By Earl Robertson
Paul wrote, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3:26, 27). These verses say God’s children are “in Christ.” God just simply does not have any children out of Christ. God’s purposes and plans aimed to the saving of man essentially include Christ (see Heb. 7:25). Redemption and forgiveness are in Christ (Eph. 1:7), and so also is life (1 John 5:11). There is no question but that the Bible teaches that all of God’s children are in Christ.
Paul says God’s children by faith in Christ have put on Christ. Having located God’s children (in Christ), we further learn they are such by faith. Such did not happen by faith only – but it did happen by faith. It happened by a living and active faith – an obedient faith. Many read Galatians 3:26, 27 and conclude that we become children of God by faith only, but such is untrue. Man’s faith in God and His way of saving sinners expresses itself in doing what God says for forgiveness. Faith come by hearing the word of God (Rom. 10:17; Eph. 1:13). The case of the Corinthians illustrates this perfectly: “And many of the Corinthians hearing, believed, and were baptized” (Acts 18:8b). The hearing (of the preaching) produced faith and faith acted in baptism.
Paul says they were children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Verse twenty-seven explains how they were children of God by faith. It says, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” The preposition “for” which is a conjunction, translates gar. “It adduces the cause or gives the reason of a preceding statement of opinion,” says Thayer. It means, therefore, that verse twenty-seven is an explanation of verse twenty-six; it tells how they became children of God by faith in Christ. It says they were “baptized into Christ.” It is in Christ that one may be a child of God, but one’s faith must express itself in the baptism Christ commanded which baptism puts one into Christ and in which one puts on the Lord Jesus Christ. No one can become a child of God who does not have the faith! Not faith only, but faith that obeys (Mark 16:15, 16). Just as many as had been baptized into Christ became children of God by faith – no more – no less.
Truth Magazine XXIV: 14, p. 231
April 3, 1980