There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true. —Soren Kierkegaard. "…truth is true even if nobody believes it, and falsehood is false even if everybody believes it. That is why truth does not yield to opinion, fashion, numbers, office, or sincerity–it is simply true and that is the end of it" – Os Guinness, Time for Truth, pg.39. “He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” – Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard
NEW YORK, NY—Ghislaine Maxwell has been convicted on 5 counts related to sex crimes committed against minors for over a decade. A few minutes after her conviction, she announced she has landed a brand-new job at CNN.
“We called Maxwell as soon as the verdict was read,” said CNN President Jeff Zucker. “Ghislaine has shown us she has exactly what it takes to work here. This has nothing to do with the fact that she’s really good at committing sex crimes. We are hiring her for her… um, many other qualifications. Yeah. Qualifications.”
Maxwell will replace Wolf Blitzer as an anchor on The Situation Room and will also be placed in charge of the hiring of all new female interns.
“I am humbled to have been given this new opportunity at CNN,” said Maxwell, “and I promise to do my best to find the very best girls—er, I mean, news. The very best news. Yeah. That’s what I meant.”
Ghislaine Maxwell will broadcast the news from her federal prison cell in New York City until her sentence is completed, or until she kills herself.
President Trump Releases List of Joe Biden’s “Record of Complete and Total Failure”
One year in, Joe Biden is a failed president who has surrendered to the virus and broken his number one promise to the American people: to end the pandemic once-and-for-all.
A RECORD OF COMPLETE AND TOTAL FAILURE : Joe Biden was handed every tool he could have asked for by President Trump—3 vaccines, 5+ lifesaving therapeutics, vast quantities of medical and personal protective equipment, a full array of testing options for COVID (at-home tests, rapid tests, and PCR tests, none of which existed before) as well as a full year of data, study, and scientific knowledge. Yet despite all of this, Biden has failed so badly that more people died in 2021 than died in all of 2020.
By Biden’s own standard, he should be removed from office. During the second presidential debate on October 22, 2020, Biden said, “220,000 Americans dead… Anyone who’s responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States.”
Since Biden took office, 400,000 Americans have died from COVID-19.
After Biden prematurely declared victory over the virus earlier this year, daily average cases have increased nearly 1,700%.
Over 27 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus on Joe Biden’s watch, and there are now an average of 243,000 new coronavirus cases every day—nearly 3x the 7-day rolling case average on Election Day 2020, and it’s going higher.
There are now more than 70,000 people hospitalized, tens of thousands more than on Election Day 2020.
The test positivity rate is higher today than any point since April 2020 —and more than DOUBLE the rate on Election Day 2020 (7-day moving average).
The White House is now projecting “a winter of severe illness and death.”
In spite of this atrocious record and the fact that he based his entire campaign on COVID, Biden ended 2021 SURRENDERING to the Virus—just as he surrendered in Afghanistan. “There is no federal solution,” Biden said on December 27, 2021. “This gets solved at a state level.”
On November 13, 2020, Biden lied about the Trump administration’s COVID record, stating: “This crisis demands a robust and immediate federal response, which has been woefully lacking.”
JOE BIDEN VOWED TO “SHUT DOWN THE VIRUS, NOT THE COUNTRY”—BUT INSTEAD HE SHUT DOWN THE COUNTRY, AND SURRENDERED TO THE VIRUS…JUST AS PRESIDENT TRUMP PREDICTED.
Hundreds of schools are once again closing across the country as Biden admits defeat.
“US alarm at rise in child COVID infections sees school closures back on agenda” – the Guardian, December 27, 2021.
Thousands of flights are being canceled during Christmas week because of the Biden administration’s breathtaking failures.
“Major US airlines canceled hundreds more flights Sunday, the third day in a row of mass cancellations and delays over Christmas weekend, as staff and crew call out sick amid the Omicron surge…More than 1,200 US flights were canceled and more than 5,000 were delayed Sunday, according to FlightAware.” – CNN, December 26, 2021.
Biden’s top COVID advisor Anthony Fauci said the administration may ban unvaccinated Americans from domestic air travel.
“Fauci says U.S. should consider adding a vaccine requirement for domestic flights” – Washington Post, December 27, 2021.
Biden ordered private employers to fire unvaccinated Americans from their jobs as he blames the American People for his own failures.
On December 4, 2020, Biden promised that he would never mandate vaccines, saying, “No I don’t think it should be mandatory, I wouldn’t demand it be mandatory.” Less than one year later, Biden imposed an unconstitutional federal vaccine mandate and threatened that any American who refused to comply should be “prepared to pay.”
Biden’s public communication has been a confused mess—with rules and messages changing at a dizzying pace, yet Biden himself does not even follow them.
On May 13, 2021, Biden said: “If you’ve been fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask. Let me repeat: If you are fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask.”
Last week, Biden said, “Wear a mask.” “It’s critical to mask up in public indoor places.”
Meanwhile, Biden goes galivanting around the nation’s capital without a mask while sick and coughing: “Biden is spotted maskless at DC restaurant after saying he caught a cold from his grandson” – the Daily Mail, December 4, 2021
BIDEN’S DEADLY DISINTEREST IN THERAPEUTICS: SLOW TO INVEST IN AND DISTRIBUTE NEW AND LIFESAVING TREATMENTS
The Trump administration developed a proven system of speed, learning, iteration, innovation, and logistics that produced breakthrough weapons against the virus, and got them to Americans as quickly and plentifully as possible. The Biden administration has done the opposite: rested on their laurels while lecturing the American People and attacking their freedom.
President Trump invested BILLIONS in therapeutic development and manufacturing as part of Operation Warp Speed, and approved and distributed five therapeutics on an accelerated timetable.
Because of President Trump’s swift action, hundreds of thousands of critically ill patients received lifesaving treatments such as convalescent plasma and monoclonal antibodies.
Under Biden, there are now widespread shortages of monoclonal antibodies , one of the most effective treatments for seriously ill patients. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has failed to follow through on bringing new antibody treatments to market to confront new variants. This is a disaster of gigantic proportions.
Similarly, while maniacally demonizing Americans who have not been vaccinated and trying to get them fired from their jobs, Biden has FAILED to focus on purchasing and quickly distributing adequate supplies of groundbreaking therapeutic treatments, such as Pfizer’s new pill, Paxlovid, which was found to reduce risk of hospitalization or death by 88% when taken shortly after COVID infection.
When asked how many doses of the lifesaving Pfizer pill the federal government had purchased, Biden replied that he couldn’t remember the precise number and added, “I hope we don’t get there because if people get the shots…they’re not going to be in a position where they’re going to need such a pill.”
The Pfizer pill’s results were reported in early November, but nearly 2 months later, HHS says the first doses “will begin arriving at dispensing sites by the end of December” but that doses “will be limited at first” and “ramp up…in the coming months.” Many states are receiving only a few hundred doses, and some even less.
While forecasting “severe illness and death” for the unvaccinated, the Biden White House has barely even mentioned Paxlovid. It has only been mentioned one time in a press briefing since November.
Everyone knows this would never have happened under President Trump.
BIDEN’S TESTING FAILURE: A NATIONAL SCANDAL – BIDEN IS NOW TRYING TO SOLVE A PROBLEM HE CREATED
Starting completely from scratch on a novel virus, the Trump administration rapidly built the largest, most robust, and most advanced testing system in human history.
By January 20, 2021, the United States had conducted over 250 million tests – the most in the world by far.
Coronavirus testing peaked in January 2021 with approximately 2 million Americans getting tested a day.
Since President Trump left office, testing has DECLINED on Joe Biden’s watch. Biden has presided over a STAGGERING DECAY of America’ testing infrastructure, leaving the United States UNPREPARED for the Omicron Surge.
Biden stood by over the summer as millions of testing kits were destroyed, testing sites were dismantled, and testing manufacturers shut down production facilities and laid off workers. (“Maker of Popular COVID Test Told Factory to Destroy Inventory” – New York Times, August 20, 2021))
The number of tests performed dropped to just 420,000 per day during the summer as the Delta variant began to spread.
In October, the Biden administration REJECTED a plan that would have produced hundreds of millions more COVID tests and provided all Americans with free rapid tests for the holidays.
Throughout the Christmas weekend, sick Americans waited for hours in long lines to get access to a COVID test, and many were turned away or met with empty shelves—nearly two years into the pandemic.
As Biden admitted to ABC News, “You could argue that we should have known a year ago, six months ago, two months ago, a month ago.” He said he “wished [he] had thought about ordering” extra tests months ago.
Projections by the Department of Health and Human Services now estimate the United States will need 3 to 5 million tests per day by January—but because of Biden’s failures, our testing capacity is nowhere close . (“HHS forecast shows Omicron stretching U.S. COVID testing supply” – Politico, December 15, 2021)
Under Biden, the United States has fallen far behind other advanced nations on testing.
In Europe, 46 rapid at-home antigen tests have been approved for use, while the FDA has approved just 14 at-home antigen tests—some of which were authorized by the Trump administration.
One recent investigation found that under Biden, testing manufacturers applying for emergency use authorization face months-long delays.
Under President Trump, new coronavirus tests were sometimes approved within 24 hours.
Even the Washington Post is now criticizing Biden’s testing failures, noting that America has fallen behind the rest of the world.
WASHINGTON POST: “Americans are still paying a pretty penny for at-home coronavirus tests, which run around $25 for a pack of two — if they can even find one. In contrast, stores in Germany and India sell tests for a few dollars. The United Kingdom provides seven free tests per day to anyone who wants them. Singapore mailed tests to every household.”
Unlike Trump, Biden inherited the best testing system in the world and a virus we have known about for almost two years. But Biden still explained his failures by trying to claim that “nobody in the whole world saw it [the omicron variant] coming.”
BIDEN RECKLESSLY POLITICIZED THE VACCINE—BEFORE AND AFTER TAKING OFFICE
For months during the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden and Kamala Harris deliberately fomented skepticism about the vaccine.
In September 2020, Biden said, “Why do we think, God willing, when we get a vaccine — that is good, works — why do we think the public is gonna line up to be willing to take the injection? We’ve lost so much confidence, the American people, in what’s said [by the Trump administration].” Biden said, “I don’t trust Donald Trump. And at this point, the American people can’t, either.”
In September 2020, Harris said, “I would not trust Donald Trump” on a vaccine. During the vice presidential debate the following month, Harris said, “If Donald Trump tells us to take [the vaccine], I’m not taking it.”
In February 2021, Biden falsely claimed “we didn’t have” the vaccine when he took office.
But Biden himself received both of his vaccine doses before he took office, and when President Trump left office, over 1 million Americans were being vaccinated a day—all with NO MANDATES, THREATS, OR UNNECESSARY DIVISIVENESS.
In October 2021 during a CNN town hall event, Biden claimed that America’s widespread vaccine availability was because “I went out and bought everything I could do and buy in sight and it worked.”
Biden must have forgotten that it was President Trump who invested $14 billion in vaccine development and manufacturing.
By the time Trump left office, the federal government had secured 464 million vaccine doses, enough vaccine doses for all eligible Americans to get the vaccine by June 2021.
After inheriting the vaccines, Biden had a solemn obligation to monitor the data, keep the American people fully informed, and promote trust through transparency and communication. Instead, he has lied repeatedly and pursued nonsensical policies like denying natural immunity among those who have recovered from the virus—losing the trust of the American People.
Biden is now blaming everyone but himself for his administration’s failures, while trying to divide and demonize his fellow Americans, and working with Big Tech giants to censor public debate and scientific discussion.
As President, Trump was praised even by governors of the opposing party for his non-partisan and unifying approach to confronting this national challenge—and in the White House, he fostered open and vigorous debate among the full spectrum of people with different areas of expertise.
BIDEN THREW OPEN AMERICA’S BORDERS IN THE MIDDLE OF A GLOBAL PANDEMIC—HIS BORDER NIGHTMARE IS HELPING FUEL INFECTIONS AND DEATH.
Biden halted construction of President Trump’s border wall on the first day he took office, tore up our national security travel bans, shredded our asylum cooperation agreements with Mexico and Central American nations, and implemented catch-and-release across the entire U.S. border—triggering a mass influx of illegal migration.
Almost 2 million illegal aliens from over 160 countries have crossed America’s southern border this year alone—and the true number is much higher than that. There’s no “vaccine mandate” for illegal aliens on the border—yet while inviting in millions of unvaccinated illegal aliens to violate our laws, Biden is fighting to prevent American workers and Americanchildren from freely living their lives.
As the Delta variant spread across the world, Biden’s own administration estimated that nearly 20% of illegal immigrant families who crossed the border were infected with COVID-19—yet Biden refused to stop the flood of illegal migrants.
By contrast, early in the pandemic, President Trump acted swiftly to ban travel from China in January 2020–a measure that was praised by even Dr. Fauci for “saving lives” but denounced by Biden as “xenophobic” and “hysterical.”
President Trump also closed the U.S.-Mexico Border to non-essential travel from Mexico, and took action to ensure that anyone entering the U.S. illegally would be quickly returned to their home countries.
BIDEN IS BOWING DOWN TO CHINA – JOE JOINED CHINA’S “COVERUP” OF COVID ORIGINS
One of the first actions of the Biden administration was to shut down President Trump’s State Department investigation into the Wuhan lab.
In August 2021, Biden said, regarding the origins of the China virus that, “The world deserves answers, and I will not rest until we get them.” Biden also said, “we all must better understand how COVID-19 came to be in order to prevent further pandemics.”
But a year into Biden’s presidency, Biden has FAILED to get the truth about the Wuhan lab and he has failed to hold China accountable.
When Biden was asked two weeks ago why he has not done more to get to the bottom of the CCP’s role in the origins of the coronavirus, Biden just smirked and walked away.
“Biden smirks when Post asks about pushing China for transparency after 800K COVID deaths” – New York Post, December 15, 2021
The Biden administration has continually refused to hold China accountable for its role in the deadly spread of the coronavirus, opposing President Trump’s demand that China pay trillions of dollars for the damage it has caused.
AN UNMATCHED RECORD: TRUMP’S COVID STRATEGY SAVED MILLIONS OF LIVES AND SAVED THE U.S. ECONOMY
President Trump led the greatest mobilization of American society since World War II, quickly and decisively taking every problem head-on to save millions of American lives.
Took swift and early action to impose a life-saving travel bans.
Launched Project Airbridge, which led to the distribution of over a billion pieces of essential medical equipment at time of crisis, including:
5 million N-95 respirators, 2.5 million face shields, 945 million gloves, 2.5 million thermometers, 127 million surgical masks, 1.4 million coveralls, 66 million gowns, and 109,000 stethoscopes.
President Trump mobilized America’s manufacturing muscle—including Ford and General Motors—to produce vast quantities of personal protective equipment, and an unprecedented number of ventilators.
Between January 2020 and January 2021, the number of ventilators in the national stockpile increased by 705%. Just as he promised, not a single American who needed a ventilator was denied a ventilator.
President Trump rebuilt America’s strategic national stockpile, which by January 2021 had 18x more N95 masks, 10x more surgical masks, gowns, and gloves, and 3x more face shields than it had in January 2020. By contrast, the Obama-Biden administration left the national stockpile bare.
To help reopen schools, President Trump provided over 100 million cloth masks for distribution to schools as well as 800,000 BinaxNOW tests to HBCUs.
The Trump administration built the world’s leading testing system, completing over 250 million tests in 2020.
The administration’s testing efforts created capacity for over 1.3 billion tests by June 2021.
The administration protected our nation’s nursing home residents by shipping over 97 million pieces of PPE, over 15,000 antigen testing machines and 5.35 million rapid tests, as well as sending federal strike teams to 96 nursing homes across the country.
The Trump administration invested $14 billion in vaccine development and manufacturing, and launched some of the largest vaccine trials in American history.
Through Operation Warp Speed, President Trump harnessed the power of the federal government and scientific community to develop safe and effective COVID vaccines in just 9 months, the fastest in history.
The Trump administration ramped up vaccine production to historic levels and secured enough vaccine doses for all eligible Americans by June 2021.
President Trump prioritized vaccine doses to the most vulnerable Americans. As a result, 7 million people in over 70,000 long term care facilities rapidly received lifesaving vaccines.
President Trump also expertly managed the economy’s safe and strategic reopening—SAVING the U.S. economy, rescuing millions of jobs, getting children safely back to school, and launching the fastest economic recovery on record.
ONE YEAR IN, THE RESULTS ARE CLEAR: PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP HANDLED COVID EXCEPTIONALLY WELL—IN MUCH WORSE CIRCUMSTANCES—WHILE JOE BIDEN AND HIS DISASTEROUS ADMINISTRATION HAVE FAILED. IT’S NOT EVEN CLOSE.
Ignored by the liberal media. New Yorkers are waiting in endless lines for hours in the cold to get their test kits so they can go back to work, school or visit family because Joe Biden took the Covid relief money and sent it to house unvaccinated untested illegals at the border.
They do this because they hate you — and because New Yorkers are dupes.
Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) broke this report earlier today on FOX News.
Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO): He reallocated $2 million of money that should have gone towards COVID testing but instead sent it to house illegals at the border.
Pandemic of the Vaccinated: Two Studies Show New Evidence that Covid-19 Vaccines “Cause MORE ILLNESS than they Prevent” – After 3 Months, Pfizer Jab Recipients are 76.5% MORE LIKELY than the Unvaxxed to Contract Covid
Two newly released studies show that – after a brief period of moderate protection – the experimental Covid-19 vaccines actually end up causing more illness than they prevent – especially when it comes to new variants like the now-predominant, and highly-mild Omicron.
The first study, a pre-print that was released on MedRXivby a team of researchers in Denmark, shows that the experimental vaccines provide absolutely zero protection against Omicron beginning two months after vaccination (which they refer to as “peak” protection).
After just three months, fully vaccinated individuals begin to experience sharp negative protection.Researchers found that those who received the Pfizer vaccine were an astounding 76.5% more likely to have a breakthrough infection than their unvaccinated counterparts once 90 days had passed – those who received Moderna’s were 39.3% more likely.
According to the study, the spread of the new Omicron variant was “likely” caused by “super-spreader events”“among young, vaccinated individuals.”
Only those who had taken a complete two-dose vaccination or a two-dose vaccination and a booster were counted as vaccinated in the study.
Somehow, the study’s authors still conclude that mass vaccination and the rollout of boosters is nessecary.
After examining Pfizer’s own vaccine clinical trial data, the CCCA team of experts also found that the Pfizer vaccine had serious negative protection against Covid, andso much so that they concluded the “vaccine causes more harm than good.”
“The Pfizer 6 month data shows that Pfizer’s COVID-19 inoculations cause more illness than they prevent.“
The CCCA panel conducted a thorough analysis of Pfizer’s vaccine trial report from December 31st, 2020. The Pfizer report claims that the inoculations were safe and showed a robust 95% efficacy 7 days after the 2nd dose. But what researchers failed to mention was that the 95% was actually Relative Risk Reduction. Absolute Risk Reduction, which is what should have been factored in – especially if this vaccine is going to be mandated across the board, was less than one percent.
“The claim was that the inoculations were safe and showed 95% efficacy 7 days after the 2nd dose. But that 95% was actually Relative Risk Reduction. Absolute Risk Reduction was only 0.84%.”
For context, relative risk reductions only relate to a percentage reduction in one group compared to another, which can easily be misleading and over-exaggerate how helpful something is. Absolute risk reductions give the actual difference in risk between one group and another.
The report also shows that Pfizer had recorded an increased risk of illness – and even an increased risk of death – in individuals who had taken the vaccine compared to those who were in the placebo group – something that was also backed up by Pfizer’s latest clinical trial data that was published last month.
“Pfizer’s most recent report indicates an Efficacy of 91.3%. (Which means a reduction in positive cases compared to placebo group.)
But it also showed, compared to the placebo group, an increase in illness and deaths.
There is no benefit to a reduction in cases if it comes at the cost of increased sickness and death.”
“Severe adverse events” were up by 75% in the trial group that had received the vaccine.
Overall, adverse events that were attributed to the vaccinewere an astounding 300% higher than in the placebo group.
As for deaths, there were more who died in the vaccinated group – 20 out of 34 total. What’s even more concerning is that 9 of the vaccinated deaths were related to “cardiovascular events.
The CCCA panel also found several questionable and corrupt practices that were used when Pfizer compiled their report.
Not only did the vaccine maker downplay the side effects of the experimental jab, but they also did not follow established clinical trial protocols, had inadequate control groups that were mixed and unblinded early, and tested the jab on misleading demographics in order to generate the best results.
Instead of focusing the trials on the target population who could most benefit from a Covid-19 vaccine – a la the elderly and those with severe comorbidities – Pfizer chose participants from younger demographic that would be a) less likely to need a vaccine, b) less likely to suffer an adverse event during a trial, c) more likely to respond well to a vaccine, than the elderly who need protection against this virus.
This is just the latest evidence that Pfizer and the public health bureaucracy fully knew the dangers of these experimental vaccines, but pushed them out to the world anyways. A few weeks back, the Gateway Pundit reported on how the FDA granted an extension to Pfizer’s EUA despite recording an astounding 1,200-plus vaccine-related deaths in just the first 90 days of its availability.
Back in August white House Spokesperson Jen Psaki lied and told Peter Doocy and the American public the administration was in contact with every American in Afghanistan.
The Biden regime spokesperson also told reporters numerous times there were “only” 100 Americans left stranded inside the country.
But that was all a lie. And they knew it was a lie.
We now know that there are THOUSANDS of Americans stranded in Afghanistan and as many as 14,000.
Since the fall the Americans left stranded in Afghanistan have been out of the news. But Americans and our allies are still trapped inside the failed Taliban-led state.
A new report at National Review published today revealed that the Biden State Department is “actively impeding” rescue attempts of Americans from the country. Thousands of Americans and as many as 100,000 American allies are left stranded inside the country. Even a group of Catholic nuns are still trapped in Afghanistan.
The Project Dynamo rescue came four months after the fall of Kabul, as winter is setting in, and as Afghanistan is on the brink of mass starvation. It also came as successful rescues of Americans and American allies have become increasingly hard to come by.
Stern has focused his most recent efforts on rescuing American citizens and green-card holders, people who can fly commercially to the United States. But efforts by dozens of private rescue groups who have focused their energy on saving other American allies in the 20-year war — people who typically don’t have the paperwork for a direct path into the U.S. — have slowed to a crawl.
Leaders of some of those groups who spoke to National Review are pointing fingers at the U.S. Department of State. They say the State Department is doing little to help them rescue American allies, and in some cases it is actively blocking their efforts. They’re calling on President Joe Biden’s administration to do more to help them save the people they once served with…
…Owen estimated there are easily over 100,000 American allies still trapped in the country. He noted that former Afghan national army commandos don’t qualify for SIV status.
“They get nothing. The U.S. government doesn’t see any duty to evacuate these guys. And they are dead. They are dead. They are dead if they get caught. I’ve had three executed in the last two weeks, one in front of his wife and children,” Owen said. “None of us are going to quit until we find a way to get them out. These guys, they fought like hell.”…
…Iowa state senator Zach Nunn, the other cofounder of Task Force Argo, said they shared their manifest with the State Department in October. “The flight manifest is still being reviewed by State,” Nunn said in a prepared statement. Among the people they are ready to fly out are dozens of at-risk Catholic nuns, he said.
Owen also acknowledged that the lack of recent media attention has made it harder to raise money that organizations like Flanders Fields rely on. He said he and his wife recently pulled $23,000 out of their personal savings to keep the operation afloat and their safehouses open.
The Biden State Department will not even move to rescue Catholic nuns trapped inside the country. They truly are evil people.
The direct way to Palestine by way of Kadesh and Hebron was closed against Moses; therefore he was compelled to lead his people eastward around the foot of the Dead Sea and so up to the Jordan valley. On the way Aaron was warned that his death was come. It was well known to both brothers that he could not enter the promised land. He had sinned in building the brazen calf, he had joined in Moses’ sin in the time of his lack of faith; hence Aaron must die: the long companionship of the brothers was at its end.
Together “in the sight of all the congregation,” they ascended a huge mountain, Mount Hor, and they took with them Eleazar, Aaron’s eldest surviving son. Eleazar had been but a boy at the time of leaving Egypt, so against him the general doom of death in the wilderness did not hold. He was to be Aaron’s successor as high priest, a stronger one in some ways than his father. “And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar, his son; and Aaron died there in the top of the mount; and Moses and Eleazar came down from the mount.”
The doctrine of justification, the storm-center of the Reformation, was for Paul the heart of the gospel (Rom. 1:17; 3:21–5:21; Gal. 2:15–5:1), shaping his message (Acts 13:38, 39) and his devotion (2 Cor. 5:13–21; Phil. 3:4–14). Though other New Testament writers affirm the same doctrine in substance, the terms in which Protestants have affirmed and defended it for almost five centuries are drawn primarily from Paul.
Justification is God’s act of pardoning sinners and accepting them as righteous for Christ’s sake. In it, God puts permanently right their previously estranged relationship with Himself. This justifying sentence is God’s bestowal of a status of acceptance for Jesus’ sake (2 Cor. 5:21).
God’s justifying judgment seems strange, for pronouncing sinners righteous may appear to be precisely the kind of unjust action by a judge that God’s own law forbids (Deut. 25:1; Prov. 17:15). Yet it is a just judgment, for its basis is the righteousness of Jesus Christ. As “the last Adam” (1 Cor. 15:45), our representative head acting on our behalf, Christ obeyed the law that bound us and endured the punishment for lawlessness that we deserved, and so “merited” our justification. Our justification is on a just basis (Rom. 3:25, 26; 1 John 1:9), with Christ’s righteousness reckoned to our account (Rom. 5:18, 19).
God’s justifying decision is in effect the judgment of the Last Day regarding where we will spend eternity, brought forward into the present and pronounced here and now. It is a judgment on our eternal destiny; God will never go back on it, however much Satan may appeal against the verdict (Zech. 3:1; Rom. 8:33, 34; Rev. 12:10). To be justified is to be eternally secure (Rom. 5:1–5; 8:30).
The necessary means of justification is personal faith in Jesus Christ as crucified Savior and risen Lord (Rom. 4:23–25; 10:8–13). Faith is necessary because the meritorious ground of our justification is entirely in Christ. As we give ourselves in faith to Jesus, Jesus gives us His gift of righteousness, so that in the very act of “closing with Christ,” as older Reformed teachers put it, we receive the divine pardon and acceptance we can find nowhere else (Gal. 2:15, 16; 3:24).
Historic Roman Catholic theology includes sanctification in the definition of justification, considered as a process rather than a single decisive event, and affirms that while faith contributes to our acceptance with God, our works of sanctification and merit must contribute too. Catholics see baptism as conveying the sanctifying grace that first justifies us. Afterward the sacrament of penance allows supplementary merit to be achieved through works, securing justification if the grace of God’s initial acceptance is lost through mortal sin. This supplementary merit does not oblige God to be gracious although it is the normal context for receiving it. On the Roman Catholic view, believers effect their own salvation with the help of the grace that flows from Christ through the church’s sacramental system. The Reformers pointed out that this view of salvation undercuts the sense of confidence that only free grace can provide to those who have no merits. Paul had already showed that all people, of whatever piety, are without merit, and need a free justification if they are to be saved. A justification that needs to be completed by the recipient is no resting place.
3:28 The equality and unity spoken of here is of a spiritual nature—in Christ. Paul had just discussed at length that the Jew has no spiritual advantage over the Greek (Gentile), and now he says the same equality is true for social and gender distinctions. No people group or gender is to be exalted above others.
3:28 Christianity did not erase ethnic, slavery, and gender distinctions (e.g., Eph 5:22–6:9); it made them irrelevant to entering into a fully privileged covenantal relationship as a child of God and of Abraham. This was radically different from the Greco-Roman culture that emphasized honor and status based upon one’s family or wealth.
3:28 Paul’s assertion does not obliterate social or role distinctions. Observation will confirm the continuing existence of Jew and Greek, male and female. The statement is an affirmation of the impartial nature of the love of God in salvation (cf. Acts 10:34, 35). The equality of personhood which God gave to His entire creation is a birthright of new life, to be exercised as an opportunity for intimate fellowship with God Himself. Similarly, the divinely assigned responsibility of race, position, or sex is a mandate of office, to be accepted as an opportunity in service and for glory to the Lord. This is no contradiction to the equality and unity we experience “in Christ,” which transcends all racial, ethnic, social, national or sexual distinctions.
3:28 you are all one in Christ Jesus. The wall of separation between Jew and Gentile is removed for those united to Christ: all in Christ are Abraham’s seed (Eph. 2:14–16; Col. 3:11). Indeed, no human distinctions avail as advantages in the matter of salvation. Paul does not obliterate these distinctions, such as those between the sexes, but indicates they give no preferential status in terms of our union with Christ. Until Christ returns, the created order remains and order in the church takes account of it (1 Cor. 11:3; 14:34; 1 Tim. 2:11–14). See “The Church” at Eph. 2:19.
3:28neither Jew nor Greek Paul emphasizes that the standard categories that often divide people—race, social status, gender—do not apply to those who are in Christ. It is not that such criteria cease to exist; rather, these distinctions are not grounds for exclusion from the life that God offers to all people in Christ. Because God is one (v. 20), He seeks to establish through Christ a single, unified family.
3:28neither Jew nor Greek. The fact that the Mosaic law has been left behind in the old age means that, in the new creation, the distinction between Jew and Gentile is broken down (see Eph. 2:11–22). Certainly these Galatians do not have to become Jews in order to be Christians (cf. Gal. 3:14). There is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female does not imply that there are no distinctions in how these groups should act, for Paul elsewhere commands slaves (“bondservants,” ESV footnote) and masters differently (Eph. 6:5–9), and husbands and wives differently (Eph. 5:22–33). Paul clearly is not advocating the elimination of all distinctions nor the acceptability of same-sex marriage or homosexual relations (see Rom. 1:26–27). Rather, he teaches that old divisions and wrongful attitudes of superiority and inferiority are abolished, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. He does not take away the distinction between men and women but says they are “united,” joined together in “one” body, the church. The verse teaches unity within diversity but not sameness.
3:28 you are all one in Christ Jesus. All those who are one with Jesus Christ are one with one another. This verse does not deny that God has designed racial, social, and sexual distinctions among Christians, but it affirms that those do not imply spiritual inequality before God. Nor is this spiritual equality incompatible with the God-ordained roles of headship and submission in the church, society, and at home. Jesus Christ, though fully equal with the Father, assumed a submissive role during His incarnation (Php 2:5–8).
3:28 — 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.
God does not play favorites (Acts 10:34; Rom. 2:11); He has no favorite sons or daughters. We all come to Him with exactly the same level of need, and He makes us into a single unit, the body of Christ.
3:28 The context of this verse is justification by faith in Christ Jesus, the fact that Jesus has redeemed all those who believe on Him, whether Jew or Gentile (3:26–4:27). Racial, social, and gender distinctions that so easily divide in no way hinder a person from coming to Christ in order to receive His mercy. All people equally can become God’s heirs and recipients of His eternal promises (4:5–7).
3:28. Those who have put on Christ are all one in Christ Jesus. There are not separate churches for different groups. All are one in the Body of Christ. Paul is not denying distinctions between these groups. For example, he gives exhortations on husband-wife and master-slave relationships (e.g., Eph 6:5–9).
3:28 The law made distinctions between these classes. For instance, the distinction between Jew and Gentile is insisted on in Deuteronomy 7:6; 14:1, 2. In his morning prayer, a Jewish man thanked God that He had not made him a Gentile, a slave, or a woman. In Christ Jesus these differences disappear, that is, as far as acceptance with God is concerned. A Jew is not preferred over a Gentile, a free man is not more favored than a slave, nor is a man more privileged than a woman. All are on the same level because they are in Christ Jesus.
This verse must not be pressed into meaning something it does not say. As far as everyday life is concerned (not to mention public ministry in the church), God does recognize the distinction between male and female. The NT contains instructions addressed to each; it also speaks separately to slaves and masters. But in obtaining blessing from God, these things do not matter. The great thing is to be in Christ Jesus. (This refers to our heavenly position, not to our earthly condition.) Before God the believing Jew is not a bit superior to the converted pagan! Govett says: “All the distinctions which the law made are swallowed up in the common grave which God has provided.” Therefore, how foolish it is for Christians to seek further holiness by setting up differences which Christ has abolished.
3:28. Second, believers are all one in Christ Jesus. Since all believers became one with each other, human distinctions lose their significance. None is spiritually superior over another, that is, a believing Jew is not more privileged before God than a believing Gentile (Greek, in contrast to Jew, suggests all Gentiles; cf. Col. 3:11); a believing slave does not rank higher than a believing free person; a believing man is not superior to a believing woman. Some Jewish men prayed, “I thank God that Thou hast not made me a Gentile, a slave, or a woman.” Paul cut across these distinctions and stated that they do not exist in the body of Christ so far as spiritual privilege and position are concerned. Elsewhere, while affirming the coequality of man and woman in Christ, Paul did nonetheless make it clear that there is a headship of the man over the woman (cf. 1 Cor. 11:3) and that there are distinctions in the area of spiritual service (cf. 1 Tim. 2:12).
3:28. Having explained the vertical change that grace brought, now Paul shows its horizontal effect when he states you are all one in Christ. In Christ, human distinctions lose their significance. Regardless of race, profession, or gender, all who come to Christ must come the same way—through faith and repentance. As a result, with all distinctions erased, all believers are united in Christ. This does not mean that all distinctions are erased on the human level. A slave was still a slave in the eyes of Rome, but not in the eyes of God.
3:28 The distinctions which the Judaizers emphasized are now totally removed in Christ. There are no barriers for anyone to become a Christian. The Jewish arrogance against Gentiles, slaves, and women has been totally removed. Distinctions are not valid for salvation (cf. Rom. 3:22; 1 Cor. 12:13; and Col. 3:11), yet this does not mean that we are no longer male or female, slave or free, Jew or Greek. Those distinctions remain and there are passages that speak to these distinctions, but in the area of becoming a Christian there are no barriers. Every barrier raised by self-righteous, legalistic or biased humans, Christ has knocked down once and for all. Hallelujah!
This collective emphasis is very similar to the concept of corporate Israel. We are now one new collective unit, the Church (cf. John 17; Rom. 12:4, 5; 1 Cor. 12:12ff.).
28. There can be neither Jew nor Greek; there can be neither slave nor freeman; there can be no male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. In Paul’s day fraticidal class-distinctions were the order of the day, just as they are still in many quarters. See N.T.C. on Colossians and Philemon, pp. 151–154, where this same subject is discussed in some detail in connection with Col. 3:11. For the present purpose it is necessary only to note that the Jews drew a sharp line of separation between themselves and the “swarms” or “hordes” (“goyim”) of outsiders, heathen nations in contrast with Israel. Often such heathen were simply called “dogs.” Even proselytes to the Jewish religion were never fully “accepted.” After all, they were not “children of Abraham.” It seems that the Judaizers of Paul’s day had not broken away from this feeling of disdain for non-Jews. Gentiles, too, were often guilty of similar snobbery. They looked down upon the Jews as much as the latter looked down upon them. And as to their attitude toward slaves, it cannot have been far removed from that of Aristotle, who called a slave “an animated implement,” a mere breathing tool. And as to the distinction between male and female, even such a man of culture as Josephus, if the passage in his work Against Apion (II.xxiv) be genuine, declared, “The woman, so says the law, is inferior in all things to man.” What Paul is saying, then, is that all such distinctions—be they racial-religious (“neither Jew nor Greek”), social (“neither slave nor freeman”), or sexual (“no male and female”)—must be thoroughly and forever abandoned, since in Christ all are equal.
This does not mean that common sense must now be cast overboard. Because of different historical backgrounds, different vocational interests, different skills, different degrees of educational advancement, and different geographic locations, it may be in the interest of all concerned that at times “birds of a feather flock together.” The Bible recognizes this right. It was not wrong for Bezalel and Oholiab to work in conjunction with other artisans of similar ability in the construction of the tabernacle (Exod. 36:1, 2, 8). Neither was it wrong, as such, for Demetrius, “the silversmith,” to meet with other men of his trade (Acts 19:25). Scripture clearly justifies distinctions of this nature. It teaches not only the unity but also the diversity of all believers and, in a sense, of all men (Acts 17:26; 1 Cor. 7:20; 12; 16:2; Eph. 4:7). Are there not some people today who, in their mania for unity and equality, have left common sense and genuinely scriptural teaching far behind? Is it not absurd, for example, in the interest of “integration” to force into the fourth grade children, of whatever race, who cannot do fourth grade work? Would it not be foolish for ministers, with little knowledge of electricity, to try to crash a Convention of Electrical Engineers? Or for men to barge into a meeting of the Sewing Circle?
On the other hand, it certainly remains true that in God’s holy sight all men are, indeed, equal, for “all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23; cf. 2:11; 3:9–18; 5:12, 18). Also, “the same Lord is Lord of all, and is rich to all that call on him” (Rom. 10:12). For a Jew to confess himself to be a Christian, and then to refuse to eat with Christians from the Gentiles, or to regard himself as being in any way superior to them in moral worth, is an abomination to the Lord. Similarly today the church cannot tolerate hurtful distinctions. All believers are in a sense one person, one body “in Christ” (1 Cor. 10:17; 12:12; Col. 3:15), for he who is the Son of David is also the Son of man; he who is “the seed of Abraham” is also “the seed of the woman.” From God’s side the Holy Spirit, and from man’s side Spirit-imparted faith, link believers with Christ, and thereby also with one another.
By Union with Christ we are Related to One Another (3:28)
The second matter that Paul teaches here is that in Christ we are joined together in the family of God in spiritual equality: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. As he is dealing with those who really belong to the people of God, he establishes that baptism, not circumcision, is the sign of membership of His family. Baptism is the great badge of unity. Circumcision has become that which divides between Jew and Gentile (Eph. 2:11, 12). Paul implies, what he asserts clearly in Ephesians 2:11, 12, that baptism has replaced circumcision. We are diverse members; we have different gifts, abilities, and functions, but we are all part of the one body. Just as the toe is different from the ear, the finger from the eye, but all part of one body, the body of Christ is a diverse unity (1 Cor. 12:12–25).
Because of union with Christ, we are one body, one family, and there are no second class citizens in the family of God. That is what the apostle is driving at with these three pairs of distinctions. He says there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free man, male nor female. He begins with the racial distinction that has created the problem in Galatia, Jew and Gentile. Because Christ has abolished this division (Eph. 2:11–22), with respect to standing in the church there are no racial or ethical divisions.
The same is true economically. Paul says that there is neither slave nor free. Now the New Testament does not abolish the economic institution of slavery. The Bible governs that institution, but it does not abolish it. In the church, however, we are not to relate to people on the basis of their social or economic standing: ‘My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favouritism. For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and have become judges with evil motives’ (James 2:1–4)?
The same holds true for gender relations, there is neither male nor female. Circumcision created a distinction between male and female, but this sacramental distinction no longer remains. Women as well as men are baptized to testify to their equal standing within the church of Christ. No one in the body of Christ is spiritually superior to another. We note, however, that this abolition of distinction of standing is not an abolition of distinction of function or authority. God has appointed authority structures between master and servant, employer and employee. In the family God has commanded children to obey their parents and wives to be in submission to their husbands. In the church, God teaches that office bearers are to be men and that women are not to teach or exercise authority over men (1 Tim. 2:11–15). Therefore, within the equality that belongs to all in the body of Christ, there remains a diversity of authority and rule.
Moreover in the church, we may rightly glory in our heritage and culture. There is nothing wrong with cultural distinctives, as long as we do not make them marks of superiority in the Church. The fact that Jew and Gentile became one does not mean that a Jew stops enjoying his heritage and that a Roman Christian cannot still glory in certain things in Roman culture and civilization. The church is not the great melting pot in which we must lose all cultural distinctions, but rather a place where they come together under the headship of Christ and actually are part of the beauty of the church. Heaven will be like a great bazaar, an international market, in which all the cultures of the earth will be represented. Of course, all that is unbiblical will have been removed and all that is biblical will be brought to perfection. So we may rejoice in our culture, not arrogantly, but with humility, recognizing that there are good things in various cultures and that some cultures are superior to others. In the church, however, we do not draw lines on the basis of superiority or inferiority of culture.
Ver. 28. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free.—
The unity of true believers:—The Christian scheme is a uniting scheme, and all real saints are one in their glorious Head.
I. There is a sense in which the saints are too much one, viz., in that which is evil. They spring from the same depraved original, and are partakers of the same corrupt nature. Though sin does not reign in them, it remains; and too frequently led away captive by it, they act in a manner displeasing to God.
II. There are many respects in which the saints are not one. 1. Natural capacity. 2. Temper and disposition. 3. External advantages.
III. Yet they are really one in Christ Jesus. They are so by virtue of their union with Him, being thereby incorporated into one body, and animated by one spirit, also by virtue of their participation of Him. 1. They are equally objects of the Divine love and favour. One saint may love God more than another; the same saint may love God more at one time than another; but God always loves all His people with the same everlasting, ardent, unalterable affection. Infinite love admits of no degrees. 2. They have the same spiritual privileges. The same gospel is preached, the same Spirit poured on them; they have one Lord, faith, baptism; justified by the same blood, adopted into the same family, regenerated by the same grace, and preserved by the same power. 3. They all hold the Head, Christ Jesus. Differing in circumstantials, they are united in essentials. Inwardly determined for God, they are outwardly obedient to Him. On the other hand, every unconverted man has more hearts than one, and more ways than one. 4. They have the same well-grounded hopes and expectations. As one Father begot them, so one heaven shall receive them. There they shall be one in those senses in which now they are not so, for they shall see eye to eye. (B. Beddome, M.A.)
Unity and union:—If there be any truth in revelation, any efficacy to follow the Saviour’s prayer, any power in the Word of God accompanied by the Divine Spirit, an age must come when the Church will both be and appear to be one.
I. There is an essential unity in the Church, independent of the purpose, will, schemes, and devices of man. Sincere and intelligent faith brings souls, without the medium of an ecclesiastical organization, into union with Christ, and therefore with all the members of His spiritual Body which is the Church. There can no more be two Churches than there can be two suns in the solar system. All believers are one, but their unity ought to be visible.
II. Notwithstanding this essential unity, divisions exist in the Church. To turn from the ideal Church to that which appears to view is like looking off from a peaceful and tranquil lake to an ocean tossed with tempest. These divisions are in themselves injurious, for by splitting up the forces they take away that combined strength which the Church ought to present to the world; and they also show that bitterness of feeling exists. The clouds that are exhaled from the waters of strife hang, like a thick veil, over the bright orb of religion; religion is seen through them, no doubt, but like the sun seen through a mist—shorn of its beams, diminished in its effulgence. Religion suffers in consequence. “Divide and destroy” is the watchword of Satan, net of God.
III. What kind of manifestation of this unity should we seek? Our differences of opinion are not trifles; they are serious matters. If one body of believers is right, then the others must be wrong. If all are wrong in some particulars, they should renounce their errors, and unite on the ground of the common truth. How is such a unity to be brought about? 1. By cultivating personal godliness to a much greater extent. Errors of judgment arise, in great measure, out of the corruption of the heart, and soul, and mind, not yet brought into subjection to the mind of Jesus. 2. Unity of affection. External union will never be brought about until men’s hearts are knit together as thread is interwoven with thread. 3. Unity of persons. Every Christian grace must be seen. Not sectarian love. 4. Unity of action. Working together as labourers in the same vineyard. The oxen must be yoked quietly together (to use a familiar illustration) before they can draw together; the horses must be harnessed, and stand quiet without kicking each other, before they can draw together; we must be harnessed and yoked in love before we can unite externally.
IV. The means to be used to bring about this desirable union. 1. We shall never obtain it unless we really do desire it. All must long and pray together for the healing of our unhappy divisions. 2. There must be a conviction abroad, that it is everybody’s business to do what they can towards accomplishing it. Not ministers only, but lay people as well. The Church is made up of units; let all help. 3. The cultivation of personal religion. The olive branch can never flourish but in the rich soil of personal piety; let that soil be impaired, and the bitter aloe of contention, the thorn, the bramble, the briar, and the nettle of angry controversy will flourish luxuriantly. Man departs from his brother by departing from God; closeness to God will bring each one closer to his brother man. Only the constraining love of Christ can compress and concentrate the Church into a closer union. 4. Let each do what he can in his own narrow circle. Not necessary to wait for the working out of a huge scheme of general union. Heal up the little sores. 5. Be careful about controversy. Don’t elevate secondary matters into primary. Study the unity of heaven, and try to realize it on earth. Pray for the Spirit’s guidance. (J. Angell James.) Christ and the Church one:—
I. The oneness of Christ and the Church. The Church is: (1) many; (2) manifold; and yet (3) from this very multitudinousness and manifoldnes arises oneness.
II. The truth of the unity and manifoldness of the Church is the basis of New Testament morality. (Homilist.)
Grounds of unity:—Here are the grounds and reasons for Christian unity.
I. The great end of the gospel is not only to save, but to make one. One great fruit of sin is separation; the great object of the gospel is to bring about unity. Sin is extinguished by the cross; and Christ, the binding element, fills up the chasm between offended God and offending man—of twain making one new man, and so making peace.
II. Our relationship to each other. All are sheep of the same fold.
III. Christ’s own command. “Love one another.” “That they all may be one.”
IV. The safety of the whole body demands it. To be insuperable, Christians must be inseparable. The strength of the Christian Church, like that of Napoleon’s army, lies in consolidation, presenting a united front.
V. Necessary for the extension of Christ’s kingdom. (J. Cumming, D.D.)
Union with Christ and its results:—
I. The fundamental fact. 1. In Christ, as the stone is in the building. 2. As the fugitive is in the city of refuge. 3. As in a seed.
II. The great consequences of this fundamental fact. 1. Distinction of nations ceases. 2. Distinction between man and man ceases. 3. Distinction between strong and weak ceases. The native consequence of a fallen state is the mastery of the strong over the weak. Might makes right. And to the everlasting disgrace of the male sex the woman became the bond slave of the stronger man. The only shield of woman’s natural rights is the principle here stated. Thus with one stroke of the pen St. Paul settles the national, personal, and sexual rights of men. By one short sentence he solves the three greatest problems of human society—peace, liberty, fraternity. When all men are one in Christ, earth will once more be a province of heaven. (J. G. Murphy, LL.D.)
Unity not necessarily uniformity:—Look around on all creation, and you will find what metaphysicians have called the “monad,” that is, the ultimate principle of unity, pervading all, but diversity its continual development, characteristic of all. The cloud takes its multifarious shapes from the wind, its varied splendours from the sunbeam, but its substance remains continually the same. The fable varies in the incident and the story, but the moral is essentially the same; the music has many variations, but the old air, the original air or melody may be detected like a chord in the midst of all these variations. Animal life, from the humblest zoophyte up to man, the very perfection of physical life, presents every variety of organization, and yet its essential characteristics are the same in the dog, the cat, the horse, and the man. Human life, again, has general characteristics of unity, but you will find the utmost diversity of development. It is to me one of the most extraordinary and inexplicable and mysterious phenomena of the world, that while in this assembly there may be 1,000 or 1,100 faces, with the same characteristic features in all, yet not one is the least like any of the others. The principle of unity pervades the whole; each face has the great, essential, elemental characteristics of a face; yet no two faces, for reasons we cannot explain, are so alike that one might be mistaken for the other. If, again, we take spiritual intelligence, we shall find the same characteristic unity with the same developed variety. For instance, man seems to me to be the lowest link in spiritual intelligence. He is the basis where soul or spirit is united to matter; the next grade is the angel, the next the archangel, then the cherub, and after that the seraph. Here are ascending grades or diversities in heaven itself, and yet the fundamental characteristics of spiritual life are the same. If, again, I refer to the botanical kingdom, I find that every plant, tree, and flower, have each certain essential and elemental characteristics, and yet the utmost possible variety of development. The fragrance of a violet is perfectly distinct from that of a rose; the colour of a dahlia is totally different from the colour of a daisy. One flower differs from another in its shape, fragrance, appearance, stem, calyx, leaves, and yet all flowers have certain elemental and essential characteristics which distinguish the whole botanical kingdom. If I refer to the mineral kingdom, I find that all minerals are originated and guided by the same law; but one throws off its crystals in the shape of hexagons, another in the shape of pentagons; that is to say, the great law of crystallization in the mineral kingdom is the same, but the development of that law is as varied as variety can possibly be. The snowdrop, the raindrop, the snowflake, the buds of trees, and the blossoms of flowers—all things in the botanical kingdom, all things in the mineral, all in the animal kingdom, and all in nature, have each their own essential elemental characteristic unity, and yet in their developments we find the utmost possible varieties of that unity. And so, I would argue, there may be in the Church, where, I cannot but think, uniformity would be a blemish rather than a beauty. (J. Cumming, D.D.)
Near Christ, near Christians:—Observing in a large circle a number of lines called by mathematicians “radii,” we perceive that in proportion as each radius approaches the centre, it approaches the radius that is next to it; just in proportion to its nearness to the centre is its nearness to the others; and so it is with the Christian Church. It is one vast circumference, and just as we approach to Christ, in life and character, in the same proportion we draw near each other. (Ibid.) One in Christ:—There lies, deep down in the heart of mankind, not always read aright by the spirit of man which is in him, but always read aright by Him who has all hearts in his hand, a craving, yearning, thirsting desire for this reversal of the curse of Babel—for this re-gathering and re-uniting which is to be found only in Christ. We speak of rest as man’s want. But what rest? Not a rest of dreamy or dreamless slumber; not a rest of indolent self-indulgence; not a rest of undisturbed self-contained isolation: this cannot satisfy the want of a spirit come from and returning to God; this cannot fill the capacities of a heaven-born, everlasting existence. Underneath the longing for rest lies another longing—and that is for union, unity, oneness; for a voice to recall God’s scattered ones from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea, and make for them one blessed home, not by building upon earth a tower whose top shall reach heaven, but by bringing down out of heaven that holy city of which God, God in Christ, shall be at once the Light, and the Presence, and the Temple. The heart craves union: till it finds union it cannot know rest. And this craving for union is often ignorant, often impatient, often perverse, often sinful. It does not, all at once, even when it hears the gospel, submit itself to God’s will, to Christ’s direction, as to the end to be sought, or the manner of the seeking. One man, his heart all athirst for that rest which is union, will look out for himself some earthly object, which he may deck with every fancied perfection, and then bow before it as his idol. Another, of a less refined mould and making, will even find a gross, base, and perishing union in some companionship in sinning. For the moment he finds himself less alone; for the moment he has slaked the thirst of his soul at a muddy and a broken cistern—even in a counterfeit union, to be followed by a more aching loneliness than the former. And if men happen to have a different conception of the natural dispersion—either because their affections are less lively, or their ideas wider and more philosophical—then they frame projects, larger or smaller, of combination and fellowship; they will unite men in leagues, societies, associations, which are to reform nations or remodel Churches: disappointed of unity here, they will seek it there: a new sect shall give them that sense of perfect harmony which older creeds and communions have failed to inspire: even an excluding process has been tried, where schemes of comprehension have been found vain: still beyond, a little beyond, has lain the goal of absolute oneness, and still a weary and foot-sore multitude have plodded and tramped after it—in vain! And then, all at once, there enters this world of dispersion and disunion—enters it, as by a small wicket-gate, in remote, insignificant Palestine—One who represents Himself as possessing, for all mankind, for all time, not only the secret of rest, but the very rest itself—One who cries aloud in the temple-court, crowded for a great festival, in words absolutely unique, probably, in philosophy or in religion, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink”—drink, as He explains Himself, a water which is absolutely satisfying, because it brings into the soul that kind of rest which is union, union with God, and so union with itself and with its brother. “Ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” In Him the dispersion is regathered. All things, St. Paul says, in heaven and in earth are gathered together in Him. It seems as though even angels who never fell are in some manner interested and concerned in that regathering. Certainly the dead, equally with the living, are so. And I desire to say to you, this last night, how alone you and I can ever henceforward be at one. Each separately must enter into, must put on, must invest himself with Jesus Christ. Are the words ambiguous? You know what they say. They bid you to cast all your burden of guilt—is it not heavy? too heavy for you?—upon Christ as your atonement. They bid you to cast all your burden of sin and sorrow and conscious weakness—is it not heavy? too heavy for you?—upon Christ as your friend. Then are you inside Him. He includes, He contains you—and in the dread day of days, when the Avenger of blood looks for you, he shall find only Christ—only Jesus Christ and Him crucified, Him risen! In the exercise of that incorporation, of that union, of that oneness, will our true fellowship henceforth be found. You might detain me, you might pursue me, and yet we might not be one—not one person certainly! But if you and I are all inside Christ, then we must be at one. Then all minor differences, of place and intercourse, sink at once into nothing. Place and sight may make the difference of pleasure, of comfort, of expressed communion, of conscious unity. But they make no difference whatever, as to the reality, as to the essence of union. You may worship here, and I there—you may kneel at these rails, I at others—what then? We are all one person in Christ. In the face of such union, let us learn—it is a hard lesson—let us learn to despise and trample under foot all other. What is neighbourhood? What is co-existence? Men live next door to each other, and never meet—meet, and never commune—commune, and never are one. At last a call comes—one goes forth, at the summons of business, of necessity, of the gospel, to a distant shore—seas roll between—they never see, they never hear of each other more—yet, for the first time, they may be one—one person—in Christ. The communion of saints is between them—and therefore the life of life—the resurrection of the dead, and the life everlasting. Now first they are one. Days may pass, months, years, quarters of centuries—but that bond is fastened between them which cannot be broken. Now life is seen to be death, and death life. Now they know, or they shall know, that the Babel-dispersion is a Christ-gathering. They may have loved each other here, and trembled at the great parting. Now they know that that parting is the great, the first, the final reunion. Or, it may be, here they have not loved equally, not happily, not without doubting. One loved more than the other—the lavished love seemed to be wasted. There was no felt reciprocity—it was all on one side. O, look forward! Spend all your thoughts upon the union in Christ! Make your friend love Him, then he will at last love you! (Dean Vaughan.)
Oneness in Christ:—
I. This is a doctrine insisted on throughout the New Testament.
II. The ancient world did not recognize the oneness of the race. 1. Savage tribes preyed on each other as they do now. 2. Jew and Greek were at irreconcilable enmity. 3. Philosophers taught that there was an immutable distinction between freeman and slave, male and female.
III. Christianity came to change all that and—1. To teach the vivifying doctrines of the Fatherhood of God, and the brotherhood of man. 2. To die that all might be gathered into His fold. IV. This unity in Christ makes us feel at one with the great and good; (1) of all ages; (2) of all climes; (3) of all denominations; (4) of all sorts of society. (Archbishop Tait.) Believers one in Christ:—On a sweet summer evening a traveller looked along the valley on this peaceful scene, when a shower of rain was falling. Suddenly the sun broke out, and flung a bright bow on the cloud, that, like that of mercy, discharged its showers on all. The rainbow encircled within its arms suburb and city, lofty church and humble meetinghouse. And was it not a true and happy fancy that saw in this heavenly bow an emblem of that covenant which, irrespective of minor differences, embraces all believers within the same arms of mercy? (Dr. Guthrie.)
The oneness of believers:—Souls have no sexes and Christ is no respecter of persons. The servant paid the half-shekel as well as the master (Exod. 30). (Trapp.) All one in Christ:—There are two distinct thoughts in these most wonderful words. St. Paul affirms, first, that the greatest natural differences between men are, as we see them, only temporary, provisional, preparatory. 2. This transformation of the circumstances of human existence has found already a pledge of its accomplishment. Deeper than all which divides you, stronger than all which comes from time, and place, and circumstance, is this bond of one underlying life which has now been made known in the Son of Man, the Son of God. 3. We are to regard believers not as a family inspired by common affections and with common aims, but as one man, one body quickened by one Spirit, through which the one Lord is manifested to the world. But this doctrine that we men are one man, this doctrine, as it is called, of the solidarity of humanity, is no novelty to the Christian teacher. He finds in it part of the truth which the Incarnation proclaims. “Ye all are one man in Christ Jesus.” This truth, as we reflect upon it, reveals to us the fulness of life, the promise of life, the motive of life.
I. The fulness of life. When St. Paul declared the impossibility of distinctions between peoples and classes, he did not look to their destruction, but to their perfect use—to their consecration. Again and again it has happened in times of great conflict or peril that the thought of education, and rank, and sex, has passed away, and each one who has had to face the struggle has remembered only that he is an Englishman, or a man. All that he had, all that he was before, remained unchanged; every gift and every power was made to serve the immediate end; but larger interests asserted their supremacy, and the soul acknowledged the claim. So it is with the nobler conflict to which we are called as believers in Christ. We all bring to it the fullest offering of individual service; we keep back nothing, and we rest in nothing. Whatsoever we have that is special is the sign whereby God has revealed His purpose for us. But this is the common thought which hallows every effort, which nerves us for concentrated labour, which bears us beyond the narrow limits of personal aim, which binds together with the strength of their manifold energies the scholar, and the artist, and the craftsman, “I am a Christian.” By that confession we know the vastness, the fulness of life in its unity in Christ.
II. The promise of life. The unseen life is greater than we know; now and then the veil is lifted from some dark scene, and through sordid and repulsive surroundings, light and tenderness and self-sacrifice flash out; revealed, not created, by the circumstances through which it is seen. A time of wide distress shows us what the heart of the vast masses of the people is—beating with the one life, and loyal beyond hope to truth and righteousness. Then, when the deep foundations are being laid open; then, when we remember how the Son of Man has fulfilled man’s destiny—we are sure that there shall never be one lost virtue, sure that the one life with its purifying energy will not fail, sure that it is life and not death which is the seal of humanity.
III. The motive of life. To work for ourselves is a necessity. If then, we can be enabled to feel that our true self is in Christ, who has taken humanity to Himself, the whole aspect of the world is changed. Can we imagine any motive for labour more inexhaustible or more inspiring than this conviction that the well-being of the whole is imperilled in the least member; that subtle influences pass ever over each one of us at every moment which must work for all time; that at every moment we are all entering on the inheritance of the one life, marred or made richer, as it may be, by the action of our fellows? “Ye all are one man in Christ Jesus.” It is through us that Christ works. He is the vine, we are the branches; but where, without the branches, is the manifold fertility of the vine? He is the head, we are the members; but where without the members is the prevailing energy of the body? “Ye all are one man in Christ Jesus.” As we ponder the words and follow them beyond this region of conflict and succession, they disclose a prospect in which our souls can rest. (Canon Westcott.) Unity in diversity: There are three classes of obstacles to all union, and therefore to Christian union, and to the realization of the wondrous prayer of the Lord Jesus. These difficulties arise out of a threefold distinction that may be made among human beings. The Apostle Paul, in my text, does in three different ways divide mankind. He makes a threefold separation of the human race into two dissimilar classes, which, though here and there correspondent with one another, are by no means parallel the one to the other. This classification is governed by (1) the great intellectual differences and antagonisms among men; (2) the chief emotional and constitutional differences of character; and (3) the prodigious distinctions effected by external circumstances. It is true that St. Paul presents these three antitheses in a pictorial fashion, in a vivid and concrete form, before our consideration, but it is none the less obvious that he is thinking of more than the literal meaning of his own words. I. The first of these divisions was based on that great antagonism which was so admirably expressed in the apostle’s day by the intellectual differences obtaining between the Jew and the Greek. The Jew, strictly speaking, was the member of the holy family, the descendant of Abraham and Israel, a representative of that well-known nationality which had better reasons than any other Oriental people possessed, to believe that it was the special object of Divine care, and providence, and government. Thus the Jew became the type of all who, in every age of the Church, are, by their education, their mental habits, their strong dispositions, disposed to lay violent stress on the external sign, on the old tradition, even to the exclusion of the realities which are indicated by them. Now let us look at the other great type of intellectual character—the Greek. The term, even in the Acts of the Apostles and elsewhere in the New Testament, meant more than a Gentile proselyte to the faith of Christ; and the word “Grecian” or “Hellenist” meant more than a Greek-speaking Jew. It is capable of proof that there was in Judaism a Grecized party even before the time of our Lord, and it is quite clear that the Grecian converts to the faith of Jesus were rather characterized by the freshness of their ideas, the freedom of their speculations, the liberty which they claimed from oppressive rite and ceremonial, than by their mother-tongue. No classes of mind could be more directly opposed and dissimilar in their modes of working than those of the pure Jew and pure Greek. To Jewish conservatism the Greek opposed an incessant love of change; to the Jewish love of tradition and dependence upon the wisdom of the ancients the Greek offered endless speculation and elaborate guesses after truth; instead of the Jewish dogma the Greek luxuriated in the last logical puzzle. By the side of the stern exclusiveness of the Jewish Monotheism, the Greek prided himself in a Pantheon of deities, who were admitted on equal and easy terms to the reverence of the Hellenes. The mind of the Jew was hampered in its philosophical researches by a language of great metrical power, but of comparative rigidity of movement and excessive externality and objectivity; the Greek used the most flexible and delicate instrument of thought which human minds had ever fashioned. The Jew accepted the supernatural with child-like simplicity, and asked eagerly for more; the Greek sought after the causes of things, the meaning of words, the essence of government, the unseen and intangible realities. It is not a wonderful thing that St. Paul should have said, “The Jew requires a sign, the Greek seeks after wisdom.” The unrestrained liberty of the Greek was not without its serious dangers when it was brought by Divine grace within the limit of the true Church. If the two types of mental character of which I have spoken be found within the Church of Christ, we may expect sharp and sustained antagonism. Even regeneration will not change these grave and fundamental differences of mental constitution. How difficult must it ever prove for these two kinds of men to feel the deep-hidden unity which is possible between them! To put the matter in a concrete form, how difficult for one who imagines religious life to be inseparably associated with form, ceremonial, priesthood, sacraments, liturgies, elaborate dogmatic creeds and transcendental propositions, even to believe in the Christianity of another, whose only notion of it is a holy life, free from all these restraints; who thinks, speculates, philosophizes, and tries to prove all things, and only to hold fast that which is good! Verily, if these tendencies are left to themselves unchecked and unchastised, very distant will be the day when Jew and Greek shall be one. II. The second of them is the great constitutional and emotional difference of character expressed by the antithesis of male and female. It is not merely the difference of sex of which the apostle is speaking, but rather of the great types of character, which, though not confined to either sex, are best expressed by the terms masculine and feminine. By masculine character, we mean the predominance over the passions of reason and conscience, the energy of will, the submission to law, the conscious pride of independence, strength, self-sufficiency, robust and vigorous life. By feminine character, whether seen in woman or man, we mean the predominance of the affections, the delight of dependence, the unreasoning consciousness of right, the strength of submission, the power of suffering, self-sacrifice, and waiting. In the one there is more power to act, in the other to endure. The strength of the one is energy, and of the other is rest. Both may be led to do what is good; but the one because it is right, and the other because it is lovely. The one looks at religion as a system of principles, the other as the expression of deep feelings. The one sees no religion in mere states of mind, devotional postures, strong sentiments; and the other cannot understand the religion of mere principle and energy. How shall these two types of character be harmonized? III. The third great decision is that due to differences arising out of external circumstances. The bond and the free are the terms which Paul used to describe this great contrast. But though formal slavery be abolished, the distinction between different classes of men is not obliterated. Caste still prevails in India; the difference between the black negro and the Southern planter or Northern merchant will still abide in America. The struggle between capital and labour, and the contrast between rank and wealth and power on the one hand, poverty, dependence, and obscurity on the other, are as vigorous and obvious as they ever were. How hard it is to bridge the gulf between the lordly owner of a county and the half-clad, unclean, besotted, diseased inmate of some hovel within sight of his palace! How difficult to make even Christian people lay down their pride, and their caste, and love one another with a pure heart fervently! Legislation, common griefs and joys, healthful literature, and free press, are bringing these separate classes into one another’s view, and some of the reserve and mutual antipathy may be overcome in the foremost of the nations; but still within the Church, as well as outside its pale, there are the bond and the free. In the person of Jesus Christ is found the true point of contact for them all. 1. That the intellectual antagonism between Jew and Greek, of every age and Church, finds in Christ its true counteraction. The modern representative of the Jew within the Church, when he looks through the form and the letter, and the medium and the visible sign, to the reality which makes him Christian, heartily confesses that it is Christ crucified who satisfies his search. The Jew and Greek of St. Paul’s day meet before the cross. “Come,” says the Hebrew of Hebrews to the sinner of the Gentiles, “come, brother; thou who wert afar off art made nigh by the blood of Jesus. ‘He is our peace, who has made both of us one, and hath broken down the wall of partition between us.’ Let thee and me clasp hands before the cross, for we two have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” And the Greek responds, “I verily am no more stranger or foreigner, but a fellow-heir and of the same body, and partaker of Divine promise.” There is now neither Jew nor Greek; they are both one in Christ Jesus. 2. Christ Jesus is the mediating power between the masculine and feminine mind. Christ is the well-spring of the strong motives to right action and of the deepest passions of holy love. As the mountain torrent may leap with wild pomp and energy from the same water-shed from which, by a quieter transit, other and a gentle stream may wind its way to the great ocean, “reflecting far and fairy-like from high the immortal lights which live along the sky,” so too from the same fountain of deep emotions and great purposes varied lives may flow. As the two streams of water mingle at length, to do ever after a united work, so the two classes of mind, when they learn the lesson that from the one Christ they both derive their life and hope, then, “like friends once parted, grown single-hearted,” their love begins to abound. (H. R. Reynolds, B.A.)
In Christ:—I. All distinctions are lost. II. All differences harmonized. III. All hearts united. IV. All personal accomplishments ignored.
Christian unity:—I. Its foundation. II. Completeness. III. End. In Christ we have—I. One foundation of hope. II. One pattern of imitation. III. One motive of action. IV. One object of triumph. Observe—I. The test—if ye are Christ’s, by faith—redeeming grace—holy consecration. II. The privilege—then are ye Abraham’s seed included in the covenant—heirs of God, of every blessing, of heaven. III. The foundation of it—the free—unmerited—unchangeable promise of God. (J. Lyth.)
Christ the centre of Christian union:—I. The great central truth of Christian union is the central truth of Christianity itself, which is Christ crucified. Destroy the centre of any system, you have destroyed the system itself. Now, beloved, a great and essential doctrine is placed before you here. All believers are one in Christ Jesus. They have a vital union with Jesus. That includes, too, this great and precious truth—accepted and justified in Christ Jesus. Again, this being in Christ involves our preservation. The child of God is kept not by any power of his own. II. The consequent unity of all believers in the Lord. The unity of the Church of Christ does not spring out of anything in that Church, but out of the oneness of that Church in Christ. Unity pervades all God’s works and operations—unity, not uniformity. You will find a marvellous richness of diversity in all the works of God. There is unity and there is diversity. The family of God is essentially one, and yet constituted into different households. Now I would remind you, in the first place, beloved, that the unity of the Church of God grows out of the unity of all believers in Christ the one Head. All true believers hold Christ the one Head of the Church. Then, brethren, the essential unity of the Church consists in the indwelling of the self-same Spirit. Every believer is a temple of the Holy Ghost. All believers in Christ then are essentially one. And, brother, how much is there in the circumstances of a child of God to unfold the essential unity of the Church of God? We have the same trials, afflictions, temptations; we take, oftentimes, the same dreary, lonely, tiresome path. O, how much is there in God’s providential dealings with us in our trials, our sorrows, our temptations, to knit the saints of God more closely to their Head! III. And now, in conclusion, let me remind you that there grows out of this great and precious truth some solemn obligations and precious blessings. I will, in the briefest manner, refer to this point; and, first, with regard to obligations set forth in the Scriptures. If we are in Christ, and Christ is the centre of our union, then we are bound to recognize the unity of God’s dear ones. We are to recognize it. We are to hail a brother in Christ as a brother wherever we find him. My beloved hearers, the world is a keen observer of the Church of God. The world cares not one iota how we differ on points of Church government, or of doctrine, but the world looks at the Church of God in its union. It expects to find oneness, brotherly love, sympathy, co-operation. Therefore, I earnestly implore you, first to recognize the unity of all God’s dear saints with one another, and then to express and manifest a loving spirit. Brethren, shall I advert for a moment to the blessings that will accrue from your recognition and manifestation of this great and glorious truth, the essential unity of the Church? Let me remind you that your happiness will be promoted by it. And not only your happiness, but your holiness will be promoted by your recognition of brotherly love. I will only add that usefulness is another blessing that springs from the recognition and manifestation of union. Beloved, we are useful, not as we stand out in our individual isolated condition. We are useful for Christ in combination—combination of judgment, of heart, of purpose. (Octavius Winslow, D.D.)
In Christ we are all one (verse28)
Literally, ‘You are all one person in Christ Jesus’ (neb). In Christ we belong not only to God (as His sons) but to each other (as brothers and sisters). And we belong to each other in such a wayas to render of no account the things which normally distinguish us, namely race, rank and sex.
First, there is no distinction of race. ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek’ (verse 28). God called Abraham and his descendants (the Jewish race) in order to entrust to them His unique self-revelation. But when Christ came, God’s promise was fulfilled that in Abraham’s seed all the families of the earth would be blessed. This includes all nations of every race, colour and language. We are equal, equal in our need of salvation, equal in our inability to earn or deserve it, and equal in the fact that God offers it to us freely in Christ. Once we have received it, our equality is transformed into a fellowship, the brotherhood which only Christ can create.
Secondly, there is no distinction of rank. ‘There is neither slave nor free.’ Nearly every society in the history of the world has developed its class or caste system. Circumstances of birth, wealth, privilege and education have divided men and women from one another. But in Christ snobbery is prohibited and class distinctions are rendered void.
Thirdly, there is no distinction of sex. ‘There is neither male nor female.’ This remarkable assertion of the equality of the sexes was made centuries in advance of the times. Women were nearly always despised in the ancient world, even in Judaism, and not infrequently exploited and ill-treated as well. But here the assertion is made that in Christ male and female are one and equal—and made by Paul, who is ignorantly supposed by many to have been an anti-feminist.
A word of caution must be added. This great statement of verse 28 does not mean that racial, social and sexual distinctions are actually obliterated. Christians are not literally ‘colour-blind’, so that they do not notice whether a person’s skin is black, brown, yellow or white. Nor are they unaware of the cultural and educational background from which people come. Nor do they ignore a person’s sex, treating a woman as if she were a man or a man as if he were a woman. Of course every person belongs to a certain race and nation, has been nurtured in a particular culture, and is either male or female. When we say that Christ has abolished these distinctions, we mean not that they do not exist, but that they do not matter. They are still there, but they no longer create any barriers to fellowship. We recognize each other as equals, brothers and sisters in Christ. By the grace of God we would resist the temptation to despise one another or patronize one another, for we know ourselves to be ‘all one person in Christ Jesus’ (neb).
28. In the New Testament eni stands for enesti, there is; but it seems always to be used with the negative. In the collective whole which is ‘the body of Christ’, there is no longer any place for the traditional distinctions that divide mankind—cultural, linguistic, religious (for Greek, opposed to Jew, conveys all of these) or even sexual. Some have seen here another thrust at the Judaizers. The Jewish male gave regular thanks to God in the liturgy that he was not born a Gentile or a woman. Paul would then be pointing out that, in Christ, all the old ‘dividing walls’ that were accepted and even extolled in Judaism had been broken down (Eph. 2:14). But it may simply be that these were types of human division familiar to his hearers, and that he uses them to symbolize all such human divisions.
Paul bases his strong position (the total transcending of such distinctions) on the grounds that all are now heis, one (or ‘an entity’), in Christ Jesus. (The neb actually translates as ‘one person’, thus making the meaning doubly clear.) Here again is the concept of the collective whole of the Christian church. It is a short step from this to the use of the ‘body concept’ which sees the totality of believers as the body of Christ.
28. There is neither Jew nor Greek. The meaning is, that there is no distinction of persons here, and therefore it is of no consequence to what nation or condition any one may belong: nor is circumcision any more regarded than sex or civil rank. And why? Because Christ makes them all one. Whatever may have been their former differences, Christ alone is able to unite them all. Ye are one: the distinction is now removed. The apostle’s object is to shew that the grace of adoption, and the hope of salvation, do not depend on the law, but are contained in Christ alone, who therefore is all. Greek is here put, as usual, for Gentile, and one department for the whole class.
3:28. 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.
J. B. Lightfoot thinks that this may go back to a saying of Jesus. That is guesswork. Paul does refer here to ‘Greek’ rather than ‘Gentile’, but he regarded the terms as synonymous (cf. Rom. 2:9—but not in the NIV!). It is well known—even notorious—that a Jewish man at morning prayer would thank God that he was not a Gentile, an ignorant person, or a woman. It is highly likely that at one time Paul would have prayed that prayer every morning. In its context, it was not so much putting down Gentiles, ignorant people and women as exalting the law, because Gentiles, ignorant people and women did not normally study the Torah.
Galatians 3:28 has been referred to by Paul Jewett as ‘the Magna Carta of Humanity’. Krister Stendahl sees this as the ‘breakthrough’ text,142 while William Webb thinks in terms of ‘seed ideas’ that are not static but which point to a higher, more dynamic and progressive social ethic. Hans Betz declares that ‘There can be no doubt that Paul’s statements have social and political implications of even a revolutionary dimension.’ He adds to this by writing of androgyny (the abolition of all sex distinctions in this age and the age to come).144 Ben Witherington III makes the wide-ranging, and somewhat bewildering, claim that Galatians 3:28 leads to Martin Luther King’s sermon, ‘I have a Dream’, in Washington, and to John Wesley’s setting up orphanages, his opposition to slavery and his use of women preachers. It has even been argued that Galatians 3:28 has implications for the acceptance of homosexuality.
Scholars who identify themselves as conservative evangelicals, such as F. F. Bruce, Richard Longenecker and Leon Morris, think that this verse opens up spiritual leadership in the church to Gentiles, slaves and women. F. F. Bruce writes, ‘No more restriction is implied in Paul’s equalizing of the status of male and female in Christ than in his equalizing of the status of Jew and Gentile, or of slave and free person.’ In Bruce’s view, if baptism is open to women, so too is church leadership. Dunn argues in a similar way.
All of this is quite misleading. There are social implications to this—William Tyndale beautifully declared that ‘The most despised person in the realm ought to be treated as if he were the king’s brother’—but Paul is referring primarily to the inclusion of all people in the covenant with Abraham which has been fulfilled in Christ. Paul is dealing with unity, not equality.
In Christianity there is no longer any distinction between Jew and Gentile (Eph. 2:15). Similarly, in Christ there is no more any distinction between slave and master (Col. 3:11). But this does not mean that the roles of slaves and masters are interchangeable—as Paul makes clear in Colossians 3:22; 4:1. Similarly, with males and females, there is equality in essence and inequality in function (1 Cor. 11:3). The fact that there is neither male nor female in Christ does not mean that Paul was advocating that women should be allowed to preach and govern the churches (1 Cor. 11:2–16; 14:33–35; 1 Tim. 2:11–15). For that matter, Paul is equally clear on the issue of homosexuality (Rom. 1:24–28; 1 Cor. 6:9–11; 1 Tim. 1:8–11).
Betz thinks that Paul is inconsistent in his views, but he is quite consistent. In Galatians 3:28 Paul is talking about accessibility to salvation, which is signified by baptism. All—Jew and Gentile, male and female, slave and free—can come to faith in Christ. Similarly, all are to be baptized (only males, of course, were circumcised in the Old Testament). In other places Paul discusses gifts and functions.
In Christ, there is no racism, no snobbery, no social status, no misogyny, no feminism—none of those things count for anything. Everything is turned upside down. The last shall be first, and the first shall be last. There is no forced equality, but the deepest unity in Christ. As the old preacher said, ‘The ground is level at the foot of the cross.’
3:28 / Being clothed with Christ results in a new self-perception. The implication of this statement is that to regard oneself or others primarily in ethnic (Jew or Greek), social (slave or free), or gender (male and female) terms is to use categories inappropriate to the present, for after the coming of faith, those who believe are “sons of God,” “clothed with Christ,” and “in Christ.” For those Galatians “in Christ,” the law, which maintains ethnic boundary lines and delineates social and gender distinctions, has no relevance. Paul makes statements similar to Galatians 3:28 in 1 Corinthians 12:13 and Colossians 3:11. These two other letters were written from and to circumstances different from those in Galatia, which suggests that this statement was an early and widely used description of the faith.
Only Galatians 3:28 contains the phrase neither male nor female. In the Greek the phrase stands out because it reads literally “male and female” in distinction from “Jew nor Greek,” “slave nor free.” The phrase exactly echoes the Septuagint of Genesis 1:27: God created man “male and female.” Perhaps early Christians chose this phrase deliberately so as to signify that in baptism a new creation occurs (cf. 2 Cor. 5:17), one that redefines even the most basic features of the original creation.
The inclusion of the phrase “male nor female” in Galatians may be because of the issue of circumcision. In this regard it is interesting to read Justin Martyr, whose comments indicate the positive way that the church’s rejection of circumcision could redound to women. Justin comments that
the inability of the female sex to receive fleshly circumcision, proves that this circumcision has been given for a sign and not for a work of righteousness. For God has given likewise to women the ability to observe all things which are righteous and virtuous; but we see that the bodily form of the male has been made different from the bodily form of the female; yet we know that neither of them is righteous or unrighteous merely for this cause, but [is considered righteous] by reason of piety and righteousness. (Dialogue with Trypho 23 [ANF 1.206])
The center of gravity in the confession of 3:26–28 is Christ. Christ is the transformative locus of the faith the Galatians know. Through reference to what may have been a widely used baptismal confession, Paul reminds the Galatians of their initial understanding of the faith. Their original commitment was to a worldview in which they understood themselves to have gained a new identity, one rooted in and defined by Christ. This identity transcended all typical social distinctions and the moral distinctions that resulted from such social differentiating, and upon this shared understanding the affirmation in verse 29b is based. Paul expects the Galatians to fully embrace the self-understanding articulated in 3:27–29a, and so he uses it as another way to support his point that Gentiles are inheritors of the promise to Abraham without following the law.
28 On the basis of a comparison with the parallel structures in 1 Cor. 12:12f. and Col. 3:9–11, this verse has been judged, probably rightly, to be “a fragment of an early Christian baptismal liturgy.” Those who through baptism have entered into union with Christ “are all one in Christ Jesus” (AV, NASB, NIV), in whom the racial, social and sexual distinctions which obtained before are covered up, as it were, by the same garment—Christ.
The three antitheses, which represent the most far-reaching distinctions of ancient society, seem to have been deliberately chosen with an eye to the threefold privilege for which a pious male Jew daily thanked God: that he was not made a Gentile, a slave or a woman—categories of people debarred from certain religious privileges. It is noteworthy that in the third antithesis the words used are not the customary terms for man and woman but the more technical terms denoting male and female,40 thus indicating that what is in view is the general relationship between the sexes and not the specific relationship between husband and wife. The statement that there is no “male and female” in Christ does not mean, as was believed in later Gnosticism, that in the new era mankind is restored to the pristine androgynous state; nor does it mean that all male-female distinctions have been obliterated in Christ, any more than that there is no racial difference between the Christian Jew and the Christian Gentile.
“In Christ Jesus” emphasizes that Paul views the elimination of these antitheses from the standpoint of redemption in Christ, while the context clearly shows that the primary emphasis of the verse is on unity in Christ rather than on equality. The masculine gender of “one” suggests that the meaning here is that all who are in Christ form a corporate unity (NEB “one person”; cf. RV “one man”); it is this sense which provides the necessary transition from the thought of Christ as the “issue” (v. 16) to that of believers as the “issue” (v. 29) of Abraham. If the notion of equality in Christ is also involved, it is only secondary and has regard to incorporation into this “one person” and membership in the community.44
One With Other Christians
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (3:28)
Paul focused on the existing, well-defined distinctions of his society that drew sharp lines and set up high walls of separation between people. The essence of those distinctions was the idea that some people—namely Jews, free men, and males in general—were better than, more valuable than, more significant than others. The gospel destroys all such proud thinking. The person who becomes one with Christ also becomes one with every other believer. There are no distinctions among those who belong to Christ. In spiritual matters, there is to be made no racial, social, or sexual discrimination—neither Jew nor Greek, … slave nor free man, … male nor female.
It is not, of course, that among Christians there is no such thing as a Jew, Gentile, slave, free person, man, or woman. There are obvious racial, social, and sexual differences among people. Paul, however, was speaking of spiritual differences—differences in standing before the Lord, spiritual value, privilege, and worthiness. Consequently, prejudice based on race, social status, sex, or any other such superficial and temporary differences has no place in the fellowship of Christ’s church. All believers, without exception, are all one in Christ Jesus. All spiritual blessings, resources, and promises are equally given to all who believe unto salvation (cf. Rom. 10:12).
It was only with great difficulty that Peter finally learned that there are no racial distinctions in Christ, “that God is not one to show partiality” among Jew or Greek, “but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right, is welcome to Him” (Acts 10:35). Among the five prophets and teachers in the church at Antioch was “Simeon, who was called Niger,” which means black (Acts 13:1). Paul’s beloved son in the faith was Timothy, whose father was Gentile and whose mother and grandmother were Jewish (Acts 16:1; 2 Tim. 1:5).
Likewise there are no distinctions according to social or economic status. Paul told the Christian slave to be obedient to his master, “as to Christ,” and he told the Christian master, a free man, to “give up threatening, knowing that” the Master of both “is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him” (Eph. 6:5, 9).
James warned, “My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ and you say to the poor man, ‘You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,’ have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?… If you show partiality, you are committing sin” (James 2:1–4, 9). The oneness of the Body of Christ focuses on common spiritual life and privilege, as Paul wrote to the Ephesians: “Being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift” (Eph. 4:3–7).
Nor are there spiritual distinctions according to sex. There is neither male nor female. In recognizing believing women as the full spiritual equals of believing men, Christianity elevated women to a status they had never known before in the ancient world. In matters of rule in the home and in the church God has established the headship of men. But in the dimension of spiritual possessions and privilege there is absolutely no difference.
 Luter, A. B. (2017). Galatians. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1862). Holman Bible Publishers.
 Keller, K., & Russell, W. (2017). Galatians. In S. McDowell (Ed.), The Apologetics Study Bible for Students (p. 1468). Holman Bible Publishers.
 Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J., eds. (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., Ga 3:28). Thomas Nelson.
A glorious truth of Scripture is the certainty that if we seek after the Lord we will not be disappointed. Seekers are finders.
“But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you look for Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29 NIV
To seek Jesus is to seek reality. He not only has directions for us to follow, but He is the pathway upon which we travel; He not only has things to say to us, but He is the Truth we seek to know; He not only has the answers for our existence, but He is the Eternal Life that we so desperately seek.
A glorious truth of Scripture is the certainty that if we seek after the Lord we will not be disappointed. Seekers are finders. The beauty of God’s promise is what we find and Who we find as the result of our seeking. We not only find peace, but we also find the Prince of Peace; we not only find righteousness, but we also find the Righteous One; we not only find counsel, but we also find the Counselor; we not only find wonders, but we also find the Wonderful One; we not only find spiritual food, but we also find the Bread of Life; we not only find provision, but we also find the Shepherd of our souls; we not only find salvation, but we also find the Savior; we not only find the Kingdom, but we also find the King.
What are we doing for the sake of the gospel? Are you praying? Are you going? Are you giving?
“For whosoever shall desire to save his life shall lose it, but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s shall save it.” Mark 8:35
Luis was born in Vietnam, his father left the family when Luis was very young, and because his mother was unable to care for him, she took him to an orphanage, where he spent his younger years.
There was a missionary couple who used to come to the orphanage encouraging the children to believe in Jesus and they would be blessed. Luis wanted to be blessed and invited Jesus into his life. And then, he himself became a missionary.
Whatever he learned from the missionaries, he taught other children. He shared the gospel with whoever would listen. When he was older, during the war, he was put in prison for sharing the gospel and spent over eleven years of his life there. He decided this was where God wanted him to share the Good News of God’s love and forgiveness and he told his fellow prisoners about Jesus. Over fifty became his disciples.
Now, he lives in North America, but spends about 60% of a year, traveling to un-evangelized areas of the world, many times living in squalid conditions, going from place to place setting up water filters to bring clean water, food, medical supplies as well as sharing the Jesus story on DVDs with thousands of villagers.
Jesus changed the life of Luis, is blessing his life and is using him to bless thousands.
What are we doing for the sake of the gospel? Are you praying? Are you going? Are you giving?
Father, thank you for people like Luis. Keep blessing him with good health, emotional, spiritual and physical strength. Lord Jesus, protect him from those who would try to stop him. Amen.
With the last, the fortieth, year of Israel’s wanderings, the biblical record becomes much more complete. Knowing that the long penance was almost over, Moses led the nation northward toward Palestine. Again they found the march hard, the desert hot and terrible. Miriam, the prophet’s aged sister, died. There was no water; and at the pangs of thirst, the people murmured once more, crying out that they would die. Again Moses appealed to God, and was bidden to speak to a rock, whereon it would give forth the needed water in abundance.
It was here that even Moses himself broke down and sinned. The precise nature of the sin has been much discussed. Partly perhaps it was that he did not exactly obey. Instead of merely speaking to the rock, he struck it twice. Partly the sin may have been that he was unjust, for he became angered against the people when their call for relief was really necessary. God Himself said the sin was “because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel.” Perhaps there had been a moment’s wavering even in Moses’ perfect faith. At all events for this sin God declared that Moses himself should not enter the promised land, that he too should perish in the wilderness.
But more important than that, most Christians fail to see their weakness in relation to God’s strength. Because of this failure, many Christians live a life of frustration and guilt. And God doesn’t sell frustration and guilt in his store…so if you have them, you didn’t get them from him.
Not too long ago a man came to see me who was one the most miserable looking individuals I have ever seen. As we talked I discovered he had made some very important promises to God. He had promised he would give his life wholly and completely to God. He had promised that at every opportunity he would be a faithful witness for Jesus. He had promised that in all of his actions he would be clean and pure. He had promised he would burn himself out.
Now those were laudable promises, and I am sure God heard them and was pleased. However, there was a problem. As this young man tried to live his life, as he got out into the grind of just keeping on keeping on, he found that no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn’t keep his promises. There had been times when he knew he should have witnessed for Christ, but on those occasions he had decided that silence was better and easier. He had not been absolutely pure and righteous. He had not really burned himself out for God—in fact, he had hardly gone near the flame. And now, he had failed so often, he came to tell me that he was giving the whole thing up.
There are thousands of Christians just like this man who have a strong desire to follow Christ wherever he should lead and yet want to give it up when they find they aren’t strong enough or good enough or spiritual enough. God has just demanded too much, they say, and the impossibility of the whole enterprise either makes for hypocrites or failures.
The root of the difficulty is this: Most of us feel that God can’t do without us—if we fail, God fails. That is one of the greatest lies ever perpetrated on the Christian community. Everything doesn’t depend on you, and the sooner each Christian learns that truth the better. One of the reasons Jesus formed the church was to make up the difference between what individuals ought to do and what they do.
Somewhere, perhaps from those of us who don’t make clear exactly what the Christian life involves, some new Christians (and some older ones too) have gotten the idea that when they become Christians they somehow become superhuman, and if they don’t see superhuman qualities in their lives they feel they must not really be Christians. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In his or her position of new life the Christian is, in fact, a completely new creature. There is now the power to do and will many things that were not possible before. However, that does not mean that all of a sudden the Christian is not human anymore. Spiritual depression, failure, hurt, and sin are still present in the Christian, and a feeling that none of these things should ever happen to a Christian only makes them seem even worse.
When you stick a Christian with a pin, she bleeds just like everyone else. If a Christian jumps off a ten-story building, he dies just like everyone else. Some Christians do have financial problems, family problems, and health problems. Time after time I have heard Christians say, “I thought I was a Christian, but I know now that I was just being idealistic.” In other words, they are saying, “I thought I was perfect, but now I know I’m not.” The danger is in equating being perfect with being Christian. If you have been doing that, I have some very good news for you: Christians are human too.
We struggle with physical problems.
Listen to what one of the finest Christians who ever lived, the Apostle Paul, had to say about physical problems: “So to keep me from being too elated by the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). What Paul is saying is that Christians are just as physically weak as other human beings.
The good news the Bible has for Christians who suffer from physical problems is that God knows and understands. No matter how much pain you suffer, no matter how tired you get, no matter how weak you are, God knows that you are an “earthen vessel” and he will love you and use you anyway. Catherine Booth said she could not remember a time in her life when she was without pain. Beethoven was the son of an alcoholic and became deaf at the age of twenty-eight. When Handel wrote the Messiah he was suffering from a paralyzed right side and right arm. Ignatius Loyola suffered from lifelong pain. Fanny Crosby was blind. And we could go on and on. The point is this: Your physical weakness is not a sign of God’s disfavor; it is what God has promised to help you overcome and use.
I believe God does perform miracles of healing in our time. Any pastor can give you incident after incident of God’s healing power. But to say that is a far cry from saying that God’s healing is given as a reward for goodness, piety, or spirituality. The Christian life is not a life of power without pressure. It is power under pressure. That includes the pressure of physical weakness. One of the great dangers involved in the resurgence of interest in spiritual healing in our time is the danger of those who aren’t healed feeling that the fault lies within themselves. That just isn’t true. Helen Keller said on one occasion that she thanked God for her handicaps because through them she had found herself, her work, and her God.
I don’t know what your physical problem is right now, or what it will be in the future. Sometimes God in his grace sees fit to provide healing—but sometimes he doesn’t. Whatever he does is best for you and should not cause guilt because his “grace is sufficient for you,” and his “power is made perfect in weakness.” Sickness can be God’s gift as much as health.
We struggle with sin.
Christians are not only weak physically; they are still human in regard to sin. Now what I say here should not be misunderstood. I am not saying that sin is okay. I am not saying that because it is human to sin it is all right to sin. John and I have the same goal: “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins…” (1 John 2:1-2).
Again let’s look at the words of the Apostle Paul: “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing” (Romans 7:15-19).
And we say, “Now wait a minute, Paul. You’re supposed to be Paul, super-Christian. You are an apostle. You wrote much of the New Testament. You were the first Christian missionary. You certainly don’t mean you still had a problem with sin after all that. You certainly don’t mean you fell short of God’s demands.” If Paul were here I am sure he would say, “That’s exactly what I mean!”
One of Satan’s greatest tricks is to say to the Christian who has sinned, “Ah, you’ve done it again…after all that talking about being such a dedicated Christian. You aren’t any more a Christian than I am a Christian. How could you be a Christian and act as you do? You aren’t a Christian—you are a hypocrite.” And then the Christian says, “You know, you’re right. I’m not a Christian.” It’s a trap.
Let me give you the spiritual cycle in which many Christians live. They promise God that they will follow him no matter what, and they sincerely try—and fail. Then they say to themselves, “I have tried and failed, therefore I’m not worthy [which is precisely the point].” Then the Christian is hesitant to go before God because of the sin and becomes spiritually dead. But in the midst of the deadness, the Christian realizes he or she can’t live without God and goes to him and starts the whole process again. The good news of the Christian faith is that that kind of cycle is a lie. The Christian is the person who, more than anyone else, realizes his or her own imperfection and depends on Christ alone to make up for it. That kind of dependence removes guilt and provides power to overcome the sin.
There was a small college in the Midwest that used to advertise it was “seven miles from any known sin.” Would to God it were true! I would go there and live the rest of my life. But our sin isn’t so much outside us, is it? It is part of us, and that is why it hurts so much. God has provided the power to overcome the sin about which you are aware right now. The chances are that when you have, by his grace, overcome it, he will show you other sins with which you must deal. Dealing with sin is a lifelong process. Guilt over something that is a part of your nature isn’t necessary for the Christian. That’s the reason for the cross. There are just two kinds of people in this world—those who are sinners and don’t know it, and those who are sinners and know it and are trying to do something about it. The Christian is of the latter breed. It isn’t getting in the mud that is the worst part. (That’s part of being human.) It is staying there.
We struggle spiritually.
Christians are not only human physically and in regard to sin but they are also human spiritually. Listen again to the words of Paul: “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:8-9). Someone said to me recently, “Steve, since I became a Christian, I have never lost the sense of God’s presence.” That man was either a fool or a liar or both. Why? Because as the Bible says, we are earthen vessels. Because we are earthen vessels we sometimes live on the spiritual mountaintop, but sometimes must go through the valley of despair and darkness so that we might appreciate the mountaintop.
You are probably saying right now, “All right, I understand that my spiritual depression is normal, but that doesn’t help me much when I am going through it. What I want to know is what I can do about it. How can I get rid of it?” I will tell you: Praise God anyway. Continue with your prayer life anyway. Read the Scripture anyway. Serve and witness anyway. And don’t whine about how you have lost everything because you are going through a period of spiritual depression. You haven’t. You’re just human.
Physical weakness, spiritual weakness, and sin are a part of the Christian life because Christians are human too. But let me tell you something else. God’s strength is not dependent on your weakness. Aren’t you glad? Let’s look again at the words of the Apostle Paul: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh” (2 Corinthians 4:7-11).
I am very pessimistic about human nature. I call it realism (some would say cynicism), but I’ll tell you something. Whereas I may be pessimistic about man, I am extremely optimistic about God and what he can do with and through weak and sinful men and women who are willing to let him. That’s the only kind of people he has to work with. He knew that before he created us and called us unto himself. He requires only that we follow him. He knows we will fail physically, we will sin, and we are weak spiritually. If he is willing to allow us to follow him anyway, that should be enough. Nothing depends on our strength. If it did, God’s work would go undone. Nothing depends on our purity. If it did, we could forget about God ever doing anything in the world. Nothing depends on our spirituality. If it did, the Christian faith would be a farce. You are nothing and I am nothing outside of God’s grace. The world doesn’t rest on our shoulders; it rests on God’s shoulders. And aren’t you glad?
Gibraltar Might Become World’s First Cryptocurrency Hub The British overseas territory, Gibraltar, that was once perceived as a tax haven, might be be making history soon by becoming the world’s first global hub for cryptocurrency trading. According to The Guardian, the territory is reviewing a proposal that would prompt Gibraltar-based blockchain technology group, Valereum Blockchain Plc, to acquire the Gibraltar Stock Exchange(GSX) next year, which would allow the territory to host host the world’s first integrated bourse where cryptos like bitcoin and dogecoin can be traded alongside traditional bonds.
US Congressman calls to destroy Al-Aqsa Mosque on Temple Mount Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz) has always been an outspoken advocate for Israel but he recently went even further when criticizing the recent UN resolutions concerning Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. In his response, Gosar called on the UN to dismantle the Muslim structures in Jerusalem that were built on the ruins of the Jewish Temple. “The recent vote by the United Nations disavowing Jewish historical ties and exclusivity to the Temple Mount—the holiest and most sacred Temple in Judaism—is an outrageous act of religious persecution,”
Indonesia Seeks Cooperation From ASEAN Over Beijing’s Moves In South China Sea Indonesia has invited officials in charge of maritime security from five other countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to meet early next year to discuss how to respond to China’s assertiveness in the South China Sea. Head of the Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla), Vice Adm. Aan Kurnia, was quoted in the Indonesian media as telling reporters that he’d invited his counterparts from Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam to a meeting in February 2022
A top Chinese Communist Party official stepping down after hit by US sanctions According to the South China Morning Post last week, Communist Party chief Chen Quanguo, 66, was sanctioned in 2020 “in connection with serious rights abuses against ethnic minorities” in Xinjiang, which includes reports of forced labor, involuntary abortions and severe physical abuse. He is the most senior Chinese official on the US sanctions list.
Reality Is Impinging Upon The Democrats’ Carefully Constructed COVID Tyranny Biden ran on a promise: He was going to federalize the COVID response and end COVID in America. He introduced vaccine mandates for federal employees and those doing business with the federal government and had OSHA do the same for every business with more than 100 employees. Various states, cities, and businesses, especially when it came to healthcare, followed suit. Joe Biden on covid: “There is no federal solution. This gets solved at a state level. And finally, and most ironically, as Omicron cases increase, hospitals are facing staff shortages because their ludicrous, unscientific vaccine mandates saw them firing thousands of employees.
COVID Lockdowns Will Be Remembered As One Of The Greatest Policy Failures Ever Lockdowns were one of the “greatest peacetime policy disasters of all time,” concludes Professor Douglas Allen in a paper just published by the International Journal of the Economics of Business. In fact, the researchers—who examined data from forty-three countries and all US states—found that lockdowns were positively correlated with a higher total death rate.
Hollywood Elites Panic-Buy Armored-Cars And Safe-Rooms Amid Rising Violent Crime After years of rising crime in Los Angeles, elites in wealthy neighborhoods are finally panicking about the recent string of high-profile retail robberies and home burglaries. Experts say wealthy individuals are purchasing bulletproof cars, safe rooms, employing armed guards, and even constructing walls with barbed wire around their properties.
Historian Says Princeton Left Him To ‘Rot’ in Iranian Prison “Everything Princeton did and abstained from doing was centered around absolving its institutional responsibility, protecting its institutional reputation, and maintaining its political relations with Iran,” Wang says in the lawsuit, which has not been previously reported. Wang’s lawsuit threatens to reveal Princeton’s efforts to forge ties with Iran and the school’s internal deliberations after his arrest. The historian identifies researchers and scholars at Princeton he says are sympathetic to the Iranian regime who he claims stymied efforts to free him from prison.
China fires up giant coal power plant in face of calls for cuts China, under fire for approving new coal power stations as other countries try to curb greenhouse gases, has completed the first 1,000-megawatt unit of the Shanghaimiao plant, the biggest of its kind under construction in the country. Its operator, the Guodian Power Shanghaimiao Corporation, a subsidiary of the central government-run China Energy Investment Corporation, said on Tuesday that the plant’s technology was the world’s most efficient, with the lowest rates of coal and water consumption.
French-Syrian arrested for alleged delivery of chemical weapon parts to Syria French authorities arrested a dual Syrian-French national on charges that he supplied military technology to the Syrian regime for use in chemical weapons. The French wire service AFP reported on the chemical weapons delivery allegation on Sunday based on sources familiar with the case. The unidentified suspect used his shipping company to deliver the components to Syria.
Alleged Israeli airstrike hits Latakia Port for second time in a month A Syrian military source told SANA that the strike was carried out from over the Mediterranean Sea and targeted the port’s container yard, sparking large fires and causing massive damage. Videos reportedly from the scene showed large explosions that could be seen from a distance lighting up the night sky.
Gantz holds second Abbas meeting to talk security and economics Sheikh said the meeting “dealt with the importance of creating a political horizon that leads to a political solution in accordance with international legitimacy solutions.” The Israeli and Palestinian officials also discussed the tense situation in the West Bank “due to the practices of settlers” against Palestinians,” Sheikh said. Additionally, Abbas and Gantz discussed security, economic and humanitarian issues, the Palestinian official said. MK Ofir Sofer (Religious Zionist Party) attacked Gantz for meeting with Abbas.
Soros-funded magazine apologizes for pro-Israel ad: “Not in line with our values” It is not surprising that Jewish Currents would choose not to promote such a program that advocates for Israel as its content reflects the politics of the Jewish left-wing. Its editorial positions include opposing the rights of Jews to live in Judea and Samaria or to pray at Jewish holy sites. It supports the racist Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement and the “right of return” for Arabs to ethnically cleanse Israel.
Record snowfall hits western Japan, disrupting traffic and stranding vehicles Strong winter pressure pattern continues bringing strong winds and dropping heavy snowfall along the coast of the Sea of Japan for the 7th day in a row, disrupting traffic and stranding many vehicles. At least 10 people were injured over the past weekend due to blizzard conditions, with two of them seriously. Residents in the affected regions are urged to refrain from all non-essential outings.
Exporting LGBTQ Propaganda is New-Age Colonialism The New Age Conquistadors are here, fighting under a rainbow banner. Previous iterations fought for countries; these ones go to battle for a corporate technocracy that, for a variety reasons, is committed to toppling millennia-old gender norms worldwide.
Now That Governments Have Been Trapped In Their Lies, What Horrors Await Us In 2022? With their lies, veiled threats and dire predictions of a “dark winter” with coming massive deaths of the unvaccinated, the Democrats, media and unelected health authorities have painted themselves into a corner. Though there won’t be much media reportage on it, they’re desperately scrambling to regain credibility and gravitas now that the public is aware that they’ve been had.
Thank you to everyone who messaged me that they were enjoying my Advent Series, “Thirty Days of Jesus”. I had the idea a few years ago to distill Jesus’ prophesied coming, His early life, His adult life, Ascension, and prophesied return all in one flow using just scripture overlaid on a photograph.
It was hard to choose but I narrowed it down to 30 pics and 2 postludes. On most of the posts I included a few links for people to follow up the theme of the scripture in a credible ministry.
Some folks said they missed a day here and there so I said I’d put the entire series together in one post. Here it is!
Click on the picture you want to see, it will enlarge. These are in order from Day 1 to Postlude 2. Thanks and have a Happy New Year!
WASHINGTON, D.C.—According to sources, Biden is just kicking himself after looking at his to-do list for 2021 and realizing he forgot to shut down the virus.
“Ah, dadgummit!” Biden exclaimed to a nearby potted plant while slapping his forehead. “I knew I was forgetting something! That’s too bad because it was otherwise a flawless year for me!”
Health experts say COVID deaths surged all through 2021 and cases are currently skyrocketing because Biden misplaced his small spiral-bound notebook where he keeps track of all the items on his to-do list. “We all forget—It happens to the best of us,” said Dr. Fauci. “I’m sure he’ll put this item at the top of his list for next year.”
White House insiders say that instead Biden decided there is no federal government solution to the virus and happily crossed the item off his list in time for the new year.
Controversies involving sexuality, gender, religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccines, and Critical Race Theory made for the most-read Baptist News Global opinion columns in 2021.
Highly read pieces also included deep dives into the contradictions of the Reformed theology, race-based fissures within the Southern Baptist Convention and the evangelical assault on truth.
Notably, seven of these 15 pieces were published prior to 2021 but accumulated so many new pageviews that they still rose to the top one to five years later not based on previous readership but based solely on this year’s readership. These were columns about the Bible and sexuality, systemic racism, the future of the megachurch movement and modern challenges facing youth ministry.
Here is BNG’s Top 15 list of most-read opinion pieces in 2021:
“How John MacArthur loves the Bible but not his neighbor,” by Rick Pidcock, July 28, 2020 — MacArthur’s church used Scripture and popular conspiracy theories to disobey mask mandates, social distancing directives and the government’s temporary ban on large indoor gatherings.
“It’s time to pay the Piper,” by David Bumgardner, Aug. 16, 2021 — A critique of Calvinist pastor John Piper’s outsized influence on American evangelicalism.
“Why being transgender is not a sin,” by Mark Wingfield, Nov. 9, 2018 — Transgender identity is often considered “sin” even by progressive Christians but there’s no biblical evidence to make this claim.
“The white evangelical war on truth,” by Joel Bowman Sr., Nov. 16, 2021 — Woe to the hypocrites who preach one thing and practice another and overlook justice, mercy and faithfulness.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Tuesday took aim at the criticism he says he has received for his views on COVID-19 vaccines. During his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show,” Rodgers said that his previous comments on the issue has led to strong pushback from both a number of NFL voices and Silicon Valley. “If science can’t be questioned, it’s not science anymore; it’s propaganda and that’s the truth,” he said.
After months of providing valuable Covid-19 information that runs counter to the official narrative, Twitter has finally banned Dr. Robert Malone, inventor of mRNA technology.
Malone, who will appear on the Joe Rogan show Thursday according to associate Ed Dowd (one of four contributors to the Malone doctrine), had more than 520,000 followers. He has been an outspoken critic of both mRNA vaccines, as well as the abysmal failures of policymakers worldwide in responding to the pandemic.
He was not warned or provided an opportunity to delete any offending tweets – instead he was “just suspended,” Dowd continued.
Here’s Malone’s last tweet – sharing an article which claims that the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine does ‘more harm than good.’
This is what got him banned. There wasn't even any misinformation – the video verbatim went line through line on the data. This is nothing short of gross censhorship at the behest corporate interests. pic.twitter.com/62c4D4AWAj
This should be a matter of not only religion but conscience. It’s incumbent upon critics and HR departments and governments to realize and honor this. In this nation, your conscience must remain sacred.