EPHESIANS 2:19-22: “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: Is there a power that can truly make us color blind? Is there a power that can address the racial strife and division in our land? Is there a better answer than protesting and anarchy?
Solomon, in the book of Ecclesiastes, proclaims,
- “That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9 NKJV
The current racial strife and division that we are facing in our land is nothing new. I am old enough to see this struggle repeat itself all over again. I lived through it as a teenager and I am now living through it as an adult. I thought we had made some progress in our society. However, it seems as if we are back at square one. What is the answer to this continuing strife?
Racial and social inequality is nothing new. It has been a part of our lives since man’s fall into sin. It existed between God’s chosen people, the Jews, and the Gentiles (all those not of Jewish descent). And, even within God’s chosen people, there was prejudice between the religious elite and the common man. Yet, the Gospel of Jesus Christ would change everything!
Paul addresses this prejudice in his letter to the Ephesians. He shows how the power of redemption in Jesus Christ breaks down the wall of division. It is only the heart, that is regenerated through faith in Jesus Christ, that has the capacity to rise above prejudice and intolerance. And, it is not out of personal nobility that this happens. It is the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit.
First, we are born again by the Spirit, and we become a part of the Family of God. This family knows no color, social standing, or gender superiority. We are all one in Christ Jesus. We are all a part of the heritage of faith.
- “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone…”
Second, we are all called to the same purpose. We are all made a part of the same spiritual building. The church is God’s answer to the racial and social inequality and strife that we are facing.
“…in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”
- “…in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”
It is in the church that the Spirit of God dwells in His fullness. It is in the church that Jesus Christ is Lord. It is in the church that we are gathered together as the sons and daughters of the Father. It is in the church that the walls of separation are broken down and we are free to love and forgive.
- “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.” Ephesians 2:14-16 NKJV
Some may object and say – “The church is filled with division and strife!” While this may be true in some circles, I have seen the reality of God’s promise and purpose in my experience as a pastor. I have seen men and women of all races and social standing living together as one in Christ. I have seen the love that conquers the barriers of hate. Therefore, I believe in the power of the cross to break down all boundaries!
Someone has wisely said – “We better learn how to get along down here, we will be spending all of eternity together!” Without Jesus Christ, without the power of the cross, we will be fighting the battle of inequality until Jesus returns. We can experience a foretaste of God’s will and promise today in the life of the church. The fellowship of the redeemed is God’s plan for a broken and divided world.
Lord, bring revival to Your church. Pour out Your Spirit upon us so that we can live in the unity of the Spirit, in the bond of peace. Let Your light shine brightly through the love of Your people. Let Your church be a beacon of light and hope in an ever-darkening world.
In Jesus Name!