No Longer Outsiders
Read Ephesians 2:11-13
Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands-remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
How did the status of the Gentiles change in Christ? How has your status changed in Christ?
It seems humans are always separating people into groups. Society categorizes people by their gender, race, social standing, age, political party, etc. Certain groups are elevated and considered more worthy and more valuable while other groups are cast to the side. They are considered less worthy and less valuable in society’s eyes. They don’t belong.
Under the law, Gentiles were the outsiders. They were not God’s chosen people. They were not circumcised as the Jews were to show that they were set apart for God. They did not have to abide by God’s laws. They didn’t have to follow a special diet. They didn’t observe the same religious feasts and festivals. According to the Mosaic law, Gentiles were unclean because of their lifestyles. If you were not a Jew, you were not welcome in many Jewish circles at this time.
Paul asks the Gentiles to remember who they were and what their position was and compare it to who they are now and what their position is in Christ. He wanted them to remember what their status had been so they could better appreciate what Christ has done on their behalf. They were separated from Christ. They were strangers and alienated from God’s chosen nation, Israel. Most likely had never heard of the covenants. Therefore they had no hope for a Messiah, nor did they know they needed one. They were without the one true God.
But now. What a difference being in Christ makes! They were far away from God, but they have been brought near. Because of the blood of Christ, they are no longer strangers and aliens! They are now members of God’s chosen people. Not because they converted to Judaism and got circumcised, but because of the blood of Christ! Everything that separated them has been abolished in Christ.
Friends, because of our sin, we, too, were separated from God. We were outsiders. We did not belong to God’s family. We did not have hope. We lived our lives without Him. But now. For those of us who have accepted Christ, we have been brought near to God. We are not without hope in the world. Thank you, Jesus.
Jesus, Your blood brought me back to spiritual life and back to God. I didn’t even know how lost, and far off I was. But You knew, and You acted on my behalf. Thank You for drawing me near to You. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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