GALATIANS 3:28 - Berean Lamp Memory Verse - (June 13-20)
The Berean Lamp Memory Verse for this week is:
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).
In this Memory Verse for the Devotional Friday, we're beginning a series looking at the blessings of truth that man credits himself with discovering through his own reasoning in the modern age - but which actually originate from God's Word. It is a poorly illustrated point that the Holy Spirit through the Church has changed the world for the better - as Jesus said He would (John 16:7-8). All the peoples of the world have truly been blessed by the testimony and labors of the Church - it is a remarkable different place since Jesus came into the world. Why then do so many scholars and pundits try to lay only blame and bad reports at the feet of the Church, giving themselves the credit for the good that Christ has brought through His Bride? Increasingly, books, articles, and reports are painting the Church as a terrible blight on the world - a relic of ignorance, superstition, and cruelty - when the opposite is actually true.
This week, we're looking at how God's Word through the Church witnessed to the world that all races and peoples are the same before Him - that they all share the same guilt and the same access to Him through His Son. This idea of the "brotherhood" or "commonness" or universality of mankind comes from the Scriptures. This idea was radical - that anyone anywhere had the same exact nature and opportunity before God and that He loved them too. It was not an idea practiced in the world at the time of the Gospel - when races, tribes, and peoples prided themselves on their differences - how they were born of blood, the will of flesh, and the will of man - they segregated themselves into Jews, Greeks, and barbarians. They fought to dominate one another and claimed superiority for their separate races. The Gospel, on the other hand, lumped us all together under the same guilt and depravity before God and appealed to us all in the same exact way to make peace with God through entrusting ourselves to His Son, Jesus Christ. We share the same fallen nature, just as we all share the same path to salvation. And God equally desires our salvation as the salvation of our enemies and peoples on the other side of the globe. We are not only to love our neighbors, but also our enemies! What a radical notion!
May we not give way before the critics that tear at Christ's Church and try to steal all the glory and blessings that He gives to her to share with the world through His Spirit. Even so, Amen.
Other verses to consider:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him” (John 3:16-17).
“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 2:9).
“He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:11-13).
“In the generations gone by He permitted all the nations to go their own ways; and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:16-17).
“But now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith” (Romans 16:26).
“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:7-8).
“The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘All the nations will be blessed in you’” (Galatians 3:8).
“I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:14-16).
“There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 2:9-10).
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:43-45).
“What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; as it is written, ‘There is none righteous, not even one; There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one. Their throat is an open grave, With their tongues they keep deceiving, The poison of asps is under their lips’; ‘Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness’; ‘Their feet are swift to shed blood, Destruction and misery are in their paths, And the path of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.’ Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God” (Romans 3:9-19).
“For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:21-25).
“For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:12-14).
“and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all” (Galatians 3:10-12).
“There are, perhaps, a great many kinds of languages in the world, and no kind is without meaning. If then I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be to the one who speaks a barbarian, and the one who speaks will be a barbarian to me. So also you, since you are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek to abound for the edification of the church” (1 Corinthians 14:10-12).