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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
June 19, 2004

     All of you are God's children because of your faith in Christ Jesus. And when you were baptized, it was as though you had put on Christ in the same way you put on new clothes. Faith in Christ Jesus is what makes each of you equal with each other, whether you are a Jew or a Greek, a slave or a free person, a man or a woman. So if you belong to Christ, you are now part of Abraham's family, and you will be given what God has promised.
Galatians 3:26-29 (CEV*)

In God's realm, our relationships are very different than they are in the world's terms. By coming to faith in Christ Jesus, we put on Christ and become God's children - a new identity transcending the old.

Within the body of believers, all worldly distinctions - such as those of ethnicity, class and gender - fall away. We are simply brothers and sisters in Christ, members of the same family with a common glorious heritage. This truth of the Gospel has given hope to many told by the societies in which they live that they are lesser people who won't amount to much. Correspondingly, it is a reason why Christianity has often been viewed as a threat by those at the top of worldly power structures.

The Gospel fundamentally challenges social orders based on things like ethnicity, class and gender. Jesus lived this new way by associating with those looked down upon by worldly society, and sometimes holding them up as good examples in his teaching. Although a man of peace, those who held the trappings of power in his day recognized him as a far greater threat to their unjust social order than the violent revolutionaries of his time.

Dear friends, have you put on Christ so firmly that you no longer make distinctions among people on grounds like ethnicity, class and gender? Does any faith community with which you are associated live in the reality that all believers are brothers and sisters, and God does not play favorites?

Bill Samuel

* Contemporary English Version ©1995 American Bible Society.

©2004 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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