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Galatians 3:28 (NIV) 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

This Scripture is mostly used as proof text for Equality in Christ between female and Male, I really don't see how it connects. I see it simply as stressing our oneness in Christ with no division. Can someone help me explain how this reveals equality amongst genders?

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Paul is not suggesting these distinctions do not exist, he is simply stressing the fact that they do not exist as a barrier to one being an "heir according to the promise." I think Barnes offers some good comments on verse 28.

There is neither Jew nor Greek - All are on a level; all are saved in the same way; all are entitled to the same privileges. There is no favoritism on account of birth, beauty, or blood. All confess that they are sinners; all are saved by the merits of the same Saviour; all are admitted to the same privileges as children of God. The word "Greek" here is used to denote the Gentiles generally; since the whole world was divided by the Jews into "Jews and Greeks" - the Greeks being the foreign nation best known to them. The Syriac renders it here "Aramean," using the word to denote the Gentiles generally. The meaning is, that whatever was the birth, or rank, or nation, or color, or complexion, all under the gospel were on a level. They were admitted to the same privileges, and endowed with the same hopes of eternal life. This does not mean that all the civil distinctions among people are to be disregarded.

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  • Great answer. I have accepted this as answer – Faith Mendel Apr 26 '20 at 20:55
  • I'm glad it was helpful. – oldhermit Apr 26 '20 at 20:59
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Gal 3:28 cannot be viewed in isolation. So, let me quote the context of Gal 3:26-29:

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.

Note Paul's point - it is NOT equality but opportunity. We (Christians) are all heirs; we have all been baptised into the body of Christ; we are all clothed with Christ, etc. In summary, we all have equal access to the promises and Christ Himself. Numerous commentators make the same point when viewing Gal 3:28:

Ellicott observes:

This verse continues the proof that all Christians are, in the fullest sense, “sons of God.” Galatians 3:27 showed why this was so; the present verse shows that there are no exceptions, no inequalities. All Christians alike, no matter what their race, status, or sex, stand on the same footing of sonship before God. There is a unity or solidarity in the Christian body. What is true of one is true of all.

Barnes makes the point more strongly:

There is neither Jew nor Greek - All are on a level; all are saved in the same way; all are entitled to the same privileges. There is no favoritism on account of birth, beauty, or blood. All confess that they are sinners; all are saved by the merits of the same Saviour; all are admitted to the same privileges as children of God. …

It does not mean that no respect is to be shown to those in office, or to people in elevated rank. It does not mean that all are on a level in regard to talents, comforts, or wealth; but it means only that all people are on a level "in regard to religion." This is the sole point under discussion; and the interpretation should be limited to this. It is not a fact that people are on a level in all things, nor is it a fact that the gospel designs to break down all the distinctions of society. Paul means to teach that no man has any preference or advantage in the kingdom of God because he is a rich man, or because he is of elevated rank; no one is under any disadvantage because he is poor, or because he is ignorant, or a slave. All at the foot of the cross are sinners; all at the communion table are saved by the same grace; all who enter into heaven, will enter clothed in the same robes of salvation, and arranged, not as princes and nobles, and rich men and poor men, in separate orders and ranks, but mingling together as redeemed by the same blood, and arranged in ranks according to their eminence in holiness

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Equality or Oneness?

For those called by God to the heavenly calling, Paul wrote:

Hebrews 3:1 (NASB)

1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a "heavenly calling," consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession

So as joint-heirs with Jesus Christ there is no distinction between men and women, race, color or nationality, in a spiritual sense. All are equal in the congregation of God. Thus Apostle Paul wrote to the congregation of Galatia.

Galatians 3:26-28 (NASB)

26 "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 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."

Similarly, for the partakers of the divine nature, Peter wrote.

2 Peter 1:4 New Testament for Everyone (NTE)

4 "The result is that he has given us, through these things, his precious and wonderful promises; and the purpose of all this is so that you may run away from the corruption of lust that is in the world, and may become partakers of the divine nature."

As partakers of the divine nature, they must all receive a change in nature at their resurrection in which state none will be women or men but take the form of spirit creatures. Christ’s faithful brothers, (the sons of God) who join him in the heavens, give up human life. The apostle Paul shows that they have to have new bodies repatterned, or refashioned, for their new environment:

Philippians 3:20-21 (NASB)

20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

1 Corinthians 15:42,49 (NASB)

42 "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown [a]a perishable body, it is raised [b]an imperishable body; 49 Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, [d]we will also bear the image of the heavenly."

"For you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Gal. 3:28b)

God is keen to have all his worshippers to advance to spiritual maturity, and to worship him in "oneness in our faith and in our knowledge." To the Christians in Ephesus Paul wrote.

Ephesians 4:11-14 Good News Translation (GNT)

11 It was he who “gave gifts to people”; he appointed some to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists, others to be pastors and teachers. 12 He did this to prepare all God's people for the work of Christian service, in order to build up the body of Christ. 13 And so we shall all come together to that oneness in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God; we shall become mature people, reaching to the very height of Christ's full stature. 14 Then we shall no longer be children, carried by the waves and blown about by every shifting wind of the teaching of deceitful people, who lead others into error by the tricks they invent.

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