GOD'S GRACE IS FOR EVERY RACE
How The Church Is To Be The Answer To Racism
July 16-17, 2016
"God has revealed his grace to save the whole human race." Titus 2:11 (NJB)
". . . the Lord our God does not tolerate perverted justice, partiality, or the taking of bribes." 2 Chronicles 19:7b (NLT)
WHY GOD HATES RACIAL PREJUDICE
- Prejudice questions God's creation.
"From one man (Adam) God made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live." Acts 17:26 (NIV)
"Who says you are better than others? And what do you have that was not given to you by God? And if it was given to you, why do you brag as if you did not receive it as a gift?" 1 Corinthians 4:7 (NCV)
- Prejudice is a sign of ignorance.
"Whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness hasblinded him." 1 John 2:11 (NIV)
"True wisdom from above is pure, peaceful, gentle, friendly, full of compassion and is free from prejudice and hypocrisy." James 3:17
- Prejudice disobeys the Great Commandment.
"The entire law is summed up in this one command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself!' But if, instead of showing love, you attack and tear each other apart, watch out! You will destroy yourselves!" Galatians 5:14-15
- Prejudice is a serious sin.
"If you treat people according to their outward appearance, you are guilty of sin, and God's Law condemns you as a lawbreaker." James 2:9 (TEV)
Racism is a problem of SIN, not SKIN.
"So why do you judge your brother? And why do you think that you are better than he is? We will all stand before God one day, and he will judge us all." Romans 14:10 (ICB)
ACTION PLAN: Pastor Rick says that racism is the most common sin around the world. Spend 5 minutes each day this week praying for those affected by racism around the world.
- WE MUST SEE PEOPLE AS GOD DOES.
"The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7b (NIV)
Jesus: "Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment." John 7:24 (NIV)
"Then Peter said to Cornelius' household, 'You know, Jewish law forbids us from associating with people of another race. But God has shown me thatno race is inferior or unclean.'" Acts 10:28
". . . I now realize that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right." Acts 10:34-35
ACTION PLAN: In your quiet time, meditate on 1 Samuel 16:7b. "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." Talk about this verse with a friend or with your small group.
- WE MUST LISTEN TO EVERYONE WITH RESPECT.
"Everyone must be quick to listen, but slow to speak, and slow to become angry. Human anger does not achieve God's righteous purpose!" James 1:19-20 (TEV)
"Show respect for everyone." 1 Peter 2:17a (LB)
ACTION PLAN: In every important conversation, use the expression, "Tell me more," until you are sure you fully understand what the other person is saying, and why it is important to them.
- WE MUST LOVE EVERYBODY THE WAY JESUS DOES.
Jesus: "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you." John 15:12 (NIV)
"As believers in our Lord Jesus . . . you must never treat people in different ways because of their outward appearance." James 2:1 (TEV)
"You will be doing the right thing if you obey the law of the Kingdom, which is 'Love your neighbor as you love yourself.''' James 2:8 (TEV)
ACTION PLAN: On a little card, write down John 15:12, "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you." Keep this someplace where you can easily see it and look to it whenever you are struggling to love somebody else.
God's plan to bring people together is THE CHURCH.
"Some of us are Jews, and some of us are Gentiles. Some of us have been slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one bodythrough one Spirit, and we have all received the same Spirit! . . . Now all of you TOGETHER are Christ's Body, and each of you is a necessary part of it." 1 Corinthians 12:13+27
"So now you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have been made like him. So there is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. For you are all Christians — one in Christ Jesus!" Galatians 3:26-28
MY PRIMARY IDENTITY IS: I BELONG TO GOD'S FAMILY.
"In this new life one's nationality or race or education or social position is unimportant; such things mean nothing. Whether a person has Christ is what matters, and he is equally available to all." Colossians 3:11 (LB)
Communion models our UNITY
"When we drink from the cup that we ask God to bless, isn't that sharing in the blood of Christ? And when we eat the bread that we break, isn't that sharing in the Body of Christ? By sharing in the same loaf of bread, webecome one body, even though there are many of us." 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 (CEV)