“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:28-29).
This is one of the most powerful passages about unity in the whole Bible. Paul was saying that, when we belong to Christ, ethnicity can’t separate us, socio-economic status can’t separate us, and even the battle of the sexes can’t separate us. We become one in Christ as heirs of the Kingdom of God according to the promise that comes only through Jesus. What a powerful truth!
Yet, a truth this powerful and potent will always try to be skewed and manipulated by the enemy. Some have tried to use this passage to affirm their damaging beliefs about gender fluidity, non-binary gender identities, and homosexuality. “After all,” they argue, “this passage says ‘nor is there male and female.'”
The problem with this line of thinking is that it is trying to use this passage to support uniformity. But God’s message to us here was not about uniformity but about unity. Unity is when oneness comes from things that are different. Uniformity is when oneness comes from things that are the same. The brilliance of the gospel is that, in Christ, oneness can come out of two things that are very different from each other.
Paul’s point here is not that Jews and Gentiles are basically the same, so therefore they can be one in Christ. His point was exactly the opposite. His point about the radical nature of the gospel is that it can bring together Jews and Gentiles who couldn’t be more different from each other.
This also applies to those who were slaves and those who were free. Who would dare argue that their condition was “basically the same.” Absolutely not! Their socio-economic situation was radically different from each other. Yet, the One who doesn’t show favoritism (Romans 2:11) is the One who can even bring together slave and free. The oneness and bond of being in Christ is greater than the separation of their socio-economic reality.
Now we can see clearly how this applies to “male and female.” The point here is definitely not that men and women are basically the same; it’s the opposite. The point here is that though men and women are dramatically different in a variety of ways, Christ can even bridge that gap. Christ can bring oneness where there was only separation and animosity. Jesus can bring unity to two factions that are entirely unique and different from each other.
No, Jesus is not promoting non-normative and non-binary gender fluidity. And He’s also not promoting the uniformity of two people of the same sex trying to be joined together romantically. Christ offers something much more powerful and more radical than uniformity. In Christ, unity is possible, which is the bringing together of two things very different from each other. This is the power of the gospel!