26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
–The church in Galatia was experiencing Jews and Gentiles worshipping on equal footing, which previously represented a significant cultural divide.
-There was opposition, not just coming from outside of the church, but within the church.
-We are all children of God, meaning there should be no barrier. Specifically:
-No cultural barrier (Jew or Gentile)
-No socioeconomic barriers (slave or free)
-No gender barrier (male or female)
-Paul is saying that I am to see Christ in you first. If I see Christ in you first, then how I treat you is a reflection of how I see God.
-We are all one IN CHRIST, meaning we find our identity and calling in Him first.
Jesus deliberately and intentionality sought out the unacceptable and the marginalized in society.
-Matthew 9 – calls a tax collector
-Mark 2 – eats with sinners
-Luke 5 – ministers to lepers
-John 5 – engages the Samaritan woman
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
-The ultimate barrier between us and God that ever existed was sin, and God sent Jesus to eliminate that barrier
-And He has now called us to His ministry of reconciliation
-There’s something all ambassadors do: THEY GO. They leave their home to go to a foreign land.
-Likewise, the implication of your ministry of reconciliation is not that we all huddle within these four walls and wait for folks to come.
-Our ministry of reconciliation is active, not passive. In fact, you cannot reconcile passively.
The bottom line:
We are called to BUILD BRIDGES not BARRIERS.
Building bridges – When you reach across boundaries as Jesus did to build loving relationships
Our response must be personal. Jesus built bridges one person at a time. We must do the same.