Put Your New Shoes On (Gal. 3:26-28)
– There is a lot of division in today’s society. I don’t like it at all. (Politics, race, economics, religion)
– Many reasons for this: Self-protection, Determining self-worth, to feel comfortable…
– Example: (Not all bad) Cross-country friend from Vietnam, didn’t speak English when came… fell in with those like him. How would you feel in a foreign land?
– Sometimes we just cave in to peer-pressure. Example: “Already enough white friends.”
* I wish we lived in a world where people were measured by their character, not by their characteristics. (…but we don’t)
– People have a hard time relating to others who haven’t had the same experiences as us:
– Example: USMC in Georgia, we are all “green”, but not in the south. WE ALL had the shared experience, life changing events, and current culture, economy, values, etc…
– Black Marines from Savana were stand-offish with me because I was white (self-protection)
– White Marines from Texas/Mississippi talked racist behind their backs (determining worth)
– Marines are a brotherhood, but apparently with some, it wasn’t enough to overcome the culture of the world.
– How we clothe ourselves on the outside can often reveal what we identify with on the inside:
– Example: Seattle street: (suit, tie, smile) vs (dirty, un-kept, scowl). Would race matter?
– 30 Rock, Liz Lemon, “I don’t see color. To me, the subway is just filled with scary, teenage, PEOPLE.”
– Mostly though, I think it is the “look” you wear on your face that says the most!
* “You can tell a lot about a person by they shoes. Where they going. Where they been.” (Forrest Gump voice)
– Chuck Taylors, Air Jordans, running shoes, white leather with navy, new or old…
– Ultimately, the culture will decide what it values. You may have been born disqualified.
– Remember, the world is broken, so its standard is flawed.
– Trying to measure up to the world’s standard of worth and value will only lead you to disappointment, in this life or the next.
– Church culture will often reflect the world’s culture, because people are broken!
– Church Clothes!! We, in the church, should be different than the world!
- God won’t judge you by your shoes, because He doesn’t play favorites.
– This is exampled in the immoral woman from the NT, and Rahab from the OT.
– The Jews and Gentiles have a shared faith now in Jesus, but continued to draw lines based on their different cultures and life experiences.
– Peter was the apostle to the Jews, (in the same way Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles.)
– He was still strictly following the law, not eating certain food, or going to some houses…
– God revealed to him that those things were no longer wrong. He trusted God!
– He preached the gospel at a gentile’s house and the Holy Spirit filled them all.
– Acts 10:34-36, 34 Then Peter replied, “I see very clearly that God shows no favoritism.35 In every nation he accepts those who fear him and do what is right.36 This is the message of Good News for the people of Israel—that there is peace with God through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.
– Jewish believers are saying, “But they aren’t like us. They aren’t from where we’re from.”
– Peter says, “They have received the Holy Spirit! Why not be baptized, and be one of us?”
– Acts 11:18, When the others heard this, they stopped objecting and began praising God. They said, “We can see that God has also given the Gentiles the privilege of repenting of their sins and receiving eternal life.”
– Jesus doesn’t see “you” the way YOU have chosen to define yourself.
– You are not white or black, Army or Marine, rich or poor, disabled or athlete…
– You are either forgiven, or unforgiven. Child of God, or slave to this world.
– In terms of salvation, it doesn’t matter much where you came from or what you’ve been through. Jesus died for all in the same way, and at the same time!
– We all share the same traits: Prone to sin, need of a savior, brothers/sisters in the Lord!
- Our “shoes” should look different than the world’s shoes. WE shouldn’t play favorites.
– James 2:1-4, My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? 2 For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. 3 If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, 4 doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?
– Economics is one of the largest dividers in our culture, and it’s only getting worse.
– This example deals specifically with preferential treatment in the church. This is one example of many, and shows preference based on the clothes a person is wearing.
Example: FVC will never build the budget around a large giver. They could leave (we’ve seen it before). They end up with power and preference, and a seat on the board. You can’t say “no”.
– Pastor Matt never want to know what someone gives, so there is no temptation to treat them different. (Only making sure that leaders are tithers.)
– Christianity is not a competition. You don’t “win your spot” on the roster from someone else.
– Example: Long-term missionary writing an article criticizing short-term missions. Not meaningful, not doing enough, and otherwise wrecking the whole world.
– Instead of an article condemning, write one helping them be more effective! (People find value in missions, 2 mil. People, 2 bil. Dollars, use their willingness, don’t’ break their will.)
– Finding fault is NOT a spiritual gift!
– Too much grace, or not enough. Too trendy, or not relevant enough. Music, coffee, etc…
– Isn’t this exactly why we “circle the wagons” as a group in the first place? Because other won’t accept us for who we are. Now we get that from inside the group too!
– Example: NKC health fair, “Kenny’s” advice. We can’t help someone from another race??
– Under the skin, we are all human.
– By making someone else’s contribution less important, it doesn’t highlight our contribution as more important. That isn’t God’s economy.
– Don’t divide us! Testimony too sinful, or not sinful enough. You don’t dress up for church??
– “I can’t receive from tattoos and tennis shoes.” “I’m intimidated by the pastor’s suit.”
– People fear the same thing coming into a new church, as from the world. Will they fit in?
* Belong. * Believe. * Behave. * (That’s how it should work!)
- Peace between us can only happen through Jesus Christ.
– 2 Christian factions existed: Jewish converts who have deep seated history in the Law of Moses, and gentile converts who really only know the new covenant of grace through Jesus Christ.
– Eph. 2:14-16, For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. 16 Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.
– Through all their differences in background, culture, race, and past experiences, Jesus brings peace and reconciliation between them because he is our Savior.
– MLK Jr – “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”
– We are so much more alike than we are different.
– Gal. 3:26-28, For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes (or shoes). There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.
– It’s a metaphor, meaning to take on the likeness and qualities of Jesus, when you become a confessed believer of Jesus.
– But what do Jesus’s “new shoes” look like?
– Col. 3:12, Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
– Eph. 6:15, For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.
* “Put on” Jesus Christ like a new pair of shoes! Display the characteristics of Jesus on the outside, so that people will know that you have been saved by grace on the inside!
– The church should always stand united as one people!
– The only way will have unity among us, is through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
– 1 Cor. 1:10, I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no division in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose.
– prayer –