This may be one of the most important blogs I’ll ever write. There is so much confusion when it comes to the Jew/Gentile question. Who does God love more? We all know the answer—God loves all his children equally. However, we don’t always act like it.
Some Jewish believers act superior to Gentile believers.
Some Gentile believers feel inadequate because they are not Jewish and they wish they had Jewish ancestry.
Some Gentile believers believe that God has rejected Israel in favor of the Church, which is called Replacement Theology or Supersessionism.
All of the above statements are wrong! The truth is, “God is not one to show favoritism.” (Acts 10:24 TLV) He doesn’t love someone more because they are a man, woman, Jew, priest, Levite, etc. The verse that proves this is often misunderstood and misused to destroy the idea of different roles, functions, or callings after coming to faith.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female—for you are all one in Messiah Yeshua. (Galatians 3:28 TLV)
The wrong interpretation, which has been adopted by Replacement or Fulfillment Theology, is that there is absolutely no difference between Jewish and Gentiles believers. Personally, I prefer to say, “believers from the nations” over Gentiles. It has the same meaning, but most people hear, “non-Jews” when they hear “Gentile”, instead of “the nations”. These folks teach that once you come to faith, you are a generic being (some say part of a third race). In fact, some would say that when a Jewish person receives Yeshua, he or she is no longer Jewish, but is only part of the body of Messiah.
The correct interpretation of Paul here is that despite our different roles or callings when it comes to intimacy and relationship with Yeshua or the receiving of salvation, there is no favoritism or nepotism. It is not easier for Jews to come to Yeshua (if anything, harder because of blindness [Rom. 11;25]). God doesn’t give Jewish believers special access to His presence.
However, clearly, Paul is not saying there are no longer any distinctions, as men still can’t have babies or nurse them once they are born. In some ways, what is promoted here is some sort of spiritual transgenderism or non-genderism. I will prove that our distinctions continue after salvation in a minute. But first…
Equality Before Distinctions
Here is where the offense begins. We focus on the distinctions before the fact that we are equal. I recently heard a Pastor say, “Only after we accept the fact that we are equal can we appreciate our distinctions.” Something jumped in me when he said this! The point of Galatians 3:28 is that we are all equal before God. You can’t appreciate distinction before understanding equality. Distinctions without equality lead to racism, control, manipulation, and abuse. The slavery imposed on Africans by Europeans emphasized distinctions (which led to libelous myths against Africans by white Europeans) without any thought of equality.
What does “All Flesh” mean?
The entire point of the New Testament is that any person, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or class, can find salvation in Yeshua. Upon whom is God going to pour His Spirit? “All flesh.” The prophecy from Joel, later repeated by Peter in Acts 2, is often misinterpreted to say that God’s Spirit will come on every living creature. No. It means that any person, no matter what their background, can be used by God. Look at the context, taking note of the words in italics.
I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my slaves, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days…And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Joel 2:28-29, 32)
He is clearly saying that when the Spirit is poured out in the last days, all the limitations on who God could use under the old rules will be stripped away. Now, women can prophesy, young men will see visions, and even slaves will enjoy God’s Spirit. The male/female contrast and mentioning of slaves lead me to believe that Paul had this prophecy in mind when he wrote Galatians 3:28 (see above).
*Originally published November 22, 2019