One of the big takeaways from the sermon last Sunday, was that the Gospel of Grace is for both Jew and Gentile. Though Christianity started among the Jewish people, the Gentiles, who the Apostle Paul was ministering to, did not need to adopt Jewish customs and practices in order to be a Christian. This was a huge clarification for the early church but, even for us today, it tells us that through Christ, God brings people of all races and ethnicities together into one family.
In Ephesians 2:15-19, Paul says it this way: “His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two (Jew and Gentile), thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross…consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household.”
God’s story is one of inclusiveness. Scripture shows us how He invites individuals and people groups into His family and His church. There’s no restriction on who God’s grace is available to, which is why Jesus commands us to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). But sometimes because of our pride, our ethnocentrism, and maybe our fears, accepting, and embracing others different from us is not always easy. It was challenging for the early church in the days of the Apostle Paul, and it can be challenging for us today.
In a recent video I was watching, the speaker’s final advice was to be connected with people who are different and think differently than ourselves. He noted that we like our friends, and we like them even more, the more they’re like us…but we need to venture out of that circle. We have so much to learn from one another and it’s how God grows the Body of Christ. This is what I see in Galatians: Jew and Gentile, different backgrounds, different customs, different cultures, but all one body, one family under the blood of Christ.