Oh, you foolish Galatians – you stupid people! Can you hear Paul’s frustration? These people believed the gospel of grace for their salvation and then returned to the old way of legalism. Men and women who were removed from the law of condemnation to that of liberty and life, had willingly returned to the old ways of death, despite Paul being their teacher. These saved, justified believers tried to be sanctified by returning to law! No wonder Paul was frustrated and urged them to: stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has set us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
We are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus and this verse can also be translated: it is through faith in Christ that all of you are sons in union with Christ. These believers knew about their heavenly heritage and their position in Christ, for in the next verse we read: for as many of you as were baptised into Christ have put on Christ.
Baptised into His Death
Now, this is written in the aorist tense, which denotes an action and not a process. It is written in the passive voice, meaning this is something done to you – it was nothing you did yourself. Being in the indicative mood also emphasises a literal state – an absolute reality. This same gracious blessing is reinforced by Paul both to the Corinthians and Romans: for by one Spirit were we all baptised into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and have all been made to drink into one Spirit, 1 Corinthians 12:13 or do you not know that as many of us as were baptised into Christ Jesus, were baptised into His death? Romans 6:3.
Work of the Spirit
Like us, these believers were baptised by the Spirit into union with Christ. He placed us in the body of Christ the moment we believed and our position in Christ is an eternal and unbreakable union with Him. At the point of salvation, we became identified with our Lord, forever. We may not have had an experience, or see or feel these blessings – but our assurance is in the Word of God, but we are called to trust the invisible and intangible truths of Scripture. We are simply asked to believe, trust, and have faith in the inspired Word of God.
These Scriptures are a matter of certainty for God word is unbreakable. These passages in Scripture are a completed fact, for God’s word is true. We do not have to do anything for these truths are completed in us by the Spirit. In Romans 6 Paul tells us we were baptised into the death of Christ Jesus and this talks about our identification with Christ’s death. Christ’s death is linked to our death. We were identified with His death. When Christ died for my sins, His death equated to my death. When He paid the penalty for sin – His death equates as my death. When He paid the price for my sins, He paid it on my behalf. Christ died as our substitute and so by His death and so we identified with His death and His victory.
The condemnation and wrath of God that you and I deserve was poured out on Christ, because He was my substitute – and yours too. This means that as a believer we will never ever face condemnation, because Christ was condemned in our place. Now this truth from God is a simple fact of our Christian life, but sadly many Christian revert to the old ways of the law – saved by grace through faith but living under law. Justified by grace through faith but trying to be sanctified under the law. Never forget the privileges of son-ship only come the “grace-faith-promise” way and cannot be acquired the “law-works-merit” way.
26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
5 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
6 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
18 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.
7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.
8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:
12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,
13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.
14 And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.
15 The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,
16 And saying, Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!
17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!
19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.
20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.
22 And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;
23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.
24 And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.