Am I Excluding?

As you know unity is a big topic in the bible.  Jesus brings this up in the context of marriage, members of the church, sinners and saved, men and women, us and God and Jesus, humanity in general.  But one of the biggest unity items is the concept of Israelites and Gentiles.  The Chosen People and those outside of this group, all the other geo-political and cultural groupings of people outside of the Hebrews.

In Ephesians 2: 11-22 Paul tears this division down completely.  God’s Chosen People, his handpicked geo-political, cultural people who he has worked with all through the Old Testament are now to be blended with everyone else in the world.  The “circumcision people” are now joined into one family with the “uncircumcised”.

Those who were once “excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners”, who were “without hope” and “without God”, who were “far away” have been “brought near”.

Christ “made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility”.  The purpose of Christ “was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace”.  He came and preached peace “to you who were far away and peace to those who were near”.  And “both have access to the Father by one Spirit”.

Now the gentiles are: “no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and member of God’s household”.

Only Jesus can do this.  Bring total outsiders in to become total insiders.  Foreigners and aliens to become citizens (Phil 3:20,21).  He has brought peace, removing hostility between groups of people who were very different.

Do I as a professed Christian, a follower of Jesus, have this loving inclusivity?  Do I fully realize I am a Gentile who has been grafted into God’s family?  I have asked myself if I have had an exclusive attitude to those different than me.  Inside the church and outside, race, gender, political party, etc?  We certainly don’t have to agree with everyone, but what is our inner relationship perspective with others?

I am so very thankful that God has made a way through his son to no longer be an alien, but now a fellow citizen with God’s people.  With this privilege, I feel I must be thankful and not forget this, nor take it for granted and adopt “insider only” thinking.

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