Resolved, by God’s enabling grace, to persevere in prayer, love, and good deeds in the reason for experiencing ethnic concord within the church.

As a pastor in Minneapolis for greater than 20 years, I’ve discovered that one of the crucial useful biblical teachings relating to ethnic concord within the church is that Christ has already secured it.

For individuals who are in Christ, ethnic concord is our shared future. In God’s gracious and sensible windfall, he has designed the church to be made up of individuals from all ethnicities, tribes, and tongues. This he truly assured by the dying of Christ, who ransomed individuals for God “from each tribe and language and other people and nation” (Revelation 5:9). Due to this fact, our future as believers is to be united within the worship and pleasure of God with individuals from each nook of the earth eternally. That makes ethnic concord within the church a certainty.

Divine Reward to Protect

Ethnic concord can be a present to be preserved. I used to consider it was my process to create unity within the church among the many ethnically numerous. However that pondering was little greater than well-intentioned conceitedness and unbelief. Ephesians 4 put me in my place. There, the apostle Paul urges believers “to stroll in a way worthy of the calling to which you’ve gotten been referred to as, with all humility and gentleness, with persistence, bearing with each other in love, desperate to preserve the unity of the Spirit within the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1–3).

“For individuals who are in Christ, ethnic concord is our shared future.”

So our process as Christians is to not create unity within the church, however to preserve it. Our calling is to protect the unity God has already established for us in Christ by residing in a way worthy of the reconciling energy of the gospel.

Once we, in our ardour for ethnic concord, think about that we’re tasked to create unity within the church, we’ll inevitably construct a pseudo-unity in competitors with the unity God has already given us in Christ. Our methods will devalue the facility of our shared union with Christ, thereby destroying true unity in our quest for it.

Any group of unbelievers can unite round a shared ideology. That’s what occurs in each social and political subgroup. That’s no massive deal. The better query is whether or not we, as Christians, will discover settlement “within the Lord” (Philippians 4:2) that supersedes our earthly ideological variations and empowers us to diligently love each other.

Not Pure Love

Ethnic concord requires greater than pure love. As even church historical past exhibits, numerous believers residing collectively in unity just isn’t pure. Our sinful nature will work exhausting towards it — even amongst believers sharing the deep truths of the gospel. This wrestle has been with us from the start of the church, necessitating express instructing (similar to Ephesians 4:1–7) that calls the church to the problem of residing out the Christ-created unity between Jewish and Gentile Christians.

In our current day, such ethnic divisions persist. These divisions are entangled in political and ideological variations between believers. Over the previous 5 to 6 years, additional sharp divisions have been uncovered. The homicide of George Floyd right here in 2020 elevated the chasm between many evangelical believers.

“Doctrinal conviction is more and more taking a again seat to ideological conviction.”

Consistent with the deepening and spreading polarization in our society, Christians have severed relationships — not over variations about Christ, however over differing views of ethnic concord within the church and justice on this planet. Church buildings have break up. Friendships have evaporated. Partnerships have ended. Even Christian households have been divided. One current research documented that many Christians are actually selecting to belong to a church not due to the church’s theology, however due to its ideology. Doctrinal conviction is more and more taking a again seat to ideological conviction.

Are we treating our earthly ideologies and political convictions as a better value, a better treasure, than the inexpressible grace of our shared kinship in Christ Jesus himself? I pray not.

Supernatural Love Required

Ethnic concord requires supernatural love. The collapse of affection between Christians is a tragic failure. Such divisions amongst believers are proof of our sinfulness and unbelief, and they’re misplaced alternatives to show the glory of Christ’s reconciling energy. If God has, by the dying of his Son, reconciled us to himself whereas we had been enemies (Romans 5:11), we dare not assume ethnic concord would require something lower than the sacrificial love, forbearance, and forgiveness of God that now we have obtained in Christ (Ephesians 4:32–5:1).

The better the disagreements, the better the alienation, the better the problem of affection. And the better the problem of affection, the better the chance to show the supernatural love and unity that’s ours within the gospel of Christ.

Threefold Resolve

Christ has unified us within the gospel, reconciling us to himself and to 1 one other (Ephesians 2:11–22). Because the one individuals of God gathered from each tribe and language and other people and nation, we share a standard everlasting future collectively (Revelation 5:9). Our problem as brothers and sisters in Christ is to reside out our unity with each other, treasuring Christ Jesus our Lord above all.

Towards that finish, I supply this threefold decision on this Martin Luther King Day:

Resolved, by God’s enabling grace, to persevere in prayer, love, and good deeds in the reason for experiencing ethnic concord within the church.

This resolve expresses my coronary heart’s want and prayer. Maybe it expresses yours too. If that’s the case, be a part of me on this threefold prayer.


Father in heaven, we pray that your kingdom would come and your will could be achieved on earth as it’s in heaven in regard to ethnic concord within the church and racial justice on this planet. Neither secular methods of anti-racism nor color-blindness will yield lasting options for the world or the church. Could we give ourselves to persistent prayer for concord within the church day and evening, as Jesus taught us within the parable of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1–8). Could we carry on looking for, carry on asking, carry on knocking, believing that you simply, God, will open the door in reply to our prayers (Matthew 7:7–11).


Lord Jesus, we pray that we’d love each other as you’ve gotten liked us and thereby advance genuine ethnic concord within the church. Any “advances” in ethnic variety or justice with out Christlike love will acquire nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1–3). There isn’t any path towards Christian concord within the church that sidesteps the decision to like each other, forgive each other, and bear with each other. The trail will inevitably demand that we love those that are tough to like, and even these whom we’d view as enemies (Matthew 5:44). Perseverance in loving each other “increasingly” just isn’t non-compulsory; it’s our calling (1 Thessalonians 4:9–10). Strengthen us to like like this, O God.


Gracious God, we pray that you simply would possibly grant us the facility and knowledge to persistently do good to 1 one other. Many are drained, saddened, and disillusioned relating to ethnic concord. Could we, enabled by your mercies, not develop weary in doing good (Galatians 6:9–10; 2 Thessalonians 3:13). And once we sense now we have been wronged, could we “not be overcome by evil, however overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

Elevate Up Your Head

In case you are saddened, take coronary heart. In case you are annoyed, don’t quit. In case you are discouraged by the divisions in some church buildings, carry up your head and hope in God. Our future is certain. We’ll reward and worship our Lord Jesus collectively within the new creation as a mess of numerous individuals, united in Christ Jesus eternally and ever.

Resolve with me, then, by God’s enabling grace, to persevere in prayer, love, and good deeds in the reason for ethnic concord.


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