Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Sin Without Borders

“For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.” – 1 Corinthians 12:12-13

Unity with diversity in the Body of Christ is a manifestation of the Spirit of God, not some contrivance of man.  The word “diversity” has a number of meanings in our culture. In this case – in the Biblical context, it has to do with ethnic, socio-economic, national differences.  I would say that forgiveness is the first step - we seem to want to frame things in terms of the worldly aspects of relationships - but our relationship as Brother and Sisters is first spiritual.

I recall years ago, I was at a Promise Keeper’s Conference as the State Manager for Alabama and Mississippi. Unity in the Body – racial reconciliation was a key point in the mission focus of Promise Keepers.  We all wore staff shirts so attendees knew who we were.  A man approached me and said, “I live in a county where there are no black people. What should I do?” I told him that he should repent of any sinful attitudes he has toward other people and if he should meet someone – anyone who is different from him, he should treat them like Jesus would treat them. And if they are a Christian, he should receive them as a Brother or Sister. That the Lord would give him opportunity to consummate that heart change – he just needed to be ready. But it starts with a heart change.

Listen, the problem with unity in the Body of Christ is not just between back and white Christians.  It is a problem – a sin  problem – that permeates every culture every society on the Earth. Sin has no borders. I was emailing a friend – back and forth the other day and shared these thoughts – so I “thought” I would share them with you as well.

Here is something to think about

The issue of division is multi-dimensional

Christian to Christian - Spiritual

Christian to Non-Christian - Spiritual - This is where the uneven yoke enters in. 

Non-Christian to Non-Christian - Carnal

Social Class to Social Class - Carnal

People Group to People Group - Carnal

The solution in each case is not one size fits all.

As a Christian, if you think of "my people" as being the same color or ethnicity - that is carnal thinking.  We may have the same biological roots as non-Christians, but we have new roots by faith in Christ and the indwelling of the same Spirit.

 "Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.  Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

 Some big verses here

 1.           Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh” – who is included in “no one” – you are either a Christian or you are not – saved or lost

 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3:28

 2.           if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” – What things have passed away – our relationship to the world

 3.           not imputing their trespasses to them, and {God} has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” – God extended His hand before we could extend our hearts

 Social injustice cannot be ignored by Christians – the question is – do we hold it against those who are not complicit merely because of their skin color? I think not.

 Should we have an expectation of an “active” compassion from those who have the same faith in the same Lord and have the same Spirit? I think so.

 The Body of Christ should not and cannot remain silent – at the same time, there should be nothing but love and unity demonstrated between all Christians.

 There are many, like the man I mentioned, who realize that they have harbored sinful attitudes toward others merely because they were different.  They acknowledge their kinship. But once the Spirit brings conviction – it leads to one of two things – You quench the Spirit and reject the revelation , or you submit to the Truth and repent.  All of that must first happen in the heart. The is true for all people – this sin has no borders – it is not an illness that only white Christians have – it affects all of mankind.

Church – it is time – Be the light!

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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