Do you ever have one of those days in which the Lord speaks to you around a specific issue through multiple means without even looking for them? I’ve had just such an experience this morning.
In my daily time in God’s Word, I “happened” to be reading Acts 10 and 11. That passage brings out the deep prejudice that had existed between Jew and Gentile and how Christ removes that prejudice.
A key teaching in this passage is what Peter summarizes himself: “God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.” (Acts 10:28) And, he also says, “God does not show favoritism….” (Acts 10:34) God gives His gift of the Holy Spirit to anyone and all who trust in Jesus (Acts 11:17).
And in the news, we hear this morning about rioting and protesting around the country in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, MN.
Additionally, I listened to a podcast of my friend Ray Edwards that he just “happened” to release this morning, “Let’s Talk About George Floyd.” In the podcast he interviews Dr. Fred Jones, an African American and follower of Christ. If there’s any question in your mind about the prejudice that still exists in America, I encourage you to listen to this podcast. (www.Rayedwards.com/467)
Dr. Jones offers a quote from Benjamin Franklin that speaks volumes, “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” We need to be incensed over such injustice! Dr. Jones also explained his view that ultimately, the racism and prejudice in this country is not an issue of color but of evil. Racism and prejudice are a simply a manifestation of the evil in the hearts of people.
I couldn’t agree with him more. Morality and righteousness cannot be legislated. Unfortunately, as a people we’ve bought into the false notion that people are basically good. The problem with that it is that it can’t account for evil and it removes the need for God’s forgiveness and cleansing in our lives. For if we’re basically good, what needs to change?
In Romans, chapters 1-3, Paul introduces us to three kinds of people: the ungodly, who totally reject God and defy Him by their words and lifestyle. Then, there are the morally self-righteous. But in the pride of their own self-righteousness they look down on other people, when in fact, they sin just like those people they look down upon. Finally, there are the religious. These people think that they are better than others because of their religious practices and piety. The problem is that they too sin.
Paul concludes that none of the three kinds of people are any better off than the others. For the Scripture says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) And “There is no one righteous, not even one.” (Romans 3:10)
This is why God sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins, so that no matter who we are, we can be “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:24)
It’s true, our core issue is evil. We are all sinners in need of saving. Jesus not only offers forgiveness of sin, He also gives us a new life—a do-over. Jesus wants to set us free from slavery to sin and make us hunger for righteousness. Where we were once controlled by sin, in Christ, we want to be controlled by Him and live in a manner that pleases Him and loves others.
Galatians 3:26-28 explains, “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
If you don’t yet know Jesus Christ, I urge you to put your faith in Him. Ask Him to forgive your sins and to give you a new life in Him. Read the Gospel of John in the Bible to find out more about Him. We must deal with our sin issue, our innate evil, in order to solve the racial issues of our day.