“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:27-28 NKJV)
Too often, when we talk about baptism we get into discussions about the method of baptism. Paul reminds us here that more important than the method of baptism is the purpose of baptism: we’re to be baptized into Christ. That happens when we’re brought into the kingdom of God by the Holy Spirit. If we have come to Christ, we’ve put off the old person that we used to be and put on Jesus Christ. That should show in the way we live. It should also show in the way we relate to other people. As Paul wrote to a class-stratified society in ancient Greece, he taught them that those classes which used to define behaviors and beliefs no longer existed among God’s people. God’s people aren’t Jew or Greek, they’re followers of Christ. The distinction between slave and free dissolves because Jesus died for both. The privileged related to gender no longer exist, we’ve all been privileged to be in a relationship with God through Christ Jesus.
Sadly, we’ve lost the concept of equality in Christ. While we’re getting better than we used to be, we still have color and ethnic barriers. We still make women feel like second class citizens in the church, although many, if not all, churches wouldn’t survive without the work women do. We still show partiality based on financial ability and class. If we’ve been made one in Christ Jesus, then we need to show the world the unity we have in Christ. Let’s learn to uplift and support our brothers and sisters in the faith instead of criticizing them. Even when we disagree on issues, remember that neither of us is perfect and let’s show love to each other so that the world will know that we are Christians by our love.
Lord, I am amazed at how much You love me and forgive me. Help me to work with my brothers and sisters in Christ as equal partners in the proclamation of the gospel. Help me to love them even when we disagree.