The Bringing Together of All People Under One Head: Jesus Christ
Part of God’s central theme in salvation is that he has come to save the whole world (John 3:16, cf. Genesis 12:1-3, Isaiah 19:19 ff), meaning – men, women and children from every ethnic group and every extended family group on earth (Revelation 5:9-10). That means we are not simply redeemed as individuals, but as part of the “people of God” (I Peter 2:9,10). Reconciliation takes place between God and man and between man and man. The mark of the church which leaves men with an undeniable proof that God has come to bring salvation is this new found love that we have for all those who are different from us, and who used to be our enemies (John 17:20-23, Ephesians 2:11 ff.). All who trust in Christ Jesus as their Savior are made a part of God’s covenant family. Jesus describes this family relationship in these terms: “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice” (Luke 8:21).
The history of Israel in the Old Testament, the ministry of the life of Christ on this earth and the history of the early church in the New Testament all reveal God constantly pushing his people toward the inclusion of the whole world (cf. Jonah, Daniel, Zechariah; Jesus’ constant reference to the Samaritans and the Gospel of John’s emphasis on the “whole world”; Pentecost, the Ethiopian, Peter and Cornelius, and ultimately, the whole ministry of Paul). We believe God intends for us to be intentionally pursuing the reconciliation of all people under the Lordship of Christ (Ephesians 1:9-10), across all ethnic and socio-economic barriers (1Corinthians 12:12-13).
Related Articles: Reconciliation Series