Throughout my time in undergrad, I’ve come into contact with numerous acquaintances who share heartbreaking testimonies with me about a multitude of negative church experiences: how they were kicked out of church, how they were told that they were “too far gone” to be saved, how they are unworthy of grace. The God I serve never once declared that anyone is too far gone from the reach of his grace. God (and his mercy) cannot be confined to anything: especially not a list of good deeds, a record of all wrongs, a cult, a denomination, or even a grave. He sent his son, Jesus, to become one of us and die for all of us. Period. No exemptions. Salvation isn’t reserved for a certain type of person or a set of people, for we all sin and fall short of His glory (Romans 3:23). Below are 18 spots in scripture that support equality amongst all of us, regardless of gender, age, race, economic situation, or disability.
• Genesis 1:26-28 ESV Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So, God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
• Genesis 2:20-22 NIV Adam still needed a helper. So, the Lord caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. Then the Lord made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to Adam.
• Leviticus 19:33-34 NLT Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. Treat them like native-born citizens, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in a land that was not your own. I am the Lord your God.
• Deuteronomy 10:17 NLT For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.
• 2 Samuel 8:15 ESV David reigned over all Israel, doing what was just and right for all his people.
• Proverbs 22:2 NIV The rich and the poor have this in common: the Lord is the maker of them all.
• Malachi 2:10 NIV Do we not all have one Father? Did not one God create all of us? So why are we unkind and unfaithful to one another?
• Luke 14:13-14 NLT Invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, God will reward you.
• John 13:16 ESV Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.
• Acts 10:34-35 Peter replied, “God shows no favoritism. In every nation, he accepts those who fear him and do what is right.”
• Galatians 3:26-29 NLT For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus…there is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. You are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are all children of Abraham and heirs of God’s promise to Abraham.
• Ephesians 2:14 ESV For he himself is our peace, who has made us all one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility.
• 1 Timothy 2:4 NLT God wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.
• James 2:1-4 ESV My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
• 1 John 2:2 NIV He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but for the sins of the whole world.
• Revelation 7:9 NLT After this, I saw a vast crowd – far too great to count – from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were all clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands.