Read Romans 3:29-30
29-30 And where does that leave our proud Jewish claim of having a corner on God? Also cancelled. God is the God of outsider non-Jews as well as insider Jews. How could it be otherwise since there is only one God? God sets right all who welcome his action and enter into it, both those who follow our religious system and those who have never heard of our religion. (THE MESSAGE)
We can have this tendency to feel better about ourselves as a group by excluding others. We have all the truth, others don’t. We are living morally, others aren’t. We have power, others do not. It is tribalism. We define our own tribe and find our security within it.
This was what was happening at the time Paul wrote these words. The Jewish leaders figured they were God’s favourites, they were the insiders. This meant that non-Jews didn’t belong, were outsiders. Paul wants to demolish such thinking. Ethnicity, family background, Bible knowledge, religious expertise, none of that gets you right with God.
The only way to right relationship with God is through embracing the mercy and grace offered by Jesus. And once we do enter God’s family this way there is no cause for boasting or looking down on others. Grace puts an end to any illusions about moral superiority. Christians are not to become tribal in that they shut themselves away in some sanctified clique that imagines it has all the answers to all the problems.
We are not to build walls to keep people out, but build bridges. Not just in order to invite others to join us, but for us to join them as well.