The Cross and Racism

Dave Gifford

READ : Ephesians 2:11-22

His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two. (v. 15, NIV)

I was recently surprised to discover that the issue of racial differences and racial reconciliation is found on nearly every page of the New Testament. Passages about Samaritans and Gentiles, circumcision, and eating all have to do with welcoming people who were formerly excluded from following God because of their racial background.

In Ephesians 2 Paul explains that the human race was hopelessly divided against itself (Jew versus Gentile) as well as separated from God. So Jesus created a new human race (“one new man out of the two”). In the new humanity the old racial distinctions no longer apply – even Jewish circumcision, which was established by the law of Moses. Everyone who believes in Jesus dies with him to these old distinctions. With Jesus we are raised to new life as members of God’s new humanity, reconciled to God and to each other. Believers of every color become individual bricks in a beautiful, multi-colored “temple” for God’s glory.

Overcoming racism and working for racial reconciliation is more than a matter of being politically correct. It is a matter of being biblically and doctrinally correct! Bringing people together is a vital part of what Jesus died on the cross to bring about.


Prince of peace, help me to “preach peace” and live at peace with people of every kind.