When we go on holiday, we usually go to church wherever we are visiting. I love meeting with God’s people in various places because it helps me feel more connected to the global church. 

One of my earliest experiences of meeting believers from all over the world was when I was 20-years-old. I traveled with a missionary organization for a month to eastern Europe, and the Lord amazingly provided everything I needed. In my youthful excitement, I signed up without knowing how I was going to afford to go! 

Before going off with our teams across eastern Europe, we met together for training in a school in Estonia. There were people from all over the world, and we were all so different. I am sure the people in the town we stayed in were looking at us all thinking, “Who are these people? What connects them?” We had only one thing in common: Jesus Christ.

On the last night before we headed off to serve God, we met together for a time of prayer and praise. I still remember that warm summer evening. At the end of our worship time, we went outside, and instead of leaving, we gathered in a circle, arm in arm, singing hymns and songs unaccompanied. We were all worshiping God together. It was like a little taste of heaven where people from every nation, tribe, people, and language gathered before the throne of God (Revelation 7:9–10). 

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The first part of today’s reading talks about the law. This is the law God gave Moses as He was establishing the Israelites as a nation. The law wasn’t eliminated by Jesus; He came to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17–18; Luke 24:44-–7). The law still points us to our inability to live as God designed. It tells us of our need for a Savior. 

There is only one Savior—Jesus. Faith in Christ declares us adopted through faith. We have been chosen to be part of God’s family. We are described as sons, but don’t be offended by this. In Paul’s culture, only sons could inherit, and usually, the eldest son inherited everything! We are described as sons through Christ because our inheritance is secure. We will spend eternity with the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and all His people. 

God provides for our future and also our present. We are clothed with Christ. Jesus makes us worthy. Through Him, we can enter God’s very presence. 

So, as we meet together as God’s people, we are one in Christ. When we are praying, learning from God’s Word, being built up, breaking bread, encouraging and challenging each other—we are one in Christ. Each of us is an undeserving sinner, chosen and saved by the wonderful grace of God. 

Christians belong to each other in such a way that the things which might try to separate us, like race, income, and gender, don’t because what is most important combines us. We are one body in Christ. 

Unfortunately, this isn’t always our experience of church. Paul was writing to the divided church in Galatia, where some were saying that the Greeks need to become Jews to be proper Christians! Paul responds strongly. It is faith in Christ and belonging to Him that matters. 

What Paul is saying in these verses is that regardless of our ethnicity, income, or gender, we are one. We are equally heirs of all God’s promises through faith in Jesus. We are children of God before anything else. We are one in Christ, treated equally by Him. We are a holy nation, scattered among the nations, to be a light, calling others to follow Him.

It amazes me to think you will be reading this blog in different countries and cities, maybe even in a different language (thank you, translators!). God has placed each of us in different contexts. I have probably never met you, yet we have one thing in common: Jesus Christ. So, my sister in the Lord, we are one. 

“Now may the God of endurance and comfort give you unity with one another in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Receive one another, then, just as Christ also received you, to God’s glory.” – Romans 15:5–7

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Julie McIlhatton

Julie McIlhatton

Julie McIlhatton lives in the beautiful Northern Ireland with her lovely husband and two fantastic boys. She is blessed to be able to be a stay at home mum and be involved in different ministries at her church. In her free time she likes to watch movies, play board games, and go for walks (when it’s not raining!). She enjoys listening to music of various kinds and is amazed at how much easier the right music makes mundane tasks, like cleaning. She is acutely aware of God’s undeserved love and grace lavished on her. In response, she seeks to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever.

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