This past Sunday we reached the climax of Galatians and in doing so we have reached the climax of the gospel. The culmination of the gospel of grace reveals that through faith in Jesus Christ we are children of the living God – sons and daughters of the Creator of the Universe. This gospel truth is alone incredible, but the implications of it are even greater. If we want to understand how to live the Christian life, we need to investigate, learn about and begin to appreciate the privileges of divine adoption that is our reality through faith in Christ.
In Galatians 3:27-4:7, Paul tells these Galatian believers that they have clothed themselves in Christ through faith (Gal. 3:27). This clothing image is one of Paul’s favorite metaphors (see Rom. 13:12, Eph. 4:24, Col. 3:12). In these verses, he relates Jesus to a garment, and this idea of clothing ourselves with Jesus implies four amazing things for every Christian:
1. Our Primary Identity is in JESUS. Our clothing tells people who we are. Nearly every kind of clothing is actually a uniform showing that we are identified with others of the same gender, social class or national group. But to say that Jesus is our clothing is saying that our ultimate identity is found, not in any of those things, but in Jesus Christ alone.
2. The Closeness of our Relationship to Jesus. Our clothes are kept closer to us than any other thing we own. We rely on them for shelter at every moment. Our clothes go everywhere with us, so to say that Jesus is our clothing is to call us to moment-by-moment dependence and complete awareness of Him. The amazing thing is that God desires to be intimate and close with His children.
3. The Imitation of Jesus. To imitate Jesus means that we continually think and act as if we are always with Him. A similar biblical phrase is to “walk before Him” (see Gen. 17:1, Psalm 56:13). So imitating Jesus is to take Him with us into every area of our lives and make daily adjustments to more align with His will and Spirit. We are to “put on” His virtues and actions – we are to “dress up like Jesus”.
4. Our Acceptability to God. Finally, clothing is worn to make us look better. It covers our nakedness. God has been providing clothes to cover our guilt and shame from the beginning (see Gen. 3:7, 21). So that Jesus is our clothing is to say that in God’s sight, we are completely accepted and loved because of Jesus’ what Jesus has done. When God looks at us, He sees us as His own sons and daughters – because He actually sees Jesus – Christians are in Christ! Through faith the Lord Jesus has given us His righteousness and perfection to wear as our own – now this is AMAZING GRACE!
So this section contains a beautiful metaphor for a whole new life! This new life goes WAY beyond just keeping some rules and regulations of God’s law and it blows up our checklists and transcends simple obedience. This actually means that the person who has faith in God through the person and work of Jesus Christ – possesses everything Jesus has as God’s only Son. This means that the living God has actually divinely adopted you and me – let that one sink it for a moment… There are no additional commitments to the law in order to receive or maintain full-acceptance with God – You are His because you are clothed with Christ.