Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:11-13, ESV.
Once again issues of race have taken center stage in our national culture. Racially motivated crimes against African Americans have led to protests. Seemingly influenced by radical groups, some of these protests have turned destructive and violent. These are sad days for our nation. We must admit, however, that these sad days have been brought on, at least in part, by the ongoing sin of racism. Too many people in our nation judge others to be of lesser value simply because of their skin color or ethnic background.
The great ethnic problem in the early church was the division between the Jews and Gentiles (non-Jews). This was not merely a matter of racism. There was a real and significant difference between these two peoples. The Jews were the people of God and the Gentiles were not. The Gentiles were far from God and outside His kingdom and covenant. They were without hope.
Into this great ethnic divide steps the gospel. Now, the Gentile who was so radically separated from God and His covenant blessing can come to Christ by faith and be brought into those blessings. The sacrificial blood of the perfect sacrifice, Jesus Christ, knows no boundary of race. The grace of God through the blood of Jesus covers the sins of all who come to Him by faith. The great divide of race and ethnicity is eliminated in Christ.
If nothing else, one message to us should be crystal clear. While all people should be treated fairly because we are all created in God’s image, my brothers and sisters in Christ are even more than that to me. We are all of the same family—regardless of skin color or ethnic background. Nobody needs to be like me to be a member of the family of God any more than the Gentile needed to become a Jew to be in Christ. We all become citizens of one kingdom and siblings in God’s family by coming as undeserving sinners before the throne of grace. We are united by His shed blood and it is time we started acting like it.
My prayer for you today is that God will remove from your hearts any hint of racism or ethnic pride and encourage you to proclaim to the gospel that saves people from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation.