What may dwell within? Why is it that so many would have a spiritual takeover from God one minute and still want to maintain free will in the next? Why is there an inconsistency in teaching how the Spirit dwells within us (we so much want a physical presence)? We are told that God does not dwell with man yet we would still have it to be so.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slaveÂ nor free,Â there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.Â (Galatians 3:28; ESV)
Paul has previously taught that the promise of Abraham is for one family in Jesus Christ to receive God’s blessings (Galatians 3:16). There would not be multiple families of God. There is only one group of redeemed people. There is only one family of God. The Law of Moses did not annul or set aside this promise (3:15,17). The Law of Moses was added so that we could understand sin, keep away from sin, and grasp the consequences for sin. The Law of Moses, however, created division. It created a distinction between Jews and Gentiles. But in Christ and in his family, there is reconciliation. There are not separate families that bring us to God. There is not the Jewish Christian family and the Gentile Christian family. There is not the slave family and the free family. There is not a male family and a female family that brings us to God. There is no division at all. We are all one in Christ. There is one family that would receive the promises and the blessings of Abraham and that family is created and found in Jesus.
When you are in the family of Christ, then you are part of the promised one family given to Abraham, and heirs of God’s blessings through that promise (3:29). How does one become part of the family of Christ and receive the blessings of the promise?
…for in Christ JesusÂ you are all sons of God, through faith.Â For as many of you asÂ were baptizedÂ into Christ haveÂ put on Christ. (Galatians 3:26-27; ESV)
We are in the family through faith. Not only because of the faithfulness of Jesus, but also because of our hearts response to God, desiring forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God. But the step that joins us to the family of Christ is baptism. Many reject this thought, but faith and baptism are taught together. Paul said that if we are Christ’s, then we are in the family of God and are receiving the blessings of the promise given to Abraham (3:29). How does one become Christ’s? Paul is very clear that through baptism we are united into the family of Christ.
Faith and baptism are not enemies, but work together beautifully. Consider Paul taught similarly to the Colossians:
In him alsoÂ you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, byÂ putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,Â having been buried with him in baptism, in whichÂ you were also raised with him through faith inÂ the powerful working of God,Â who raised him from the dead. (Colossians 2:11-12; ESV)
In baptism, we are placing our faith in God to cut off the sins of the flesh. We are showing our faith/trust in God that God is doing the work to take away our sins when we are baptized. The TNIV communicates this idea:
In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your sinful natureÂ was put off when you were circumcised byÂ Christ,Â having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. (Colossians 2:11-12; TNIV)
Baptized with the belief, faith, and trust that God is taking away my sins and placing me in his family so that I can be in a relationship with him and receive his blessings. All of this happened because of the blood of Jesus. Praise be to God!