But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
Comment: The word ‘imprisoned’ seems an odd one to use here. Paul means that we cannot escape the fact, the assessment of God, that we are all sinners and thus the law cannot save us. Faith is the key which opens the door to allow us to escape from the just imprisonment for our sinful state. The guardian at the door of our imprisonment was the law. Because we are sinners the law wouldn’t allow us to cry that our imprisonment was unfair!
For those who have had the door of the prison opened for them because of their faith (the key) in Jesus, there is freedom from condemnation. We are free from the judgemental aspect of the law. As in other places in the Bible the word ‘baptism’ is used to cover the whole gamut of repentance, belief, conversion, confession of Christ and public baptism. There are two glorious consequences i) it doesn’t depend on our religiosity or gender or status and ii) in Christ we are accepted as descendants of the faithful Abraham and part of the promise which God gave him.
Prayer: Thank you that in Your Grace You have provided a key to release us from the Universal imprisonment which we deserve.