A Community of One
At the end of Chapter 3, we find this beautiful summary statement (though Paul isn’t really finished summarizing yet!). He writes, “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male or female, for you are all one in Christ” (3:26-28).
This is the essence of redemption. This is a return to Eden before the fall. Balance is restored. Everyone is equal. In Christ there are no barriers. There are no colours. There are no genders. There are no different strata of society.
When Christ was in His last few hours before going to the cross He prayed that his followers would be “one” (John 17:21) just as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are one—no barriers, equal even though they are different.
It has been said that the ground is level at the cross. It is. What we sometimes forget is that the ground is also level on the other side of the cross. No barriers. Equal. One in Christ. One just like the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one.
The test of a genuine Christian community is how closely that community lives out the reality of these verses, how closely the followers of Christ resemble a fellowship without barriers.