Motivation for the Series:
- We have a vision that is global, multilingual and locally contextual
- Racial conflict will likely continue to be part of our lives for the foreseeable future.
Objective of the series:
- To put racial conflict in perspective and navigate it with peace.
Key Realities of Race and Racial Conflict:
- Complex (difficult to understand because of many different, but related parts)
- Nuanced (small distinctions that make big differences)
- Layered (Each layer is a different phase of reality)
- “Levelled” (Varying degrees of intensity, strength or quality)
One of the quickest ways to secure peace is to adjust your expectations.
Jesus Did the Work
- Romans 5:1–2 (ESV) – 1Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
- The source of some people’s frustration is that they are attempting to make peace with people before they’ve made peace with God.
- Proverbs 16:7 (ESV) – 7 When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
- Romans 5:8–9 (ESV) – 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
Then How Do You Hold People Accountable?
Ephesians 2:8–10 (ESV) – 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
- Just because Jesus did the work doesn’t mean there’s nothing for us to do.
God’s Thinking is Different Than Our Thinking
1 Corinthians 13:4 (ESV) – 4 Love is patient and kind. . .
1 Corinthians 13:4 (NKJV) – 4 Love suffers long and is kind;
- To be patient is to endure uncomfortable things.
- Love means to be kind while you’re uncomfortable.
Paul’s Practical Example
1 Corinthians 11:1 (ESV) – 1Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
1 Corinthians 9:19–23 (ESV) – 19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.
- 2 Corinthians 11:23–30 (ESV) – 23 Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. 24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant? 30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
- You’re not fighting for a victory. You’re fighting from a victory.
- The fight is not to establish the peace, but to expand the peace.
1 Corinthians 9:20–23 (ESV) – 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
- Matthew 5:44 (ESV) – 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
© Joshua D. Smith, Ph.D., 2023