You can tell a lot about people in our society by the way they dress. From baseball players to bus drivers, from postal carriers to policemen; people wear the uniform of their profession. Who we are determines what we wear, and failing to "dress the part" can sometimes have embarrassing consequences. Many years ago a very wealthy man in a Southern California town was found wandering around the local country club wearing shabby clothes. He was promptly seized by security guards and charged with vagrancy - even though he owned the country club. He had failed to dress consistent with who he was.
That is precisely Paul's point in 3:9b-17. Christians must dress themselves ethically in accordance with their new identity. They have died with Christ and risen to new life. Salvation thus produces a two-sided obligation for believers. Negatively, they must throw off the garment of the old, sinful lifestyle, as Paul pointed out in 3:5-a. Positively, they must put on the lifestyle of the new man. To do that, they must understand the position of the new man.
Let's back up a minute to verses 3 and 4. These verses are critical in understanding this passage. Paul is calling the Colossians to deal with sin, to put it to death on the basis of who they are in Christ. This is a call for practical holiness.
Colossians 3:4-5 (NASB) When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. 5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead...
Believers, Christ has been revealed. Jesus promised His disciples that He would return in glory to their generation:
Matthew 24:34 (NASB) "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.
I believe that Christ kept His word and returned in A.D. 70. When Christ returned, believers were glorified. What is glorification? To be glorified is to be dwelling in God's presence. Are you in God's presence? If you have trusted Christ, you are! Believers, Christ is our life. He is in the presence of God, and, therefore, we are in the presence of God - in glory. Therefore - we are to put sin to death. In view of all that God has done for us in Christ, in view of our dwelling in His presence, our response is to live a holy life out of gratitude.
The ugly sins of verse 5 we are to "put to death," but the six sins of verses eight and nine we are to "put aside." God wants us to divest ourselves of these six sins. The analogy changes from killing to disrobing. We are called to put aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth (3:8). How are you doing with this? Have you put these sins aside, or are you still living like a non-believer?
Colossians 3:9 (NASB) Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices,
As believers, we are called to be truth tellers. Since God does not lie but is "the God of truth" (Is 65:16), what place ought we, his children, give to lying? None! Lying is to be put away. Lying simply does not belong among God's children. Society may have plenty of room for the lie, but that's because society does not know God.
We made it to this point last week. Now we want to look at the rest of the verse. Paul goes on to say, "...since you laid aside the old self...". He is saying we are not to lie because "we laid aside the old self." The KJV and the NKJV translate this: "the old man." The NIV and the NASB translates it: "your old self."
The figure of the "old man" and "new man" is common in Paul's writing. We are familiar with the terms, but do we know what they mean? The relation of the old self and the new self has been much disputed. Many hold that at salvation believers receive a new self but also keep the old self. Salvation thus becomes addition, not transformation. They argue that the struggle in the Christian life comes from the battle between the two.
The expressions "old man" and "new man" occur in basically four places in Paul's letters: Romans 6:6; Ephesians 2:15; 4:22-24; and our text, Colossians 3:9-11. In order to understand this important expression, we will examine the four passages in which Paul uses it. In each passage the "old man" is the same expression in Greek. The expression "new man" is the same in Ephesians 2:15 and 4:24. In Colossians 3:10, however, the "new man" is rendered through the use of a different adjective. But since the expression is set in contrast to the "old man" of the previous verse, this is only stylistic.
Romans 6:6 (NASB) knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin;
Let us first remind ourselves of the broader context of Romans 6:6. Paul's letter to the Romans concerns the gospel of God's righteousness. In 5:12-21, Paul demonstrates that Christ has completely overturned the effects of Adam's sin with the result that believers should no longer live in sin. It is to this point that 6:1-14 is primarily directed, and it is in this context that we find Romans 6:6 and the comment about the crucifixion of "our old man."
What, then, does Paul mean by our old man in Romans 6:6? Well, we can say that whatever it is, it is not the body of sin for the crucifixion of "our old man" that prevents the "body of sin" from dominating us. The two entities are not the same. If they were the same, the passage would make little, if any, sense. The expression "body of sin" refers to our physical bodies as vehicles through which sin expresses itself, that is, our whole selves as enslaved to sin and relating to others through our bodies. Thus "body of sin" is relational in focus.
So the "old man" is not to be strictly identified with the "body of sin." Further, Paul says that our old man "was crucified with Christ." But how can that be? We were not there at Golgotha, and this is surely the time to which the past tense "was crucified"points. The "with Christ" language relates us to Christ and his death in a legal or forensic way, not experientially. God reckoned us there as co-crucified with Christ; His death was our death. The passive voice suggests that it was something done to us (by God) and not something we did to ourselves.
What does all this mean? It means that when Paul gets to Romans 6:6, he is still thinking of the two humanities (and their heads) he spoke about in Romans 5:12-21. The "old man," then, must be who we were "in Adam;" that is, people in relationship to each other and our head in the realm of sin, death, and judgment. The focus is corporate and stresses a realm in which unbelievers exist and relate. Thus, the "old man" is not our sinful nature per se, nor is it some part of my immaterial nature as a sinner. Thus, the crucifixion of "our old man" is our death to sin and life in Adam.
Notice here that, like in Colossians, our position is to affect our practice. Paul begins chapter 6 with a rhetorical, yet very practical question: "Should we continue in sin?" The use of the subjunctive mood in 6:1 denotes a question of moral "oughtness," not fact. Paul is asking, "Should we or should we not continue in sin?"
In Romans 6:6 we can see at least three things. First, the "old man" is a metaphor describing corporate realities which existed for believers when they were "in Adam;" apart from Christ, and those connected to him. Second, our release from the old man was definitive and reckoned to us by God himself. Third, the forensic idea of the crucifixion of "our old man" is the basis for Paul's ethic of saying, "No" to the reign of sin, and, "Yes" to life in God.
Let's look at Paul's use of "new man" in:
Ephesians 2:15 (NASB) by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace,
Ephesians is a letter dedicated to unfolding the mystery of the gospel as it relates to the unification of Jew and Gentile in "one new man," i.e., the church (3:5-6). The passage which unfolds this theme most clearly is 2:11-22. Thus, it is in a context of this new salvation-historical "structure" (cf. 1:10, 11) that Paul refers to the "new man."
The individual focus in God's creative work of salvation comes to expression in 2:10 where Paul refers to each person as "created in Christ Jesus." The shift, however, toward a more corporate perspective comes in 2:11-22. There it is argued that Gentiles were "foreigners to the covenants of promise, without hope and without God in the world" (v. 12). But God abolished the law, the dividing wall of hostility, through the death of Christ and has reconciled the two groups into "one new man" in Christ.
The Adam-Christ typology stands behind this passage as well. But the focus in Ephesians 2:15 is not so much on the individual's position before God - their being "in Christ" as opposed to still being "in Adam," but rather on the new relationships which exist on a human level for those "in Christ." The Jew and the Gentile have been reconciled, and together in Christ they form this so-called "new man." The "new man" is a new society in which all have free and equal access to God and are seated with Christ in the heavenlies (2:5-6). In God's design of the "new man," there are no divisions or hostility among members, only peace (2:16). Thus, the focus here is on the community God has brought into existence in Christ as a result of Old Testament hope.
The focus in Ephesians 2:15 is on the newly created community in Christ - people who have been taken out of a realm, where hatred and division were the order of the day, to form a new social reality in Christ. Thus the "new man" in Ephesians 2:15 is primarily a new structural or social reality. It is corporate in focus.
Ephesians 4:22-24 (NASB) that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, 23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
The context here is obviously ethical. He urges the Ephesians (in light of the fact that they have received a certain calling):
Ephesians 4:1 (NASB) I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,
They are to walk or live in a way commensurate with their new calling and privilege.
In particular, believers are not to live as the Gentiles do, that is, in the futility of their thoughts as those who are separated from the life of God. But how is this futility expressed? It is expressed in ever increasing sensuality and lust. The Ephesians are not to live like that, because they had been taught in Him [Christ] just as the truth is in Jesus. The truth Paul refers to is teaching consistent with apostolic doctrine, especially that which concerns Christ and living a life honoring to Him. Thus, it is ethical truth with a Christological rationale.
The expressions "old man" and "new man" here are particularly ethical in their focus. The "old man" refers to their former life as Gentiles and the sin that so pervaded their lives in that sphere of existence. They were taught to lay this aside and to put on the new man. The figure "putting on" and "putting off" is one of exchanging clothes and refers to a change in character in light of a change in identity, having moved from the old sphere of existence (without God) to a new sphere of existence (with God).
Ephesians 4:22-24 utilizes the "old man" and "new man" concepts in primarily ethical ways. The "old man" refers to a lifestyle consistent with sin, but inconsistent with being in Christ, while the "new man" refers to a lifestyle (cf. "to walk" in 4:17) consistent with being in Christ and truth.
Colossians 3:9 (NASB) Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices,
Our text in Colossians 3:9-11 is clearly set in an ethical context, like that of Ephesians 4. In Colossians 3:1 Paul reminds his readers that they have been raised with Christ, and, therefore, should seek things above and set their minds on things above, not on earthly things. Since they have died with Christ, they are put to death "whatever in their nature belongs to the earth" (3:5); referring to such things as sexual immorality, impurity, shameful passions, evil desire, and greed which is idolatry. The Colossian believers are to put off all such things commensurate with their former life; such as anger, rage, malice lying, etc.
The reason the Colossian believers are to do this is because they have put off "the old man" and have been clothed with "the new man." They have put off the old man and have been clothed with the new at conversion. Again, the ethical language of exchanging garments is used, and God is the ultimate agent in bringing this about.
The "new man" in Colossians 3:10-11 is definitely corporate in nature and refers to the new community in which all racial distinctions are dissolved. It is a social structure where there is "neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all and in all." Therefore, to "have been clothed with the 'new man'" is to have been brought into a new community in a totally new sphere of existence.
The "old man," then, by contrast, is the community still under its old head Adam, and the old clothing of sinful deeds is worn by all.
In the new community in which Christ dwells in all, however, the image of God is being renewed. The expression "image of God" refers to Christ Himself so that the renewal involves progressive conformation into the likeness of Christ himself.
Thus the "new man" in Colossians 3:10 is not something inside an individual, but rather the new community in Christ, the church, and together we reflect the image of God. It is for this reason, since we are the "new man" corporately, that we are not to live like we once did.
So, to answer our question, "What is the old man - new man referring to?" The "old man" refers to people in solidarity with Adam under the old age of sin, death, and judgment. It is corporate in focus. Since it is corporate and relational in focus, it should probably not be translated using the word "self" as the NASB does. This is too narrow and individualistic in its focus.
We saw that in every passage the expression "old man" is relational in character. Therefore, it should not be viewed as a synonym for fallen human "flesh." When reading the Scriptures, Christians should not view it as pointing directly to some immaterial aspect of man as a sinful human being. Thus, "sinful nature" is also a misleading translation. Again, the "old man" refers to fallen people in community "in Adam." To read it individualistically as the "flesh" or "sinful nature" robs it of its corporate focus, and a great insight to us as relational creatures is obscured. The best translation of the Greek expression is probably "old man" or "old community."
The crucifixion of the "old man" refers to a definitive break with the past in Adam, and is something God reckons to be true of us. The sinner is separated from the community of Adam and the relationships that exist there. But, there is also the sense in which the believer, having been decisively removed from that community, is not to live as if he still belonged there. Thus the "old man" must be continually put off as well.
There are some things we need to say about the "new man" as well. First, like "old man," it, too, is corporate in focus. This is made clear in Ephesians 2:15 and in our text in Colossians 3:10-11. Here the "new man" is synonymous with the church--a sphere of existence in Christ in which there are no racial boundaries and no divisions. It is not our new regenerate nature spoken of in Titus 3:5.
Given the use of the "new man" concept in Ephesians 2:15; 4:24 and Colossians 3:10-11, the best translation of the Greek phrase is "new man" or "new community." With that in mind, let's go back to our text:
Colossians 3:9 (NASB) Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices,
The words "laid aside" mean: "to take off or strip off clothing - to undress, to disrobe, stripping off." This term is used in 2:15 and 2:11, and in both places it refers to the effects of the cross. This word is an intensive double compound (stronger than "put off" of verse 8). This word carries the idea of "strip off from oneself."
The Greek indicates that this stripping off from oneself took place at the cross. That is where the great change took place. This principle is the basis for all spiritual life in the New Testament.
Notice the end of verse 9, "...with its evil practices" - The word "practices" is from the Greek word praxis, which means: "practice." "Practices" is function, implying sustained activity and/or responsibility. Because the "old man" was stripped off, so should the sins connected with him. We are to stop acting upon our old life and start acting upon our new life.
Colossians 3:10 (NASB) and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him
Every believer is a new man:
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB) Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
We are new, because we hold the same status that Jesus does before God. We are new, because we possess the life of Christ. We are new, because of our position before God.
Now notice what Paul says about the new man, "...who is being renewed to a true knowledge..." Now, we said that the "new man" refers to the "body of Christ," the corporate community of believers. This is not talking about practice, but position.
JFB writes: "The Greek, 'which is being renewed' (anakainottmenou); namely, its development into a perfectly renewed nature is continually progressing to completion. In knowledge - rather as the Greek, 'unto perfect knowledge.'"
Is our position "being renewed and growing unto a perfect knowledge"? The word "renewed" means: "to cause something to become new and different, with the implication of becoming superior. It means to make new, to renew, to cause a change to a previous, preferable state." This word comes to mean: "to restore, to bring back, to make new; not in the sense of recent, but different." If we are growing, what are we growing into? We share all Christ is and has, how could we grow in our position? We can't, but the first century believers did.
Word Pictures in the New Testament has this to say, "Which is being renewed (ton anakainoumenon) - present passive articular participle of anakainoo. By this word Paul adds the meaning of kainos to that of neos just before. It is a continual refreshment (kainos) of the new (neos) man in Christ Jesus.
"After the image" (kat' eikona) - an allusion to Genesis 1:26, 28. The restoration of the image of God in us is gradual and progressive (and they reference):
2 Corinthians 3:18 (NASB) But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
but will be complete in the final result (and they reference Romans 8:29; 1 John 3:2)."
1 John 3:2 (NASB) Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.
At the second coming, all believers were made like Christ - righteous. Are you righteous? If you are a believer, you are as righteous as Christ.
The renewal that Paul is speaking to the Colossians about is a positional renewal that was happening in the first century church. During the transition period, the church was moving from infancy to maturity.
What was God's goal for the first century believers?
Romans 8:29 (NASB) For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren;
It was that they would be conformed into the image of Jesus Christ. Prior to the return of Christ in A.D. 70, the church was growing to maturity. The church went through a transitional state in which she was incomplete in her constitution and on her way to maturity. We see this transition is several texts:
1 Corinthians 13:8-12 (NASB) Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known.
Here Paul, in no uncertain terms, spoke of the transition age as a time of "partial" vs. the complete or "perfect"; the "childish," as opposed to the coming "manhood" or maturity; the "darkly" vs the "clearly" stage of knowledge. We see this same idea in:
Ephesians 4:11-16 (NASB) And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
God was building up Christ's Body, the Church, through the gifts of the Holy Spirit to the end that the Church would grow up in Christ-likeness unto the mature or perfect Man. In this passage in Ephesians, maturity is defined as "attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ."
The church, the body of Christ, was growing and maturing to become the dwelling place of God:
Ephesians 2:19-21 (NASB) So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, 20 having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord;
This passage teaches us exactly what this final perfection of the Body of Christ was to mean: When the Church finally reached maturity or perfection, it was to become God's Temple. The Church was "being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord."
Ephesians 2:22 (NASB) in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
During the transition period from Pentecost to Holocaust in A.D. 70, the church was maturing to become God's dwelling place. The Apostle Peter also referred to that future perfection when he wrote:
1 Peter 2:5 (NASB) you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
The Body of Christ (the Church) would eventually become the perfect tabernacle of God:
Hebrews 9:11 (NASB) But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation;
"The greater and more perfect tabernacle" - Here we see the contrast between two tabernacles - the earthly one in verses 1 & 2, and the perfect one in verse 11. What is the greater and more perfect tabernacle? or as 8:2 puts it, "true tabernacle"? The text says it's, "not made with hands, that is, not of this creation." The Greek word for creation is ktisis. The tabernacle, in which our Lord serves, does not belong to the natural creation, the material universe.
The "more perfect Tabernacle" here is that heavenly "Temple" or "Dwelling" unto which the Church was growing through the power of the Holy Spirit in Eph. 2:21,22. It corresponds to the heavenly "building," "house," and "home" with which the Church was expecting to be clothed in:
2 Corinthians 5:1-4 (NASB) For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven; 3 inasmuch as we, having put it on, shall not be found naked. 4 For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed, but to be clothed, in order that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
It is the "Abode" which the Father and the Son were going to make within believers (Jn. 14:23); it is the promised "Tabernacle of God among men" which the Church was anxiously awaiting:
Revelation 21:3 (NASB) And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He shall dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them,
It was to be the formation of Christ in the Church which Paul was eagerly expecting in:
Galatians 4:19 (NASB) My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you
When the book of Hebrews was written (A.D. 66), the saints knew that the Way into the heavenly Tabernacle or Sanctuary (the face-to-Face Presence of God) had not yet been manifest, because the first, earthly tabernacle, was still standing (Heb. 9:8,9). In other words, as long as the worldly, fleshly, old-testament tabernacle/temple of God was still standing, then "the more perfect Tabernacle," the Temple of God, the complete, blood- perfected Church had not yet come in its fullness. As long as the imperfect earthly house of God remained standing, and its sinful ministers were still in power, the "more perfect tabernacle" was not yet established with finality in Christ's true people.
In A.D. 70, about 40 years after Jesus' prophecy, the old temple and the old covenant world were thrown down. God's heavenly Temple was then completely established among men. God gathered His elect into His House (Kingdom) when the earthly, hand-made house was thrown down (2 Cor. 5:1). The Church was complete in the New Covenant presence of Christ.
Today believers stand perfect in Christ, we share his righteousness, we are the dwelling place of God. The transition is over, the church is mature and has become the dwelling place of God.
Notice what Paul says about this "new man":
Colossians 3:11 (NASB) --a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.
This clearly demonstrates the corporate nature of the "new man." In the body of Christ there are no class distinctions. The Greek here for "no distinction" is: "There does not exist" - Greek and Jew, etc.
We must remember that people are not born equal. We have different IQs, physical beauty, strength. There is no such thing as true equality in this life. Members of the human race are not born equal. But regeneration brings true equality to people.
The terms "Greek" and "Jew" are national differences. "Greek" - a person who is a Gentile in view of being a Greek - Gentile, non-Jew. The Roman world classified a "Greek" as a person who participates in Greek culture and, in so doing, would speak the Greek language, but not necessarily a person of Greek ethnic background. A "Greek" was equivalent to a civilized person.
The terms "circumcised nor uncircumcised" refer to a religious difference. The Greek and Jew, one circumcised and the other uncircumcised, were separated by seemingly insurmountable racial and religious barriers. They had nothing to do with each other. Jewish people refused to enter a Gentile house. They would not eat a meal cooked by Gentiles, nor buy meat prepared by Gentile butchers. When they returned to Israel, they showed their disdain for Gentiles by shaking off the Gentile dust from their clothes and sandals. Even the apostles were reluctant to accept Gentiles as equal partners in the church (Acts 10-11). But the gospel broke down those barriers, and Jew and Gentile became one in Christ.
The terms "barbarian, Scythian" are cultural differences. "Barbarian" properly means: "one whose speech is rude, or harsh"; the word is onomatopoeic, indicating in the sound the uncouth character represented by the repeated syllable "bar-p;bar." Hence it signified one who speaks a strange or foreign language (I Cor. 14:11).
The "barbarian" came to denote anyone ignorant of Greek or its culture, a person not participating in Greek culture and civilization. The focus is on culture rather than on language (I Cor 14.11). One may render the contrast in Ro 1.14 as "the civilized and the uncivilized."
"Scythians" were uncultured, nomadic people from north of the Black and Caspian seas. They were fierce barbarians who offered human sacrifices and scalped their enemies and used their skulls as drinking cups. The Jewish historian, Josephus, added, "The Scythians delight in murdering people and are little better than wild beasts" (Against Apion 2.269). They are taken as a specific representative of the barbarian world.
The terms "slave nor free" refer to economic or social distinctions. The "slave" in Roman times was not classified in law as a human being. His master could maim or kill him at his pleasure. The slave had no rights. The slave was viewed, in the words of Aristotle, as "a living tool." He did not even have the right of marriage.
Is Paul teaching that when we become Christians all these distinctions go away? If you are a slave, and you become a Christian are you then no longer a slave? No! Look at the distinction that Paul adds in:
Galatians 3:28 (NASB) 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.
Has salvation done away with male and female? The meaning here is that all are on a level; that there is no distinction of nation in the church; that all are to be regarded and treated as brethren, and that, therefore, no one lie to another.
There is no place for racial barriers or cultural snobbery in the body of Christ. God has united all believers in Christ Jesus. This was a startling, unbelievable revelation for the first-century world. The racial, religious, cultural, and social barriers separating people were as deep - seated and formidable as any in our day.
There is no place for manmade barriers in the church since Christ is all, and in all. Because Christ indwells all believers, all are equal. He breaks down all racial, religious, cultural, and social barriers, and makes believers into one new man.
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