The gospel is…the word about Jesus Christ and what he did for us in order to restore us to a right relationship with God. – Graeme Goldsworthy

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Gospel Eradicates Racism

In about an hour and a half, I'm going to have the sacred privilege of preaching from the inspired, inerrant, infallible, authoritative, and eternal Word of God. And I'm excited about today's text - Galatians 3.26-29. I'm excited about it because it explains that the ground is level for all those who are in Jesus. Christ, the true seed of Abraham (Gal. 3.16), is the fulfillment of what God spoke to the patriarch in Genesis 12.3, and all those who place faith in Jesus for salvation receive an eternal inheritance in Him that's as vast as the galaxy in which the billions of stars exist.

But there's also an ethical implication to this text. The Jews thought that their DNA caused them to be inheritors of the promise made to their forefather, Abraham. They believed their scrupulous allegiance to the Law of Moses merited for them the promise made to the patriarch. Many Jews consequently believed they were superior to other ethnicities, and the Law was a fence (a barrier) to separate them from the surrounding nations. This resulted in a racism that we see men like Jonah and Peter both struggle with (cf. Jonah 4.1ff; Gal. 2.11ff.). Paul informs us that the identity of the sons of the promise - the sons of the gospel (cf. Gal. 3.8-9, 14, 26, 29) - has nothing to do with ethnicity, but it has everything to do with faith alone in Jesus Christ (Gal. 2.16; 3.11, 14, 23b, 24b, 26). 

That is why in Galatians 3.28 he says, "There is neither Jew nor Greek." This, my friends, means there is no room for racial superiority in the church of Jesus Christ. It doesn't remove the beautiful distinctions each of our ethnic heritages bring to a local church (for God Himself created ethnicity!), but it removes an attitude of ethnic hierarchy in one's mind that erroneously elevates one's standing before God above others in that local church.

I watched a video a week ago that beautifully tells a story of how the gospel removes such a superior racial mindset from the mind of a believer. One of my favorite preachers, John Piper, tells it. I was very moved by it. It ought to encourage every one of us that we still have mindsets - though we've embraced the gospel - that the Spirit of God intends to deal with on this issue of race. Conversion to Christ doesn't mean we're automatically purged of every carnal mindset. We're in process. Some of us are still racists in some areas of our lives. But we don't see it. Our pride has blinded us to this awful, divisive attitude. My prayer is that the following video will be used by Jesus to shine the light of His gospel on those ethnically superior attitudes of your soul. I pray the gospel so grips your heart that racism is squeezed out...forever.

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