In a world of division, conflict, and polarization, the same Jesus who united the Jews and Gentiles, enslaved and free people, men and women, and people from every tribe and tongue some 2,000 years ago in Ephesus, is ready to do it again. God is still building his diverse family of faith. It will not always be easy, but when we participate and partner with God in his plans, we bring him glory, bless other believers, and serve as a witness to the world.
Sometimes we read the words of God and forget how counter-cultural and shocking they were at the time they were written—and how shocking they still are today. In the opening Ephesians, we read that God chose us before the foundation of the world and adopted us into his own family. He is birthing a family of diverse people who will be a loving and united family today and forever. This vision bears the seeds of heavenly revolution!
Sin drives us to fight, resent, and live in conflict with those who are different than us (and even with those who are very similar). In Ephesus there were racial and ethnic divisions between Jews and Gentiles that seemed insurmountable. Jesus came to unite people into one beautiful family, and he has called us to join him on this mission of forming a new race of grace.
Imagine a local church filled with Christians who are examples of peace. The members model peace in their relationships with the other members of their uniquely diverse congregation. But they don’t stop there. These people seek peace with those outside their church. They strive for justice. They include the broken, outcast, forgotten, with open hearts and arms. Imagine the kind of witness this would bring to the world.
The gospel changes individual lives, but it also transforms families, communities, nations, and the world. It saves the lost and makes radically diverse people friends and family members. The gospel is massive in scope. This is why the best investment of our lives is to become servants of the gospel. It is bigger than we dream!
God’s family has guidelines, rules, and commands that shape the behavior of its household members, such as • Be gentle and humble • Love each other with patience, etc. We would all be much better off if we followed these commands in our families, our community, in the workplace—and certainly in the family of God, his church.
In our battle against our spiritual enemy, forgetting to equip ourselves with the armor God has provided can be deadly. He calls us as members of his family and fighting force to stand strong, resist the spiritual enemies who seek our destruction, and fight back in his power against the forces of hell.