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Read Introduction to Ephesians

 

19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

 

The last four verses of chapter two enumerate the prerogatives of being in Christ. Christians are no longer what they were but are something entirely new. The church is not patched onto the nation Israel; it is an entirely new entity.

The closing verses of chapter two (vv. 19-22) set forth Jesus as our Cornerstone. This cornerstone brings together all the elements of the building we call the church. Both Jew and Gentile can now become part of the same family. They are no longer estranged from each other.

Now, therefore,

The Greek indication of “so then” draws a conclusion from previous statements (vv. 14-18). This conclusion centers on the word “one” in the previous verses. Jews and Gentiles were distinctly different, but now they are “one” in Christ.

you are no longer strangers and foreigners [aliens],

“Strangers and foreigners” were Jewish terms for Gentiles. Gentiles were “foreigners” living in their native lands. “Strangers” were Gentiles living in the land of Israel.

Gentiles were outside the blessings of the nation Israel, but now Gentile believers are no longer alien to God’s economy. Christians belong to a new, eternal nation (Php 3:20).

but fellow citizens with the saints

The polar opposite of “strangers and foreigners” is “fellow citizens.” The new status in the church is a spiritual citizenship holding this standing with the “saints.”

A “saint” is someone who is set apart unto God. God separated saints from both Jews and Gentiles and formed a new entity, the church, the household of faith. “Saint” is a title of honor for one who belongs to the universal church. The old national theocracy of Israel no longer exists.

and members of the household of God,

The “household” here is not the same as what the Jews held in the nation of Israel. This is an entirely new family entity (v. 20), not a national entity. Christians are members of God’s household. What a wonderful new identity that is!

PRINCIPLE:

There are no second-class citizens in the household of faith.

APPLICATION:

There are no strangers or outcasts in God’s family, no second-class citizens. We have a citizenship located in heaven (Php 3:20). God views us as members of His eternal family. Our eternal citizenship and family are the same thing. Every believer holds the same status before God. To treat a fellow member of the eternal citizenship or family with disregard is to trash what God values.

Christians belong in a way that we never did before. We are not second-class citizens or aliens to God’s community. No believer is homeless. We now have a homeland.

We eagerly wait for the time when we will go home to be with our Lord. Meanwhile, we represent Him in time on earth as His personal representatives, ambassadors for Christ.

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