“So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.” — Genesis 1:27 (New International Version)
God created everyone carefully and intentionally in His image. That means every person is important and valuable because of how God made them. When we devalue people or treat them unfavorably because of their race, we are ultimately devaluing God's image in those people and thus devaluing God.
“My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.” — James 2:1 (English Standard Version)
Partiality is showing favor to one group or individual over another, which is a sin. Because God has created each person in His image, as Christians, we are not to show partiality or favoritism to any person or group of people. Racism, prejudice and partiality are all sins. When we become Christians, we enter into the family of God, where He is the head and we are His children, equal before Him.
“Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” — Genesis 11:4 (ESV)
As image-bearers, we are to represent God (who is three in one) to the world. The desire for one people group to make a name for themselves above all is not new. When any of us think of “our own kind” (race, gender, age, etc.) to be above any other, we are committing the sin of pride.
“‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” — Matthew 22:36-39 (NIV)
Not only are Christians not to think less of others or more of themselves, but Jesus commands us to love our neighbors — that is, anyone who comes across our paths. This is important because it demonstrates our love for God to a world that needs His peace and hope.
“For He Himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility.” — Ephesians 2:14 (ESV)
Jesus is our peace. It’s because of what He has already done (made us one in Him) that there is even hope for this world. Division based on arbitrary things is not a new tactic of the enemy but has been a fairly successful one so far. As Christians, we are called to have difficult conversations about the sin of racism and the work of justice because Jesus has made us one, and we must deal with anything that opposes that oneness.
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