Baltimore’s hidden cause
In Baltimore, we have seen images of predominantly African-American protesters and heavily armed police in conflict. The media have portrayed this as “black vs white” and indeed many feel it is that way. Some are peaceful. Some are violent. But hitting the headlines is the violence of both police and protesters. No one deep down wants to be violated, either themselves, their loved ones or their property! But some still do it.
Hidden however, is the underlying cause. Violence, killing, looting, abuse, discrimination are all physical manifestations of sin. Police exist because sin exists. Segregation between ‘races’ exist because sin exists. Sin’s manifestation has touched all of human kind, from the police officer who kills wrongly, to the looter who steals. Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned..” Only by pride comes contention (Proverbs 13:10). All caused by sin.
Where does it come from?
Recent science has proven that genetically we, all the people of the earth, are related. There are no different races. We are just different genetic families of the same human family. We all have one father and mother, Adam and Eve. The first thing to note, just as ‘white’ can be violent, so can ‘black’ people. We have no reason to say “Oh it’s just black people” or all “white people are just evil”. The reality is that we are all related AND we have the same fundamental problem: sin.
God’s Word says “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, …that they should seek God…” (Act 17:26-27) We all come from one human ancestor. The Bible said it: science has recently confirmed it.
At the core of the problem is separation. We are separated from our source of life, peace and love (Isaiah 59:2). The truth is all life comes from God (Job 33:4), and so does love and peace. If we are separated from our source of life, then we die. If we are separated from our source of love, we will feel lonely, sad and meaningless. If we are separated from peace, then we will feel anxious, uncertain and will seek validation. A solution to this cause would have to reconcile us to God. Being reconciled to God would reconcile us together, in God.
This separation is caused by sin, as God says “your iniquities [sins] have made a separation between you and your God… ” (Isaiah 59:2). This means that “…the wages of sin is death…” ( Romans 6:23a). We all have sinned (Romans 3:23). Sin is disobeying God’s commands (1John 3:4). None is right before God (Romans 3:10).
We are all made from one father, Adam (Acts 17:26). Which also means we inherited a certain thing, or lack, that he had. In a sense we all inherited an eternal debt. Romans 5:12 says “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—” but then Romans goes on to say, “much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17).
So a solution to this problem will have to take our justly deserved death and instead provide to us a way out of death and make us right. We’ll discuss that next.
God has already reached out to us. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Our sins caused death and so Jesus was “offered once to bear the sins of many” (Hebrews 9:28). So Jesus paid our debt with his own life, and by this, reconciled everyone to God. This means we can live in relationship with our Creator for eternity.
Jesus’ plan was not only to “taste death for everyone” but also to rise again (Hebrews 2:9; Acts 13:30). We will all die, but we will also be raised from death into eternal life with Christ, if we are his (1 Corinthians 6:14). Because God does not want us to perish, Jesus has made a way of escape (Matthew 18:14; 2 Peter 3:9) . “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Eternal life is a free gift that comes through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23b).
Those who trust in Jesus’ finished work “have been justified by faith” meaning “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). And Jesus said of the work required “It is finished” (John 19:30). We can’t save ourselves, but Jesus has. So the question is what must we do to be saved? That’s next.
2 Corinthians 5:19 “in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”
What can I do?
Since Jesus has done all that’s needed to provide salvation, all that is left for us is to obtain that free gift for ourselves. How can we get God’s gracious free gift?
This is as simple as putting all our trust in Jesus. Abandon the deceitful promises of sin and rather trust in the faithful promises of God. Sin is like a heavy weight sinking you down into the deepest depths, a place of hopelessness. Let go of your sins that weigh you down, that are sinking your soul towards eternal death. Get ahold of Jesus’ outstretched arm and don’t let go! Cling to Him and allow Him to pull you into His marvelous light. Trust in God for your life, joy and peace. When you turn from your sin and believe in Jesus’ finished work on the cross, you will receive the free gift of salvation. Now follow Him.
Romans 10:13, “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Call on Jesus today. Seek God through prayer and read the Bible. Find others who love Jesus and God’s Word and grow in God’s grace. Contact us if you need help with this.
2 Corinthians 5:20 “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”