The Gospel Does Not Discriminate (Bavinck)

Essays on Religion, Science, and Society (Paperback) There is nothing that tears down walls between people like the gospel does.  There is nothing that brings all sorts of people together like the gospel does.  Herman Bavinck describes this quite well:

“In order to be a Christian, a citizen of the kingdom of God and heir of eternal life, it matters not at all whether one is Jew or Greek, barbarian or Scythian, male or female, free or slave, rich or poor, socially important or unimportant.  The only way to enter the kingdom of heaven, which is available to all, is by way of regeneration, an inner change, faith, conversion.  No nationality, no gender, no social standing, no class, no wealth or poverty, no freedom or slavery has any preference here.”

“The walls of division have fallen away, the palisades taken down; the gospel is intended for all and must be proclaimed to all.  The despised and those without rights in antiquity – the barbarians, the uncivilized, the ignoble, women, slaves, publicans, sinners, whoremongers, idol worshipers – are all people of God’s family, destined for his kingdom.  Yes, if there is any preference, then the poor, the ignoble, the unlearned, the oppressed are the ones who are considered first for the gospel.  God chooses the poor, the despised, and the ignoble, so that no one should boast before him.”

“What a revolution this gospel brought about in the ancient world: it gave a reforming power to humanity!  All people are equal before God.  He rates no one inferior because of social standing or rank, because of simplicity or unimportance.  God loves everyone who fears him from all peoples and generations and social classes.  This is a raising in status, this is the birthday of a new humanity, the beginning of a new society.  Christians, however different they were among themselves in origin and social status, were an elect family, a holy nation, a people made his own, a holy priesthood, one body with many members.”

We desperately need to remember this truth today: …in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to the other member…Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you... (Rom 12:5 NIV).  We need to make sure that we don’t put up walls and barriers that Jesus broke down on the cross.  No matter our political views, no matter how we school our kids (home, private, public), no matter our ethnicity, no matter our income level or job situation, the gospel brought us together and it must keep us together!

The above quotes are found on page 140-141 of Herman Bavinck’s Essays on Religion, Science, and Society.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)  Hammond, WI