Who are the Gentiles?Monday, December 19th, 2011 | Bible - NT - Ephesians | Comments
Who are the Gentiles?
In Epistle to the Ephesians, “Gentiles” comes out in three contexts. In the context about what we used to be, not the citizens of the kingdom of Christ but the Gentiles. And in the context about the Mystery of God which is the salvation that was given to the Gentiles. And the third time, where Paul is commanding the “family in Christ” to not to walk like the Gentiles. So who are the Gentiles? Let us look at the three sections and find out who are the Gentiles through those three perspectives.
The Citizens of the Kingdom of God
In chapter 2, Paul is describing “the Gentiles” by using two synonyms. We also used to be the Gentiles before Christ died and resurrected us. But by in Him we were made to be the citizens of His kingdom. Which means we became and heir that inherit the kingdom of God. Paul is calling the citizens, family. So by using that word Paul is trying to interrelate the adoption by Jesus Christ and the salvation to the Gentiles. Salvation made the Gentiles true family member of Christ, so they became the citizens and the family member of Christ.
The New Nation in Christ
So this is the salvation that was given to all of us. Before Christ’s promise was full filled by Him, salvation was made clear only to the Israelites. But by the gospels of Jesus, the Word was spread to more people, not only Jews but also to the Gentiles. We were given the grace that no matter who we are, or where we are from, we inherit the kingdom of God with Jews and the Gentiles. We are the new nation in Christ. So in this letter, Paul is writing the people who used to be the Gentiles to not to walk like they used to but to walk as the new men (4:24) in love.
The Unity of the Family in Christ
So how should we walk as the new men in His love? Paul is teaching us in chapter 5 to walk in love as Jesus loved the church. So the church must have unity in Christ. Walking in unity and love is the way how we have to walk. Which means the Gentiles walk with no unity but vanity. So we have to walk with thanksgiving and love. This is what Paul is commanding the nation of the kingdom of God to walk as one body of Christ. And the unity with love will be shown through husbands’ love to their wives and wives’ submission to their husband. And the children’s obedience to their parents and their parent’s forgiveness to their children. And the servants’ were told to obey their masters and their masters were to do the same to their servants. Because these are all what Jesus did to the church for He loved us.
Being Rooted and Grounded in Love
We are Gentiles no more but we are one in Christ and are the members of His family. So as Paul is teaching and commanding us in this letter, we have to be rooted and grounded in love and keep the unity in the bond of peace.