“To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places” (Eph 2:8-12)
Paul applies the centrality of the Cross to all of our most important life circumstances, like marriage, family, finances & work. It’s no surprise then, that he applies it to Racial Harmony.
Humanity has struggled with civil unrest due to Ethnic Diversity probably since the days of Noah. It’s a prideful condition of the heart that has caused chaos over the history of many countries of the world, not least our own.
It’s also a major stumbling block for Churches. The Church at Ephesus had issues in this area, to such an extent that one of the Primary themes of the book is the pursuit of Ethnic Diversity in the Church.
It’s into this context that Paul writes these words in Eph 2:8-12. Notice three things about this passage and the pursuit of Ethnic Diversity:
- The plan of God was always that the Gospel message tied together both Jews and Gentiles. It was always God’s intention, therefore, that the Gospel not only apply to all humans everywhere, but unite all humans everywhere.
- It is the duty and purpose of the Church to promote this message. It is ‘through the Church‘ that this message is made known.
- Unity in Diversity is a significant attack on the powers of darkness. The ‘rulers and authorities in the heavenly places‘ are the spiritual forces of evil, and unity in diversity casts a sharp, powerful, luminescent light into those dark places.
John Piper has said that the cross created a bloodline that is stronger than any tribal, racial or familial line. This bloodline is our lifeline, and we want this lifeline to extend to all peoples throughout our great city.