Sunday, January 20, 2013

More on Jesus: Answer to Prejudice in the Church

Of course, Paul blasted prejudice sorely in one epistle:

"For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 11Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. 12One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. 13This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;" (Titus 1: 10-13)

Paul was appalled to learn that vain Judaizers were persecuting one group of people, specifically the residents of Crete, where Titus would serve as the first bishop. These Judaizers wanted to bring in the Law of Moses back into the church, even though the New Covenant has nothing to do with the law, but in fact replaces the Law, essential to the Old Covenant,  yet inimical to the New once man dead in his trespasses receives God's grace:

"Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?" (Galatians 4:21)

followed by

"Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free." (Galatians 4: 30-31)

The law has to go, and in fact, it has already been taken care of:

"In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away." (Hebrews 8: 13)

Therefore, what aggravates racial prejudice of any kind is not merely the hatred in the hearts of  men, although the flesh of man is forever predisposed to fighting (Galatians 5: 19-21), but the Law, the Ten Commandments, when men and women try to earn their righteousness before God through obedience to the law, men and women begin to bite and devour each other (Galatians 5: 15), including over issues of grace.

Instead of rule-keeping in the flesh, Paul wrote that we should walk in the Spirit:

"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." (Galatians 5: 16)

Walking in the Spirit, resting on the Finished Work of Jesus Christ, gives us the greater glory of letting God's grace growing and flow in our lives. As we continue receiving God's gifts of righteousness and grace (Romans 5: 17), the old nature of division and strife gives way.

In other words, we become more "sound" or whole in the faith, and this faith is not even our faith, but rather the faith of the Son of God (Galatians 2: 20-21)

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