Before we talk about what the kingdom means for people in specific life situations, we need to talk about what the kingdom means for all people.
We read in the great commission that Jesus’ last command was that his disciples “go and make disciples of all nations.” Even with such a clear command, because of the division in their world, the first disciples only focused on making disciples of Jewish people. The division between Jew and Gentile was not primarily racial but cultural and theological. Slowly, and through the acts of God (as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles), Christianity became a faith of all nations.
Unfortunately, through the centuries the Church has been slow to follow the “all nations” part of the great commission and sometimes even actively promoted division in the world. In our world today, sins causing division take many forms and they can seep into the church. Sins like sexism, racism, bigotry, and discrimination have no place among God’s people. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. famously observed that “Sunday is the most segregated day of the week.” Unfortunately, over 50 years later this is still very true.
“For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 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 no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3:26-28
Paul lays out the dividing lines of his day and proclaims that putting on Christ in baptism unites us all in faith to become the family of God. This is a powerful truth but it is not easily enacted. Here are some insights to help the church family be a true family for all:
Ask your bible study partner if you have more questions regarding diversity, equity and inclusion in the church.
Now that we’ve addressed this vital aspect of church wide culture, we can zoom in on the practical applications of the kingdom life for individuals.