What the Gospel Leaves Out

“Mercy triumphs over judgment.”  — James 2:13

The beautiful and expansive Gospel leaves something out. Although immensely inclusive, it is also shockingly exclusive. Although expansive, there is no room in the Gospel for certain things:

  • There is no room in the Gospel for partiality, favoritism or prejudice.
  • There is no room in the Gospel for prejudice based on skin color.
  • There is no room in the Gospel for prejudice based on nationality.
  • There is no room in the Gospel for prejudice based on ethnicity.
  • There is no room in the Gospel for prejudice based on language.
  • There is no room in the Gospel for prejudice based on “ability” or disability.
  • There is no room in the Gospel for prejudice based on social status.
  • There is no room in the Gospel for prejudice based on power.
  • There is no room in the Gospel for prejudice based on wealth (or lack of it).
  • There is no room in the Gospel for prejudice based on number of chromosomes.
  • There is no room in the Gospel for prejudice based on personality.
  • There is no room in the Gospel for prejudice based on gender.
  • There is no room in the Gospel for prejudice based on sexual orientation.

If true, what this means is that there is no room in Jesus’ church for any of these things. Furthermore, where any of these find a place in our own hearts, speech and behavior, they will find themselves needing to be challenged, rebuked, extracted and forsaken.

Because rather than showing partiality, Jesus has created and thus celebrates human diversity. And if this is the case, then necessarily our churches and gatherings should be places were a diversity of all different kinds of people are welcomed, embraced, and loved. Our gatherings should be places where every unique person is able not only to come to Jesus, but to come and be welcomed and loved by the church. Jesus welcomes everyone. So should we.

It’s easy to jump to the conclusion that a call to practice radical love includes a condoning of sin or a celebration of behavior that is clearly contrary to Scripture. On the contrary, there is absolutely no place for excusing prejudice or condoning partiality, failing to recognize our own fallenness and desperate need for a Savior. The tree trunk must be excised from our own eye before we attempt to blow the loose eyelash from our neighbor’s.

The Gospel levels the playing field. Before the Law we are all in desperate need of Christ. We are all desperately broken and fallen. And this desperate neediness is what the Gospel addresses. It is why we needed Jesus to come and die for us. And it is what gives us the liberty and power to overcome our judgments with mercy.

For “here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.”  – Colossians 3:11

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