Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God,
who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.
I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count,
from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.
Bloodlines by John Piper
“God’s concern to include all the ethnic peoples of the world in his saving purposes – in his final, eternal family – is unbreakably linked with the two greatest realities in the universe: God’s very being as one God and the way God has ordained to put sinners in the right with himself through justification in Christ. Ethnic diversity is not connected to God marginally. It’s connected at the center – his infinite being and his single, glorious way of justifying sinners.
“As this sinks into our minds and hearts, the effect it should have is to change the way we think and feel about racial and ethnic diversity of the world and the church. We are constantly in danger of feeling (even when we are not thinking this way) that God is partial to our tribe – that he has a special liking for our ethnicity and cultural norms.
“This danger is especially present and unseen among majority cultures and majority ethnic groups. When we are in a very large majority, we do not even operate with the category of our own ethnicity. We are just human, so we are prone to think. Others have ethnicity. This makes us very vulnerable to the assumption that God is our God in a way that minimizes his being the God of other ethnic groups.
“May the astonishing way that Paul speaks in Romans 3:29-30 of justification by faith alone awaken us from this deadly assumption. And may it fill us with a sense of amazement at God’s passion in the pursuit of all ethnic groups of the world. May we never forget that this pursuit is rooted in God’s being one infinite God and in his justifying sinners in one glorious way through faith alone in the blood and righteousness of his Son, Jesus Christ.”
In Bloodlines (PDF – forward by Tim Keller), not only does Piper candidly confess that he was “manifestly” a racist as a teenager, he also repeatedly reminds his readers that he is not a model multiethnic urban pastor today. This is why, he says, he must cherish and cling to the cross – for it has defeated his ethnocentrism and offered manifold forgiveness to his formerly racist heart: “The Lord will be my judge someday. I will give an account to him of how I served him. I expect that as he goes down the list of the choices I have made, none will have a perfectly pure motivation, and many will appear as unwise in the bright light of his holiness. I hope I have been a good steward of my gifts and time. But my confidence in the judgment is not in that. It’s in the perfection of Jesus that God has credited to me through faith and in the punishment Jesus endured for me. And I believe there will be in my overall ministry sufficient, imperfect fruits of love that witness that my union with Jesus by faith was real.”