Summary: Jesus is for all people of all races, cultures and social backgrounds. No man made barriers should keep men from Christ or cause division in the church.
Jesus is for Everyone
11 Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Colossians 3:11 NIV
Greek for “Here there is no” is ouk eni. (There cannot be) Eni is the long (original) form of en and estin is to be understood. "There does not exist."
The final reason for putting off the evils of the old self is that the new self brings a renewal that is so radical, it changes all human relationships. Paul says in verse 11: "Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all." If we make a practice of putting to death our sensuality and covetousness, laying aside evil attitudes and malignant speech, we will fully experience this astounding removal of barriers in human relationships. The "new self," lived out, brings the destruction of racial barriers ("Greek or Jew"), religious barriers ("circumcised or uncircumcised"), cultural barriers ("barbarian, Scythian"), and social barriers ("slave or free"). This will bring a resounding affirmation of Tertullian’s exclamation: "See how these Christians love one another!" An amazed world will acknowledge that Christians have the "real thing": Preaching the word commentary
"All men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another" (John 13:35).
1.) In Christ there are not to be any racial barriers.
… Here there is no Greek or Jew…
“But America, another thing disturbs me about your church. You have a Negro church and you have a White church. Oh! America, that is quite disturbing, for that cannot exist within the true Body of Christ! How did that thing ever get into being anyway?!?! You have allowed segregation to come into the church, America! Oh, how tragic when you stand up on Sunday morning to sing In Christ there is no East or West - isn’t it tragic that you stand in the most segregated hour of your Christian nation! They tell me there is more integration in sports arenas and nightclubs than there is in the Christian church! Oh, how tragic that is! How appalling that is! They tell me that there are even Christians among you who try to justify segregation on the basis of the Bible!”
Dr. Martin Luther King
In the United States we have Black churches, Hispanic churches, Indian Churches, Russian churches and so on. But each church should be filled with people from varied backgrounds and cultures. We are called to Biblical unity, no race, ethnicity, or any other kind of barrier is to keep anyone out of Christ’s church and all are to be welcomed.
Illustration: A black man and a white man were driving down the road, debating the topic of whether Jesus was black or white. On and on they went. Back and forth. "He was white" says the white guy, "because he was jewish, and the shroud confirms, that he was caucasian. "No he was black." says the black man. "Noah’s decendants settled in ethiopia, and the lineage of Jesus is from there." The two men were so busy arguing, they weren’t watching the road and slammed into a semi, and killed both of them instantly. The two men woke up in heaven, as Jesus came around the Pearly gates he looks at them and says, "BUENAS DIAS SENORES!"
- Jesus Is For Everyone!
2.) In Christ there are not to be any cultural barriers.
…circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian…
- Jesus is for everyone
The Jews were circumcised because it was part of their religion and a cultural distinctive which represented the Abrahamic covenant. When the church was born the church was faced with a difficult issue that is whether or not a non-Jew could be a Christian. The early church recognized that Gentile culture was different and the apostles came to the conclusion that it was not cultural conformity to Judaism that saved but faith in Jesus Christ. As a result the elders sent a letter to the churches making it clear that non-jews could be believers and that circumcision and adherence to the Old Testament Law was not a requirement. These cultural barriers threatened to keep millions out of the church.
In our day and age the same holds true for us. But out struggle is not with Judaism but with an American cultural mindset.
- clothing people wear
- the way people relate communicate and interact with others
- the foods they eat
- their personal hygiene
- their personal interests
- the way they look they are different
The Scythians mentioned here by Paul were a culture of barbaric people who were feared and hated by many in the ancient world. They were a merciless and brutal people even for there time. They would drink the blood of their opponents first fallen soldier in battle (they would use that mans skull as a cup and his scalp as a napkin). They were truly a heathen and savage people. They rarely washed or bathed themselves they were consider a very disgusting and repulsive people who were despised by all.