23 Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. 27 As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring,[k] heirs according to the promise.
I call myself a believer in Christ – aka a “Christian.” Because of this, I have certain ideas, beliefs and opinions on many things in the world that does not always flow with those same ideologies as others, friends included. For example, I am pro-life, I don’t believe same-sex marriage is Biblical or God ordained, and i don’t believe in race. Yep, there it is, I said it.
I would say let me clarify – but, I think that about sums it up. There was a time where I identified as Southern – then I moved to New England. There was a time where I identified as “German,” until lo an behold I found a Frenchman in my family tree. Up until recently, I identified myself as a white American. Obviously, this is how the world sees me, but as Jesus says in John 17:16, and also in John 15:19 – He, and I, and all believers, are not of this world – this is why the world hates us. Paul, in Galatians 3, continues on this by saying we are in Christ, children of the Father – we are not Jew or Greek, but children of God.
Now you say, “but race exists, and not everyone is in Christ.” True, but if you are not in Christ, you are in the world. You retort, “Well, the world divides us by race, culture, etc.” Again, true, but God does not see us that way. If we are in Christ, God – the entire Godhead, i.e. Trinity – sees us as children of God. One nation, one people. Likewise, He sees the world as one nation, one people. There are people of faith, and then there is the world, and for us, as believers, should be all that matters.
When we continue to divide people up by race or culture, we are falling into the trap that the enemy wants us to. The snare had been laid, and we, seemingly, are all but eager to get our foot, and mouth, caught in the trap. Historically, the Jewish people hated everyone who wasn’t a Jew – ask the Samaritans. The longed for a savior who would put them at the top – one who would put the descendants of Abraham as the superior people. The tag line – “We are God’s chosen,” was not just an edifier for the Jewish people, but an insult to all those who would dare invade or even do business with them. When Paul says what he says in Galatians, he is erasing that notion. No longer does it matter if, in the world, you are part of “God’s chosen,” for what matters now is faith in Christ. It doesn’t make you superior, it simply means you no longer are part of this world, yet remain alive in it, with one purpose, to love and spread the truth of the love of Christ. Paul continues in Ephesians by saying we do not wrestle with flesh and blood, but spiritual forces. Meaning, we are not to wrestle with flesh and blood – these all pass, these are not important. What is important are those spiritual forces which inhibit us from experiencing the love of God – and likewise, cause us to wrestle with flesh and blood.
Unfortunately, the Church as a whole has not followed this doctrine. Likewise, neither have those who claim to be Christian. In the name of God, we have enslaved. In the name of God, we have claimed racial and cultural superiority. In the name of God, we have wrestled with flesh and blood. We continue to be proud of “heritage,” race and culture. All this does is cause us to hate, or at the very least, cause us to divide ourselves up into worldly factions. All it does is cause us to wrestle against flesh and blood, and while we wrestle with these things, those spiritual forces which Paul mentions have full reign over the world and our lives.
Racial, cultural – and in fact all – violence is disgusting. It is the way of the world. Unfortunately, it continues to be the way of many so called believers. We have a responsibility as believers to see people as, well, people. Not white, black, Indian, but people. We must see believers as fellow children of God, not as a race or a culture. More importantly, we must see the world, and those “still” in it, as God saw them, with love. As John proclaimed – “For God so love the WORLD, He gave His only begotten Son,” longing for the world to believe in Him, so that they all might be saved. We cannot afford to continue to fall into the trap of seeing white and black, Christian and Muslim, male and female – we must see ourselves, and the world, how god see us. This is the only way this can end the right way.
Sadly, we know the world will always have division, and thus always have strife. We know the world will continue to fall along racial, cultural and economic lines. We must not fall into the same trap, we must not continue to conform to that same way of thought. Ironically, the world itself is now seeing the need to erase these divides, unfortunately, the world does not have the true way or answer, only God does. We must take up the Cross, and we must throw down every standard, title and name that is contrary. In other words, we must throw them all down, for there is only one true Cross.
I challenge believers to throw down their battle flags, their color, their culture. I challenge believers to throw down their economic circumstance, their titles, their name tags. I challenge believers to through down their citizenship of the world, their political party. In there place, I challenge believers to pick up their cross and follow Christ. I choose to check “other” when I am ask my race or origin, for I am a child of God.