Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all…
I. THE FACT.
1. Christ is everything to the Christian. All other interests sink into insignificance before him, as the stars fade at the rising of the sun.
(1) Christ is the whole price of redemption. We need no additional grace to that of his gospel. We have not to supplement that gospel by the Law, or to eke out the store of grace with our good works, or to add the intercession of saints to that of Christ, or to offer any fresh sacrifices to complete the atonement. Christ cried on the cross, "It is finished." He, and he alone, is sufficient to bring full salvation.
(2) Christ is the one Lord of our lives. He will accept no divided devotion. He, and he alone, has a claim to rule over our hearts. There is but one King of the kingdom of heaven that is set up in our midst. Any priestly pretension, any dogmatic teaching, or any political coercion that interferes with the authority of Christ, is treason against Heaven.
(3) In Christ are all our requirements. To be in him now is the deepest peace; to be with him hereafter is the joy of heaven. All sympathy for all kinds of men, in all possible conditions of sorrow or of joy, may be found in him. All truth of the highest Divine things may be seen in him, the "Word" of God.
2. Christ fills everything for the Christian. He is in all.
(1) Christ is in the whole heart. All the true Christian's thought and affection are filled with Christ. It is true that Christ does not exclude natural human affections. It was the fantastic mistake of the Church that a St. Catherine, in order to be the bride of Christ, must be excluded from human love. On the contrary, Christ enters our human affections and pervades them. In regard to social intercourse we may say -
"Let not my heart within me burn
Except in all I thee discern."
(2) Christ is in the whole of life. lie does not belong to a small consecrated section of it, a temple of holiness, shut off from the busy haunts of commerce and pleasure. He comes into our business, our pleasure, our mundane affairs generally, he is as much in the office and the workshop as in the Church. He claims the six days as much as the Sunday.
(3) Christ is in each and all of his people, he is not only in apostolic leaders and pattern saints; he is in little children, the ignorant, the insignificant, the imperfect, the latest converts of a mission to degraded heathen.
II. THE CONSEQUENCES OF THIS FACT.
1. It is a motive for holiness. If we are new men in Christ, all life belongs to him. There is no room for the indulgence of sin. Any unclean spot is a desecration of his temple.
2. This fact breaks down the separating barrier between man and man. Political distinctions ("Greek and Jew"), religious distinction's apart from Christ ("circumcision and uncircumcision"), distinctions of civilization ("barbarian, Scythian"), social distinctions ("bondman, freeman"), all melt before the unifying influence of the common presence of Christ.
3. This fact is a motive for Christian charity. (Vers. 12,13.) It should lead to wider sympathy and warmer compassion; to greater gentleness, forbearance, and meekness; to a more forgiving spirit among Christians. Remember that as you treat your fellow Christian so you are treating Christ (Matthew 25:45). If it is difficult to love him for his own sake, love him for the sake of Christ. If there is little of beauty in his soul and much to repel and annoy us, still consider that, though the temple is not attractive, there dwells within it One who is altogether lovely. Love the Christ who may be found even in the uncouth Christian. - W.F.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.