24 Bible Passages That Affirm Martin Luther King Jr.'s Dream

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Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream that one day there would be equality and unity among all races. While there are many more Bible verses on the subject, here are 24 passages in Scripture that affirm Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream (all Scripture quotations from the English Standard Version): 

Every human being is made in the image of God.

Every human being is made in the image of God. Showing respect toward every person shows respect for God.

1. So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them. (Gen. 1:27)

2. “Whoever sheds the blood of man,
by man shall his blood be shed,
for God made man in his own image.” (Gen. 9:6)

3. And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)

Every human being has worth and dignity in the sight of God.

Every human being comes from Adam and Eve and is equal in God’s sight.

4. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

5. So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” (Acts 10:34-35)

6. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place. (Acts 17:26)

7. But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. (James 3:8-9)

Racism is a sin of pride.

The Bible is clear that pride and arrogance are sins. We should never view ourselves as being superior to any other person for any reason.

8. "The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate." (Prov. 8:13)

9. There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. (Prov. 6:16-19)

10. Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished. (Prov. 16:5)

11. Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin. (Prov. 21:4)

12. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant. (1 Cor. 13:4)

Showing partiality is a sin.

We should never show partiality based on someone’s race, gender, income level, or social status.

13. “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe.” (Deut. 10:17)

14. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal. 3:28)

15. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality. (1 Tim. 5:21)

16. If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. (James 2:8-9)

We should love our neighbor as ourselves.

Loving our neighbor as ourselves is one of the two great commandments, according to Jesus (Matt. 22:39). Racism always insults our brothers and sisters and causes us to commit murder in our hearts. Racism has also tragically led to the abuse and murder of millions of God’s image-bearers throughout history.

17. “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him.” (Lev. 19:17)

18. “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. (Matt. 5:21-22)

19. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. (1 John 3:15)

20. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. (1 John 4:20)

Christians should always seek the unity of the church.

Racism has been present throughout history and has always threatened the unity of the church. The good news of Jesus Christ entails a new level of inclusivity and unity that culminates in a richly diverse congregation of saints worshiping together before the Lamb of God.

21. But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles, but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. (Gal. 2:11-12)

22. And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.” (Acts 10:28)

23. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility. (Eph. 2:13-14)

24. After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands. (Rev. 7:9)

Racism is a violation of the two great commandments. Whenever we harm anyone in thought or deed, we are sinning against God and our neighbor. Furthermore, racism, just like all sin, is not merely sinful when we actively participate, but also when we turn a blind eye to wrongs being committed or choose not to care (consider the parable of the good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37). Even if racism has little effect on some of us personally, many brothers and sisters in Christ are being harmed and are asking for our care and attention. May Christians around the world be known for their love, unity, impartiality, graciousness, kindness, and care for every human being.

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