Originally published Monday, 17 April 2017.
Now more than ever race, class, and social status are the dividing lines that prevent unity and progress in our world. However, through the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ unity, reconciliation, and healing is possible. Learn how in this week’s video “We Are All One in Christ”.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for making us all uniquely yours. May your Gospel free us from division and may we live in the unity that You desire for your children. In Jesus Christ Name I pray, Amen.
Now more than ever, race, class, and social status are the dividing lines that prevent unity and progress in our world. In today’s study of Galatians, we learn how the gospel of Jesus Christ frees us from these dividing lines. I’m not saying that the lines are not present and that there is no longer work to do, because, believe me, there is much, much more work to do. But what I am saying is that because of Christ’s work on the cross, unity, reconciliation, and healing is possible. How much of that we actually experience is dependent upon if we believe that, and our willingness to surrender to God’s desire for diversity, especially in His church.
We see this truth in today’s text, Galatians 3:26-29, which reads
“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 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 3:26-29 NIV
The apostle Paul is writing these words to the church of Galatia which received this false gospel that says this: in order to really be saved, in order to really be accepted by God, you need to conform and assimilate to Jewish culture and tradition. Jesus was Jewish and the first people to get saved were Jewish, so clearly this is the standard, right? Absolutely not. We’ve been going over this for weeks now, and I’ll post it in every video if I need to: we are saved by grace through faith. Amen.
Today I want us to place ourselves in the shoes of these Galatians. Imagine someone is having a party and everyone there has on a pink shirt, and you are the only one that has on a blue shirt. You received an invitation to the party, your meal is paid for, but when you go to sit down at the table someone says, “Wait, you don’t belong at this table. You must have on a pink shirt to sit here.”
And you’re like, “But I have my ticket, I was invited, my meal is paid for.” And they are like, “Nope, it’s not enough. You need a pink shirt.” So now the attention is off of what it really takes to sit at this table, and on what makes you different from them. The truth is, you are different. You have on a blue shirt. But the lie is that this blue shirt somehow disqualifies you from sitting at this table. So then the host of the party comes up, corrects the hater, and is like, “No, I invited her. Have a seat.”
This is what the gospel does. It invites everyone to the table. Paul’s words—”There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus“—are revolutionary. Gentiles, slaves, and women can sit at the table too? Yes. Because Jesus invited you and paid for your meal. Have a seat.
This message is so important today, especially in America, because when we think of Christianity, it’s commonly associated with white, American culture. We have done a severe disservice to the entire world by attaching a culture to Christianity. In the Body of Christ, we all have a right to be here.
It’s so serious, in fact, that Jesus gave His life so we all can sit at this table. His last prayer before being crucified was for unity in His Church. Who are we to tell someone they don’t belong? Even more, who are we to cower back and not have our seat because we’re afraid it might make someone feel uncomfortable?
Some Jewish Christians were uncomfortable with Gentiles like the Galatians, we’ve been studying. Even one of Jesus’ disciples Peter was uncomfortable with them at one point, as we learned a few videos ago. But the gospel frees us from having to appease people, and it grants us the power to live for God. For you, maybe that means living as a single mom, or lower-middle-class, or if you’re like me, a black woman. In Christ, we all have a seat at the table. Jesus gave His life so that we could. Paul reminds us, we are all one in Christ. No one is better or more closer to God than the other.
Does that mean we forget our unique differences and cultures? Absolutely not. But it does mean those differences have no power to separate us from God or each other if we live in the freedom of this truth. The gospel does not say, “Your differences don’t matter.” If they didn’t matter, God would have made us all the same. The gospel says, “Despite our differences, we can still sit together.” We are all one in Christ, so if we think that we are more special because of the color of our skin, the money in our bank account, our education, or anything other than simply being a loved and accepted child of God, then we don’t believe the gospel of Jesus Christ.
If this is the case, we do not understand why He came and the work that He accomplished. We live as slaves to our egos when we really could and should be living as free daughters of the Most High.
Now I want to hear from you, Beloved. Please comment and let me know: how has the gospel of Jesus Christ affected your views on race, diversity, and the Church? I can’t wait to chat with you in the comments!
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As always, thank you so much for reading and until next time be beautiful, be blessed and beloved.