Who I am in Christ!
Ephesians 2:11-12 : One in Christ
“11 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— 12 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.”
For centuries, the “circumcision” (Jews) had looked down upon the “uncircumcised” (Gentile) with an attitude that God never wanted them to have. The fact that the Jew had received the physical mark of the covenant was no proof that he was a man of the faith. It is the same way with the “Christians” of the world today.
God separated the Jews from the Gentiles for a purpose. He did not intend for the Jews to boast but to be a blessing and help to the Gentiles. Today, as Christ’s Bride, God also wants us to be separated from the world so we can be a light, a beacon of hope to the lost. Israel kept their difference nationally and ritually but not morally. How do we as Christians fare with this statement?
I’d like to make a couple comparisons. First of all, the Jews looked down upon the Gentiles. Today, many believers look down upon unbelievers. There was an arrogance about the Jews. I dare say we have the same arrogance. Oh, how I believe that breaks the Father’s heart!
Another comparison I would like to make deals with God’s chastisements. Because Israel only kept the ritual aspect of the law and did not internalize it so it could encompass their whole being, God often had to discipline the Jews because they did not maintain there spiritual separation and minister to the nations in the name of the true God. This is the same for believers today. God says in Hebrews 12:6 “because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." As Christians we are to be salt and light in our surroundings (Matthew 5:13-16) and spread the good news of the gospels (Matthew 28: 18-20). True believers today are chastised just as the Jews were chastised by God.
A word that best describes unbelievers and Gentiles is without. They are without Christ first and foremost. They are also without citizenship, without covenants and without hope. As a born again believer in Christ I have all of these things!
God wants me to be separate from the world so I may be able to reveal Christ to others so they may gain citizenship in heaven, begin their covenant with the Lord and have an everlasting hope. He does not want me to be separated to look down my nose an nonchristians and wag my finger at them. He wants to use me to reach the lost, the dying, and the hurting. Sadly, Israel became like the Gentiles and their light burns dimly even to this day. This is our warning also.
“When the church is least like the world, it does the most for the world.” Wiersbe, Be Rich!
Dear Jesus, Thank you for your chastisements because I am reminded that I belong to You. Lord keep me separated from the world yet not so far removed that I no longer am salt and light to those around me. Keep me humbly before You, always seeking to do Your will and to reach others in Your name so that no one will perish but come to You in repentance. Do not allow me to become a Pharisee and only having a knowledge of the Word but denying the power thereof. In Your Holy name I pray this prayer, Amen.