On Race Part 2

IV. The notion of a superior race in relationship to God’s righteousness has no biblical basis. A. The Jews laid heavy emphasis on descent from Abraham (JOH 8:33, 39) but the Holy Spirit negates such a confidence. MAT 3:9. 1. Paul had pure tribal descent from Benjamin (one of the twelve patriarchs of Israel) but affirmed that such a heritage was an inconsequential relic. PHIL 3:4-7. 2. Paul loved his countrymen dearly but knew their race or national identity were no guarantees of exemption from righteousness. ROM 9:1-4; 2:12-13, 25. 3. Paul affirmed that the true Israel ever were a spiritually elect portion within the nation: the children of the promise. ROM 9:6-16. B. Jew and Gentile alike are conceived in, born with, and condemned by sin. ROM 3:9. C. The hope of God lies in grace, not race; in a spiritual generation by God, not in a sexual generation by man. JOH 1:12-13; ACT 15:11. D. All artificial distinctions of blood, ethnicity, nation, circumcision, status or sex are irrelevant. The primary abiding token of God’s grace, favor and righteousness is faith. GAL 3:28-29; 5:4-6. E. All men shall answer to God in eternity according to their relationship to Jesus Christ. EPH 1:3-6; JOH 14:6. F. All men shall answer to God’s justice according to their relationship to His word/law. ROM 2:6-13. G. No one’s natural pedigree excuses him before God, nor makes him superior to others. 1. God blessed Jacob’s posterity with His revelation and service and held them to a higher degree of accountability because of that. AMO 3:2. 2. Salvation is OF the Jews (JOH 4:22) in that they received the Law which saved men from Satan’s lies and false worship, through them came Jesus Christ Who saved men from hell, and from them came the gospel and the church. ROM 11:15-18. H. Genealogies at best could only show one’s descent, not that one shall ascend to God on Judgment Day. JOH 8:37, 44; MAT 8:11-12; TIT 3:9. I. There is an important observation to be made about God’s dealings with Abraham and his descendants. 1. This was a class that was blessed with particular favor and benefit by God Himself. 2. Abraham was not particularly better than other men before God called him: he was an idolater. JOS 24:2. 3. Israel was a stiffnecked, disobedient and provoking people which owed all blessing to God’s covenant faithfulness. DEU 9:4-6 c/w EZE 36:22, 32; PSA 106:8, 45. 4. This shows God’s sovereignty to discriminately show favor and mercy to the unworthy and He is not to be faulted for such. ROM 9:15-21. V. An overview of world history shows that some cultures have exceeded others in the development of social structure, scientific and industrial advances, etc. A. Some of this may be attributed to natural sagacity and accumulated knowledge of the sciences, as witness the power of the Greek or Roman empires (whose language, laws and wisdom are integral parts of Western Civilization). B. To a limited extent, it may be said that Western Civilization was the outgrowth and heritage of Greece and Rome. C. But the dominance of Western Civilization is also owing to its reception of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 1. The gospel went everywhere, as Jesus commanded. MAR 16:15, 20; COL 1:6, 23. 2. The gospel liberated men from superstitious bondage and taught them the superior form of society rooted in self-discipline, self-sacrifice, personal holiness, personal responsibility and love of neighbor as oneself. ROM 13:9-10. 3. Wisdom’s words tend towards sound rule, justice and prosperity (PRO 8:14-21) and liberty follows the Spirit of God (2CO 3:17): spiritual liberty, personal liberty to do well, and political liberty. 4. Those nations and cultures which received, obeyed or even tolerated the gospel and its followers tended to flourish. Those that were indifferent to the gospel and its followers reaped other fruit. a. This is a form of the promise of God to Abraham in GEN 12:3. b. God’s promises were to Abraham and his seed, which is Jesus Christ. GAL 3:16. c. Where Jesus Christ is welcome, blessing ensues. Where He is not known, blessings are withheld. Where He is cursed, cursing ensues. Mind that the chief blessing is turning men from their iniquities. ACT 3:26. d. Nations that forget God are turned into hell (PSA 9:17) and a curse attends those that love not the Lord Jesus Christ. 1CO 16:22. 5. There are regions to which the gospel went but it was rejected. The preeminent example of the backlash of this was the nation of Israel. MAT 10:14-15 c/w ACT 13:51; MAT 12:45; 21:43-44. 6. There are regions to which the gospel went, was received but then its light sinned away. What has come of the many regions that received the gospel in the book of Acts but eventually turned away from it? What has been happening in Europe and England? What is happening in America? What happens to churches which sin away the light of the gospel? REV 2:5. 7. Blessing and hope attend the gospel. The track of the gospel’s success through history is the track of flawed but uplifted cultures. a. This track ran through Ethiopia (ACT 8:27-39) and an ancient record says, “we, almost before all other Christians, received baptism from the eunuch of Candace, queen of Ethiopia, whose name was Indich.” (See John Gill’s commentary on ACT 8:27, with discretion) b. This track was first under the immediate supervision of the Spirit of God. ACT 11:26 c/w ACT 16:6-8. c. Antioch of Syria became the springboard of N.T. evangelism through the labors of Paul which tended north and west. d. This track happened to run conspicuously through Eurasian and European culture, not African, Oriental or Hindi cultures. e. Eurasian and European (and accordingly Celtic and Anglo-Saxon) culture have consisted largely of people of lighter-shaded skin color. 8. An abstract of Western Civilization from a biblical perspective shows that, next to Jesus Christ, one man’s gospel labors are preeminently responsible for the spread of the gospel into and throughout Asia and Europe: the Apostle Paul. a. It was largely his missionary labors that founded churches in Asia and Macedonia and “...turned the world upside down...” (ACT 17:6). b. His writings make up the bulk of the New Testament which perfects men in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. c. He is the apostle and ensample to the Gentiles. ROM 11:13; PHIL 3:17. d. It is a telling exposure that the Black Hebrew Israelite movement holds to the AV1611 as their rule of faith and practice but reject all of Paul’s writings on the basis of them affirming slavery. D. Much is being made today of “white privilege.” 1. Caution is here needed since the dominance of Western Civilization in the world is at least partially owing to the Spirit of God in directing the gospel of Jesus Christ to regions of light-skinned people. 2. Some of the so-called “privilege” is owing to the effects of the gospel in subduing men’s minds to the love of God and of neighbor. 3. The real issue is not skin but sin. Men will answer to God for their hatred of Jesus Christ, His gospel, His sovereignty, for their unjust hatred of others and for any form of excusing ungodly conduct.

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