with God and others.
Faith and Friendship
Faith enables us to live in a friendship relationship with God. “Reckoned as righteous” (verse 24) is how sinful humans can be friends with God.
When we fully rely on what God has done for us, our sins are forgiven and the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our inner being. This enables us to be friends with God.
— Galatians 3.25-26 – But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.
We leave a state of childhood dependence on the pedagogue and begin living in our inheritance (friendship with God) when we trust what Jesus has done for us.
The Ten Commandments and further Jewish laws were a gift to Israel. The God, who chose and entered into a covenant relationship with them, gave them directions for life.
The behavior of the pagan world reflected the poverty of not having God’s guidelines for living. The practice of child sacrifice is one of the most dramatic examples of their way of life.
As beneficial as is the law, it is not the ultimate. Jesus fulfilled the law in his life, death, and resurrection, so that we may become genuine friends of God.
Notice Jesus’ teaching below.
— Matthew 5.17 – “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.”
— John 15.14-15 – “You are my friends if you do what I command you.
“I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing, but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.”
Faith and Friendship
When we place our faith in Jesus, he gives us the Holy Spirit. The Spirit enables us to live with Jesus in such a way that he envelops us like a set of clothes.
As we live in this relationship with Jesus through the Spirit, the barriers between humans dissolve in the light of his glory.
— Galatians 3.27-29 – As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
There is no longer Jew or Greek; there is no longer slave or free; there is no longer male and female, for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.
And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.
An African American pastor friend said to me, “If God calls us his child, how can I not call you my brother.”
To that, I replied, “Amen.”
The truth that this pastor spoke should dissolve the divisions that keep people separated.
The finished work of Christ is designed to bring humans into a friendship relationship with God and each other.
Should we not fully embrace what he has done for us and live in our inheritance!
Rudy Ross and I have produced a video on this passage. It can be seen on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.
Please email your prayer request to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.