What the Bible Says About Race
Series: Common Ground
Message: What The Bible Says About Race
Scripture: Genesis 1:26-27
“The racial problem is an unresolved dilemma of America. Racial problems have gone on since America’s inception because their root has not been addressed by the people who are most qualified to address it: the church… The goal of the church should be to glorify God by reflecting the values of God among the people of God through letting the truth of God be the standard by which we measure right and wrong and the way we accept skin color, class, and culture.” Tony Evans
In The Beginning
- We were Created intentionally by God
- In the Image of God
“The fact that man is in the image of God means that man is like God and represents God.” Wayne Grudem
“This has profound implications for our conduct toward others. It means that people of every race deserve equal dignity and rights. It means that elderly people, those seriously ill, the mentally retarded, and children yet unborn, deserve full protection and honor as human beings. If we ever deny our unique status in creation as God’s only image-bearers, we will soon begin to depreciate the value of human life, will tend to see humans as merely a higher form of animal, and will begin to treat others as such. We will also lose much of our sense of meaning in life.” Wayne Grudem
- With an amazing Uniqueness
Where Did Races Come From?
“And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,” (Acts 17:26)
- Acts 17:26
- Genesis 1:26-28
- Genesis 6:9
- Genesis 9:19
- Genesis 11 – The Tower of Babel
“Race is a social classification, not a biological descriptor. The social interpretation of how one looks in a “race”-conscious society.” Dr. Camara Jones
“Race is actually a social construct. The concept of race is not a biblical concept, it’s not a biblical idea, it is a constructed idea. You won’t find the idea of races in the Bible unless you find it in the proper historical context where we see, number one, that we are all the race of Adam. One race, one blood. We are all the race of Adam. There is less than a 0.2 percent genetic difference between any of us in this regard.
In fact, we’re not even different colors. Technically, from a genetic perspective, from a biochemistry perspective, we’re all actually the same color. Our color comes from our melanin. We’ve all got melanin, just at differing degrees. So it’s not that some of us are this color, some of this are that color. No, we’re just different shades of the same color; some of us just have more melanin than others.” Voddie Baucham
The New Community
“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 3:28)
“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.” (Galatians 3:26–27)
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”” (John 13:34–35)
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”” (Revelation 7:9–10)
What Do I Do Now?
- Recognize we are on equal footing before the cross: equally desperate, equally loved, and if we have trusted in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, equally redeemed.
- Find our identity first and foremost “in Christ”!
- Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry.
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (James 1:19–20)
- Where there is, in fact, oppression and injustice, God's people need to be at the forefront of repenting and correcting it.
“One may well ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all."
Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.” Martin Luther King Jr. – Letter from a Birmingham Jail
Making It Personal:
- Ask God to search your heart and reveal to you any areas of thinking, speaking, or acting that have been out of alignment with His creation design and moral law for human interaction and community.
- Invite God to teach you to love others as Christ has loved us (John 13:34-35).
- Reach out to others who have a different perspective from you to learn, grow, and connect. (Put into practice James 1:19-20)
- Pray that we as the church would model and lead in living out this “new community” made possible through Jesus Christ.
- Who can you share these truths with?