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Bible Dictionaries

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary

Race

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In spite of the many ethnic groups in the world, there is one race that includes them all, the human race. There is a basic unity to the human race, for all people share a common origin (Acts 17:26; Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:47-48). There is also a basic equality, for all people exist in the image of God (Genesis 1:27; see IMAGE).

People are not favoured with God’s salvation on account of their race. All have sinned and are under the judgment of God, but all can be saved through accepting the salvation that God in his grace offers (Romans 2:9-10; Romans 3:19; Romans 3:23-24).

From the time of humankind’s earliest rebellion, God worked in human history to produce one who would be a saviour for all. The fact that this saviour was himself a human being meant that he had to come from one of the world’s many races and nations. God’s choice of Israel as his people was specifically for the purpose of producing this saviour (Luke 2:10-11; Luke 2:32; Romans 9:4-5; cf. Genesis 12:1-3; see ELECTION; COVENANT).

Through being God’s channel of blessing to the world, Israelites enjoyed certain blessings, but that did not mean that they automatically received salvation from the penalty of sin. Israelites, whether in Old or New Testament times, had to repent and believe, the same as people of other races, if they were to be saved. Salvation is solely by God’s grace, and people accept it by faith (Isaiah 1:16-20; Luke 3:6-8; Luke 11:32; John 8:39; John 8:44; Romans 9:30-32; Ephesians 2:8; see REMNANT).

Since all are saved on the same basis, there can be no inequality in the church. Believers of all races are united in one body (Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 2:13-16; see FOREIGNER; GENTILE). God intends his church to be a showpiece to the world. Through the union of people of different races in one body, the church demonstrates the unity that God has planned for the whole universe (Ephesians 1:9-10; Ephesians 3:6-10).

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Race'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/bbd/r/race.html. 2004.

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