“For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household” (Ephesians 2:18, 19 HCSB).

One of the great hidden mysteries that the apostle Paul reveals to the Ephesians community of believers is the joining together of Jew and Gentile alike IN Jesus, our Messiah. This was kept hidden until the expressed time of God’s chose in human history. “The mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to His saints. God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:26, 27 HCSB).

What was formerly God’s secret is now being made known through the preaching of the Gospel of the kingdom of God’s Son. What was a mystery is now revealed. Tucked away in the Father’s heart was the love He always had in unbroken fellowship for the Son. But also, the desire to share and express that love with “many sons like His Son”.  What else could a Father want but a family with whom He could share His inheritance and legacy with? So it is true for those who are “in Christ”(Messiah). Paul does not waste this opportunity to share this heavenly vantage point with the Church in Ephesus.


The language of the Old Covenant is used to indicate the new relationship under God’s New Covenant. He does this to express their new status with God. “So then, remember that at one time you were Gentiles in the flesh-called “the uncircumcised” by those called “the circumcised,” [which is done] in the flesh by human hands. At that time you were without the Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Israel, and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus, you who were far away have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah. When the Messiah came, He proclaimed the good news of peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household” (Ephesians 2:11-13, 17, 19 HCSB).


Please don’t miss Paul’s teaching in the language. He is expressing to a primarily Gentile audience the new benefits that Jesus, the Messiah has accorded THEM. He actually is acknowledging that Israel’s Messiah has come, and those who have received Him are enjoying their true inheritance as was promised. They were known as the “circumcised”, like their father Abraham (Genesis 17:9-13). That language will now be applied to those who have not experienced, in their flesh, circumcision but  circumcision of the heart. Paul wrote to the Colossians community, “You were also circumcised in Him with a circumcision not done with hands, by putting off the body of flesh, in the circumcision of the Messiah. Having been buried with Him in baptism, you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And when you were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive with Him and forgave us all our trespasses “Colossians 2:11-13 HCSB).


He further lets them know that they have been given the privilege by grace through faith to become part of the “Citizenship of Israel”. Please notice Paul does not teach that they have “replaced Israel”, only  that through faith they have been brought into the family of “Israel”. This means that “the promises of God” are theirs by virtue of this new status. It is not based on anything they have earned by performance, but they have been “brought near by the blood of Jesus”, God’s Lamb (John 1:29).

Let us never (We who are Gentiles) become proud of our relationship with God. It did not come by any cleverness on our own. God has “made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens, so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift- not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:5-10 HCSB). Only by the blood of Jesus do we have access to the Father, with our Jewish brothers in Messiah.

(c) Copyright 2012, Walter Fletcher Jr, All rights are reserved. This article may be shared free of charge provided that it is not altered in anyway from its original content. Address all correspondence to:


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