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Sermon: The Ground Is Level at the Foot of the Cross

By David O. Dykes | Senior Pastor of Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas.

That's how our heavenly Father watches over us with love and compassion. As the song based on the words of Jesus promises, "If His eye is on the sparrow, I know He watches over me!"

When You Are in Christ, You Have Full Equality with All Other Believers

Some theologians have called Galatians 3:28 the Christian Magna Carta. The Bible says, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

Paul probably chose these three categories as an intentional slap in the face to the Jewish teachers in Galatia who were proud of their religion, race and gender. Every morning, a good Jewish man would pray: "God, I thank You that you did not make me a Gentile, a slave or a woman."

As Islam spreads around the world, we need to be aware of its beliefs. When I visited Saudi Arabia a couple of years ago, I was surprised to discover how women were treated. They can't vote or drive cars. When I visited a mall that was as modern as anything in Dallas, the men were all dressed in a variety of clothing, sitting around drinking coffee and smoking. The women were forced to wear black clothing that covered every part of their bodies except for a tiny slit for their eyes.

I shouldn't have been so surprised because the Koran says, "Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because men spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those among you who fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them" (Sura 4:34).

In every culture and every religion, including Christianity, the human tendency has been to build walls between groups of people. The message is, "Don't cross my wall, and I won't cross yours." Jesus didn't come to build walls; He came to tear down the walls the world has built to separate people into man-made groups. The Bible says, "But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility" (Ephesians 2:13-14).

Jesus isn't saying there aren't any differences between people. Yes, we may have different colored skin. Yes, we might have different jobs and positions of leadership. Yes, there are differences between men and women; but in Christ, these differences don't define who we are. The only category that really matters in the world is whether you are in Christ. At the cross, Jesus destroyed all the made-made barriers of hostility. Notice three walls of hostility that Jesus destroyed.

The Cross Bridges Racial Division

In Christ, there is "neither Jew nor Greek." The false teachers in Galatia were telling the Gentile Christians they had to become Jews first before they could become Christians. Paul struck back by saying Jesus' grace is for every race! God doesn't love you any more or any less based on your racial background. As we sang as children, "Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world—red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight."

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