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The IVP New Testament Commentary Series – The Unity of All Recipients of the Promise (3:26-29)
The Unity of All Recipients of the Promise (3:26-29)

We now encounter a dramatic shift of focus. Paul has been talking in the first-person plural ("we") of the past experience of the Jewish people, who were "locked up" under the Mosaic law (vv. 23-25). Now he turns to the privileged position of the Galatian Christians (you are all . . . all of you . . . you are all), who are all united in Christ (vv. 26-29). Union with Christ is the main emphasis of each verse: faith in Christ Jesus (v. 26), baptized into Christ . . . clothed . . . with Christ (v. 27), one in Christ Jesus (v. 28), belong to Christ (v. 29).

This sharp contrast between the negative consequences of imprisonment within the system of Mosaic law and the positive privileges of union with Christ reinforces Paul's rebuke for foolishness at the beginning of the chapter. In the light of this contrast, how foolish it is to think that observing the law could possibly enhance the privileged relationships Christians already enjoy because of their union with Christ Jesus. Imprisonment under the law (vv. 19-25) has been replaced by new relationships in Christ. These new relationships in Christ are both spiritual (vv. 26-27) and social (vv. 28-29).

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