Heavenly Students of God’s Interracial Church

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His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. Ephesians 3:10-11

“One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I’ll never know.”

Groucho Marx reminds us that language is a funny thing. If we’re not careful, we might miscommunicate in humorous or unpleasant ways.

For instance, did you know that punctuation can save lives? “Let’s eat Grandpa” is transformed by the addition of a comma to the much more palatable “Let’s eat, Grandpa.”

Second Timothy 3:16 teaches that the entire Bible is God-breathed. In other words, nothing is missing from the Bible, and every word in it is there by God’s design. The passage goes on to tell us that we profit when we learn from the Bible and when it rebukes and corrects us. Thus, we should pay attention when a portion of Scripture contains a single word that revolutionizes our understanding of our faith.

Ephesians 3 contains one such word. Today we don’t typically use the word manifold in the course of daily life. The word means “multicolored.” Re-read the passage above from Ephesians, but this time replace manifold with multicolored. All of a sudden, the passage takes on new meaning, especially if you live in a country still suffering from the success of Satan’s schemes to divide humans from one another on the basis of skin color. It now becomes clear that Paul makes two promises. First, truly multiracial churches are one of the accomplishments Jesus won for humanity by his perfect life, death for our sins, and glorious resurrection. Additionally, when the local church embodies God’s multicolored wisdom, it is such a remarkable demonstration of the power of the gospel that we teach angels and demons about the completeness of Christ’s victory. However, when we, the body of Christ, willingly segregate ourselves into uniracial factions, we do not fully live out God’s plan for us. Furthermore, we miss out on the opportunity to teach those in the heavenly realms, as well as people here on earth who are in desperate need of salvation, just how transformative the forgiveness of Christ is.

Peter Borg

PONDER: Do you currently have any close friendships with people of another race? If not, ask God for opportunities and be intentional in your life decisions.

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Transformed by Intercession

dietrich_bonhoefferA Christian fellowship lives and exists by the intercession of its members for one another, or it collapses. I can no longer condemn or hate a brother for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me. His face, that hitherto may have been strange and intolerable to me, is transformed in intercession into the countenance of a brother for whom Christ died, the face of a forgiven sinner. This is a happy discovery for the Christian who begins to pray for others.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor, theologian, and anti-Nazi dissident who was executed by hanging on April 9, 1945, as the Nazi regime collapsed, just two weeks before Allied forces liberated the camp and three weeks before Hitler’s suicide.

Comments welcome below.

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3 thoughts on “Heavenly Students of God’s Interracial Church”

  1. Father, my relationship with you can not exist without our times of prayer together, just as reconciliation can not be maintained unless I pray for my brother or sister in Christ…
    Lord Jesus, as you intercede for me before the Father I’m commited to interceding for all those who I’ve condemn, or who hate me, Lord, when I bring them before you, no matter how difficult the reconciliation can be, during my intercession you remind me that you died for them and after my time with you all I see in a would-be enemy, is the face of a forgiven sinner…
    Spirit of God, help me forgive, forget and bear the faults of others as you have had others bear mine…
    Lord God, this life is too short to be vengeful, and your love is the only power capable of transforming an enemy into a friend…
    Lord Jesus, the season of obedience is here…

  2. I live in Belgium, a small country in west-Europe. Belgium has maintained excellent relations with former colony of RDC. Many black people live here since decades ans we are used to see them. Many also come here to study and go back home when the studies are finished. Many Vietnamese live here, they came in the 80′ and stayed. And now we have more and more Arabs.
    I have no problem with the first two groups, as they are totally fusionned with our habits, and kept their own identity in feasts, traditions… Since the events in January, the relations with the Arabs are not changed, but we have become what distant with those we don’t know. When they accept to live like we do, it is easy to have human contacts with them, specially with kids. Very few show agressivity, in that case, I take my distances, that’s all. We are all humans on the same planet.

  3. Funny how one can define “Brother”. In Bonhoffer’s quote, he certainly did not count Hitler as his brother. Did he pray for Hitler? Did he try to form a relationship with Hitler? Is it ever ok to avoid, detest, hate? When it comes to Mariette’s new Arab neighbors, is it so frightening that one feels invaded by strange people with strange cultures whom the media portray as hating and violent?

    We are not told who is chosen to become a “brother”. Should we see them all as Jesus sees them? Love them all? Embrace them, help them, possibly die for them… in hope that they see our love for them and find the love that Christ has for them. That’s not easy when feeling threatened, but that doesn’t let us off doing it. Vive la difference!

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