The societal narrative in my nation, and really, around the world, is that of “equality”. An elusive “equality of rights”, an “equality of income”, an “equality of outcome”, or an “equality of …”.
God’s word does give us an instance in which all human beings around the world have an absolute equal standing before God. The Apostle Paul, in preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Romans, reminds us that the justification that is freely given to those who believe in the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, is given to all believers equally because all without distinction or exception have this equal standing:
Romans 3:22 – 23 — “…for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…”
That friends, is the place of equality that all mankind has before God. In the exact context of the first three chapters in the epistle to the Romans, the Apostle shows that the ungodly sinner stands condemned before the righteousness of God. He also shows the person with “higher morals” to be indeed just as guilty, followed by those who are better religiously as in the same boat. Then these are narrowed down into two groups:
Romans 3:9 – 10 — “…we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one…”
It is very true that we are all equal, but it is foolish to argue that “we are all the children of God”. That is only wishful thinking based on an incomplete biblical statement¹. We are all the children of Adam, and as such, the children of disobedience, and the children of wrath². All mankind by nature, while wanting to argue for equal human dignity, should really humble themselves, and accept equal human depravity. Once we have accepted this equality, we find that it is really pride in ourselves that drives our warring with our fellow man — which is very consistent with human depravity.
So when we read about “the righteousness of God by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe”(Romans 3:22), we can understand how it is that God can so freely justify all who believe, equally, because He has concluded all under sin — equally. All are equal at the cross, because all have equal need for God’s mercy.
God has placed the two afore-mentioned groups (Jew and Gentile, thereby encompassing all of humanity) in equal standing, thereby placing everyone in a place of equal standing. We are standing equally as guilty before Him, with nothing in our hands but the blood that is on them, and, frankly, no defense. There is not a thing that our mouths can say to defend us, for the law has declared all guilty. “That every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God” (Romans 3:19), is the way the scripture describes our equal human standing.
So then, after the guilty verdict, and the uncomfortable silence of defense, we read those great words “Being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”, finding that our need for mercy has been more than satisfied. We read further that this redemption was bought with a high price, for our redemption is through the blood of Christ³, and the free grace that saved us surely cost God a great deal.
But now, before God, all mankind can come to this place of redemption on equal footing: that of sinners with no standing of their own, guilty and in need of mercy. In coming to the cross in need of mercy, they are in the right place, for God is rich in mercy4, and in wisdom has concluded all men in this state, that He may have mercy on all5. The Jew, who once had the preeminence in God’s dealing with men has fallen from this state and now must come to God, not based on any promises, even that given to Abraham, but by the cross. The Gentile (all the rest of us) must come to God not on any claim whatsoever, but only by the cross.
Romans 10:12 – 13 — “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him. For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.”
How does one call upon the Name of the Lord? In Acts 16, from prison to his jailor, the Apostle Paul answered the question from the jailer, “What must I do to be saved?”
The question was answered, not with a list of religious duties and restitutions, but simply “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
That is how we call upon the Name of the Lord! We believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, that He died for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day and God’s riches grace will be granted. Blessed promise! blessed assurance! But take heed — He will grant it no other way.
The only way in which we can be called the “children of God” is the way that the Apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 3:26 — “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.“
- Ephesians 2:2 – 3
- Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14
- Ephesians 2:4
- Romans 11:32
Husband, father, engineer...Enjoys fishing, archery, guitar, running, and lifting, but most of all reading and studying God's Word.