What Does the Bible Say about Unity among Humanity?
- Topher Haddox Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2020 15 Jun
In times of turmoil, culture asks many questions but rarely goes to the only true Source of answers. Today, people are desperate to know their identity, believe they are unique, and most of all, believe they matter.
Dividing lines are drawn among these sensitive topics and only serve to bring more chaos to hurting souls seeking unity.
We know what people claim creates unity—but what does the Bible say?
Before we can find out, we must first recognize the inerrancy, infallibility, and absolute truth of the Bible. Without this foundation, we may be easily tossed around by the winds of the culture. Without this rock-solid anchor, we would easily find ourselves lost in the open seas that are the perils of this world.
It is paramount for Christian living that we view every circumstance through the lens of the Word of God. The culture is ever-changing around us, but the Word of God will always be objectively true. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).
Why Do Our Lives Matter?
In recent times, all of us, in one way or another, have had to examine ourselves to find where we land on the issue of racial injustice in our country. With all the chaos that has ensued nationwide, finding the truth is like finding a needle in a haystack, only the haystack is in a burning building. There is constant pressure from all sides to buy into their narrative.
As a Christian, I want to be sensitive to the brokenhearted, and weep with those that are weeping (Romans 12:15). I also think it is every Christian’s responsibility to carefully evaluate the way biblical terms are being used in the culture—words like justice, love, reconciliation, and unity.
With any quick scroll through the news or social media, you’ll see people passionately united and divided over whose lives matter more. Have we stopped to consider why any lives matter? In the accounts recorded in Genesis, there is a key difference between humans and all other creatures—that humans, both male and female, were created in the Imago Dei, or the Image of God.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).
We were created with His likeness, and therefore possess intrinsic value. This is why Christians fundamentally hate injustices towards our fellow man, such as abortion, human trafficking, and racism. This is why we are commanded to “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Proverbs 31:8-9).
Every human being—man, woman, and child—is valuable because they are created in the likeness of the Creator.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/C.Fish Images
How Are Humans United?
In my city, humanity certainly doesn’t feel united. So, writing a piece on the unity among humanity seemed like a lost cause. However, as I was gathering info for this article, Acts 17 seemed to leap off the page. Consider Paul’s words as he stood in front of the brilliant philosophers in Athens and proclaimed this truth:
The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him (Acts 17:24-27).
According to the Bible, there is only one race—the race of all humankind. And we all find our ancestral unity in Adam. Every nation, ethnicity, and people group are united under this banner.
This is why the sin of racism is biblically arrogant, senseless, and foolish. Hating someone based solely on the amount of melanin in their skin is simply ignorant of biblical truth. Nevertheless, racism inherently exists because of whom humanity is united under—Adam.
What Is the Purpose of Humankind?
Before the Lord saved me 5 years ago, my purpose in life seemed absolutely clear. I was only concerned about my own well-being. I was seemingly religious and God-centered on the outside, but inside I was supremely focused on one thing—me. Facing a fresh divorce from my wife of seven years, The Holy Spirit began to illuminate the sin in my life. He held a mirror up to my face. I needed Him to save me. I needed to be united and made right with Him. I realized that the only reason I exist is to love and worship Him in every area of my life.
We were created to be in communion with, and to worship, God. In Acts 17, we see that God’s purpose for humans is to seek and find Him. Paul uses the words “feel their way toward him” to imply that, by nature, we are in the dark and don’t know where we are going. This is consistent with John’s words in 1 John 2:11:
“But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes”.
So if we are all natural descendants of Adam, why do we naturally walk in darkness and hate the light? Because of something else we're united in—sin.
Consequentially, all of creation bears the curse of Adam’s sin. In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve introduced sin into the world. They chose to rebel against the commandment of God and subjected the world to futility. In our natural state, although we are intrinsically valuable being created in the likeness of God, we are also inherently wicked being in the likeness of Adam (cf. Genesis 5:1-3). It is because of this state we are unable to be in right standing before God by our own doing.
In Acts 17 above, Paul’s spirit was stirred at the sight of the Athenian altars built to various gods. He brings to light the Stoic’s knowledge of the “unknown god,” to whom the last altar was inscribed, as the sovereign Creator of all; the Lord of heaven and earth.
In Romans 1:18 and following, Paul makes this same argument—that all of mankind is united in their knowledge of the one true God. He goes on to say in verse 18 that humans naturally suppress this truth. Because of this, we’re united in the fact that we all have a deep sense of emptiness within ourselves.
We constantly seek out our own devices in the hopes of fulfilling our joy. We strive daily to fill that void with temporary, idolatrous things that simply cannot satisfy. Therefore, we need the only One that can satisfy our souls and give us unending joy—Jesus Christ.
Photo Credit: ©Sparrowstock
How Can Humanity Be Reunited?
In darkness, our joy is impossible to fulfill. Sure, we may seem to have temporal joys in this life apart from God. But nothing can bring us joy like knowing Jesus. Only He can truly change the desires of our hearts from worldly idolatry to communion with Him in His presence. He not only can change our desires, but He also fulfills those desires.
“Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalms 37:3-4).
There is a unity that can bring us joy like no other. It is the fulfillment of what we were created to do—worship God. Out of God’s own love and mercy, He has provided a way for us to be united with Him once more.
Our sin that eternally separates us from the love of the Father is forgiven through the blood of Jesus, if we believe in that promise.
If we believe that God is who He says He is, namely a Holy God that demands nothing less than perfect righteousness from us.
If we believe we are who He says we are, a rebellious and sinful creation incapable of doing good on our own, deserving wrath.
If we believe that despite this, God gave His only Son to bear the curse of our sin, and the wrath of God on our behalf, in return, clothes us with His own righteousness so that we should stand holy and blameless before the Father.
The Gospel of Jesus is true unity among humanity.
While the human race was united under the banner of sin, Christ died for us. In Ephesians 1, Paul describes this unity as an adoption into God’s family as sons and daughters through Christ. Through faith in this Gospel, God no longer considers us to be outsiders, but His children—sharing at His table.
Can there be a more fulfilling unity than us all being united with Christ? This world can create false or separate unities under the banners of ethnicity, nationality, the colors of our skin, socio-economic statuses, or party lines. But nothing our culture offers can compare to the joy of being united with the King of Kings.
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/NiseriN
Topher Lee Haddox is a grace-addicted husband, daddy, and wretched sinner utterly dependent upon the Cross of Christ. Born and raised in Louisiana, he thoroughly enjoys spending time in the great outdoors with his family. He has a deeply ingrained passion for worship and feeding others the Word of God. His work appears regularly on Crosswalk.com. Be sure to visit his blog at https://topherhaddox.com