No Longer in Need of the Guardian
So now that faith has come, we are no longer under nor in need of our former guardian, the law. It was the law’s purpose to teach us, to guide us, to hold us accountable, in short, to make us a kingdom of priests to our God (Exodus 19:6). But we utterly failed to accomplish this; we, not just the Israelites or Jews, we, for we are no better at fulfilling the law than they were. But in God’s secret and inscrutable will, our failure was a necessary part of his plan as that paved the way for the coming of His Son, the Son’s work on the cross, and our salvation through the Son’s blood. So believers are thereby set free from the law; the guardian has been replaced by the Holy Spirit who birthed us anew through faith in Christ.
So Paul can triumphantly proclaim that in Christ we are all children of God through faith. We have buried our sins in that baptismal font and been raised to new life. The early Church also saw that font as symbolizing the womb of the Church in which sons and daughters are reborn—a beautiful image, I think. Through that new birth, we have “put on Christ,” who/which is our new way of being in this fallen world.
And the beauty of our shared faith in him is that walls come down between us. So believers are reconciled with God and one another. One of my greatest joys is that I have brothers and sisters in Christ on the other side of the globe praying through the Holy Spirit to the same Savior, worshiping the same God revealed in Christ. I have prayed with believers who spoke in a different language but still felt as much a part of them as if I knew what they were saying; and I did know, for Pentecost turns Babel upside-down.
But a word of caution which I hate to even admit and wouldn’t if it were not for brethren who abuse Scripture for political or social agendas. Paul is not saying that sexual differentiation is obliterated by the cross, or even ethnic distinctions, for that matter. Passages in Revelation make it clear that we shall take these bodily distinctions to heaven with us (14:4; 21:26). And Paul teaches that there are different functions between husbands and wives in the family and men and women in the local church (see 1 Timothy 2-3 & Titus 2 for just a sample). It is too bad that so many will not see the blessing of such diversity that creates that most beautiful thing in all of God’s creation, which Scripture calls Christ’s Church—His one and only, holy Bride. Let us not cheapen such a sublime passage as this with gender politics, but let us rejoice with one another that we, of all people, were made His Bride.