A New Identity
Theme of the week: Racial Unity: It's Worth the Effort
Thursday, January 24, 2013
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Key Bible Verse: In Christ's family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ. (Galatians 3:28, The Message) Dig Deeper: Galatians 3:23-29
The issue of oneness in the church is so important that we are told to look out for people who seek to undermine it (Rom. 16:17). This is because the church is to reflect the values of the kingdom of God to a world in desperate need of experiencing him.
The church is the only authentic cross-racial, cross-cultural, and cross-generational basis for oneness in existence. In 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, Paul wrote:
"For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit" (NASB, italics added).
The Greek word for baptism used in the Bible means identification. It was [the term used to describe] a cloth maker dipping cloth into dye so that the cloth would take on the color of the dye. The cloth was then said to be baptized, or identified, with the dye. When we got saved, we were baptized into the body of Christ. We are now identified with a new family—no matter what our race, gender, or class.
—Tony Evans in Oneness Embraced
My Response: What kind of divisions do I see in my own church or other churches in my community? Are there ways I even inadvertently contribute to this disunity?
Thought to Apply: When men are standing at the foot of the cross, there are no racial barriers.—Billy Graham (evangelist)
Adapted from Oneness Embraced (Moody, 2011) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.
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Prayer for the Week
Dear Heavenly Father, open my eyes to areas of racial and cultural insensitivity in my life; show me what steps I need to take to model racial reconciliation and unity in my church and community.
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