TEXT: 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
Tony Evans said, “Biblical truth overrides cultural difference.”
By way of introduction, John Walvoord and Roy Zuck wrote in the Bible Knowledge Commentary, “This passage forms an excellent three-part summary of the rest of the chapter. (a) The human body is a unit. (b) The human body has many parts, with a necessary diversity in its members. (c) The parts of the human body work together as one, with a dependent mutuality as each part fulfills an important function. Likewise the body of Christ has a diversity of parts functioning together. The One who gave the diverse gifts, the Spirit, was also the medium in which, by which, and with which that unity exists. The baptism of the Spirit is experienced by all who believe, at the moment of salvation. In that baptism, believers, regardless of nationality (whether Jews or Greeks) or station of life (slave or free), are identified with Christ (baptized … into one body) and are indwelt by the Spirit.”
We saw in our last few messages in this series before my vacation that God has created all the people in the world, and wants them to seek after Him so that they can be saved. Now let’s narrow our focus to those people who have accepted Christ as our Saviour.
The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in America, has a history of racism. Many of its leaders in the past supported slavery, the Confederacy, and segregation. Even though all of this was in the past, we still see it today. The two major Baptist groups in America are nearly identical in theology, but are divided along racial lines – the predominantly white Southern Baptist Convention and the predominantly black National Baptist Convention. At their 2019 annual meeting, Southern Baptists passed resolutions condemning racism and promoting diversity. There was also some backlash to these resolutions by those who believe that the Convention’s increased focus on social justice could lead to acceptance of sin like it has in mainline Protestant denominations.
Whatever you believe about these efforts, racial and ethnic divides among Christians are nothing new. Paul was dealing with them around 2,000 years ago. While the modern divide among American Christians is between white and black, the divide among early Christians was between the Jews who had accepted Christ and the “Greeks”, which in this context means all non-Jewish people living under the Roman Empire because the dominant culture in the Roman Empire was Greek.
There are three lessons that we can pull from this ancient ethnic divide between Jewish Christians and Greek Christians and apply to the modern divide between white Christians and black Christians.
First of all, we as the body of Christ are one unit, and we ought to act like this is the case. When it comes to the church, we are all on level ground. Both the black Christian and the white Christians, both the lower class Christians and the upper class Christians, have all been saved through Jesus and have been baptized by the Holy Spirit. Regardless of what our social status outside the church, we all ought to treat each other as brothers and sisters when it comes to the work of God.
Second, as a body we are composed of many different parts. Just as all of the parts of the human body work together to keep you alive, all of the members of the body of Christ ought to work together towards evangelism and discipleship. It is common in America for Christians to be divided into different demographics: the black church, white evangelicals, mainline Protestants, and so on. Well, if we all believe in Christ and His mission for us, our differences ought to be a secondary issue. We should all be working together in order to advance His cause.
Third, we all ought to be working together to do the work of God. We ought to be united in our purpose of sharing the Gospel with the unsaved. We ought to be united in representing Christ on earth by following the two great commandments: loving God and loving our neighbour. We do not have time to be engaged in petty internal squabbles over race, while the souls of people have not been reached with the Gospel are in danger of going to Hell!
We ought to be able to leave our differences on the sidelines so that we can work together in the greater mission of bringing others to the cross. Imagine how powerful the Church could be, if we were only united under the bloodstained banner of the Cross, refusing to be distracted by secondary issues, and only focused on loving all people, proclaiming the Gospel to every nation and discipling the saints.
Witness Lee wrote:
The unity of Church is but
The saints in oneness living;
The Spirit which indwelleth them
This oneness ever giving.
Thus it is realized and called
The unity of Spirit;
’Tis based upon the common faith
Which all the saints inherit.
This precious faith of all the saints,
Is constituted solely
Of Christ and His redemptive work,
Which are unique and holy.
In this the saints are truly one,
Together all agreeing,
And it is from this common faith
The Church came into being.
This oneness is the Church’s ground,
The ground of common standing,
The only ground of unity
The Spirit is demanding.
The Church in actual practise thus
May keep her vital union,
And her expressions locally
Be built up in communion.
Lord, help us ever strive to keep
This unity by taking
The Church’s ground of unity,
The Body-life partaking,
That all Thy heart’s profound desire
May fully be effected,
And God’s eternal purpose may
Completely be perfected.
If you are a Christian listening today, here are three things you need to do:
1. Confess and repent of your own sins. You already know what they are.
2. Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ to repent of their sins and get back to their first love
3. Pray for souls to be saved, and do your part by witnessing to the lost.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.