To read the other posts in the Galatians series, click here. (They appear in reverse order.)
I remember going to church with a friend once when I was young. All I remember about the sermon that morning were the preacher’s opening words, stated very slowly and emphatically: “Who are you?” In my youthfulness, I replied in my head laughingly with my actual name. And that was about all that I remember or took away from the service that morning!
However, it is a good question. Who are you? Do you know who you are and what you have?
Before you read on, think about it. How do you first identify yourself?
Do you think, “I am so and so (insert name). I go such and such school. I work at x job. I have lots of friends. I go to church and have a small group. I drive a red car. I live in such and such town. I am a student making good grades. I am rich, or I am poor, or I am somewhere in between. I am a traveler. I am a sports player. I am a writer. I serve the needy. I give to such and such.”
You get the idea. When I ask, “Who are you?” those might be some things that come to mind, right?
Well, as I was all set to move into the next section of Galatians, I was re-reading some of what I’ve already studied, and it struck me how often Paul was saying, “you are” and “you were” and “you have.” He is giving them their identity in these verses in Galatians 3:26-4:7. And it’s also our identity as believers in Christ.
We live out of our identify, so we need to know who we really are. This is a most important question.
So listen to what Paul says:
Galatians 3:26: “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”
Our faith in Christ has made us God’s child. Soak up that truth. When we believe by faith in Christ, we are a child of God. This speaks of intimacy and love. He knows us as His child, not a distant relationship. No longer enemies of God in our sin, we have become sons of God through Christ.
Galatians 3:27: “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
Then as those baptized into Christ by faith, we have put on Christ. The NIV says they have “clothed” themselves with Christ. So now as a child of God, we have been baptized into him and literally put on Christ and are clothed with him.
Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew not Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
You are a child of God, baptized into him, putting on Christ, and you are one in Christ.
So as we read who we are, we see that each of these things come to us through Christ!
Galatians 3:29: “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
These verses just keep building with more and more good news about our identity. If Christ’s, then Abraham’s seed and heirs to the promise. My notes say, “All people equally can become God’s heirs and recipients of His eternal promises.”
We who were once in bondage (Gal. 4:3) have been redeemed and adopted as sons (4:5).
Galatians 4:6: “Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!'”
Also as children of God, we have God’s Spirit in our hearts! Can you even comprehend this wonderful truth?
Galatians 4:7: “Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”
You are a son and heir, again, through Christ!
When someone wants to know who your are, consider thinking in this way, even if you don’t necessarily say it:
“By faith in Christ, I am a child of God. I have been baptized into Christ, and I have put on Christ. I am one in Christ. I am Christ’s. I am Abraham’s seed and an heir to the promise. I have been redeemed and adopted. I have the Spirit of God living in me. I am not a slave in bondage, but a son who is free and has an eternal inheritance.”
If you know then who you are, really know it in your heart and believe it in your mind, you will live differently, because we live out of who we think we are.
If we think we are just all the things that we do or that we are defined by what people think or say we are, then we will live trying to get people to think a certain way about us or trying to do more and more to prove our worth.
But when we know it is already established in Christ, we are free to live for him, undefined by the world and other people, living to please the One who has made us all these things.
Give praise and glory to His wonderful name, Jesus Christ, our Creator, Savior, King, Father, Redeemer, and Lord.
PRAYER: Lord, help us to know who we are in Christ, not just intellectually, but in the fibers of our being. Let these truths take hold because they truly define us and give us truth about you and ourselves out of which we can live. Free us from sin and bondage, from wrong thinking, from living to be defined by what we do and what people think of us, and deliver us into freedom in Christ, filled by your Spirit, by the power of your holy name. In Jesus name, Amen.