Race, culture, or gender: Christ is all and in all

Race, culture, or gender: Christ is all and in all

By walking in the light, man, woman, race, and culture can be united in the body of Christ.

Opportunities for all

God loved the world, giving us His Son to save each one who believes in Him—unconditionally, without requirements, and without partiality (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:4–9). This opens up a tremendous opportunity for all people, regardless of race, culture, or gender!

When Jesus ascended into heaven, He said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations […]” Matthew 28:18–20. In other words, no reservations with regard to gender, culture, or nationality. It all depends on whether you want to, as Jesus explained in Matthew 16:24: “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.’” Paul wanted to do just that; this was his consuming interest. We can read this in his personal testimony in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

This life of being crucified with Christ is an integral part of being obedient to our heavenly calling. “[…] where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.” Colossians 3:11.

Paul, who was an apostle to the Gentiles, urges us to follow him just as he also followed Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). He made no reservations concerning race, gender, or culture; on the contrary, he emphasized that both men and women have equal opportunities to follow Christ and partake of the death of Christ and the life of Christ! “Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. For as the woman was from the man, even so the man also is through the woman; but all things are from God.” 1 Corinthians 11:11–12.

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Christ is all and in all

“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 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. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:26–29.

The church can only prosper and grow in this unity in Christ! There must never be any undertones of discrimination, including on account of family or culture. All of us are members of one another who are called to grow up into Christ who is the head of the body (Ephesians 4:15–16). We must never become involved with lording it over people; on the contrary, we must be fellow workers for the joy of those who have this faith to partake of the life of Christ (2 Corinthians 1:24).

That is why God has given us “some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors [shepherds] and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ […]” Ephesians 4:11–12.

Let us unconditionally serve each other with the grace that God gives (1 Peter 4:10–11). The opportunities to be a servant in the body of Christ are unlimited within God’s grace over our life, for He distributes to each one individually as He wills (1 Corinthians 12:11). Therefore, it is vitally important for us to be in contact with God and not stand before people or seek their honor, be it in life or in our ministry (John 5:41).

Unity in Christ

Unity is grounded in fellowship with the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Only by walking in the light can man, woman, race, or culture be united in this one body of which Christ is the head (1 John 1).

“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of division between us, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:14–22.

In the church, each member should be free to grow up to the head—Christ! No one must rule over anyone! No one must take advantage of another—because that destroys God’s work with souls! (2 Corinthians 7:1–2).

We are facing difficult times; we can see that in the world around us, where spiritual hosts of wickedness rule in the heavenly places. Our children encounter much more ungodliness in schools today than just a few years ago. The church must be a summer island in the midst of the ocean of humanity, where children and young people can flourish in fellowship with those who desire to follow Christ and be good shepherds of the flock! (John 10:1–18).

Read 1 Corinthians 9—do everything for the gospel’s sake; seek to win as many as possible! Then your focus will be on proclaiming the death of Christ and His life in your circumstances (2 Corinthians 4:10–11). This is the only way in which you can follow Paul as a servant to all!

May God bless His church and give all of us grace to understand our task: to be examples to the flock and an example to the believers, irrespective of race, gender, and culture!

This article has been translated from Norwegian and was first published with the title “Rase, kultur eller kjønn” in the periodical Skjulte Skatter (Hidden Treasures) in February 2021
© Copyright Stiftelsen Skjulte Skatters Forlag | ActiveChristianity

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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.