Pastor James J. Barker

Text: GALATIANS 3:26-29


  1. In Galatians 3:25, Paul writes: "But after that faith is come, we (referring here to Jews) are no longer under a schoolmaster" (referring here to the law).
  2. Now, as we pick up here in verse 26, Paul changes from "we" to "ye." He is saying here, "For ye (Galatians, Gentiles) are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.’
  3. It does not matter if one is a Jew (like Paul) or a Gentile (like the Galatians), if he has faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, he is a child of God and "Abraham’s (spiritual) seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Gal.4:26,29).



    1. One of the most damnable heresies around today – and it is the #1 doctrine of the liberal churches – is the so-called "universal Fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of man."
    2. A liberal preacher who is not born again, and does not believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God is not my brother. He is not a child of God. Jesus said he is a child of the devil (cf. John 8:44).
    3. I realize it is not "politically correct" to say this but it is what the Bible teaches.
    4. In the book of Galatians, Paul has been contrasting true salvation through faith in Christ versus a false hope of salvation through keeping the law.
    5. The law could never give a man the nature of a child of God – only faith in Christ can do that (cf. John 1:12).
    6. If you study the OT you will see that in the OT God never calls Israelites His sons. He called them His servants (cf. Josh.1:2; I Kings 11:38). I am not suggesting that there is anything wrong with being a servant of God. In fact, it is a great honor and blessing. What I am trying to say is that it is far better to be a servant and a son.



    1. Union with Christ takes place immediately at conversion. Baptism is a public testimony to that union. It is a public identification with Christ, which Paul refers to as "putting on Christ" (3:27).
    2. One preacher explained it this way: "Just as a soldier proclaims himself a member of the army by ‘putting on’ his uniform, so a believer identifies himself as one who belongs to Christ by being baptized in water. By this act he publicly expresses submission to Christ’s leadership and authority" (William MacDonald).
    3. By baptism the Christian signifies also the burial of the flesh, and its efforts to obtain righteousness. Baptism signifies the end of the old way of life and the beginning of the new one.
    4. In baptism we confess that we have died with Christ and have been buried with Him. Just as Christ died to the law, so we too are dead to the law, and are not under the law (cf. Gal.3:13).
    5. Concerning baptism, there are two extremes to avoid. On the one hand, there are the "Campbellites" (Church of Christ, "water dogs") who teach that a person cannot be saved without immersion. Their main "proof-text" is Acts 2:38. But this verse does not teach what they say it does. The preposition eis, translated "for" could be translated "unto" (Scofield margin) or "because of." The same word is translated "at" inMatt.12:41.
    6. We say that a man is doing time in jail for armed robbery. We mean "because of armed robbery," not "in order to commit armed robbery"!
    7. But the Campbellites spend a lot of time misinterpreting Acts 2:38. One Baptist preacher said that there are so many Campbellites down in some parts of Texas that if you listen carefully to the bullfrogs in the pond at night you will hear some of them say, "Acts, Acts, Acts," and you will hear other frogs replying, "2:38, 2:38, 2:38."
    8. Another extreme to be avoided is the position that since baptism is not necessary for salvation, it is unimportant. Surely, anyone who reads the New Testament with an open mind has to admit that baptism is very important (cf. Matt.28:18-20; Mark 16:15,16).
    9. We identify with Christ in submitting to Scriptural baptism (Gal.3:27).



    1. The law of Moses made distinctions between Jew and Gentile, slave and free man, male and female.
    2. In his morning prayers, the Pharisee would pray, "I thank Thee O God that I am not a Jew and not a Gentile, that I am a free man and not a slave, and that I am a man and not a woman."
    3. But in Christ Jesus these differences disappear as far as acceptance with God is concerned. A Jew is not preferred over a Gentile; a free man is not preferred over a slave; and a man is not preferred over a woman.
    4. The ground is level at the cross. Christ died for all, and all are saved the same way – "by faith in Christ Jesus" (3:26b).
    5. Having said that, please let me clarify something: Liberals and feminists have twisted this Scripture to teach that ladies can serve as pastors and deacons because in Christ "there is neither male nor female" (3:28). Is that what this verse is saying? NO.
    6. This Scripture is simply saying that "in Christ Jesus" there are no earthly distinctions as far as salvation is concerned. This does not mean that our race, political status, or sex is changed at conversion; but that these things are of no value or handicap when it comes to our spiritual relationship to God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
    7. It is fair to say that the law perpetuated these distinctions and divisions, but grace has removed them (cf. Gal.6:15; John 4:25-30; Philemon 15-18).
    8. Unfortunately, the wicked "women’s lib" movement has moved its influence into many churches, and now many so-called Christian churches are ordaining women into the ministry. And their favorite proof-text is Gal.3:28. I have received many phone calls from radio listeners and they invariably quote this verse.
    9. Whenever we interpret the Bible, we must look at the context. The context here is about salvation by grace, apart from the law (cf. 3:24-27). It is not dealing at all with ministry (cf. I Tim.2:11,12; 3:1-13).
    10. There are two basic rules that must be kept whenever we attempt to study the Bible:
      1. Always look at the context.
      2. Scripture never contradicts Scripture. Since I Timothy teaches that women cannot serve as pastors, Galatians 3:28 cannot be teaching the opposite!
    1. Let us conclude our study by looking at Gal.3:29. The Galatians were told that they could become Abraham’s seed by keeping the law. That is what the Judaizers were teaching. Paul said the Galatians were being "bewitched" (Gal.3:1).
    2. Paul goes on to explain what it really means to be a child of Abraham:
      1. Christ is Abraham’s seed (3:16,19).
      2. The inheritance promised to Abraham was fulfilled in Christ (3:6-9).
      3. When we received Christ as our Lord and Saviour, we became one with Him (3:28b).
      4. Therefore, we have become Abraham’s seed, and in Christ we have inherited all of God’s blessings (3:29).


  1. We went over many important doctrines today concerning salvation (are you saved?), baptism (have you been Scripturally baptized?), and our unity in Christ (are you united with Christ through His church?).
  2. Often we met a man who said he had no use for church or God or religion. We can expect that kind of foolish talk from an unsaved man, but what are we to think of Christian people who say they do not need to join a church?
  3. Someone said a Christian who is not a church member is like a student who will not go to school, a soldier who will not join the army, and a salesman with no customers. He is like a sailor with no ship and no crew, a tuba player without an orchestra, a parent without children, and a football player without a team.

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