Live by Grace

Feb 18, 2014Tom Ellsworth

Galatians 3:26-29 (NIV) You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

In the opening verses of Galatians 3, Paul talks about the difference between living according to the law of God and living by the grace of God. In short, if you try to keep God’s law as a means of salvation, you will fail and be miserable in the attempt. All too often we visualize God keeping track of our good deeds and bad deeds, weighing each on a divine set of scales. Our hope is that our good deeds outweigh the bad. That’s a noble desire, but it is often for the wrong reason. Many anticipate that if good outweighs the bad, they will be saved. The truth is no one will be saved by law keeping. In contrast, grace is extended to us by God so that despite our sin we can be saved. That is a wonderful freedom.

Then to emphasize the point of grace Paul reminds the Galatian Christians of our one unifying factor. Regardless of one’s heritage, culture, race or language we are children of God by his grace. The cross was his unifying act that paid for our sin and made grace possible. The one unifying act on our part is baptism – all of us who have been baptized into Christ have clothed ourselves with Christ.   Here then is the picture. When I put on a coat and button it up (which I have done way too much during this winter!) you have no idea what kind of shirt I am wearing beneath. Color, style, long or short sleeved, clean or dirty, old and worn or new and crisp is all immaterial. All you see is my coat. When we are baptized into Christ, like a wonderful top coat we put on Christ. When you look at a Christian you shouldn’t see color, culture, language, age or gender; all you see is the covering, Jesus Christ. He and he alone can make us one by his grace!