1 John 2:28-3:2 (ESV)28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him.
3See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears[a] we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
Pastor Chris gives us insight into how racial reconciliation will always be fully accomplished in Christ alone. It will always be opposed by the enemy of our souls who sows division as a tactic to build walls of hostility. He reminds us that scripture addresses this human conflict with one remedy: to become and act as children of God. In the power of Jesus we are made new. We are reconciled to Him and to each other.
One New Man:
- “Neos” ~ speaks of something that is new as it relates to time: upgrade.
- “Kinos” ~ speaks of something new as it relates to kind, a new invention: brand new..
“The wall is everywhere. All of us know about it. No age or age group has gone unshaped by its pernicious power. Its menacing power moves the length and breadth of human existence. What wall is it? Paul calls it the dividing wall of hostility. It is the wall that separates and fragments and isolates. It is the wall that keeps people apart. It makes them suspicious and distrustful of each other. It kills fellowship and breeds prejudice and spreads gossip and sets loose the dogs of war. It takes many forms but it always remains the same wall wherever we encounter it. We live in a wall-weary world.”
Pastor Don Harbuck
These 4 Attributes are Evident in Us As Children of God:
- Be Intentional – “True transformation happens through relationships”
- In Humility Seek Understanding
- Stand Against the Enemy’s Schemes – 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
- Educate Yourself
1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus
Philippians 2:1–5 (ESV)
- In what ways do you see the world trying to find peace during this heated time of racial division? Do you think society will succeed?
- What do you think the Apostle John, in 1 Jn. 2:29-3:1, means by us being ‘born of Him’ and ‘children of God?’
- When the Apostle Paul writes that ‘in Christ’ we are a ‘new creation’ (2 Cor. 5:17) and that we are ‘all one in Christ Jesus’ (Gal. 3:28) what can Christians do to live out that truth?
- How have you seen the devil’s ‘wall of hostility’ (Eph. 2:14) dividing people? What have you experienced from those who are different than you?
- As children of God at City Central, what more could we be doing together to bring peace in our church and communities we live in?
- Ask God to survey your heart and ask honestly, “Are there any ways that I consider myself better than others?” (Phil. 2:3-4)
Invite the Holy Spirit to change any ways in which you avoid having relationship with people different from you.
- What ways can you learn and understand other people’s life experiences who are of a different background, ethnicity, or worldview than you? Commit to taking action this week, including praying for peace in our community and nation.