Sermon by Kenny Foster, Senior Pastor, from Deuteronomy 32:36-43 & Romans 15:5-13.
The sermon series on the multiethnic vision of Grace Church, has thus far addressed three common objections, but the gospel has provided us with the answers. The purpose of this series is to keep before us what the gospel is all about. God provides mercy through Jesus Christ, for sure, but to what end? The end is to gather a people for himself who will reflect his glory and wisdom in all of its beauty. But does that mean that I have to be something that I am not? This is a question of authenticity. This is another objection to the multiethnic vision of the Church. Some will say, “You can’t be authentic in a multiethnic church.” Translation: “It is hard to be in a church with multiple ethnicities and live as one and be yourself. Therefore be homogenous. The way to be authentic is to serve God among people who are like you. I won’t have to change who I am and the Church will be more successful. What is wrong with that?” It falls short of the goal of the gospel.
The gospel’s aim is not for personal authenticity, but it is for community. A community that is diverse yet one. The gospel’s goal is about making us one. One with the Father and one with one another. The end goal is not unison, but harmony. Harmony takes unity in diversity. One’s authenticity is expressed in seeking to grant the “other/outsider” access to one’s own heart. That is what Christ has done for us. Christ’s authenticity wasn’t measured in the way he pleased himself but in the way he brought others, Jewish insiders and Gentile outsiders, into his own heart. The Lord’s Table shows us the type of welcome we have received. It also teaches us the type of welcome we are to give. Through the Lord’s Table, the multiethnic church is pursuing authenticity since it is perpetuating the welcome that Christ has given.