First, we are Christians

What do you think is the greatest quote in American history? This is what I think.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Then, of course, Mr. Lincoln’s reiteration at the beginning of the Gettysburg Address: “Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

Lincoln declared Jefferson’s words to be true! All humans are created equal in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of justice. This proposition is worth fighting even your brother over and worth dying for.

But you know another guy who was born about 2,000 years ago, lived and could turn a pretty mean phrase, taught and proclaimed with all his heart, soul and strength that all men, women and children are created equal in the eyes of God!

Listen to the Apostle Paul:

Philippians 3:20 - Our citizenship is in heaven.

Ephesians 2:29 – So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, members of the Household of God.

Galatians 3:27-28 – For in Christ Jesus you are all children of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew or Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:11 – Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or freeman, but Christ is all and in all.

Not only are we equal in the eyes of God, but, each one of us has been adopted by God our Father, and we are children of God.

The Apostle John in his first letter, chapter 3, verse 1: See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

We have all been adopted by our God and Father and are children of God, making us brothers and sisters with Jesus Christ Himself.

We are all equal in the eyes of God.

As if that weren’t enough, our brother, Jesus the Christ, the Messiah died and rose so that each and every one of us is saved by Him and through Him.

Remember I said Mr. Lincoln proclaimed the proposition “all men are created equal” was important enough to fight a Civil War?

It was important enough for brothers to fight brothers and over 200 years, time and again we have affirmed it is important enough to die for.

We are all important enough that God decided to die so that we may live. All are created equal. All are children of God. All are saved children of God.

How arrogant can we humans be?

To divide ourselves by race, gender, national origin, denomination, weight, height, language, lay or ordained or whatever human divisions we create among ourselves. How arrogant can we be to ignore what Christ died to truly make us? All men, all women, all people have been endowed by our Creator with the inalienable right to be saved in Jesus Christ!

I once knew a wonderful minister named Bishop Edward Pevec. One St. Patrick’s Day, preaching at St. Patrick’s Church in Cleveland, Ohio, Bishop Pevec bravely preached:

“We are Irish – third.

“We are Catholics – second.

First, we are Christians!”

All, everything flows out of the fact we are Christians – Christ followers – saved by our faithful Lord and Savior. Our God and Father has created us. We are all Children of God and gifted with eternal life.

What is the greatest quote in human history?

For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, what whoever believes in Him should not perish but have life eternal. – John 3:16

Steve Nofel is co-pastor of Montezuma Valley Presbyterian Church in Cortez.

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