Matney: No room for prejudice
The hymn by Rev. Babcock and Franklin Sheppard, says, “This is my Father’s world, oh let me never forget, that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.” With the pandemic, racial protests and everything else going on in the world, I am thankful to know that God is in control.
Our nation, and the world, has been rocked by racial unrest for hundreds, even thousands of years. What has been going on recently is nothing new. But the racial protests are not caused by a skin problem, but a sin problem. But God is in control and he has a solution. It is the salvation and transformation of the human heart by the Holy Spirit.
As 1 Corinthians 12:13 says, “We were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body — whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free — and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”
In Christ Jesus, there is not a drinking fountain for white people and another one for people of color. There is one fountain and it springs up with life-giving water for people of every color. There is not one baptistry for people of color and another for whites. We are all baptized by the one spirit into one body of believers.
Jesus said in John 7:38-39, “Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him.
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This river of living water, the Holy Spirit within us, springs up with love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, self-control and kindness toward others and will wash out the old stinking thinking of racial prejudice and contempt for those of a different skin color.
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 ended the idea that God was only for the Jews. In Acts 2, the gospel was heard in many languages that day, indicating that God wanted to take the good news of his love and forgiveness into all of the world. The Holy Spirit ends all racism. So, if we’re living in the spirit, there will be no room for prejudice or racial arrogance. And there is no room for shame over the color of one’s skin.
Galatians 3:27-28 reads, “And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Jesus died to create in himself a new race altogether. A race of people born again by the spirit created as a new man. Becoming one in Christ erases the idea that one race or gender is superior to another. In Christ, there is no Jew or Gentile, black or white, male and female. We have put on a new identity. We are now Christians, followers of Jesus.
Ephesians 2:14-18 reads: “For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death. He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.”
This is my Father’s world and he is in control. Christ Jesus ended the laws of segregation between Jews and gentiles and now he unites Jews and gentiles, African Americans, Latinos, Asians, Caucasians, American Indians, into one body of believers. We can all come to God the father through the same Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit changes the human heart.