Galatians 3:25-27. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
We are not under law, we are IN Christ. We are not under the guardian, we are IN Christ.
This union with Christ happens through baptism into Christ. This is an act of the Spirit. And it is by faith- for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith. Baptized into Christ is an act of faith, not works. Therefore our water baptism should be seen as a sign of our Spirit baptism by faith into Christ’s life. Notice that this is not Paul speaking in the imperative voice (you must put on Christ), but rather it is the indicative voice (you HAVE put on Christ).
Paul may have in mind the imagery of that young Roman son who is brought into mature manhood, out from under the tutor or guardian slave, and given the new toga. He has now put on the clothing that indicates his new standing as a son.
“You have put on Christ” is a picture of our union with Christ. We are IN Christ. We have put on the Christ suit. Like the guy who wears the Spider Man costume at the theme park. No matter how many people like or dislike him outside of that suit, IN that suit he is loved and accepted by every one in that theme park. People line up for pictures with him. High five him. Adore him. He has put on Spider Man, and in so doing he takes on the identity of Spider Man.
Theologically speaking, being IN Christ means that Christ represents us. Just like Adam represented all of humanity in the Garden, now Christ represents all that are IN him. He is our covering, our shield. He is the armor that we put on that guards us from all the guilt. shame, accusation, and even death that the law can throw at us. Now, all that is Christ’s becomes ours.
Like the prodigal son who returned home and was robed, sandaled and ringed by his Father, we too receive our older brother’s robe, sandals, and ring. We have put on his clothing. We have put on his righteousness. All that the Father has is his, and now it is also yours. This is freedom. This is peace. This is life.
“To live is Christ” means that we have put on Christ and everything that is his- his love, his life, his holiness, his righteousness, his justice, his grace, his suffering, his death, his resurrection, his ascension, his glory. What is true of Jesus is now true of you. Praise be to God.