“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. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise”(Galatians 3:28-29 RSV).
One In Christ
Our culture is obsessed with labels. We have neatly packed individuals into boxes according to gender, political party, race, sexual preference, and all sorts of labels. Even more alarming is that we have assembled a box for those who refuse any identity what-so-ever-, and we are left to guess who or what they might be.
Our culture has descended into madness, but we have been dutifully warned: Because we refused to love the truth and so be saved, God sends upon us a strong delusion, to make us believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 RSV).
I do not intend to dismiss those with genuine psychological problems, but wish to champion support for them that does not involve a mass delusion perpetuated upon the rest of us.
In an attempt to label people for the sake of unity, we have only succeeded in causing greater division. For Christians; and I am appealing to Christians, this can and will have devastating consequences concerning our faith.
It is easy to see how social labels in particular have already successfully divided the people of God. We are Christians who have been neatly tucked away into two separate camps, and this should not be so.
This is very bad for Holy Mother Church, but it is quite encouraging for those who wish to destroy any mention of Jesus Christ. You see, if we Christians conform to the pattern of this world, and allow ourselves to be labeled with the rest of the secular world, we have voluntarily given up our God given vocation to identify with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and him alone.
How clever is this culture of death that surrounds the poor sheep today?
We are rightly described in Scripture as sheep, because we are so easily led astray, and like sheep we easily descend into madness and confusion when we are left to our own devices (see Isaiah 53:6). Let us not forget how many times our ancestors, the Israelites, the chosen people, have turned away to worship other gods, and have forgotten all of his commands. Are we so arrogant as to think we are above reproach from that which threatens to lead us astray and steal our very salvation?
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5 RSV).
It is only when we remain in Christ and assume his identity that we can persevere in this world.
If we are to adopt a label of any sort, it should be Christian, child of God, created to know, love, and serve him, and live for all eternity in heaven with him.
That would also mean dropping all other labels, as Paul encouraged the Galatians to do. You are no longer Jew or Greek, slave or free, man or woman, but ALL one in Christ. Paul was not suggesting that we refuse to identify with anything, but that we fully and joyfully embrace the only identity that truly matters: WHO WE ARE IN CHRIST
If we know who we are in Christ, really know who we are in Christ; all those other labels will naturally fade away, because it will not be our feelings and our emotions that dictate how we live, but it will be our love for Jesus Christ that dictates how we live, and everything that we do. Jesus died for us that we might have eternal life (see John 3:16 RSV), and as Christians he asks us to die also for him. We must die to any labels or identities. We must destroy every argument and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5 RSV). This may require a complete renunciation of how we view the world in relation to who we are as children of God, and it will no doubt take much courage in a culture that celebrates almost every act of rebellion against God and his ways. We must be transformed by the renewing of our minds to trust and approve God’s pleasing and most perfect will for our lives (Romans 12:2 RSV).
Knowing who we are in Christ is the foundation upon which we should build our lives. Build your house upon the word of the world, you are building on sand. Build your house upon the Word of God, you are building upon solid rock (see Matthew 7:24-27 RSV).
It’s your choice. Choose wisely.
Prayer: I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me that I might live in Christ and he in me (Psalms 119:19). Amen!