Sermon by Dr. Philip Lee (2nd Service on September 30, 2018)
Things that are “separate” means there is a difference but with “distinction,” even if there is a difference, one side does not benefit nor does one side lose. The church may have its separations; however, there must be no distinctions within the church. Thus, we must treat people the same and not discriminate and favor one group or a person over another. There is discrimination in this world and we may be out-casted; however, the God that we believe in has no discrimination or favoritism (Rom 2:11). Jesus did not discriminate against people but treated all people the same whether they were wealthy or poor. Jesus was a friend of tax collectors and sinners, including prostitutes and harlots (Matt 11:19). Therefore, if we believe in the God that has no distinction, then the church which is the body of Jesus Christ must not have any distinction either.
What type of church has no distinctions?
First, it is a church that has no distinction in salvation. The Bible says, “For all those who believe; for there is no distinction" (Rom 3:22). For humans, we are all sinners whether we commit some sin or a lot of sin, for we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). Therefore, there is none righteous, not even one for we are all sinners! (Rom 3:10). Because of sin, the result is death (Rom 6:23). Therefore, as we live in this world there will be a time when we will all die (Heb 9:27). However, if sin is gone then death will also be gone. Human beings cannot rid themselves of sin, therefore, who can solve the problem of sin? The answer is only through the blood of Jesus Christ (Eph 1:7). What greater grace and love can there be? Thus, the righteousness of God has no distinction and is given only by the authority of God by believing in Jesus Christ.
There must be no racial discrimination
The Bible declares that there is no distinction between Jew and Greek (Rom 10:12). This speaks clearly that there should be no racial discrimination. Jesus was not just the God of the Jews but the God of all people in the entire world. What this teaches us today is that we must get rid of this consciousness of being an exclusive people. The Jews believed that God was only their God and not the God of the Gentiles. God commanded Jonah to go and proclaim the Word of God to Nineveh, however, Jonah believed that God was the God of the Jew sonly and refused to go as God commanded him and fled from His presence (Jonah 1:1-3). The Apostle Paul clearly taught us that God is the God of Gentiles too and not just the God of the Jews (Rom 3:29). Are we not caught in this exclusivity today thinking that we are the only chosen of God, the “special” people of God? Secondly, we must get rid of the consciousness of exclusivity thinking that we are the only descendants and sons of Abraham. The Jews declared they were the descendants of Abraham (John 8:33). Thus, "God only loves us and will only save us" was the Jews' and the religious people's thinking. The religious leaders had this boasting of thinking they were descendants of Abraham but they did not understand the will of God and were not baptized by John (Luke 7:30). Even if we are used for the purpose of redemptive history, if we do not understand the will of God and reject His will, then we will be unable to partake in the movement of the Word of redemptive history. Do we have faith or not? That's what’s important (Gal 3:7; 29).
The true church has no distinction in citizenship or status
The Word of God declares that we are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal 3:28). The male Jews gave three thanksgiving prayers when they prayed in the morning. First, they were thankful for not being born women, for women were considered of no value during that time. Secondly, they were thankful for not being born a slave and thirdly, they thanked God for being born a Jew and not a Greek. For them, they had this distinction. In America, there are churches where only Caucasians gather to worship and churches where only African Americans gather to worship, thus a distinction in the church. However today, the body of Jesus Christ, the church should be a church with no distinction where the sons of God are present. May we be a church that has no distinction that overflows with gladness and thanksgiving and joy.
Conclusion: We must proclaim the Gospel of the cross of Jesus Christ with no distinction (Rom 10:13). We must diligently proclaim the Word of redemptive history to all people (2 Tim 4:2). We must preach the gospel to all nations, then the end will come (Matt 24:14). Enoch saw the judgment of God coming, therefore, he proclaimed the Word of God (Jude 1:15). Like Enoch, may we have this thorough consciousness of the end times and walk with God, proclaiming the mysterious and profound Word of redemptive history to the entire world.