Applying the gospel to relationships regardless of race and culture


Applying the gospel to relationships regardless of race and culture
As Christians, we have an obligation to be salt and light in our world (Matthew 5:13-16). We are also called to imitate Christ (Ephesians 5:1). So as we experience racially and culturally related hatred and division, how do we apply the gospel?
What does the Bible say about the diversity of people groups across the earth?
AC 17:26 “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings” (NKJV)
Summary: All people come from Adam and Eve through Noah. There is one race, the human race, with a diversity of skin color and features.
RO 1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, . . . 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (ESV)
Summary: The gospel is the power of God for salvation for every person among every people group who believe
MT 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen (ESV)
AC 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (ESV)
Summary: Our mission is to make disciples of all people groups regardless of race or culture.
MT 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
EPH 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
RO 12:5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
Summary: The church is disciples of Jesus who are the body of Christ and members one of another. Since we are commissioned to make disciples of all people groups, our local churches should include all people groups living and serving in community and fellowship.
REV 7:9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, (ESV)
Summary: Born again people from all people groups of the earth will be represented in heaven.
What does the Bible say about how we apply the gospel relationally to resolve division?
Apply humility
PhP 2:1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Summary: Pride is a foundation for various types of sin to include hatred and prejudice. A healthy church requires humble leaders that see the value of people regardless of race and culture.
Apply the unity of the Spirit
EPH 4:1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all
GAL 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Summary: When we are indwelled with the Spirit, walking in the Spirit and led by the Spirit, we are brought together in the unity of the Spirit.
Apply equality
AC 6:1 Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch.
The church consisted of different people groups and there was a problem because the widows of one group weren’t being properly cared for. The problem was presented The leaders offered a solution Servants were selected by the people The leaders focused on prayer and the preaching of the word Summary: Our local churches should have Spirit led leadership that understand their calling and responsibility to solve problems by employing those best equipped to serve. This results in acts of love and compassion for every member of the body of Christ without prejudice.
Conclusion: All people groups, regardless of race and culture, originate from Adam and Eve through Noah and therefore represent a diverse human race. We must embrace God’s creation and the mission of the church without prejudice and preference. As a result, Heartland Church must reach the people groups of our region and become an integrated family.
Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red and yellow, black, brown and white
They are precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world

A Work in Progress,

Pastor Gene